You don’t want your dehumidifiers to suck moisture from the plants. You only want to remove the excess humidity from the room, allowing the plants to dry out naturally. You also don’t want fans blow-drying your flowers either. Just a little circulation in the room is all you need. Quick drying causes harshness in the smoke. Hanging whole plants upside down forces a slower and more even drying over the entire plant.
Moisture within the branches leach water into the flowers until the capillaries begin to harden. The plant’s tips harden first, cutting off moisture from the top buds, while the smallest buds at the bottom of the plant will continue to receive small amounts of water. This technique ensures all the buds are crispy and ready to be trimmed on the same day. There is much debate over the choice between trimming wet or dry; that is, either to trim the leaf from the buds right when you harvest, or wait until the flowers are dried.
Plants should be hung upside down on a line, whole and intact, for five to 10 days. How long they need to hang will depend on flower size and density. Ambient temperature and humidity also greatly affects drying times. Higher temperatures and low humidity will hasten drying, so you want to be able to control the environment. For this reason, many people use their growroom for drying. The optimal humidity level to begin drying is 50-55 per cent. After three to five days you can lower the dehumidifier to 45-50 per cent. The optimal temperature for drying is 70-72°F. Better a little cooler than a little warmer.
In contrast, properly drying your bud is a fairly straightforward process but you must pay close attention to get it right. What follows is my favorite technique for producing the most flavorful buds with all the qualities I desire when smoking flowers.
I want to start by saying that drying and curing are two distinct and separate processes. Flowers must be properly dried before you can begin to cure them. Curing is much more difficult and requires some trial and error before you can achieve a true cure. Experience will be your best teacher.
Oxidation, a fancy word describing the evaporation of essential oils, is what happens when you put dozens of scissor gashes in fresh flowers. Once the flowers have dried out the capillaries that transport water through the plant has also dried out. The same concept of capillary action applies here. The more access points you create for air, the quicker the plant will dry out. If your goal is smokability and the tastiest flowers, then you absolutely want to hang your plants whole and trim after the bud is mostly dry.
During the drying process, avoid squeezing the flowers. Check the stems daily and monitor the level of dryness. When they begin to stiffen you may start to check the dryness of the flowers. They should be crispy on the outside and you’ll start to be able to separate the flowers from the stem by hand. Take into consideration that you will need time to chop the plants up and remove the flowers. Leave enough moisture in the flowers to make it through trimming. I like to call this bucking the flowers.
What are your top recommendations for drying the most fragrant buds? I don’t want to compromise quality at this stage in the game!
I’ve dried many crops with no controls at all. Northern California is pretty hospitable. The main killer of great bud is low humidity and high heat. Make the best of every situation by being vigilant. Take it down before it is bone dry so you never find yourself in the awful situation of trying to rehydrate cannabis that has been over dried.
I want to start by saying that drying and curing are two distinct and separate processes. Flowers must be properly dried before you can begin to cure them…
Everyone wants to have their harvest dry as soon as possible, but patience is needed in this lengthy process; why would you spend months taking care of a plant to speed up the drying process? Usually, to get top quality product you should dry it for a week to a month, no more and no less. If it dries before then, then the place you’ve chosen to dry it isn’t adequate; it might be too hot, or there might be a breeze (something you need to avoid) and this will make your weed end up tasting green, like chlorophyll. If it takes too long to dry there might be too much humidity in the area, and your buds might end up full of fungi and rot.
Once you’ve put your buds in their final containers you’ll need to keep an eye on them every day until they’re completely dry. Every 24h you should open the jar at least once to let the air filter out and to check if it’s still too humid or if the process is going nicely. The first day that you put the buds in the jar the weed should be almost dry, but the next day when you open it you’ll know if you got the timing right:
atmosphere, you’ll notice that the buds are drying a bit, then you’ll go and it’ll be a bit humid again, then you’ll think it’s ready but the stems are still green… the best thing is to wait 15 days to make sure.
- If you put it in too early, your buds will be extremely soft as if you just harvested them. If this happens to you, you might need to put the buds back in the drying sock for them to dry properly. It gets so soft because you took it down too early and there’s still too much humidity in the trunk.
- If you’ve taken them down too late, your bud will be much too dry and the humidity won’t be able to rot the chlorophyll and the weed will still be green looking and green smelling, so you’ll be left with weed that tastes like leaves.
- If you’ve done it at exactly the right time, the weed should be spongy, not completely dry but not completely humid either, just a bit soft. After a few days of opening it up for 5 mins a day, your cannabis should be completely dry and you can close the container for as long as you want.
Things to keep in mind when drying cannabis:
The perfect time to take your buds down and stick them in hermetically sealed jars is when you can bend the buds on their stems and they bend, kind of crispy like, but they don’t break. This is when you’ll need to put the buds in jars or wooden boxes so the chlorophyll can rot correctly and the plants don’t taste like green leaves. This works because the excess humidity in the stems slowly rots the chlorophyll, but you need to open the jars for about 10 minutes every day to let some fresh air in; this will allow the humidity to escape a little bit. Rotting the chlorophyll is known as curing cannabis.
Don’t forget to open it up for a few minutes every day to make sure it’s drying properly and let some of the humidity out. If you detect any sort of mildew of fungi, remove it immediately from the container as it could end up completely rotting your bud. Once it’s completely dry you can keep it for years in the container, as long as you’d like.
To do this right you’ll need to trim your plants and take away the leaves so that the plants can dry properly and look nicer once they’re dry. If your plant is very big, you can cut the branches off and hang them like a washing line or in a drying sock, somewhere where there isn’t any light and the temperature doesn’t go above 25º. Make sure there’s no heavy air flow, but at the same time no pockets of stagnant air that can create humidity. Once a few days have gone by and depending on the outdoor
Honestly, the best way to dry your buds properly is to work from experience; you need to know what space to use and how many days it takes to dry in that particular space so that you can pick the exact spot where to hang your bud and know exactly when to put them in glass jars to cure them. It’s honestly easier than it looks; you just have to follow some simple steps and you’ll have top quality buds once they’re dry! Keep in mind that the process of drying and curing should take about a month, although it can be accelerated if you’re desperate to smoke but the quality and taste will be far inferior, so if you’re going to do that don’t do it with the entire harvest, just enough to tide you over until it’s all dry and ready to smoke.
When drying cannabis a certain level of patience is needed if you want to get the best out of your weed in as far as aroma, taste and effect.