The end is almost here, and you can almost taste the cannabis. Still, you have some stuff to do to improve the quality. Once you finish harvesting your weed plants, you can move on to the last two steps. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about drying and curing weed.
As the name suggests, drying weed means you are reducing the amount of water in the harvest. You would do this before moving on to the curing stage. The cannabis goes into a separate room to dry for the right amount of time.
If the weed does not dry long enough, the inside is more likely to be too moist. Additionally, the risk of mold growth may go up.
The Importance of Drying Weed
One of the main benefits of drying cannabis is the taste. Dried weed can have a better flavor than a wet harvest. Another advantage has to do with consumption. When you dry marijuana properly, you can have a smoother smoke.
Not to mention, you do not need to worry about any stickiness. The buds also last longer on the shelf.
Drying weed preparations
You will want to avoid a bad drying process after all the effort you have put in so far. It is necessary to prepare beforehand and use the right method. To dry weed effectively, you should do these three things:
One of the tools on the list is the drying rack. A rack contains multiple shelves, and they come in various shapes and sizes. Some growers prefer to use lines to hang the buds. Another item you will need is a hygrometer.
A hygrometer is a device that allows you to monitor the humidity of the room. Some can measure the temperature as well. The gadget is essential in making sure you keep optimal conditions for your drying room.
Keep a fan around to circulate the air and prevent moisture from building up. A small fan can get the job done, but you should avoid pointing the device directly on the buds. It could dry them out faster than intended. You can also use an AC unit or a dehumidifier to combat high humidity.
Similar to a growing room, you need to create a drying room. A small space makes it easier to control the conditions. Once you pick an area, make sure it is sanitary to prevent mold and fungi from interfering.
The drying room should be as dark as possible. Light, even ultraviolet light, can affect the quality of your cannabis. It does this by degrading the terpenes and cannabinoids. Maintain the optimal temperature and humidity to ensure a smooth drying period.
Humidity and Temperature
You should keep the humidity anywhere between 40% and 50%. The temperature can be somewhere from 60-70 degrees. Some people stick to a cooler room to retain much of the cannabinoids and terpenes. Test different temperatures and humidity levels to see which works best for your drying room.
A method you can use to dry your marijuana is hanging them on a line. Hanging them up can preserve the aroma for longer, and it is a great option for those on a budget.
You would hang the branches upside down, and the flowers need to have enough space between them. They should get exposed to the open, circulated air for the best results.
Several growers use a drying rack, more so if producing marijuana commercially. While you have to lay each bud individually on the rack, you can keep them organized. One benefit is that there is less of a risk of mold or other types of contamination.
How Long Does It Take To Dry Weed?
For hang drying, the average drying time is 7-10 days. The average duration is seven days if you use a drying rack. The amount of time can vary from harvest to harvest.
After your weed is dry, you are not done yet. You will now have to cure your weed, but first, we want to give you a few more tips on the fastest way to dry weed, which is handy in case you are in a big hurry.
How to Dry Weed Fast?
There are several ways you can make the drying process go a little quicker. Still, you do not want to rush it to avoid worsening the quality of the flowers. The techniques you can use are:
- Boiler room method
- Heater method
- Oven method
- Microwave method
- Sun method
- Freezing method
- Brown bags method
You can use the boiler room to help shorten the drying period. The boiler room in your home has a large tank that makes the water warm. Luckily, the space has reduced relative humidity, and the buds can finish within a few days.
Besides a shorter waiting period, you do not have to worry about the potency getting affected. The boiler room can maintain the temperature on its own. One of the downsides is that you might have to pay more in utility bills. The quality of the taste could spoil as well.
People with plenty of weed to dry usually hang them up, and some combine this method with the brown bag method.
Another technique you can use is placing the weed near a heater. You can use one that is either electric or gas-powered. Make sure the area is well-ventilated before you start. The buds still need to get spaced out to prevent mold from ruining them.
The benefit of a heater is that it warms the surrounding air, and the air can hold more evaporated water. The buds can lose moisture efficiently, and the best spot is to place the equipment in the corner.
There is the possibility that the heater may dry too quickly. As a result, the potency could degrade. You might end up with harsh-tasting weed.
Alternatively, you can bake your buds dry in the oven. You can place them on an oven tray or cookie sheets. The oven should be between 125 and 140 degrees. In total, the weed should bake for 10 minutes, but you can flip them after five minutes.
