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Water Curing Cannabis: Diving Deep into the Science and Methodology

Cannabis curing is an indispensable post-harvest step. While many are familiar with traditional air curing, an alternative known as water curing is making waves in the cannabis community. This article will delve into water curing, the science behind it, its advantages, disadvantages, and a guide for home-growers.

Understanding Water Curing

At its core, water curing involves submerging freshly harvested cannabis buds in water for a set duration. As days pass, the water is replaced until the curing process is complete.

The Science Behind Water Curing

The magic of water curing lies in the principle of osmosis. Cannabis buds contain various water-soluble impurities like chlorophyll and excess nutrients. When submerged in water, these impurities are drawn out due to the concentration gradient between the water in the buds and the fresh water of the container.

But what about the precious cannabinoids? Thankfully, cannabinoids are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water. Thus, while water pulls out the undesirables, the cannabinoids remain safely within the bud. This selective cleansing process is the cornerstone of water curing.

Moreover, using distilled water is pivotal. Distilled water is free of minerals, contaminants, and other solubles, ensuring optimal osmotic action and avoiding any unwanted transfer of contaminants to the buds.

Benefits of Water Curing

  1. Speed: Water curing takes about 7 days, significantly shorter than air curing which lasts several weeks.
  2. Smoother Smoke: With the removal of solubles that may cause harshness, many report a smoother smoking experience.
  3. Odor and Flavor: The strong aroma of cannabis is diminished, making it discreet. Additionally, the flavor may be milder.
  4. Efficient Removal of Unwanted Substances: The process efficiently expels excess chlorophyll and leftover nutrients.

Drawbacks of Water Curing

  1. Loss of Terpenes: Terpenes, which contribute to aroma, flavor, and potentially therapeutic properties, may reduce.
  2. Appearance: Buds might look darker and less shiny.
  3. Mold Risk: Incorrect water curing can elevate mold risks, especially if post-cure drying isn’t thorough.

Water Curing Cannabis at Home

  1. Preparation: Post-harvest, trim your buds as usual.
  2. Container Selection: Ensure your container can fully submerge the buds, be it a jar, bucket, or other vessels.
  3. Bud Submersion: Position your trimmed buds inside and fill with distilled water, ensuring complete submersion.
  4. Water Rotation: Daily, replace the old water with fresh distilled water. The water’s color change will be evident as impurities are drawn out.
  5. Observation: By 5-7 days, the water should stay largely clear, marking the process’s end.
  6. Drying: Crucially, post-cure, remove and thoroughly dry the buds for 3-7 days to prevent mold.


Water curing offers an intriguing twist to the traditional cannabis curing narrative. Rooted in the science of osmosis, it promises a quick, smooth, and discreet result, albeit with some trade-offs. For the curious cultivator, experimenting with a small batch can be the best way to gauge its worthiness in their cannabis journey.