How to dry weed - DIY

Published Jan 29, 2019 02:08 p.m. ET

There are many different methods that can be used to dry cannabis. You can freeze dry, hang dry, even water curing weed is an option. So just how long does it take for weed to dry? Well, the answer to that is it depends but the average proper dry time is around 7-14 days. Here we will focus on the easiest way to best preserve your cannabis plant.

Hang drying weed

Hang drying weed is the simplest, most widely used method of drying cannabis. For this one, some people choose to hang the whole plant, while others prefer to cut each branch at the base and hang them that way. Either is just as efficient but hanging only the branches requires less space. To begin, we will start at the first stage of curing/drying. Trimming the fan leaves.

Step 1 - Trim any extra leaf sticking any more than a few millimeters away from the bud if you want the most potent product. If you prefer quantity over quality, then start with the large fan leaves working your way down to as far as you feel comfortable. There are other things to consider such as humidity levels. If it is dry where you are then you may want to leave a bit extra to slow the drying process. If you live with between 30%-60% humidity, then the amount left behind is less relevant. However, if you live in a very humid place with levels closer to 60%, then you may want to trim right down as close to the bud as you can. The biggest concern during this process is mold. Higher humidity along with extra leaf could spell a recipe for disaster.

Step 2 - You can hang the branches upside down using many different things such as coat racks, hangers, paper hangers, etc. Whatever you have available to you.

Step 3 - If the environment has higher humidity levels, you may want to add a fan to your drying room. Do not point it directly at the buds. Instead, leave it at ground level and allow it to create a gentler air movement towards the plants.  

Step 4 - Ensure the room temperature will maintain a temperature between 60 F and 70 F.

Step 5 - Wait 7 days before checking the buds. Try to pull one off at the base of the stem. If it doesn’t snap and break away from the stem with ease than it isn't dry enough yet and should be watched for another 3-7 days.

Step 6 -Your bud is ready for harvest. Cut each bud at the base of the stem and place into a dry preferably airtight container.

Why Is drying cannabis necessary?

Drying and curing cannabis is necessary to achieve the maximum potency using the process biosynthesis, which doesn’t stop until the buds are completely dry. During this process, compounds will slowly change into new ones. As an example, THCA converts into THC which is the main chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects users expect from using cannabis. In order to preserve the terpenes (flavor, taste, and smell) marijuana should be stored to dry in a space that maintains between 60 F and 70 F with a 45%-50% humidity level. If both conditions are achieved your buds will quickly gain potency as they slowly dry. Fast drying in an oven will immediately stop this process and ruin the terpenes produced by the plant. It will also leave undesirable amounts of sugars and leftover material that will make the product harsh to smoke. In the end no matter what the bud will have to be dried just to smoke it and store it safely. Always store dried cannabis in a sealed container and in a dark, cool place.  

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