Can You Smoke Uncured Weed?

closeup of hand holding smoking rolled weed over clamp shaped ashtray

Table of contents

  1. Cured Weed vs. Uncured Weed
  2. Can You Smoke Uncured Weed?
  3. How to Cure Weed
  4. The Bottom Line

If you’ve ever tried to smoke cannabis and were disappointed that it was harsh to smoke and tasted like freshly cut grass, it’s likely the cannabis wasn’t cured.

While you can theoretically smoke uncured weed, doing so is not recommended. Smoking uncured weed is not only an unpleasant experience due to the poor taste and aroma, but it also reduces the quality of the bud and increases the risk of mold or mildew growing on it.

Cured Weed vs. Uncured Weed

As soon as cannabis is harvested, its components begin to degrade.

The process of curing helps to slow this down. Curing is an age-old procedure that involves preserving organic material, and it’s done with many plants and other degradable materials.

There are several differences between properly cured weed and uncured weed. These include the potency, how long the weed lasts, its scent, flavors, and the overall experience of smoking cannabis.

Potency

When weed is cured, it allows more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to be synthesized from tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) and other minor cannabinoids. THC is the primary cannabinoid in cannabis that is responsible for psychoactive potency.

Curing also preserves the existing cannabinoids and terpene profile in the cannabis buds, and it slows down the degradation process, which generally occurs faster in uncured weed.

For these reasons, curing weed allows cannabis to retain its maximum potency for longer.

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How Long It Lasts

Curing weed prevents moisture growth and allows remaining excess moisture to evaporate. This helps to prevent mold, airborne bacteria, and mildew from growing on the buds.

Also, properly cured cannabis can be kept longer than uncured cannabis. Cured cannabis can sometimes last up to two years before degradation of the cannabinoids and reduction in the potency occurs.

This is particularly important for commercial growers to consider, as they often need ways to store their cannabis safely until it can be sold.

Scent

Curing weed creates a mellow aroma when it is smoked, and this partly allows any remaining moisture left in the buds from the drying process to evaporate. The preservation of terpenes also helps with creating this pleasant aroma.

However, uncured or improperly cured weed can smell like ammonia, indicating mold or bacterial growth. It may also smell like freshly cut grass, which suggests that there’s too much chlorophyll in the buds and that curing is incomplete.

Flavors

Cured weed has all the flavors and aromas you would expect from a cannabis plant.

Conversely, improperly cured cannabis often tastes harsh and bitter. This is due to all the vegetative plant matter — such as chlorophyll – still in the buds. Terpenes are also crucial for creating the flavors of different strains, another reason why preserving them is important.

Smoke

When you smoke properly cured cannabis, it should have a light gray or white ash color. Cured cannabis gives users a clearer, more gentle, and smoother smoke.

Improperly cured cannabis has a darker ash color. It is described as being harsh to smoke and may feel abrasive in the lungs.

Can You Smoke Uncured Weed?

Smoking uncured weed is not recommended if you want a smooth, complete, and pleasant experience when using cannabis.

Smoking uncured weed may not be enjoyable because it’s unlikely to contain all the desirable flavors and aromas that cannabis can provide. And while smoking uncured weed isn’t considered dangerous, you may experience some side effects from using it. This could include an irritated throat that causes you to cough, which may be caused by the chlorophyll that did not break down.

However, some people do use uncured weed by smoking live resin. Live resin is a cannabis concentrate created by immediately freezing fresh cannabis buds rather than drying and curing them.

How to Cure Weed

The curing process for weed takes time and requires patience.

It generally takes between two and four weeks. However, some people choose to cure their cannabis for up to six months to enhance the taste, flavors, and potency as much as they can.

Curing should begin right after the drying process is complete. The main sign that cannabis is ready to be cured is that the dried stems should be brittle rather than bendy, and the buds should be able to be snapped off with minimal pressure.

It’s vital to ensure that environmental conditions are optimal when curing cannabis. Key tips include:

  • Use proper storage: Place the buds in an airtight container or jar made of glass, ceramic, metal, or wood. Avoid using plastic, as the buds may develop a plastic-like smell.
  • Check your humidity levels: Ensure the humidity level is between 55%-65% for optimal moisture content. If the humidity is too high during this stage, the moist buds and wet weed could allow microbes to grow and less THC to be biosynthesized. On the other hand, if the humidity is too low, the buds can become brittle, and the resinous compounds in the buds can evaporate, reducing the potency.
  • Get your temperature right: Ensure the temperature is between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 degrees Celsius).
  • Don’t fill the jars to the brim: The jars should be two-thirds full of bud. This helps to keep the moisture levels down and allows all the buds to breathe.
  • Keep your weed away from light: The jars should be kept in a dark room to prevent UV light from damaging the cannabinoids and terpenes.

Once or twice a day, you will need to “burp” the jars. This involves opening the jars for a few minutes and tossing the buds around, so they cure evenly. Burping is a crucial step, particularly in the first week of curing, and this is because:

  • It allows the moisture and gasses to escape into the air and oxygen to enter the jars.
  • It helps improve the aromas and flavors of the buds.
  • It allows you to remove any mold or mildew growing on the buds.

The Bottom Line

While it may seem tedious, properly curing cannabis is an essential final step in preparing it for consumption. Cured weed preserves the flavor, aroma, and chemical compounds of the buds so that the final product is potent and of high quality.

Although it’s unlikely to be dangerous if you smoke uncured marijuana, there are several reasons why having patience and taking your time to cure weed is always recommended.

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