Cannabis Hang Drying at the Stepwell Soil facilities in Toronto, Ontario.
Drying your cannabis is the second-last stage in the cultivation process. 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 this article. But if you want to learn how to dry cannabis like a pro, follow these instructions.
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.
1. Well trimmed cannabis is essential to having properly dried bud. Large leaves and stems can trap moisture into 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 temperature of the room is very vital to ensure a slow, even drying process. The temperature should stay between 18°-24°C, (65°-75° Freedom Units), and maintain a humidity between 45 and 55 percent. Too much humidity increases both the drying time and 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 how to identify common nuisances and how to deal with them can be found here.
6. The plant is finished when it’s dry to 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.
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 re-hydrate this flower. So, test your flower in the Tupperware bin fairly often.
Tip: 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.