Most cannabis consumers don't know why they should be drying cannabis in the first place. Let alone getting interested in learning how to dry weed. Nevertheless, drying and curing cannabis before using it results in several benefits.
Why should I dry my harvest?
If you've just harvested your weed, there are multiple reasons why you should learn the proven tricks of drying marijuana.
Freshly harvested marijuana contains plenty of moisture. Drying marijuana is thus essential for removing water, which compromises the terpene profile and flavor of your cannabis.
Again, fungi thrive in moist conditions. Drying marijuana helps lower the possibility of fungi striking your stash since it will deny mold and mildew the conditions it needs to thrive.
Drying weed is vital for preserving your harvest. When your harvest doesn't have moisture, it means you can store it for prolonged durations without losing its potency and flavor. Freshly harvested buds contain excess starches and sugars. These two ingredients are prone to attack by enzymes and airborne bacteria.
By drying weed, you eliminate the conditions that enzymes and airborne bacteria need to thrive. Put merely, drying weed allows for a smoother and better-tasting weed.
Drying also helps with breaking down the chlorophyll present in fresh buds, which dramatically improves the taste and smoothness of your buds. In addition, drying your cannabis harvest will help eliminate the unpleasant smell of freshly harvested marijuana.
Best of all, drying helps with bringing out the unique aroma and subtle flavors of every cannabis strain.
When your buds are dried, the possibility of causing anxiety, paranoia, and racing thoughts after consuming them is low. Most importantly, dried buds aren't harsh, unlike their undried counterparts.
Simply put, restrain yourself from using your cannabis harvest before drying it. Drying determines the quality of the buds you will get. The drier your harvest is the better.
How to dry your cannabis
Drying your cannabis isn't challenging. If you are learning how to dry weed, the steps below will guide you to the best and simplest way of drying your weed.
Cut down the cannabis plants
You can either cut your cannabis plants down at the bottom or hang them upside down if you want them to dry correctly. Some cannabis growers also prefer cutting off their plants' branches and then turning their plants to dry.
Besides, you can cut off buds from your plants and then lay them out in readiness for drying. While drying the buds, you can opt to either dry them on a rack or screen.
Get rid of the excess fan leaves
Before drying your cannabis, get rid of those excess fan leaves. Preferably, get rid of all the big fan leaves, though you can further trim the extra small, fan leaves. Cutting such fan leaves helps improve the overall appearance of the buds. Excess leaves can make your buds to be harsher.
Dry your cannabis slowly
Your cannabis harvest needs an optimal environment for it to dry correctly. Ideally, the optimal drying environment for cannabis is around 21 degrees Celsius. To get the optimal drying environment for your cannabis, you require the right tools.
The equipment you require includes an air conditioner, a dehumidifier, an evaporative cooler, a heater, and a humidifier.
However, don't dry your cannabis in a microwave since it will smell awful and taste horrible. Cannabis can cause paranoia or migraine if dried in a microwave. Quick-drying your cannabis can compromise the cannabis curing process, (which will be covered next in this guide).
Furthermore, drying cannabis in mildly, hot temperatures can ruin the valuable smells in it. Besides, it significantly affects your cannabis terpene profile.
Continue drying the cannabis until the buds feel dry
For your harvest to be adequately dried, you should dry it slowly for at least five days. However, drying depends on the drying environment. To ensure your cannabis is sufficiently dried, dry the buds until they feel dry once you touch them.
The smaller stems of your cannabis plant should also dry off entirely until they come off the plant efficiently and without leaving behind a stringy trail.
Keep the buds in jars
Store your buds in jars once they are scorched. Storing them in pots is paramount to giving them a stable environment. The buds are in stable humidity levels when they are stored in jars. Again, keeping them in jars helps provide them with a perfect setting to retain their dryness.
Cannabis growers think that drying their weed is essential and thus care little about the environment in which they store their cannabis.
However, keeping cannabis in an environment with the wrong conditions is detrimental. After all, why should you dry your cannabis just to hold it in the wrong place? Storing matters a lot, more so when the weed that is being dried was grown in anaerobic conditions.
When such cannabis is kept in the wrong place, the weed is vulnerable to bacterial growth. In addition, cannabis will have an awful smell, and it will be harsh on the consumer.
