Curing is a slow process that allows the plant to produce a tasty and psychoactive flower. It improves the overall tastes, aromas, and effects.
Before curing, flowers are dried to reduce water content. Too much water can lead to anaerobic conditions and mold will appear. Drying too fast seals the chlorophyll in, producing a harsh smoke and green or hay-like taste. Flowers aren’t dead when they are bagged unless they were dried too fast.
Curing continues for weeks and each flower has her own timing. Some sativas take up to 6 months to cure. Throughout this period, biosynthesis continues and the flower slowly dies; gases are released and chlorophyll is used up; decarboxylation breaks down the cannabinoids. The flower ripens to full flavor and potency.
Proper curing retains roughly 10% water. Without that moisture, the THC resins degrade and flowers easily crumble into powder.