How to dry weed plants: the best way to dry marijuana
Knowing how to dry weed plants correctly is a critical step for growers. Drying marijuana plants correctly is essential to fully bring out the best in your buds. In this article you’ll learn the best way to dry weed to bring out maximum taste, smell, smoothness of smoke, and overall bud quality and appearance.
What is the best temperature and humidity to dry weed?
The best way to dry your weed is to do it as slowly as possible in a controlled humidity environment around 50%. The best temperature to dry marijuana is around room temperature, 68°F to 70°F. Your goal is to dry the weed as slowly as possible to just the right level of dryness. You can expect to lose about 3/4 of the weight of freshly cut buds as the water dries out.
Drying weed at the optimal humidity and temperature levels will ensure a slow dry. It is important to dry as slowly as possible, because if you dry too quickly the bud color, taste, and smell will be negatively affected and you risk over-drying your buds as well.
This can be more difficult in dry environments. You can easily maintain the proper humidity level in a grow tent or drying room using a humidity controller connected to your exhaust fan or dehumidifier. Since drying weed will give off moisture and raise the RH within a small tent, you can set the controller to turn on your exhaust at 55% and then turn off when the RH hits 45%. This will keep you right where you need it. We use an Inkbird IHC-200 humidity controller (around $40 on Amazon) and it works great for drying weed plants.
Never dry your cannabis plants in the microwave, food dehydrator, or an oven unless you really want to mess with the flavor, smell, appearance, and smoothness of the buds. Any method that dries too quickly will make your buds’ quality less than it could be with proper slow drying techniques at the best humidity and temperature levels. Excess heat will negative affect the terpine profile of your buds, which in turn will affect their taste and smell. Try to avoid temperatures over 80°F.
How long should marijuana dry?
Exact amount of time it takes to dry marijuana plants depends a lot about the environment where you dry them. Drying in high temperatures will cause drying to occur quickly. Low humidity levels will also dry your buds out quickly.
It usually takes between 5 to 10 days to dry out marijuana to the proper level. You know your marijuana is properly dried when small stems start to snap instead of bend. 7-10 it better, and it can take as long as 14 in certain conditions.
Someimes weed plants will dry in as little as 3 days in too dry or too hot conditions, but this will reduce the flavor and smell and produce lower quality buds then in a slower dry. Buds that are dried on the sticks rather than cut off usually dry longer because they pull moisture out of the stems, this is recommended to slow drying and having the buds still attached to the main branches also makes the buds easy to hang to dry.
Keeping your buds on the stems is a great way to ensure a slower dry which will improve the quality. So if you are wondering if you should keep marijuana on the stems when drying, the answer is yes. Some growers will hang entire plants upside down to dry. This is great to increase drying time but can be a bit unmanageable on the trimming side. Dry trimming smaller branches is much easier than doing large whole plants.
Some growers leave all of the sugar leaves and fan leaves on their plants when drying. This slows out the drying process since the buds can pull moisture in from the stems. But it makes the buds very difficult to trim later. It’s much easier to trim freshly cut plants which have sugar leaves that stick straight out. When dried, these leaves curl in and this makes it more difficult to manicure weed. People make impassioned arguments for both wet or dry trims, so if you’re on the fence try a little each way on your next grow.
What to do if your weed is too moist after drying
If you under-dry your cannabis buds they may still feel dry on the edges when you jar them, but you will find that the moisture in the middle quickly pulls out towards the edges of the buds at the start of the curing process. They could feel damp or even wet. Don’t ignore wet buds.
If your weed is too moist, you need to open the jar and let the buds air out early in the curing process. Leave the cover off for a few hours for lightly damp buds. If your buds feel very damp or wet, you can take them out of the jar and place on a piece of cardboard until they are dry enough to return to the jar. Never let wet buds sit stuck together. Shake the jar gently each day when you burp it during curing to separate buds and keep wet spots from forming. Don’t shake too hard though, or you risk damaging the appearance of your buds and knocking trichomes off.
It is important not leave marijuana too wet or you risk having the mold. Mold will ruin the entire jar. It must be avoided at all costs. Monitoring your weed several times daily during the first few days of curing is a great way to catch any issues with underdried weed quickly.
If you live in a humid environment you may find the ambient humidity exceeds 70%, which will not allow your buds to dry when you open your jar. In this case, consider a dehumidifier. If it’s hot and humid, sometimes the dehumidifier will only add to the heat without effectively lowering the humidity. Air conditioners will solve this problem, as they lower humidity and temperature at once.
Learn more about how to cure marijuana properly in order to deal with under-dried cannabis issues during the curing process.
What to do if your weed is too dry
Boveda Humidipacks can help restore moisture to overdried weed. Boveda 58 and Boveda 62 Humidipacks are the most commonly used humidity percentages for drying marijuana.
If your marijuana dried out too much during the weed drying process or you’re looking to add moisture to a bag that may have dried out on you, the best answer is to use Boveda 58 or 62 Humidipacks. Boveda packs will help hydrate bud that becomes crispy or crumbly, returning it to a proper range nearing 58% or 62% humidity which is ideal for curing and longer term storage.