Check the pots regularly
Storing in jars isn't enough. You have to check whether your cannabis has been affected by mold or bacterial growth. It is vital to keep checking on your pots at least daily.
In addition, open the jars frequently to give your cannabis fresh air. Cannabis needs fresh air even after it has been dried and stored in jars.
Mistakes to avoid while drying your cannabis
Now you are conversant with how to dry weed (although drying cannabis doesn't come easy like with any process), you need to know a few mistakes to avoid.
Growers make some mistakes while drying cannabis, as much as they are eager to find out how to dry weed. When drying and curing marijuana, some mistakes can compromise the quality of your weed.
Avoid the following mistakes when drying cannabis. Unless you are keen to handle these mistakes, the process of drying marijuana will be useless:
- Failure to check the trichomes
Most marijuana growers make this mistake while drying weed. Observing the trichomes is vital when drying marijuana. If you don't check the trichomes before harvesting, your cannabis won't have the desired levels of terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids.
Before looking at how to dry weed, check the trichomes first to tell whether your harvest is ready for drying.
The best time for harvesting and drying marijuana is when the trichomes have an amber color. When marijuana has this nice amber color, the terpene content and cannabinoid are relatively high. The aroma, flavor, and effects of cannabis will be high.
However, if you harvest before checking on the trichomes, you won't get the best cannabis even after drying marijuana. You can get a quality harvest after drying weed if you don't check trichomes to tell whether your cannabis is ready for harvesting and drying.
Although drying weed is important, you can't get the best possible quality of marijuana if you don't harvest your plants at the right time. If your plants aren't ready for harvesting, it means they aren't ready for harvesting either.
Harvesting when your marijuana plants have wet substrate
You should cut your cannabis plant when they are at the right stage of harvest. However, cutting your plants when their substrate is still wet is a big mistake. In other words, your plants won't be ready for drying if they have high water content.
Harvest and then embark on drying your cannabis once the substrate is dry. Wait for at least a day before drying the cannabis. After a day, your plants will have lower water content and hence be ready for harvesting.
Trim your plants thoroughly after they have lost the water content inside them. It will help speed up the drying process. Remove the excess stem and stalk from your plants before embarking on drying them.
Removing them from your pants will leave them with less vegetable mass, hence enabling them to dry faster.
Failing to remove the infected parts
Trimming and hanging your plants in readiness for drying is good. Nonetheless, this process isn't enough to produce the best quality cannabis. You have to check for infections in each bud.
Some buds could have been infected with fungi or powdery mildew. If such buds are dried and then stored with other healthy buds, the infections will quickly spread during the drying process.
Due to such conditions, your cannabis will have an unpleasant smell. Worse still, your entire harvest will be spoiled, thus ruining your weed-growing efforts.
Not checking humidity levels
Now, you have your plants trimmed and waiting to dry. Nonetheless, the humidity levels in the drying space could affect the drying process. Humidity levels too can affect the quality of our harvest.
Irrespective of whether you are storing your dried cannabis, check for humidity levels.
The ideal humidity levels should be 50-60%. If the levels are low, your cannabis risks drying too quickly. If the levels are high, your harvest can easily attract fungi, thus ruining it altogether.
Drying your plants in the wrong temperatures
Cannabis growers are quick to learn how to dry weed, without thinking of how temperature affects the drying time of their harvest. Drying your harvest in unsuitable temperatures can ruin it.
For instance, drying in temperatures beyond 25 degrees Celsius will make your harvest dry fast. In addition, drying at lower temperatures will hinder the cannabis from drying effectively. The ideal drying temperature for most weed strains is between 18-24 degrees Celsius.
How long will it take to have your cannabis dried properly?
Nearly every cannabis grower wonders how long it will take his or her harvest to dry correctly. As much as knowing how to dry weed is imperative, knowing when the yield, will be dry is equally essential.
When drying and curing cannabis, questions linger over the duration of time it takes for cannabis to be dried and cured correctly.
To start with, there isn't a specific duration as to when marijuana should be completely dry. Multiple factors affect the period it will take for your cannabis to dry.
For instance, the size of the buds affects the drying time for your cannabis. If the marijuana strain you are drying has larger buds, then the drying process will longer as opposed to when you are drying a piece with smaller buds.
