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Old 06-08-2010, 04:01 AM #1
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Exclamation Connoisseur Cure ! The High Times Guide !

I hope there is no problem with me posting this!!

I give all credit to The High Times Mag and you should purchase their magazines if you like what they have to say.

Harvest Highs

Many hours of work puts one pile in the bag.

Determining peak ripeness is essential to harvesting. Once you cut your plants down there's still woark to be done before they become that primo victory smoke youíve been waiting three months for. Donít blow it at the last minute. Read on to learn the dos and doníts of harvesting.

The HIGH TIMES guide
to the connoisseur cure
By Soma

Curing and storing your sacred medicine is as important as getting your crop growing correctly. Its amazing the number of people out there growing cannabis who donít know how to cure their weed. If done correctly, your harvest can last a year or more and still taste superb.

Live NYC Diesel

Cured NYC Diesel

Having been around cannabis growers for many years now, I have seen some bad mistakes made in this department. The most common problem with harvesting and drying marijuana is that people pick it too early. They become impatient, have bills to pay, get paranoid, or run out of smoke. They go to their growroom, look at their plants. and justify picking them early. That is the first no-no in growing: Donít harvest early. My motto is ďWhen it looks like itís ready, wait a week.Ē

The Purple, heavily resinated

Cannabis is ruined if itís picked too early. Learn to observe your plants very closely, noticing exactly when the calyxes are so swollen with crystals that the plant will not get any riper. Donít just wait until the white pistils turn red. Itís not the red hairs that get you high; itís the trichomes on the calyxes. A 30x microscope with a light will help you to see if the trichomes are almost halfway amber. Thatís when I like to harvest, though some people pick before they turn color at all.

Trichomes just starting to turn amber

Sometimes you have to harvest early for reasons beyond your control. I was growing a beautiful crop here in Amsterdam when I found out my landlord was selling the property. I had to move out and pick it two-and-a-half weeks early. Waiting until the last possible moment, I then organized a team of good friends to help. With three days left before I had to be completely out of the space, I cut the plants down and hung them in the growroom with a charcoal filter.

Buds must line-dry before hands can go to work.

I let them dry for two days, then put them in sealing bags to stop the smell and quickly brought them to my new space. There I took them out of the bags (sealing bags and a sealing machine are essential tools of the trade), hung them up in a cool, dry space, and let them dry for another 10 days. My friends and I completely dismantled the growroom, making it look like it never existed. I and the crop were history. This particular crop wasnít up to snuffóbut I figure life is what happens in between plans, anyway.
When you are down to your last two weeks of flowering, you should begin to think of where you are going to dry your smelly harvest. Many a garden has been lost due to the stinky smell wafting out in the wrong direction. I suggest a charcoal exhaust filter in the space where the cannabis will dryóbetter to be safe than, sorry. Depending on the quantity you are working with, you willwant to hang several strong lines going from one wall to the opposite wall in the room with the filter. A good-quality circulating fan is needed to move the air around the room, to gently help the moisture evaporate off the plants. What you want is for the moisture to evaporate at a slow rate; you do not want the plants to dry quickly.
I use a sharp gardenerís pruning shears to cut the plant. I then take all the large fan leaves off, using my thumbnail (and the thumbnails of my friends). I take no more off the plants. The sacred medicine is then hung upside down from the strong crooks on the plant. When the herb is hung in this way, the buds form into a nice teardrop shape. The temperature in the room is about 65įó75įF, so it stays dry, but not too dry. I give the room seven days and check a bud to see if the stem snaps. If I think itís getting close, I start manicuring. If itís not dry enough, I wait.

Love for the plant keeps you going.

The next item you need is a large table with a clean, shiny surface. With it, you need a few pairs of sharp scissors and some good lighting. I then take a T-55 silk screen thatís slightly smaller than the table and attach it with duct tape. The tape stops it from moving. The purpose of the silk screen is to catch the large resin glands that are heavy and fall off first. If the quantity is large enough, I have a friend sit on each side of the table, at his or her own station, so to speak.

This work must be done right.

