Growing flavorful, trichome-rich, potent cannabis is one hell of a challenge!
Sure, anyone can learn how to cultivate marijuana, but I promise, not everyone can grow dank weed. Producing craft cannabis takes diligence, patience, and a desire to learn. Cannabis is a resilient plant, and it will grow in certain climates if merely thrown into the dirt outside. Granted, any weed lover who truly appreciates the plant understands quality can’t be rushed.
What many growers lack in their cultivation process is their ability to dry and cure the weed. The full growing process is the most challenging part in cultivating cannabis and requires the most attention, but it’s really the final steps of the process that make or break the overall quality. One thing would be for certain, if you were to ask multiple different weed growers; what’s the best way to dry weed? You’ll get a slightly different answer every time.
The Importance of Drying Weed
The drying process is not complicated, but there are quite a few things that can go wrong. For this very reason, drying weed the correct way is a must! For those who are too antsy and need their grass right away, by all means, smoke the buds right off the plant. It’s not going to taste too good though, nor will it burn the right way. Think about it; putting a flame up to wet weed is like trying to make a fire with damp wood, it just doesn’t work.
Benefits of Drying Weed
- Longer Shelf Life
- Less Chance of Mold
- Better Taste
- Stronger Cannabinoid Profiles
- Smoother Smoke
The primary reasons for drying weed are to ensure its flavor and that it will burn smoothly. While drying weed does not directly enhance potency, it does prepare the weed curing which is proven to increase potency, terpene content, and shelf life. One cannot cure weed without first putting it through the drying process. Doing so would drastically increase the risk of mold or other ailments. It would also decrease the shelf life and, odds are, the weed would taste dreadful.
The Best Way to Dry Weed
Like many things in life, there is a wrong way of doing things and the right way of doing things. The same goes for the various methods out there for drying weed. Just as a quick tip, don’t believe everything on the internet. There are some wild drying methods that many people find acceptable when they really aren’t. Let’s discuss the best ways to dry weed, so your harvest is one for the books.
The hang-dry method is the old-school way to dry weed and happens to be the best way to dry weed. It’s easy to do and requires little extra tools. Simply grab some string, a few clothespins, and you’re ready to go. While it may seem like the cheapest method to dry weed, it’s the renowned way to dry weed and is the method of choice for many craft cannabis growers.
- Grab the string or yarn and tightly hang up both ends of the string, so it is taut. Make sure the string is secure and can hold the weight.
- Cut no more than twelve-inch branches off at a time.
- Trim all unwanted or excess leaves. (Save excess material for edibles, if there is enough.)
- Hang the branches upside-down with the clothespin, so the buds face the floor.
- Repeat the above steps until all plants are harvested.
- Make sure to dry weed in a dark room to ensure potency is not lost in the process.
- Establish and maintain the best environment for the weed to dry at an average pace. If the room is too hot or too dry, it will drastically affect the quality. (Temperature and humidity will vary per state and environment)
- Let the branches hang for about five to 10 days. Make sure to check on the buds every day to ensure there are no climate issues or ailments present.
- To test whether or not a bud is done drying, try snapping a bud off the branch; if it snaps cleanly without any strings than it is ready. When the bud does not snap off the branch, it is likely there is still water present, and it needs more time.
- Once drying is complete, cut the buds from the branch and place into a mason jar to begin curing.
It’s a fact: hang-drying is the best way to dry weed. Nevertheless, growers don’t always have the space to hang a bunch of strings around the room. If this is the case, use the flat-dry method. It is just as easy, if not easier, than the hang-dry method; however, it does need a bit more diligence and attention. The flat dry method takes up less space and makes for decently fast drying time.
- Cut the branches off of the plant.
- Place onto a flat surface, preferably something with complete airflow like a mesh board. Cardboard may also be used as the flat surface, but the buds must be rotated consistently to ensure there are no wet spots. (Rotate every couple of hours if possible.)
- Similar to the hang-dry method, make sure the room’s climate is at the correct temperature and humidity for the buds to dry correctly.
- Let dry for about five to ten days.
- Test the moisture of the buds by snapping a bud off the branch. If it snaps cleanly for the smaller buds, it’s done. Larger buds may be a bit damp still, but the excess water will fade during curing.
- Pull all buds off the branches and place into a mason jar for curing.
Other Tips and Tricks for Both Drying Methods
The above drying methods are different from each other, but they both work the same way. It allows for a natural drying process rather than rushing by using an oven, hot air, microwave, or even throwing it outside. By the way, none of those methods are recommended but to each their own!
- On average, the best temperature for drying weed is about 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The best humidity level for drying weed is between 45 percent to 55 percent.
- Utilize a small fan to keep the air circulating in the drying room. Don’t point at the weed.
- To control temperature and humidity, use humidifiers, AC, dehumidifiers, or heaters.
- Check buds daily or even more often if available.
Are There Other Solid Drying Options?
Weed is a fidgety plant, and even the slightest bit of changes can alter the overall quality of the buds. Hang-drying and flat-drying are the best ways to dry weed because they don’t rush the process, nor do they throw unnecessary cost and work into the mix. There’s a bunch of new drying equipment available for large grows or small grows with little space. The equipment tends to cost a decent amount and doesn’t necessarily increase the drying rate or quality of marijuana.
Other Drying Methods
- Cannabis Humidors
- High and Dry Kilns
- Drying Racks
Check out other tips and tricks on growing marijuana, here!