The easiest way to make the most of your buds.
Drying your cannabis is the second-last stage in the cultivation process. Following that, curing your cannabis is the final stage before consuming it.
Luckily, the hardest part of drying your cannabis is having the patience to allow your freshly harvested bounty to dry properly. If you’re really impatient or, for whatever reason, simply cannot wait, there are ways to dry your cannabis quickly.
We’ll go over that at the bottom of the article. But if you want to learn how to dry and cure cannabis like a pro, follow these instructions.
Drying and curing weed are essential if you truly want to make the most of your bud. On the one hand, drying cannabis is essential, no ifs, ands, or buts. Without it, your cannabis will be wet, and either won’t ignite or it will go moldy. You don’t want that now, do you?
Furthermore, buds that haven’t been dried also aren’t as potent as those that have been. The same goes with curing: flower that hasn’t been cured is usually less potent and flavorful than cured cannabis.
The main aspect of drying cannabis is to ensure it ignites easily and reduces the risk of mold buildup. It also ensures that your stash will stay fresh for as long as possible. After drying and curing, it’s wise to use a humidity pack while storing your cannabis to ensure there’s just enough moisture so it remains potent, mold-free and doesn’t dry out.
But before you store your dry weed, you might want to cure it. That is if you want maximum potency and flavor from your buds. Curing cannabis is very easy. It just requires some patience, as it can be a lengthy process. Curing cannabis in an airtight jar will bring out the best flavors, aromas, and potencies within your herb.
Want to learn how to do it like a pro? Read on to learn more.
There are two ways to dry your cannabis:
Depending on which method you choose, the time in which your buds will dry varies. In most cases, drying cannabis can take anywhere from 2 to 7 days.
When hang-drying whole branches, this can take up to 7 days, as the buds haven’t been trimmed and there’s more plant material to dry.
On the other hand, when trimming the buds when wet (also known as wet trimming), the buds are placed on a drying rack and take less time to dry completely, about 2 (sometimes 3) days.
Drying is an essential part of the growing process and the stage in which THC develops most of its psychoactive qualities.
No matter the quality of the strain or the techniques with which it was grown, when cannabis is dried improperly, quality kush can be turned into mediocre bud.
Luckily for you, drying is a relatively simple and straightforward process, and Herb is here to guide you through two of the most common techniques.
Hang-drying cannabis is an age-old, (nearly) fail-proof method of transitioning your bud from beautiful-smelling nugs to beautifully smokable nugs.
Be prepared to see the size of your bud shrink significantly, as up to 75 percent of the plant will be converted into various vapors and gasses.
Cannabis Drying Materials
1. Well-trimmed cannabis is essential to having properly dried bud. Large leaves and stems can trap moisture in the plant, prolonging the drying process and resulting in unevenly dried bud. You can find Herb’s guide on how to properly trim cannabis here.
2. Attach a string or wire to the bottom of a branch, and hang the plant from a height that leaves a comfortable amount of space between the bud and the floor.
3. The room’s temperature is vital to ensure a slow, even drying process. The temperature should stay between 18°-24°C (65°-75° Freedom Units) and maintain humidity between 45 and 55 percent. Too much humidity increases both the drying time and the likelihood of mold developing on the flower. Too little humidity causes the flower to dry too quickly, sacrificing flavor and terpenes, as well as resulting in a crispy, crumbly bud.
4. The ideal drying room for cannabis has little to no light. Recommended spaces include basements, closets, or any dark and unloved corners of your dwelling space.
5. Inspect the drying plants daily for signs of infestation or mold. A useful guide on identifying common nuisances and dealing with them can be found here.
6. The plant is finished when it’s dry to the touch but not fragile enough to be brittle and crumbly. Another go-to method is to check the stem. If the stem bends, the cannabis isn’t dry enough yet, but if it breaks, it’s ready to move to the curing stage.
While many growers opt for the traditional drying method, in which you hang your cannabis upside down like clothes on a clothesline, there are many other ways.