With scissors in hand, we start clipping the small branches off the main trunk of the plant and lay them on the screen. Pleasant music and some fine smoke are essential here, because you need to have a good buzz to sit there for a few hours. My manicuring team and I then start to take all of the extra leaves off the buds. We use our fingers to takethe leaves off and use the scissors to cut the stems. After a while, sticky, smellyresin starts to stick to our fingers. and every couple of plants we have to rub it off into a bowl. This hash is priceless: no one ever sells it. The only way to get it is to grow it.
When the buds are cleaned of all leaf, they are placed on screens and allowed to dry a little bit more. All the leaf trim is saved to make water hash. After the cleaned buds have sat out on the screen for a few hours, they are ready to be placed in Mason jars. I leave them closed overnight and then open them again for an hour. This process helps the moisture trapped inside the stem to rehydrate the drier leaves on the outside of the bud, giving a homogeneous dry to the plants. I keep opening the jars and checking them for about a week. It is imperative that your stems snap before you put your herb away for any length of time. If they don't snap and you put it away, your stash will go sour. ruining the perfume of the sacred herb. Marijuana changes with time. If you smoke it as soon as it is dried, you can really taste the chlorophyll. In a month, it tastes better, and in a year. it gets a golden color and a deep. rich smell.

Live Rockbud

Cured Rockbud

If you treat your harvest in this way, you can have your own connoisseurís stash to smoke all year long. I for one donít like to smoke buds that arenít at least 3 months old, as time has a gentle way of making the chlorophyll taste fade away. Once you have it just right, it can be placed in a freezer for very long-term storage and will be good literally years from now.

Trichome Talk

Interview by Chris Simunek

Trichome Technologies is a research partnership started hack in Ď94 by experienced cannabis cultivators K and Sharky. They have invested significant amounts of time, energy, and money in laboratory-grade facilities, where they dedicate themselves to the research, development, and stabilization of medicinal and commercial-grade cannabis. K has been studying our favorite molecule for some time now. We decided to ask him a few questions regarding the magnifying-glass method for determining the peak ripeness of cannabis plants.

HT: How many days after flowering do you usually harvest?

K: We usually harvest after about 60 days. Sativa-indica hybrids will take up to 75 days. I work with strains that are pretty close to each other and peak right at the same time. Basically I look for the fullness of the trichome. I make sure the head of the trichome hasnít changed color.

You use a loupe?

Itís hard getting a grow specimen between the lenses of a microscope, so yes, we use a 20x loupe, or a 1OOx if we have one.

What do you look for?

A capitate-stalked glandular trichome looks like a mushroom under a microscope or loupe. There are other trichomes,but thatís the one that holds most of your THC. Iím looking for a fully developed mushroom head that is clear, just starting to turn opaque - certainly not turning amber, which is a sign that your THC is turning into cannabinol (CBN).

Trichomes magnified at 150x

We harvest when 60% of the trichomesare ripe and 40% are just starting to get ripe. Once everything is properly dried, cured, and stored, those trichomes that werenít fully ripened should pretty much be at their peak.

So you donít judge by the color of the pistils?

No, not really. There is a general rule that as long as 60% of your pistils have started to dry up, turn brown, purple, or whatever, theyíre ready. Using a loupe is just more exact, because the plant will still produce more pistils throughout its life. Counting the brown hairs on your plant is a small indicator, but itís far from your total indicator. With a loupe, you can watch the total development of the trichome, from its incarnation to its finish.

What happens if you leave them too long?

If we didnít pick at that point, we would go past peak, the mushroom head would explode, and at the end of the process, we would have too high a percentage of overripe glands. The THC would have converted itself into other cannabinoids, such as CBN and cannabidiol (CBD). Trichomes basically just shrink and evaporate. All your terpinoids evaporate, and your drug evaporates also. Sometimes they just fall off. So you donít want to go past peak, and you donít want to go early.

Are there any high-tech methods of determining ripeness?

In a laboratory situation, you could pick a small specimen from each strain and run it through a gas chromatograph, and determine exact THC levels from day to day until the THC peaks. I've heard you can rent a machine for $1,500 a month. The problem is that you must provide a standard, a sample that has already been lab-tested and proven to contain a guaranteed percentage of THC. You can only obtain these specimens from the University of Mississippi and/on EISohIy Laboratories Inc. Unfortunately, these standards are heavily controlled by the DEA.

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Old 06-08-2010, 07:39 AM #2

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If growing sensi is a "dark art" - curing is definitely the "void black art".

I've read atleast 8 different ways to cure ... Its amazing.

