By the time you are ready to harvest your marijuana, you have already gone through an incredible journey taking care of your plants in the best way possible by catering to their every need and warding off dangers of pests and diseases. You have raised them well, but you are not done yet. You are still a few steps away from lighting up and reaping the rewards of your crop. Correctly drying your bud is critical and needs to be done correctly to give you the best bang out of each bud.
You can get the the most THC-potent smoke if you dry and cure cannabis correctly. If done incorrectly, the potency can largely diminish. The level of THC that the plant can ultimately reach is determined by its genetics, but correctly drying and curing will give you the highest THC levels genetically possible.
When marijuana buds are drying, the THC from its non-psychoactive, crude, acidic form gets converted into its psychoactive neutral form. Thus, if you try to smoke weed that hasn’t been dried yet it will not be very potent. Drying converts at least 70% of the newly harvested plant into water vapor among other gases. After hanging the plant to dry, the transport of fluids inside the plant continues although at a slower rate. The tiny openings under the leaves, the stomata, close after harvest and drying slows down because hardly any water vapor escapes. As the plant dries its natural processes come to an end.
Although removing leaves and stems during harvest speeds up the drying process, moisture content becomes uneven. Quick drying methods also trap chlorophylls, starches, and nitrates inside the plant tissue which affects the burn and taste. Drying marijuana slowly is the way to go. This way the moisture evaporates evenly into the air and you get evenly drying buds with minimal THC decomposition. As the pigments break down taste and aroma improve. Slow drying allows enough time for the pigments to deteriorate.
One of the best ways to allow this process to take place is hanging entire plants upside down to dry.Don’t allow the plants to touch each other as this increases the chance of mold forming. The ideal situation to dry your plants is to keep a steady temperature of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius), and avoid putting fans directly on the plant as that will cause it to dry unevenly. The humidity should be kept between 45% and 55%.
Your drying room should be quite dark as direct sunlight degrades the THC. The drying time of your bud will be dependant on temperature, humidity, and bud density. By the end of a week you should be able to start curing your buds, but really big and dense buds might take a few days longer. You can tell if your buds are ready to be cured by squeezing the buds to check its moisture content. The bud should be dry but not brittle. Also check the stem; bend it, if it breaks (not just bends) then it’s ready for curing.
If your stockpile of weed is meager and you’re going to run out of smoke before you think your new harvest will be done (or you’re just dying for a sample) then there is a way to speed up the process. It will not ensure that your bud has reached it’s full potential, but I understand your exigency.
Put your buds under a 60 watt lamp for a couple of hours continuously turning them. This method also works better if you put aluminum foil under your buds.
The enemies of your drying marijuana buds are light, heat, and friction as these things accelerate the biodegradation. Handle your buds like the jewels they are. Remember, just like other living plants and fruits, buds can bruise. With over-handling and friction you are knocking off precious resin glands, so keep your fondling hands to yourself!
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