Several growers put cannabis into an oven since the heat starts a process known as decarboxylation. It removes extra CO2 molecules, so the THC can form. You get to enjoy the most potency from your yield.
With the oven method, the buds might not taste as good as slowly-dried ones. Also, they will lose potency if you leave them in for too long. Be careful not to make the oven too hot.
Believe it or not, you can dry your harvest in the microwave. First, set the appliance at 30-50% power. Then, turn the microwave on for about 10-15 seconds. Let the buds cool for a minute before flipping them over. You can repeat the process until the buds are dry enough.
Microwaving cannabis is one of the safest drying methods. There is not much risk of damaging the buds as you speed up the drying time. However, it does come with some disadvantages.
One of them is that you do not get to enjoy the full aroma of the buds. Not to mention, the THC levels might not be as high compared to other methods.
Some people choose to dry weed under the sun, and the best time to do so is when it is hot outside. You can place the buds in a bag to ensure they dry properly. The benefit of the sun-dry method is that the rays remove the humidity.
After a couple of days, the buds should be dry and ready. Despite the speed, the sunlight likely will ruin the terpenes as well as can make the cannabis brittle. Not to mention, the cannabinoids get damaged.
Plenty of growers freeze their cannabis to store it. However, you can use freezing as a means to dry your harvest. The low temperature draws out the moisture as well as turns it into water vapor. Then, the water vapor gets sucked up from the plant by a low-pressure vacuum.
After about a day, the buds should be ready. You can buy a freeze-drying unit or construct one yourself. One benefit to this method is that the buds keep their integrity and colors. There is minimal terpene and cannabinoid loss during the process.
Buying the freezer can be costly, and the buds are easily breakable. The trichomes may break off if not handled gently.
The last method you can try involves brown bags. If the buds are small, you can place them in brown paper bags, with each one containing two or three flowers. You should open them multiple times a day to help circulate air. You would leave them in a cool place for three to six days.
One advantage is that the bags can trap the aroma, and the taste remains strong. The brown bags also keep light out to protect the quality of the buds. However, they can trap humidity inside.
The bigger buds tend to take a little longer, and they become more vulnerable to mildew because of the trapped humidity.
Once you finished drying your harvest, it is time to move on to curing. Not every grower does this last step, but curing can improve the quality of your buds. Many people want to skip to the enjoyment part of marijuana, but curing should not get overlooked.
What is Curing Weed, and What Does Curing Weed Do?
Curing involves placing the buds inside an airtight jar and waiting. Similar to food preparation, curing weed is all about preserving the flavors and improving the quality of consumption. The process prevents further loss of the remaining amount of moisture.
Curing weed also stops terpenes from degrading, and you do not have to worry about mold or fungi. An optimal environment means the extra minerals and unwanted sugars get broken down.
How to Cure Weed in the Best Way and Fast?
To cure weed efficiently, follow these three simple steps:
Many growers use glass mason jars to store the cannabis while it cures. The jars should be airtight, so nothing can accidentally escape. Not only are they sturdy, but you also can monitor the buds while you wait.
You should place the jars in a dark place to protect the weed from spoiling. The mason jars can fit nicely in a cabinet or box. After finding the right place to store the buds, keep an eye on the conditions of the space.
Two things you should do is to provide the best temperature and humidity for curing. When it comes to heat, high temperatures can damage the potency of the buds. Not to mention, it holds more humidity in the air.
Likewise, the cold can slow the formation of THC. The best temperature is somewhere between 65-70 degrees. You also will need to stop the humidity from becoming too high. However, you still need moisture to maintain the flavor and consistency of the buds.
The right levels of humidity are between 55-65%. You can use a hygrometer to measure the temperature and humidity.
Now, all you have to do is wait for the marijuana to finish curing. Check regularly, especially during the first few days. You can open the jars to allow the flowers to breathe for a few minutes. You can take the time to measure the interior humidity.
Also, take note of the smell when you open them. A foul odor could mean the presence of bacterial growth. After seven days, you can check the jars every two days.
How Long Does it Take?
Curing should take two to four weeks to complete. Some growers choose to cure for up to eight weeks. However, a few strains benefit the most from a six-month-long period. Determine how long your harvest needs to reach its potential.
It has been a long journey, and you will find that all of your hard work has paid off. It is time to enjoy your spliff!