How to Dry Marijuana Right – Enhance Effects and Flavor
Growing your own marijuana is just the first step. After they’ve been harvested, it’s time to dry them. While we’ve helped tons of newcomers harvest their first yields, drying tends to be tricky. Plants aren’t ready for consumption immediately after you take them out of the ground. You’ve got a few additional steps to process them first.
Setting Up Your Workspace
To dry your marijuana properly, you’ll need to create the right environment. You run the risk of mold or other problems if things are set up right. The following items would be enough for most grow-ops. These help you stage the marijuana and control the room’s environmental factors. As you get better at controlling those factors, your bud should turn out better and better.
Common Drying-Room Equipment
A dry line is simply something you can hang the plants from once they’ve been trimmed. Usually, you can get by with a clothesline from the local hardware store. Pay attention to spacing while placing plants on them. Unless things are far enough apart, you could encourage the growth of molds.
A hydrometer measures the quality of the air. It tells you how humid a room is, plus it’ll monitor the temperature as well. Drying should be done at a moderate temperature. High temperatures cause terpenes to evaporate. Humidity shouldn’t exceed 65%, so molds aren’t encouraged to grow.
These ought to be relatively self-explanatory. Use a dehumidifier if the room’s relative humidity exceeds 65%. That way, all the extra water gets sucked out of the air.
Airflow is vital when you are drying marijuana. In a stagnant room, water takes much longer to evaporate. That would mean you’ll have to wait longer. Not to mention, a lack of airflow could contribute to mold growth also.
- Temperature Control:
If possible, try to dry your marijuana somewhere with climate control. Maintaining a stable temperature throughout the process produces better results in the end. Ultimately, this is an optional item, but it does make things easier.
How Long Does Drying Marijuana Take?
Assuming everything is done correctly, you should expect it to take about a week. You can test your buds along the way to see whether they are ready. Fresh buds bend when you tug on them, but they snap once they’ve been dried. This small detail is what you’ll use to test your buds.
Test the Branches to See if They Snap:
After they’ve been drying for about 3 days, you can start to test them daily. Each day, tug on one of the buds. Testing them by hand, you’ll find them easy to snap once they are ready. You can start to pull them off the dry-line at that point.
Typically, It’ll Take 3-7 Days:
Don’t be alarmed if it takes more than a few days for your buds to dry. Typically, you’ll find they are ready in under a week. The moister your buds are, the longer they’ll take to dry. So, if you’ve got some particularly moist buds on your hands, it could take as long as a week.
Can You Dry Marijuana Without a Dryline?:
Of course, marijuana doesn’t have to be hung up in order for it to dry. You could leave them lying on a flat surface. To create the best results, rotate them frequently. Otherwise, the side of the buds that are facing the table could stay damp. That would increase the chances they develop mold or mildew. Rotate them about 90 degrees each day to prevent that.
How to Dry Marijuana: Step-by-Step
You should have your workshop ready to go by now. From here, you’ll need to have all your tools by your side. Start by harvesting your plants once they are fully grown. You can test whether they are ready by inspecting the bud’s crown. Once they’ve bloomed, it’s time to take them down.
Once Your Plants Are Mature, Trim Them:
Don a pair of gloves and grab your gardening shears. Gently snip the base of each bud once it is ready to harvest. Don’t let them fall into the bag roughly. Rough handling could damage your buds from the get-go.
Hang the Trimmed Plants From Your Dryline:
Your drylines ought to be set up, and you can place your plants on them. Space your plants evenly, ensuring there is a least 6 inches of space between them. That helps the plants breathe while they dry.
Use Fans to Keep the Room Ventilated:
Now, try to place your fans in a circuit so that old air leaves the room while new air enters it. Air circulation isn’t just about pushing air around in a room. It’s about circulating new air to replace the old. Put your fans in a line, all of them facing the same direction.
Monitor the Humidity and Adjust It if Needed:
You should put your hydrometer near the plants. That’ll let you know how the environmental conditions are over there. If you happen to see the humidity rise above 65%, you’ll need to take action. Turn on the dehumidifier until it drops below 65%. However, don’t let it go lower than 55%. Low humidity can be just as damaging.
After 7 Days, Your Buds Should Be Ready to Start the Curing Process:
Drying is only the first part of processing your buds. Once they’ve been dried, you can start to cure them. This is their final step on their journey to being a shelf-stable product. Curing them pulls out any moisture, locked deep within them, prolonging their lifespans.
Benefits of Drying Your Marijuana
Why would you take all this time to dry your buds? Well, depending on who you ask, there’s plenty of reasons for you to do this. First, you’ve got to recognize that dry buds smoke better. There are still several other reasons that ought to serve as plenty of motivation.
