9 Proper Techniques on How to Dry Weed
So you invested all that time and money into properly harvesting your marijuana, you trimmed it down perfectly, and now comes the important stage where you have to dry the weed. Get this part wrong, you risk losing your entire stash and have to start over again. The ideal place to dry the weed is in a dark location because sunlight is going to diminish the THC.
Drying in a dark environment reduces chlorophyll and that painful scratching in your throat when you inhale the smoke. It is extremely important you don’t use microwaves, heat fans, or ovens to speed up the drying process, however, drying too slow could increase mold development.
Luckily this guide on how to dry weed properly will provide you everything that you need to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
How Long Does it Take to Dry Weed?
As you will see in the following information, there are numerous ways how to dry weed, but there are also many different factors that come into play as far as time to dry. Mastering the process of drying your weed is going to save you money in the long run and increase your overall smoking experience.
The most important part of the curing process is going to occur within the first week. Regardless which drying method you choose, you have to stay on top of things and closely monitor how the buds are drying so they don’t dry too quickly and you lose your entire harvest.
During the first seven (7) days of the drying process, the goal here is to let the buds dry slowly while protecting them from bacteria growth and mold. If you use heat fans, microwaves, or other devices to speed up the drying process, three days later you will have a crispy weed that is harsh to smoke.
The drying time after seven (7) days will vary on many factors like size of your stash, the density of the buds, the environment you are utilizing, and other factors.
Optimal Environment For Drying Weed
Optimal Environment For Drying:
Room Temperature – Around 70°F (21°C)
Optimal Environment For Curing in Jars:
Room Temperature – Around 70°F (21°C)
Weed can be stored for months and still have an amazing taste, we just need to make certain we make use of one of the following drying techniques to ensure the best quality possible.
Good To Know: Does Weed Go Bad?
Here are some of the most common types of devices you can use to dry your weed more effectively:
Marijuana Screen Drying
Screen drying the weed consists of spreading out the buds on some screens for it to properly dry. Make your own screen boxes or take the screens out of your house windows and make a rack to store them and the weed safely. The screens are ideal because they allow air to flow from all directions and evenly dry out the marijuana.
This screen drying process is ideal for smaller amounts of weed that can not be hung to dry. Larger buds tend to dry more evenly because or airflow but will take longer than smaller amounts of your stash. With screen drying, you can use racks to slide the screen in place and maximize a small space to dry larger quantities.
Cage Drying Your Weed
Wire cages are ideal for hanging your marijuana because they are both mobile and self-supporting. Simply take a 6-foot section 18 gauge welding wire (2″x4″) and connect the ends to create a nice round cage. This 2-foot diameter cage will stand on one end, while buds are hung on the other and are draped so they hang down.
Ideal for weed that is 2″ to 12″ in length hanging along the outside of your cage. These cages can be moved so you can trim the weed as it dries, moved to locations with better airflow, or moved out of the sunlight during the day. These cages can also be suspended from the ceiling for more space and larger quantities of your marijuana.
Pressing the Marijuana
If you want to go old-school when it comes to how to dry weed, pressing your marijuana is quite an effective method. Perhaps you have some nuggets of weed that were grown outside that have a bushy look to them.
Wait a week for the buds to air dry, then gently press them to remove additional moisture. To do this properly, place a small amount of the moist weed into a clear plastic bag. Roll the bag while gently squeezing the weed. Place the rolled up bag under a pillow for a few hours. The more time you press the weed, the more compact your buds will be.
After a few hours, remove the weed from the plastic bag and separate them to facilitate the final drying stages. Repeat the process two days later, then again two days later. This process can be repeated as often as you want until the weed is dried to your liking. Place in airtight containers once fully dries until ready to use.
Marijuana Drying Lines
With marijuana drying lines, you can hang entire plants, branches, or your entire stash from rope or wire lines. This temporary drying system is ideal for those who want to maximize their smoking experience. Once you hang the buds on the wire, moisture in the stems is slowly going to wick into the buds, which actually slows down the drying process.
This is a good thing because that slower drying time results in the smoother bud taste. Take the time to remove any excess leaf matter off the weed before hanging it to increase any airflow around those moist buds. This process will not only decrease the humidity in the room, it will help to stop any chances of mold developing in the buds during the drying process.
When we first starting talking about how to dry weed, we mentioned how not to use heaters to speed up the process because it will reduce the quality of the weed. That being said, air circulation is extremely important in the marijuana drying process because it helps to speed up the overall drying time while eliminating the chance of mold development in your buds.
