After harvest, many growers wonder, when should I dry my cannabis? How will I dry cannabis buds? Or what are the best ways of drying cannabis?
Well, drying cannabis is a process of reducing moisture presence in flesh buds to 10-15% in a well-controlled environment. Drying and curing cannabis helps prevent mold growth, which would contaminate the buds, hence poor or no quality product. Furthermore, it helps the product to have a better smell, increases potency, and reduces harshness.
Therefore, in this article, I will share the best tips/ways for drying and curing cannabis, but first, let’s understand this.
What is the difference between drying and curing and its purpose?
As we have said, drying is a process of reducing moisture from flesh-harvested buds. Curing, therefore, involves the process of storing buds in airtight closed jars for retention of moisture and terpenes for a period of 2 to 3 months.
Drying cannabis shouldn’t be too fast or too long since fast-drying may make the outside look dry, but the inside will still be wet, while too long may make buds grow molds. Drying cannabis helps:
- to reduce the harshness of cannabis when smoking
- prevents the growth of molds
Curing cannabis can begin once the buds have been dried and it helps
- to prevent further loss of moisture
- retaining the aroma of buds
- Increase the potency of the bud.
Curing needs to be checked over time to maintain the optimum moisture level since overly moist buds need to be returned to drying.
Drying and curing buds take time, and patience is a virtue worth investing in since it leads to good quality and quantity yields. Drying buds slowly and curing well makes buds more potent and are more pleasant to smoke.
Ways for drying cannabis and curing
1. Know how to trim your weed well
After your plant has matured and it’s time for harvest, trimming is an essential skill and technique needed. Trimming is the process of removing buds from the plant branches and stems. The two methods of trimming are wet trimming and dry trimming. Wet trimming occurs immediately after harvest while drying trimming occurs after drying the plant before you start curing.
Wet trimming removes most of the unnecessary parts of plants hence reducing the moisture content, which shortens the period of drying. Both wet trimming and dry trimming have pros and cons.
Pros of wet trimming include:
- Removing leaves is easier
- Buds will dry faster since not much foliage are attached
- Trimming wet will give an aesthetically pleasing product
- Reduces the bulk of plants
- Wet trimming is sticky
Pros of dry trimming
- It’s less messy and sticky since trichomes hardness as the plant dries
- It’s efficient in arid areas since faster dry leads to excess loss of terpenes
- It’s bulky
- takes a long time to dry
2. The best way of drying cannabis after trimming
For your plants to dry evenly and faster, you need a well-ventilated area for air to move freely with temperatures between 60-70 C and humidity of 55-65. You can place your trimmed buds in a drying rack, hung your buds on a line, or use wire racks to dry.
If you used the wet trimming method, you could use a flat rack that is circular with air mesh and best for air circulation. A drying rack will faster the drying process than all other methods since stems and leaves have been removed from the buds. It’s a recommended method for growers in humid areas.
For dry trimming, you can just hang the whole plant or branch upside down in a line. If it takes much time to dry, you need to alter the room’s temperature or humidity to hasten the drying process.
3. How long does it take for drying cannabis
Time taken to dry cannabis will be affected by various factors such as;
- the method used for trimming,
- size of the buds since dense and larger buds will take more time,
- temperature of room
- the humidity of the room
- The flow of air in the room.
All these factors will impact the take taken for your cannabis to dry.
Again there are some areas where you should not dry your cannabis. Such as;
- In a room with growing plants since the conditions required for drying don’t match. the humidity and temperature will be high; hence molds will grow and lose terpenes through evaporation
- Never dry in jars or closed containers. Water may form and condense in sidewalls of jars as buds dry, increasing moisture presence that encourages the formation of molds.
Usually, drying weed takes about 7-12 days, depending on the conditions subjected to. During this process, the plant will lose much moisture and, therefore, will reduce in size and lose weight.
4. How to know the marijuana plant is completely dry
Since you have dried, no formation of molds, and it has both reduced in size and weight, you will have to check if it’s completely dry. The best and simple way is to take a sample of the bud, try to bend it. If it snaps, your plant is good, but if its bends, it requires more time to dry.
5. How do I cure my plants
In this stage, you have to know when and how best to cure your plant. Curing you marijuana plant well contributes to 55% of your final product quality. You take the dried well-trimmed buds, put them in an airtight container/ jar. The buds should be packed loosely in containers to avoid breaking them. Seal the containers well and store them.
Regularly check the jars for moisture to avoid the formation of molds and open them to allow free air circulation. If you find buds with molds during the checkup, you should remove them to prevent spreading molds to other buds. We aim at removing water while retaining terpenes.
This process takes about 4-8 weeks to get better flavor and aroma from there, and you can enjoy your products. Curing is necessary for finer, potent, and tasty-looking products.
6. How do I store my buds once cured and dried?
Lastly, after drying cannabis and curing it by placing it in a sealed container/mason jar, you need to store it in a cool, dry, dark environment. You no longer need to check them regularly: make sure your mason jars are well sealed to avoid further drying too much and loss of terpenes.
If the yields are plentiful, you can invest in humidity packs to keep your products lasting for a longer time