What happens when you try to smoke cannabis flower that isn’t cured

Published Apr 22, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / José Antonio Luque Olmedo

No matter what time of the year it may be, there is always someone who has just taken off a fresh crop of marijuana flower. It’s an exciting position to be in that usually means you're in for a bountiful few months ahead, but in the meantime, the wait can feel excruciating, especially if you’re cash strapped, and in need of a good buzz.

The thing is that right now your gorgeous plants are likely producing some of the most incredible smells, and that’s an excellent sign of maturity, but if you want to know whether or not it’s worth your time to roll one up so soon, then we’ve got some news for you. There are all different kinds of things to consider if you’re sitting in this position, and many of them point towards the wait being more than worthwhile in the end.

1. Harshness

Chlorophyll is present in all marijuana flower, but the curing process helps to break it down to a point where all of the smooth flavors can come out and be enjoyed without the mouth burning sensation. Since nobody truly enjoys harsh weed, this is an unfortunate situation that should be avoided at all costs, but it is something that you’ll be forced to tolerate if you try to smoke freshly harvested buds that have yet to undergo the curing process.

2. Moisture content

With all of the potential adverse impact on things like taste aside, it is important to remember that a freshly picked plant just won’t be suitable as-is, because the curing cycle removes much of the moisture from within the delightful green weed layers. Even if you’re ok with dealing with less than ideal side effects, none of that matters if when it comes down to it, you can’t even get a hit off the product in question.

A freshly picked bud will not burn at all in a joint and it will take serious efforts with even more intense options like torches or fast dry solutions like baking the buds in an oven, which can further degrade your harvest. Applying any unnecessary heat to buds is a surefire way to ensure their degrade and lower quality, and without that extra step, nothing other than time will make it so that your buds are smokable.

3. Coughing

The chlorophyll that we mentioned before has an incredible influence over how good or bad your weed will taste, but it also encourages more annoying side effects of smoking, like coughing. It doesn’t just create a slight tickle in the throat for a moment, but once the wave of coughing has passed, you could be left feeling sore, exhausted, and less than thrilled about getting stoned. Since this is not the effect that anyone wants with their weed, it’s definitely a good idea to wait until your buds are done curing.

4. Lower potency

We still don’t entirely understand all of the ways that weed impact us, and we are discovering new elements like cannabinoids every single day through rigorous cannabis research, but what we do know is that the potency of buds that have been provided the opportunity for proper curing are much more potent than their counterparts. This is partially due to the activation of the THC and likely closely related to the remaining terpenes that are left behind, so if you don’t want to sacrifice buzz intensity, then you will want to avoid freshly picked buds.

5. Headaches

Now take a moment to consider how you would feel after experiencing all of the things that we’ve mentioned above because that’s what you’re in for if you try to smoke uncured cannabis buds, and in the end, once the effects of everything have taken a toll, chances are pretty good that you’ll be left with a headache that is hard to shake. This unfortunate result is almost guaranteed after inhaling large quantities of chlorophyll, burning your tongue, and coughing so much that it’s hard to breathe, and it’s something that is entirely avoidable if you’re willing to wait for the curing process to complete before you dig in.

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