Great thread
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:20 AM #3

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Weird but when I was doing all these different quick dries I found the holy grail. I dry mine in a kiln with the fan and the the lid open at 270 F. The quality of smoke is the same as a 6 mo cure in taste and potency. However the buds do dry flat. The thing I wanted to share with you all is, that it works in the same way as a regular cure. The first two days I hang line dry in a 70-80 room which evaporates the moisture quicker than at 65 since the air's ability to hold water doubles every 20 F. The reason you dry quick the first two days is to prevent mold, and the flavor is trapped, and a very little percentage of water are stored in the stem. Then jar the bud for 4 hrs in a 70 F room periodically replacing the air about every hour. There may be some condensation inside the jar if that happens dry it out for 12 hrs on a hanging line. When the 4 hrs is up, dry it on the hanging line for 12 hrs. Then repeat the jarring process. It should take only 3 days to dry but if you have a large amount it might take a week. Replacing the humid air with dry air is important. Curing(past a week-6 mos) for me is a way to balance all the moisture and a way to protect it. Either way my advice for anyone on this subject is know what you're doing.

PS. The diagram for the kiln way is there. Vegetable matter burns at above 400F, THC at 350F, and the flavors and oils I would say at about 290F. So I keep it less than 270F usually when it gets to 250 then I change to the lowest power setting. Put the bud on top a couple folds of paper. The humid air is replace by a fan pumping the dry air occassionally lift the lid and rotate about every 10-15min and. After 30-40 mins jar it so is sucks the rest of the water from the stem or rip it off the stem and smoke it. Two rules are don't overdry it and don't cook it, i.e. go past 270F.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:29 AM #4

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In order for your buds to taste the best, remove all stems and leaves. I snap the fan leaves at the base of the petiole with a downward pull. Then I align the scissors parallel to the bud so that I can give all the smallest sugar leaves a haircut so as to speak while rotating the bud. Then I make compost of the sun leaves and hash or edibles of the sugar leaf.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:47 AM #5
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this is from soma's website:

How to Grow A Prize Winning Crop
When I harvest this crop, I surely do not want to dry it too fast, as this would make the taste and potency go downhill. I take all the large fan leaves off with my fingers then I hang it in a cool dark place upside down for about 10 days. I then check them to see if I can snap a stem. Once it is to the point where I can snap a stem, I start manicuring the fine leaf off the plants with my fingers using the scissors only to cut the stems. For a prizewinning crop, I must take all the unwanted leaf off, making it look as clean as possible. I then put it in a canning jar overnight to let it rehydrate before opening it once more for a few hours to make sure it is dry enough to put away. I am now ready to meet the competition, wish me luck.
^^^ a very condensed no sugar coated recipe to sucess haha
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:14 PM #6

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Thanks for the post... This is pretty much how I cure and when I harvest. At the first sign of amber trichomes. It always gives me the most pleasant high... And seems to get better with age...
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:31 AM #7
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yes there are many ways to cure but i think any quick dry method alters the final product when compared to a cure that takes its time. im not trying to cycle plants as quickly as possible, for example a commercial grower,what i want is a gold cure with the best taste possible because i use this for medicinal use. Cal. Prop 215 S.B.420

im not saying this will guide will create this "gold cure" but i think its damn close.

I can say i used this method my last round and the buds smelt and tasted great and pure kush isint to crazy in those factors. i also grew with organic for the most part.

Also I thank Soma for this guide and I give all credit to the author.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:34 PM #8
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i never go with the quick dry methods it taken long enough to grow, so take the extra time and do it right
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:19 PM #9
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Originally Posted by bren View Post
i never go with the quick dry methods it taken long enough to grow, so take the extra time and do it right
Spot on, good post.

Not aimed at anyone................but
I sometimes wonder if the quick dry brigade ever tasted properly cured weed?, it is nothing to do with drying, it is a method to enhance the maximum THC and of course flavour, uppermost it is a preserving technique used on most all herbs to prolong shelf life and the efficacy of your buds
Quick dried weed quickly becomes dust, losing potency, flavour and shelf life, no matter how 'carefully' you think you quick dried.
Marijuana needs time and moisture to perform the complex chemical changes needed to bring the very best out of your flowers, quick drying robs your harvest of both! If you wanted mediocre weed why did you start growing.

Anyone wanting to learn how to cure from a master?, Simon's 'A perfect cure every time' is a great place to start.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:29 AM #10

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I would really like to try this method. I'm new to all this, even smoking. I just hope I have enough to cure long-term vs. everyday smoke.
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