How to dry cannabis properly
Ahhh, harvest time. After watching your ladies grow and flower, it’s finally time to collect your hard-earned buds. But before you can enjoy a toke of some homegrown Cheese, you’ll need to dry and cure your freshly harvested weed.
So, if you’re looking to properly dry your weed and then cure it like a legend, you’ll love our follow-along step-by-step guide.
The process of growing cannabis does not stop at harvest time by the way. Properly drying and curing your fresh cannabis flowers is paramount to prevent mould from taking place. These procedures will also result in buds that taste better and offer a superior high.
So, firstly, in order for your buds to dry evenly, you’ll want to ensure that air can move freely, coming into contact with them on all sides. The best way to do this is to string up your whole tree (with roots) upside down and the trimmed smaller branches, if you want to cut it up, hang them slightly on hangers. If you choose to lay them down evenly, keep in mind that you’ll need to flip your buds regularly to ensure they don’t flatten on one side. Then, keep this in a dark room for 7-12 days. It might take a little longer if you hang up your whole lady because all the good juice in the roots and stem runs right down into the buds and make them juicier.
You can hang in your bathroom, or if you live in a house, in your roof. Or even a shed or any other room that you want to use for drying.
But before you dry, take off the fan leaves and trim the bigger sugar leaves. You can do this with a pair of spring-loaded trimming scissors that you can pick up for 30 bucks. In the end, your buds should look like this:
There are many factors that affect how long it takes for cannabis to dry actually. The size of your buds will obviously affect drying time, as larger, denser buds will take longer to dry than smaller ones. How you choose to trim your plants will also come into play. Remember that the branches of your plants hold the most water, so if you hang large branches, these will take longer to dry than smaller branches or individual buds. Finally, the temperature, humidity, and airflow in your drying space will also have a big impact on the time it takes for your weed to dry.
The bad news though is that during this drying time, your buds will lose a lot of water, meaning they’ll shrink in size and lose a lot of weight, too. Sorry peeps.
There’s a simple test to know if your buds are dry: simply take a small branch and try to bend it. If it snaps, your buds are dry and you’re ready to move on to the curing process. If they bend, your buds need a little longer to dry.
If you have the extra cash, you can purchase a specialized drying rack, which will dry your buds faster than the clothes hanger method. This is mainly because you remove the moisture-laden stems from the buds. If you live in an excessively humid area, mold is going to be a problem. In this scenario, it is wise to invest in a rack.
Drying and curing should be a slow and tedious process, because that is the only approach that will give you the best possible potency, smell and taste. If you acknowledge this right away you’re going to have an amazing product in the end.
Another point to consider is the optimal time frame you’re going to dedicate to this. In our experience, the entire drying and curing process should last for 2 months, more or less depending on the strain and the potency you’re going after.
A few tips:
- The ideal drying room conditions are 23° Celsius with 50% humidity (use a Digital Humidity stat to monitor your humidity levels).
- Make sure to space out the branches so the air can flow between the buds.
- Your weed is dry enough to cure when the buds feel crispy to the touch, but they still spring back a little bit when pressed (be gentle when testing).
- It’s better to over-dry the buds then under-dry them, as they can become moldy (which ruins the taste and even makes them toxic).
Once they are dry, do a detailed trim. Take the buds off from the stems (which are definitely not used for consumption), trim the remaining sugar leaves and leave only flowers.
Place the buds in a mason (air-tight) jar. Avoid zip-lock, plastic bags and other alternative methods of curing that you might have read about online. Wide mouth mason jars work the best. Make sure to leave some room for the buds to breathe.
To Cure or Not to Cure your Weed?
Once the buds are dry enough for your liking, remove them from the branches and store in wide-mouth mason jars. You are free to use your marijuana at this stage. However, bear in mind that its potency and flavour is nowhere near optimal. Experts believe that proper curing of cannabis makes up almost half of its final bud quality. Having the patience to cure your weed correctly could double your enjoyment!
It involves placing the buds into mason jars until the containers are 75% full. Make sure the lids are tightened, then store the buds in a cool and dark spot in a room with a temperature of 23 degrees C and a humidity level of 60-65%.
Open the containers several times a day for the first week for a few minutes at a time to ensure the weed breathes. This action replenishes oxygen in the jars and allows more moisture to escape. After a week, you only need to open the jars once every couple of days. In most cases, 2-3 weeks of curing is enough to enhance the quality and potency of the herb significantly. However, it is best to keep the strains in the jars for up to 8 weeks.
We hope this helped you and happy growing! As always, feel free to get in touch with us via our Facebook page or comments below. Keep it Irie! #Morfaya