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The Importance of Drying Cannabis

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The importance of drying cannabis; this is one of the most important steps, and if it’s not done correctly it can have an extremely negative impact on the quality of your final product. Once you’ve harvested the flowers you’ll need to dry them in a particular way so they conserve their properties and improve their quality; to get the best flavor and effect out of your buds you’ll need to dry and cure them properly.

Cannabis flowers are full of active components; resin contains a lot of THC, CBD and other components. The issue is that when your plants are recently harvested, they’re still quite green and most of its THC is inactive. The only way to make it active is by drying it for around 10-15 days depending on quantity and location.

Once it’s dry, you’ll need to do another process called curing. This is done to get the absolute best flavor out of the bud possible. When you cure buds what you’re doing is basically rotting the chlorophyll so that the buds don’t taste too green of fresh which is extremely characteristic of weed that’s been force dried with heat or harvested much too early. When the chlorophyll rots, the weed stops looking so green and starts looking more yellow or brown; this is a sign of some potent gear.

How to Dry your Cannabis

To dry cannabis properly you’ll need to isolate it from heat and from wind, as well as high levels of humidity which can cause buds to rot. You need to make sure that no light is getting into your drying room or it could negatively affect the trichomes, turning the THC into CBN which would ruin most of the psychoactive effect. You need to pick somewhere that’s not too warm, airy but without any breezes near the plants nor fans or anything like that and then all you have to do is have some patience. Make sure that the air in the room doesn’t stagnate or else humidity will rise and the buds won’t dry properly. One of the best ways to dry weed is by using a drying sock.

Once it’s dried you’ll be able to tell if your grow room was too hot or not; the hotter it is the earlier it dries, and the cooler it is the longer it takes to dry. If it’s too hot and your gear tends to dry out too fast, then you should dry it with the leaves and everything so that the process is a bit longer. If it tends to take too long then you’ll need to remove as many branches, stems and leaves as possible, and you’ll need to use a drying sock as you won’t be able to hang them without the trunk and stem.

How to Cure your Cannabis Buds

When drying your buds, some days they will appear to be super dry and other days they’ll feel a bit more humid… You’ll need to stick your buds in some glass containers at just the right moment to cure them after drying. The best time to do this is when you can bend a bud or branch and it doesn’t break, it just bends. That’s when you’ll need to put the buds into glass bottles to cure them.

Once they’re in their new home, you’ll need to open the bottles every 24h to make sure that the buds are doing well. If you put them in when they’re still too humid and you don’t open it for days, it will definitely begin rotting. This is why you need to open it for 5-10 minutes every day until it’s completely dry. The first few days it’ll still be soft again as if you had just harvested a few days ago, but that’s normal. Little by little you’ll see how your buds get dryer and start smelling much nicer.

Once it’s completely dry and nice and crungy, then you can leave the bottles closed for as long as you want and smoke whenever you want. You can keep it for years if you want, however it doesn’t ever last that long in my case. The flavor, aroma and potency will be absolutely amazing if you’ve dried and cured properly.

Author: Javier Chinesta
Translation: Ciara Murphy

The importance of drying cannabis; learn why and how to dry cannabis buds, as well as why you should also cure them before smoking.

How to dry weed

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  1. What’s the difference between drying and curing?
  2. Why is drying weed important?
  3. How to dry weed
  4. How long does it take to dry weed?

Harvest time arrives, and your beautiful buds are enormous, frosty with trichomes, and practically begging to be smoked. While harvesting seems like the final step in the cultivation process, one more crucial process must occur to not only finish your flowers but take their flavor, potency, and smoothness to the next level. To achieve the best quality in your harvested buds, you must dry and cure them properly.

Drying cannabis removes the majority of water content from your flower. This reduces the likelihood of mold formation, makes it easier to handle and much more pleasant to smoke. Drying is the first part of the curing process, a process that elevates the flavor and potency of your homegrown buds.

Drying cannabis removes the majority of water content from your flower. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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What’s the difference between drying and curing?

As its name suggests, drying involves removing moisture from buds to ensure they burn or vaporize properly. Curing involves storing your buds anywhere from two weeks to six months in closed containers, allowing time to develop the terpene palate, flavor, and potency of your flower.

Why is drying weed important?

Many expert cultivators who produce high-potency cannabis point to the drying and curing process as their secret sauce. Even with great genetics and proper cultivation, drying and curing often make the difference between “meh” and award-winning buds.

Curing helps to preserve weed so it can be stored for extended periods, up to two years in proper environmental conditions. At harvest your buds contain excess starches and sugars, such as chlorophyll, that are easy pickings for airborne bacteria and enzymes. Curing your buds encourages the degradation of the starches and sugars, which provides a smoother smoke and reduces the chance of moldy weed.

Slow drying and curing also preserve the terpene composition of your buds. Terpenes, the compounds responsible for the bud’s flavor and aroma, are fragile and degrade at temperatures as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Drying and curing buds slowly, rather than in an oven or microwave, retains these terpenes and provides a much more pleasant bouquet and flavor.

Proper drying and curing also boost the potency of your weed. THC, when exposed to light and air, slowly degrades into cannabinol, a cannabinoid with one-quarter the potency of THC. Lower temperatures and less exposure to light and air prevent the degradation of THC, making for a more potent experience when it’s finally time to smoke.

Although you can freeze dry, oven-bake, dehydrate, dry-ice cure or even water cure your cannabis, the best method requires patience and a watchful eye.

How to dry weed

Drying weed varies slightly depending on your preferred harvesting method. Assemble the following items before you get started.

  • Disposable gloves.
  • A drying rack, should you remove buds from stems entirely.
  • A hanger shelf, hangers, and string or a cardboard box

The drying process begins as soon as you cut down your plants. Some growers prefer to dry their plants “wet,” meaning not trimming at all and hanging the entire stem. While this method works, it may take longer to dry as stems retain the most amount of water in cannabis plants.

Begin the process by cutting down 12- to16-inch branches from your plants and trimming the leaves, sugar leaves, and smaller branches. If you live in a dryer environment, leaving some fan leaves may help your plants retain moisture and not dry too quickly. A more humid climate, however, is more likely to attract contaminants, so it’s best to trim away everything but the buds. Some cultivators even choose to snip the buds and leave them on a drying rack or cardboard box.

Make sure to wear disposable gloves while you trim, to avoid covering your hands in sticky trichomes. It’s also a great idea to store your trim and use it to make your cannabis edibles or extracts.

Store your drying rack or hanging branches in a dark room with temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of 45% to 55%. Use a small fan to circulate the air, and make sure to have an A/C unit or dehumidifier on hand to maintain optimal environmental conditions.

Ensure the buds dry evenly by allowing enough room for airflow around each bud. If you’re using racks or cardboard, regularly flip the buds to ensure they don’t flatten or retain moisture.

How long does it take to dry weed?

Many factors affect the cannabis drying process. Large, dense buds will obviously take longer to dry than small ones. How you choose to trim the plants can also lengthen the process, as larger stems retain water and take longer to dry out than branches or individual nugs. Proper temperature, humidity, and airflow in the drying environment all impact the process, so making sure they stay at optimal levels is crucial.

Overall, drying takes approximately seven to 10 days. As buds lose water, they will shrink in size and weight. Check on the buds every day to make sure things are going well.

To know if the buds are ready take a small branch and bend it. If the branch snaps, the buds are dry and ready to cure. If the branch bends or leaves stringy plant residue behind, leave the buds where they are. Buds separated from their stems are ready when they feel dry to the touch.

Learn how to properly dry weed so you can preserve it and enjoy it for months to come. ]]>