The weed should not be blasted directly with a circulating fan, instead, use the fans to move the air in the room and to not come in direct contact with the marijuana. Oscillating fans are an ideal way to get the air in the room moving and still drying the weed in an even manner.
If you didn’t remove the larger green leaves or separate the buds properly, the drying fans will get circulated air to those areas more effectively to eliminate the chance of mold growth.
Good To Know: What are Russet Mites and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Going back to when we first started talking about how to dry weed, we mentioned how heating the weed quickly would kill off the potency of the cannabis. However, your stash will dry fastest when the humidity in the room is low. The colder the air, the less moisture in the air, not conducive to drying out your stash.
By warming up the surrounding air, it takes up more space in the room and will hold more evaporated water. That moisture you are trying to get rid of in your weed simply doesn’t disappear, it will eventually evaporate into the air, and a warm room will allow that to happen more easily. Place a space heater in the corner of the room to drive down the humidity and speed up the weed drying process.
Similar to the process of using the space heater to increase warmth and allow the weed to dry more rapidly, a dehumidifier works great to lower humidity in the room where you are trying to dry your stash. When you use the dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the air, it will also remove the moisture inside the buds on a nice even pace.
By reducing the humidity in the room, you can control the rate in which the weed dries. Set your dehumidifier at 35% and in a few hours you will marvel at how much moisture is pulled from the air.
Drying Outdoor Plants
Once you harvest your weed, drying outdoor weed takes a little bit of creativity to be able to produce the best-tasting marijuana. The majority of the weight in those outdoor plants is water, so drying properly will make certain the weed smokes well and burns evenly.
Cutting and drying your weed too quickly will result in a poor quality smoking experience, which won’t get you high either because all the cannabinoids were not properly activated during drying time. Cut down the weed, bring it indoors, away from the humidity of a growing house.
Hang upside down in a closet or an area with decent ventilation but no exposure to the outside elements. Remove any larger green leaves or stems to allow air circulation and speed up the drying process.
Start by hand drying the weed, this is the ideal process for deboning marijuana. The outside leaves are going to dry and get crispy first, while the inside of the bud is still moist because it has been in effect drawing up all the moisture from the stem.
The longer that stem, the longer it is going to take to dry completely. Once the stem cracks when bent, we can begin this drying process. Clip the buds near the stem, the more stem you remove the better. The ideal bud length should be 3 inches. Once you have trimmed, place your buds in a plastic tub and leave uncovered.
Overnight the buds will compact towards the bottom, so the next day dump them out, place back in the tub so the bottom buds become the top buds. Place the cover on and store overnight. Moisture will balance out the next day, leave off the top today, fluff, repeat. Once they are dry, seal the tubes and they will be able to remain for months.
How Dry Should Cannabis Be?
So you have found one of these methods to be ideal for your environment, you have utilized the method and now you are wondering how dry should the weed be before smoking. Ideally, you want the cured weed to be around 10% moisture content.
This particular moisture range will keep the weed from crumbling and then burning up too fast when smoked. At 10%, the marijuana is still dry enough, however, to stay lit, smoke well, and prevent mold growth.
While it may be impossible to know the exact moisture content of the weed, here is a great way to determine if you are close to the ideal range for the weed:
1. Gently squeeze the marijuana bud between your fingers, if it crumbles apart and breaks way, you dried it too much.
2. Bend the stem of your bud and it should give off a snap sound, this means you dried the weed right down to the stem. If it bends without snapping, moisture within the bud is still high and needs more dry time.
3. The perfect range is the stem snapping while the bud does not crumble in between your fingers.
4. Simply grab a small piece of the bud each day and check using this simple test. If it is still moist, place the buds back in storage and check tomorrow. Checking every day will ensure you don’t get too dry to the point you lose your entire stash.
By now you should have a better understanding on how to dry weed. The most important thing that you can do regardless of the drying method you choose is to closely monitor the moisture content the first week.
Those first seven days are everything, and if you notice at day two the stems are already dry and brittle, you are drying too fast. Closely monitoring the drying process early on will give you adequate time to make adjustments to the process and save the buds.
Now that the drying process has completed successfully, it is time to kick back and celebrate that bountiful harvest. Take time now to give Mother Earth her thanks, and be grateful you made it to the point and that you can enjoy all that work that went into this harvest. Each time you complete the drying process you will get better, more efficient, and the weed will taste and smoke perfectly.
Photos from: alisafarov / depositphotos.com.