The water content in your cannabis plants also affects the drying time. If your plants have a high water content, drying will take much longer than when the plants have lesser water content. That explains why drying your plants to lower the water content within them is essential.
The temperature airflow and humidity in a drying space also affect the drying time. If the temperatures in your drying space are high, your weed will take less time to dry properly. But if they are low, drying will take much longer. But temperatures in your drying space should neither be too low nor too high. They should be stable to keep the quality of your weed at its best.
Humidity levels in a drying space play a role in determining how long your cannabis will take to dry. If the levels are too high, your harvest will be moist and thus vulnerable to fungi.
If the levels are too low, the crop will dry out fast, and its quality will diminish substantively.
In general, your weed should take between 7-12 days to dry completely. During this duration, your weed will have lost all the water in it, and therefore it will be scorched. Nonetheless, growers have to check whether they have met all factors needed for drying their weed.
Seasoned cannabis growers know how to dry weed. However, the fact that such growers know how to dry weed doesn't mean they know how to cure cannabis. Curing cannabis is just as important as drying weed.
However, marijuana growers often overlook the importance of drying and curing marijuana at the same time. For most of them, drying cannabis is the most critical activity in their cannabis growing efforts. Since this guide intensively covers more on how to dry weed, and what drying cannabis entails, it is equally worth delving into the subject of drying cannabis.
What is curing marijuana?
Curing marijuana is the process of adequately aging and drying marijuana to make it suitable for consumption. Unlike drying marijuana, where the process is done to keep the buds dry purely and without moisture, curing marijuana is done to make marijuana cleaner and enhance its quality.
Drying and curing marijuana are quite similar. Only drying weed exclusively focuses on improving its shelf-life. Drying, on the other hand, strives to enhance its potency.
After drying marijuana, marijuana isn't yet ready for consumption until it has been cured or aged for the highest possible potency. So even after drying weed, growers have to secure it to make it potent enough and to raise its terpene profile.
Why should I cure my weed?
After hearing so much about how to dry weed and the benefits drying your cannabis offer, you could be wondering why you should be curing your weed. Here are multiple benefits of curing your weed.
To enhance its potency
After curing and storing your buds in a suitable place, their potency will increase dramatically. Curing marijuana enhances the conversion of cannabinoids to THC, thus giving your weed higher potency.
It improves the flavor and the quality of your weed
The terpenes responsible for giving marijuana its unique flavor and smell are quite volatile. These aromatic compounds can evaporate if marijuana is dried at the wrong temperatures. Curing your buds at optimum temperatures will help preserve their terpene profile.
Curing further creates a conducive environment for the aerobic bacteria and enzymes in your weed to break down the undesirable sugars brought about by the process of drying your cannabis. Ultimately, this improves the flavor and quality of your weed.
It helps preserve your weed
Although drying your cannabis will increase its shelf life, drying alone can't help preserve it for long. When cured properly, cannabis can be stored for extended periods without the consumer worrying about mold growth or diminishing terpene profile.
How to cure cannabis
With the benefits of curing your cannabis already covered, let's see how cannabis growers can cure their weed. The steps below will guide you on easy ways of curing your cannabis harvest.
Assemble your materials
The curing process requires some materials. Below are some of the crucial materials you need when curing marijuana:
- Disposable gloves
- Hygrometer for measuring humidity levels
- Jars or pots big enough for holding your harvest
Dry your harvest
Ensure your cannabis harvest has been dried appropriately. Put the crop in jars and ensure the pots have sufficient capacity for purpose of allowing airflow.
Keep the jars tightly closed
Use lids to close the jars tightly. Put the jars in a cool, dark spot. Make sure the storage space has a stable room temperature.
Keep checking the jars
Check the jars at least twice a day. Keep opening the lids to permit airflow in them. Also, keep checking the humidity levels. If the cannabis in pots is too moist, keep the jars open to allow the excess moisture to escape.
Get ready for your smoke
Within two weeks, your cannabis is adequately cured, and thus you can have your smoke.
There you go. You now know how to dry and cure your cannabis correctly. As such, you are in the best position to enjoy the best cannabis every consumer cherishes. Continue drying and curing every harvest you make, and you will enjoy more potent and quality cannabis.