So many ask what the difference between drying and curing is, and it took me awhile to understand the important difference between the two!
Drying happens after you cut the plant. The goal during this 6-10 day period is to remove as much moisture as possible, making it smokeable. (Sidebar: you can wet trim the plant as soon as you cut it, or dry trim it, as I do, after it has hung for the dry period.)
(Double sidebar: you can over-dry the plant by removing all moisture, so it’s important to check on your drying plants frequently to make sure they haven’t lost too much moisture. If they do lose too much, you can bring some back in the curing phase.)
Curing is the next phase of life for the bud. Although it is not totally required before smoking, it will strengthen the flavor profile and can even increase the THC content of the bud. Big growers use vacuum sealed bags to cure bud, but I’m small time, so I use mason jars. I prefer glass to plastic for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I can control better for things like mold or over-drying.
As consumers, you should always look out for mold in your bud! In fact, I recently read that there was an issue in Massachusetts with some dispensaries selling moldy bud. If the growers aren’t curing the weed in the appropriate temperature range (and sometimes if its packed too close together), mold can start to form. Smoking mold is less than ideal, and I would imagine it’s a bigger issue in the summer months – but with New England humidity ranges, it’s better to always check and be safe!