One of our preferred methods is the drying box, a common DIY method that is done using household items. The main thing to remember about drying cannabis is to be slow. Without enough humidity, cannabis will dry too fast. Slow and easy is the key.
For this method, you’re going to need the following cannabis drying materials.
Cannabis Drying Materials
1. Try to make sure the room where you’re drying your cannabis stays at a temperature of about 60°F – 70°F (15.6°C – 21.1°C).
2. Try to make sure the room where you’re drying your cannabis stays at a humidity level of about 45 – 55 percent. Use a dehumidifier and thermometer to adjust the temperature of the room. Try to make sure the room where you’re drying your cannabis has minimal light or no light at all.
3. Spread your trimmed cannabis, the buds still attached to their main branch, evenly across the compartments of your mesh hanger. Another way of doing this that’s highly recommended is to put some of your cannabis in a closed Tupperware bin with a hygrometer. When the hygrometer reads between about 60 – 65 and doesn’t go higher, it’s time for the curing process. Otherwise, allow your cannabis to dry for a longer period of time until it reaches that point.
4. Drying cannabis in a box reduces the airflow reaching the flowers, so be sure to be patient. Move around and reposition drying buds daily so different surfaces will be exposed to the air. Check on your cannabis every day. One way to do this is to take a little thin branch and try to snap it. If it snaps, the cannabis is ready. If it bends, the cannabis is still too wet. Cannabis flower can always be dried more, but you cannot rehydrate this flower. So, test your flower in the Tupperware bin fairly often.
Curing cannabis is nearly effortless. All you need is patience, as this process can take up roughly 3 weeks, give or take. The longer your cannabis is cured (up to 6 months), the more flavorful and potent it will be. See how to cure your weed below.
Step 1: Gather airtight jars big enough to hold your buds. Remove the stems from your buds, and place your buds into the jar without squishing them. Label it with the strain and date to keep track of when you started curing it.
Step 2: Put your jars in a dark place, like a closet or basement. Ensure the surrounding area is cool, dry, and dark.
Step 3: In 2 to 4 hours, open the jars to feel the cannabis flower. Gently touch a bud. If you feel more moisture on the outside, it’s working.
Step 4: “Burp” the cannabis jars by briefly about two to three times daily over the next seven days. Each day, the buds should smell stronger and more aromatic.
Step 5: Once 7 days have passed, only burp the jars about once or twice a week. Continue this for at least two weeks until you’ve reached 3 full weeks after the date on the label. You could even cure your cannabis for up to six months, but we won’t make you wait that long (unless you’re up for it).
If you don’t want your cannabis buds drying in the great outdoors, where you can’t control the environment and external factors, consider setting up a cannabis drying room.
You don’t need some big fancy setup, either. In fact, smaller rooms are better for maintaining humidity, so your cannabis won’t dry out until it’s brittle. Just be prepared for the entire room to dank, aka, smell like potent cannabis.
Furthermore, it’s best to choose a place with no windows, as UV rays from the sun can break down the potency of your buds. In order to make a drying room, here’s what you’ll need:
That’s about it! Once your buds are drying in the room, set up your hygrometer and try to keep it around 45 – 55 percent humidity. You could also use a dehumidifier or AC unit to further control the room’s temperature and humidity.
Keep that fan going to circulate air, and make sure your room is rather dark (hence why we said no windows). If this isn’t an option, simply cover your buds with a tarp to ensure they’re protected from the light.
There you have it, your own drying room for cannabis.
There are several factors to consider when storing your harvest, which we’ve included below:
Similarly, here are some tips for storing your harvest:
The speed at which your cannabis dries will depend on the humidity of the room you’re drying it in, which will usually depend on the climate and season you’re in.
In the winter, in colder climates like New York or Canada, cannabis flower will likely dry out faster because your house will likely be drier. In the summer, cannabis flower will probably dry out more slowly because your house will likely be more humid.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to test your cannabis in your Tupperware bin earlier on (after 3 – 5 days). In the summer, you can likely start testing your cannabis in a Tupperware bin after about 8 days. But either way, there’s no harm in testing your plants using the Tupperware bin method at any point in the drying process.