Why cure cannabis?
The final phase of cannabis cultivation, curing is a critical step in ensuring a high quality and potent product.
A cannabis harvest that is properly dried and cured has greater potency, increased terpenes, better yield, and consistency.
While cannabis dries, a chemical reaction called decarboxylation occurs, which is the removal of the carboxyl group from a compound. As CO2 is released, THCA-A (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A) converts to THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Over time, the amount of THCA-A remaining in the cannabis decreases, at a rate which also decreases with temperature.Source: Can You Pass the Acid Test? Critical Review and Novel Therapeutic Perspectives of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid A
By curing cannabis efficiently by regulating temperature and relative humidity, the process of decarboxylation occurs at a slower rate, allowing for more THC conversion and terpene preservation.
The alternative to properly curing cannabis is quick-drying, which is a common method of preparing cannabis after harvest by commercial growers. While quick-drying, the decarboxylation process occurs rapidly, resulting in unconverted THCA and lesser potency.
Lab results testing a control versus cannabis cured using Auto Cure show a 21% average percentage increase in THC, 24% average percentage increase in terpenes, and 20% average percentage increase in total cannabinoids overall.
Charts below show levels of Terpenes, THC, and Total Cannabinoids in mg/g of sample weight. Controlled groups were cured using manual bucket burping methods. Lab results vary by cannabis sample produced by various growers and the labs which tested them.
During the first 3 days, the flower in a fully loaded Auto Cure unit loses as much as 77.7% of its moisture.