Most edible things are rich when fresh. You want to take your fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden. You want the kitchen to be smelling the freshness of the meals cooked therein, but for some herbs, like cannabis, you better dry and cure them to potentiate their rich components.
Whether you’re experimenting with fresh picked buds or just plainly impatient, smoking fresh picked buds seems to be on many cannabis growers’ checklist.
Can You Smoke Fresh Picked Bud?
Technically, you can’t smoke fresh picked buds because they are wet. They can’t burn. There are ways to quick-dry the fresh picked buds and smoke them minutes after harvesting them, but the chlorophyll in the buds will make the smoke harsher, and you won’t get high because THC is not yet in its psychoactive form.
Fresh buds aren’t the best when you smoke them. Those who’ve tried smoking will tell you it’s a waste of buds. Even if you picked a seemingly dried bud by natural causes, there is still a lot of processing that the buds need to go through to make them smoke-worthy.
When the buds are wet, the cannabinoids are in their weak forms. Through the drying process, the water leaves the buds, and the cannabinoid concentrations go higher.
Can I Cut A Bud Off My Plant And Smoke It?
You can cut a bud off your plant and smoke it. But smoking a fresh bud gives you the raw deal. It’s not only water that escapes the buds when you quick-dry them. Terpenes and cannabinoids are volatile compounds that degrade when exposed to harsh conditions.
The most-used methods of quick-drying fresh buds for a quick smoke are microwaving, putting the buds close to lights, and putting them close to high-powered fans.
These conditions work against the principles of the gradual loss of water that creates a perfect blend of moisture and critical components that potentiate weed.
When you cut the bud and smoke it fresh, you’re signing up for a bad weed experience. You might not feel the high at all.
Depending on the strain, the weed might not even smell like weed. The terpenes are in their crude form, and their profile isn’t sharp enough to give you the distinctive weed aroma.
Also, when you cut a bud off your plant, you’re hurting the plant. The plant is in its final stage, above which it senesces, but you still want to retain its strength for the last lap.
Any cutting that might leave it scarred can change its focus from enriching the buds to healing the cut. When your cat feeds, you wouldn’t step on its tail, would you?
Can I Harvest One Bud At A Time?
You can harvest one bud at a time because the top buds are more exposed to the light and ripen faster.
However, it is better to LST the plant and expose both the lower buds and the top buds to the same light. Cutting the top colas stresses the plants and may slow the bud development, as it diverts its attention to healing the cuts.
It also takes an experienced grower to draw the balance between getting the best buds and the risk the cuts pose to the plant.
Instead of harvesting one bud at a time, help the buds mature at the same time. Training methods like SCRoG help you create an even canopy that ensures uniform bud exposure to light. This ensures that buds are ready for harvesting at the same time.
Why Should the Drying and Curing Process Be Slow?
The weed drying and curing process should be slow for many reasons. Drying and curing cannabis isn’t about getting rid of the moisture in the buds. It’s about achieving the correct moisture content in the buds to preserve their flavor and potency.
The drying process should be controlled to allow only a certain amount of moisture to leave the buds. Dry hanging for seven days is recommended to let the moisture content leave the buds without leaving the buds crunchy, powdery junk.
Besides, the THC levels in fresh picked buds are pretty low as the buds haven’t been dried and cured. Through the curing process, cannabergerol converts to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), enhancing the potency of your buds.
Also, the fresh buds are high on plant matter than they’re on the essential cannabinoids and terpenes. If you’re smoking them, you’re burdening your lungs for no good reason.
For a seasoned smoker, you’ll have to take more for the psychoactive effects to kick in. Meaning you’ll be taking in more smoke than you normally would and feeling less high than you normally get with fewer puffs.
You might also end up with a terrible headache, foul-smelling mouth, or short highs when you smoke the quick-dried, fresh buds.
How Can I Dry My Buds Faster?
You can dry your buds faster by putting them through conditions that force rapid loss of water. You can microwave the buds, put them close to intense lights, or place them closer to a high-powered fan. Faster drying of buds isn’t a practice you should nurture because it gives you inferior bud quality.
Cervantes George, in his book, Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible, delves deeper into the following six ways to fast dry your buds:
“One: Manicure fresh buds and remove all branches. Spread them out evenly and wrap them in paper or enclose them in an envelope. Place the paper or envelope on a warm refrigerator, radiator, television, etc. Depending upon heat level, buds will be dry in a few hours to overnight. Buds will be a bit crispy when dry. Place buds in an airtight container until they sweat. Put back in the paper and dry until dehydrated enough to burn well.
Two: Cut up fresh buds and/or foliage. Place on a 12-inch (30 cm) square of tinfoil. Hold or place it over a 60-100-watt light bulb. Stir every 15-30 seconds. It will be dry enough to smoke in one to three minutes.
Three: Place diced buds and/or foliage on a cookie sheet in an oven at 150°F (65°C) for 10-15 minutes. Check regularly and stir if needed until dry. Do not increase the temperature above 200°F (93°C) or the THC will vaporize into the air.
Four: Place cut-up buds and/or foliage in a microwave oven. Turn the microwave on in short, weak (50 percent power) bursts of 15-30 seconds each. Recycle until dry, and stir if necessary.
Five: Cut buds and/or foliage into small pieces and place in a glass jar with an airtight lid. Place several silica gel desiccant packs (the kind that come with electronic devices and cameras) into the glass jar and seal. Moisture will migrate to the silica gel in a few hours. Remove the packets and dry using dry heat source. Replace silica packs until marijuana is dry enough to smoke. Find silica gel packs at auto parts or electronics stores.
Six: Drying buds in a food dehydrator for 24-48 hours is the next best option. Food dehydrators are a series of stackable screens. Place bud and leaf on screens and stack. A fan blows air gently upward to dry the marijuana quickly.”
Whatever method of fast-drying you choose, you’ll be missing some essential components of the buds.
Fast-drying cannabis will give you dry buds, but they’ll still be too green and laden with chlorophyll. They’ll be harsh when you smoke them. Curing the buds slowly, allows the chlorophyll to break down gradually without losing the terpene and flavonoids.
Frequently Asked Questions;
How Long to Leave Jar Open When Curing?
At the beginning of the curing process, leave the jars open for 10-15 minutes daily. Do this for 7-15 days, then begin reducing the burping duration by a minute every day after.
Burping replaces the air in the jars with fresh air from outside. This also allows the moisture in the buds to escape, thus avoiding conditions that favor mold.
What Is The Difference Between Drying And Curing?
Drying and curing are different since drying focuses more on removing the moisture content, while curing aims at achieving the perfect humidity to potentiate the buds and preserve them for long.
Drying comes first, then curing follows. After you dry the buds, they still hold a little moisture that makes them prone to mold infestations. The moisture must also escape the buds slowly to leave behind good-looking buds with a higher concentration of terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids.
In conclusion, smoking fresh buds is mostly a waste of buds. The buds might seem dry, but they still hold some moisture, giving out more smokes and choking you.
The buds are also heavily-laden with chlorophyll, making the weed harsh when you smoke it. You can fast-dry a few buds to push you through as you wait for the entire buds to dry and cure properly, but you’re off enjoying the aroma and potency of well-cured buds.