When you’ve just harvested a juicy cannabis plant, it can be difficult to restrain yourself. The temptation to light those frosty nugs then and there is overwhelming. However, fresh-picked cannabis never tastes as good as flowers that’ve been dried and cured.
Like whiskey or fine wine, weed requires time to reach perfection.
Interestingly, there is a “cheat code” some cannabis cultivators use to speed up the curing process. Known as “water curing,” this technique involves submerging fresh-cut cannabis in, well, water!
While it may sound crazy to conservative cultivators, water curing can shave weeks off of your curing schedule. However, there are a few costs involved with using this method. You must carefully weigh the pros and cons of water curing before dunking your dank buds in a water-filled jar.
The What & Why Of Water Curing Weed
Water curing refers to placing harvested cannabis buds in a glass jar that’s full of water. This technique takes the place of the standard “dry curing,” where you put dried nugs in glass jars and open them for a few minutes every day. Of course, since you have to submerge cannabis in water, water curing always precedes drying.
OK, so why would anyone put their precious pot into a jar of water? Wouldn’t that ruin all of those precious cannabinoids?
Luckily, cannabinoids like THC are fat-soluble, so they won’t get mixed into your water. The particles that will dissolve in water include salts and sugars that smokers wouldn’t want anyway. High-quality reverse osmosis water could also clean your buds of any lingering solids like dirt and pesticide residue.
Even if you’re growing organically, water curing will get rid of “gunk” way faster than letting your weed sit in an empty jar. Since water is constantly cleaning your marijuana, these buds are ready way quicker than traditionally cured nugs.
How much faster?
Usually, water-cured weed takes no more than eight days to be ready for the drying rack. If you were to cure your weed in empty jars, it’d probably take a minimum of two weeks for them to be ready to smoke.
OK, So What’s The Catch With Water Curing?
Even though water curing is a legit practice, it comes with a few costs. Unquestionably, the top complaint people have with water-cured weed is its lack of flavor.
Washing your cannabis plants in water will strip away some water-soluble terpenes. Unfortunately for flavor chasers, water-cured nugs offer a muted aromatic experience. While smokers still feel the full effects of THC or CBD, all of these water-cured strains have a similar grassy flavor.
Another complaint people have with water curing is that it makes their weed look lackluster. If you’re growing cannabis commercially, this could be a dealbreaker for you. While water-cured weed doesn’t look “bad,” it won’t have a glossy sheen or rich colorations.
It’s also worth mentioning water-cured weed weighs less than dry-cured buds. Water gets rid of more solids in your marijuana, which means it won’t be as heavy. If you’re a dispensary owner, you need to factor these lighter buds into your bottom line.
Besides Speed, Are There Any Benefits To Water Curing?
Water curing may remove weed’s flavor, but it doesn’t affect its potency. In fact, many people claim water curing makes their weed more potent than dry curing.
Remember, since you’re removing more solids in water-cured weed, you will enjoy more THC per gram. Water curing doesn’t necessarily “intensify” THC, but it removes many particles that could dampen this cannabinoid’s absorption.
Another pro-pot fans report when smoking water-cured weed is its smooth feel. Any microscopic particles that dry curing can’t remove aren’t present in water-cured cultivars, which means there’s a lower chance these lung scratching chemicals will cause you to cough.
Lastly, many people enjoy the relative discretion of water-cured buds. While you won’t get to experience the full force of skunky terpenes, you also don’t have to worry about that conspicuous cannabis stench.
So, How Do You Water Cure Cannabis Buds?
If you’re already familiar with dry curing, it shouldn’t be hard to adapt to a water curing practice. In fact, many cultivators claim water curing is simpler than dry curing.
Here’s the basic method for water curing cannabis:
- Harvest your cannabis plant and carefully trim any fan leaves and sugar leaves.
- Fill a glass mason jar with trimmed cannabis buds.
- Pour room temperature distilled or reverse osmosis water to the top of your mason jar.
- Seal the lid on your jar and let it sit in a dark area at room temperature for one day.
- The next day, pour out the water in your jar and replace it with clean water.
- Repeat the last step at least five times or until the water in your jar is clear.
- Place your weed on a drying rack and allow it to dry in a humidity-controlled room for a few days.
Are There Any Faster Ways To Water Cure Weed?
Believe it or not, there’s an even faster way to cure your weed with water. If you’re incredibly impatient (and don’t care about your water bill), you may want to consider placing your trimmed pot under a steady stream of water.
Running water quickly removes all of the chemicals, salts, and sediment you’d remove via traditional water curing. Just be sure the water temperature is neither too hot nor too cold to avoid damaging your buds. Also, set your faucet to a moderate trickle rather than a torrential flood.
Is Water Curing Weed The Right Call For You?
Water curing is a legitimate practice, but it’s not suitable for every cannabis cultivator. Generally speaking, commercial growers can’t rely on water curing. Indeed, you could say water curing makes marijuana less “sellable.” Not only are these buds less profitable due to their lighter weight, but they also have a poor visual appeal and a lackluster flavor.
However, at-home cultivators may get a lot of use out of water curing. As long as you don’t mind a flat flavor, water curing could intensify your buds’ effects and save you a ton of time.
Water curing may be faster than standard dry curing, but it has significant tradeoffs in the aesthetic and aromatic departments. Only you could decide whether these downsides are worth it or if you should wait a few extra weeks for dry-cured nugs.