There is some debate among growers about which percentage is better to use. I used to use Boveda 62% Humidipacks but found the weed was too damp to stay lit without additional drying, so now I’m going with 58%.
They come in several sizes, and the 8 gram packs are perfect for half gallon mason jars. 10 pack of small pouches. If you have a larger crop in a single container you can opt for the larger sizes.
When I was younger people used to rehydrate dried marijuana to proper levels by adding orange peels to your jar. The orange peels add a citrus smell and flavor to your buds in addition to making them more moist. But you’d need to carefully to monitor your jar as orange peels left for a few days will grow mold. Yuck.
What’s the best place to dry your weed?
The best place to dry your weed depends on several factors such as how much you’re willing to spend, how much room you have, and the conditions within your drying area.
The best location for drying marijuana will have a temperature of around 65-70 degrees and a humidity of around 50%. Lower humidity levels can be boosted with a humidifier. Avoid too humid conditions as plants will dry very slowly and you risk having them mold if the environment is too damp.
There will be a noticeable odor of marijuana when you dry your plants. Make sure that you factor in odor control when selecting the best place to dry your weed. Using carbon filters to clean the air is recommended if you are concerned about controlling odors from drying weed. Some air movement in the drying room is beneficial, but avoid fans pointing directly at your drying weed plants as those plants will dry out very quickly due to the constant breeze.
Hanging marijuana plants upside down to dry
The easiest and cheapest method is to just hang the sticks upside down off of either a coat hanger or a piece of clothesline. This allows you to stack a bunch of plants in a row. It’s free too and can conform to the space you have available, which is another big plus.
Some growers choose to hang entire plants upside down to trim and dry, which can slow the dry time. But it’s easier to just address each branch individually. When cutting a branch off of the plant you can cut it so there’s a little hook on the end for easy hanging, it’s much easier than using clothes pins. Make sure that your buds aren’t touching each other to avoid potential moisture issues that can lead to mold.
Drying weed on mesh drying racks
You can also dry buds in a mesh marijuana drying rack. Drying racks contain multiple levels, so they let you dry a lot of weed in a small space. They’re good if you are looking to dry in a small closet or a small grow tent.
Drying racks can be used with buds that have been removed from sticks, and they can also be used to dry whole branches at a time.
Since your buds are sitting flat they won’t dry as evenly in drying racks. Air won’t flow around them the same way, and the bottom of buds might not dry as evenly as the top. But if you shuffle them around every other day that will help.
How to use a cardboard box to dry weed
You can even dry weed in a cardboard box. If you dry marijuana plants in a cardboard box, they’ll have a certain “cardboard” taste. Make sure to flip the buds over daily and not let wet spots form underneath. Wet equals mold. If you dry marijuana on cardboard, it will become slightly pressed down on the area touching the cardboard. It also tends to have a musty taste. It’s not something we recommend.
You can also dry weed in cardboard boxes by stringing twine in rows a few inches apart across the top of the box. Hang stems upside down from these strings, making sure that they don’t touch each other or the edges of the box so that the weed dries evenly.
Drying marijuana in grow tents
Drying marijuana in grow tents is a good option for several reasons. Most tents have poles running across the top, perfect for using clothes hangers to dry upside down plants or to use mesh drying racks to dry weed.
If your tent already has a carbon filter set up as part of the exhaust system then you can control odors from drying weed as well. Make sure that you don’t have any circulation fans blowing right on the plants to avoid overly fast drying.
Make sure to check tents at least daily and monitor humidity levels inside the tent closely when drying your buds. If you have a humidity controller attached to your exhaust system you can turn on the the flow if you notice the humidity inside the tent is climbing too high.
If you’re planning on getting a grow tent to dry marijuana then you can use some of the cheaper grow tent options (as opposed to needing a higher-quality lightproof tent with stronger zippers to sustain the wear and tear for extended grow runs).
Cheap tents don’t have the zippers to stand up to thousands of ups and downs that are needed to grow a few runs of plants. Plus they’re less likely to be truly lightproof, which means you risk hermaphroditing your female plants by interupting their dark cycle during flowering.
Better grow tents also have sturdier contruction, thicker tent panels, more openings for vents and cables, and more zippering windows to allow for easier access to tend plants.
Summary: Drying weed
The best way to dry marijuana is to do it as slowly as possible. Drying weed slowly brings out optimal taste, smell, appearance, and overall bud quality. After you’ve determined when to harvest marijuana plants you should dry them properly and then make sure to properly cure your weed once it is dry.
The best humidity to dry weed is 50%. The best temperatures for drying weed is around 65-70 degrees. Drying times will be impacted if the temperature or humidity fall above or below these levels.
Drying weed on the stems is a good way to slow the drying process for marijuana. Trimming first is easiest and preferred by many growers, but leaving sugar leaves and even fan leaves on the plant will slow the drying process even more for growers with either too dry or too hot a drying location.
If you over- or under-dry your weed there are ways to correct this, just make sure to pay attention so that you don’t risk wet, moldy buds.
Drying marijuana plants correctly is essential to fully bring out the best in your buds. In this article you'll learn the best way to dry weed to bring our maximum taste, smell, smoothness of smoke, and overall bud quality and appearance.