Promotes a Better Flavor Profile:
Bud’s flavor profile will be made by its terpenes. As long as you’ve got plenty of terpenes coating them, your buds will always taste delicious. Plus, with more terpenes on them, they’ll even smell more aromatic. Enough terpenes and you’ll even smell them from inside of an air-tight jar. Drying the bud preserves these terpenes, enhancing the bud’s final flavor.
Molds and Mildews Won’t Grow as Easily:
Mold and mildew are two of your largest enemies, ruining whole harvests. Drying your bud prevents them from growing by getting rid of all the excess moisture. That way, once it’s time for you to try them, nothing ruins your hit.
Prolongs Their Stable Shelf-Life:
How long would you like your bud to last once it is on the shelf? If you’re like most other growers, then you’d prefer it to last for as long as possible. Drying them thoroughly enhances their stability, prolonging their useful lifespan.
It’ll Feel as if It’s Smoother When You Take a Hit:
Not to mention, when you dry them properly, buds hit smoother than ever. That’s because bacteria don’t break down the trichomes on the bud’s surface. Typically, that would leave behind a residue of sugar. These sugars would taste acrid when you hit the bud. However, since you’ve been drying them, none of that bacteria was able to grow. So, instead of tasting burnt sugar, you don’t taste anything other than fresh bud.
Curing Your Marijuana
Curing marijuana isn’t all that different from drying it. The major change will be where it’s done. Drying is done inside of a room while curing takes place inside of an airtight container. Anything that locks tightly should be suitable. We’d suggest grabbing some mason jars if you can’t find anything else on hand. These tend to do the job well without breaking the bank.
Use an Airtight Container to Store the Buds for 30 Days:
Curing takes a lot longer than drying. However, it has an even bigger impact on the final quality. Terpenes concentrate during the process, ensuring flavorful hits. Since terpenes are such volatile compounds, you’ve got to handle them with care. Trying to cure your buds at excessive temperatures would cause them to evaporate. Don’t let your buds get over 85 degrees Fahrenheit while curing. That helps preserve those terpenes to the greatest extent possible.
Ensure Humidity Remains Between 55-65%:
On top of the temperature, you’ll want to maintain a stable humidity level as well. That way, by the time your buds are done, they’ll be absolutely perfect. Letting the humidity rise above this level could degrade the final product.
Benefits of Curing Your Cannabis
Curing marijuana is an essential part of its processing. Although many first-time growers lump this step into the drying process, it is a distinct part. Curing pulls the remaining moisture of the center of your bud, ensuring it hits perfectly. It’ll also preserve the terpene profile of your plant. It even prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria, prolonging the bud’s shelf-life. All-in-all, it’s hard to see how anyone could think it’s not worth their time.
- Draws Moisture Out of the Center:
Drying your buds on the dryline gets rid of the majority of its water. However, deep inside the plant, plenty of moisture is still there. Getting rid of all of that takes a lot longer than a week. However, if you leave your plants on the dryline for all that time, most of the terpenes would evaporate. To keep your terpenes, you’ve got to put the buds in an airtight container. That lets the remaining water evaporate while maintaining a stable environment.
- Preserves the Terpenes Better:
Terpenes are responsible for the flavor of marijuana. The more terpenes, the more flavor. However, these chemicals are also super sensitive. Some of them even evaporate at room temperature. Keeping your buds in an air-tight container is crucial, minimizing environmental disturbances. As the bud cures, terpenes concentrate on it, delivering even more powerful hits.
- Bacteria Process Unwanted Sugars:
Marijuana is covered in a sticky film, called trichomes. Trichomes often serve as something for bacteria to eat. Unfortunately, bacteria don’t do much good for the buds themselves. So, it’d be best to prevent their growth. Keeping the buds in a mason jar prevents the bacteria from growing, starving them of oxygen. That way, by the time you are ready to hit the bud, it’ll taste perfect.
- Increases the Bud’s Shelf-Life:
Curing the bud releases any of the remaining moisture from within. That way, when it is sitting on the shelf, there’s nothing for molds to use. Molds are the biggest enemy of bud in the long run. Making sure that those don’t start growing would prolong your bud’s life by quite a bit. Fortunately, curing your buds does just that.
Processing Your Marijuana to Perfection: The Bottom Line
Drying and curing marijuana goes hand-in-hand. Without doing both of them, your final results won’t be as good as they could be. Fortunately, both of these steps aren’t all that hard. Both of them are relatively minimal in terms of equipment.
The most difficult part would be waiting for them to get done. As long as you’ve got the patience, the results are worthwhile. Your buds ought to taste better. Plus, on top of their enhanced flavor profile, you’ll find they tend to last a lot longer as well.
Since they don’t have the same issues with moisture, molds and mildews won’t be a problem. Not to mention, you shouldn’t have to deal with bacteria leaving behind sugar on the leaves. Ultimately, when you do these steps properly, it pays off in the end.