June 25, 2014

Make THC Active During the Marijuana Drying Process

June 25, 2014
The question how long to dry weed as beautiful as this will be answered below.

Let’s say you’re a first-time cannabis cultivator. You found a great space that abides by all your state and local laws and regulations. You carefully chose proper grow equipment and devised a healthy watering schedule for your cannabis plants. You spent significant amounts of money on the best LED lights and specific fertilizer for both vegetative and flowering growth stages. Then, you located a great batch of seeds, planted them, and watched them grow into robust plants while fulfilling each plant’s needs and making careful observations to prevent pests and mold, ensuring proper growth each step of the way. 

You’ve toiled for weeks, and now it’s time for the coveted reward of cannabis cultivation: harvest. But something went wrong. The bud tastes bitter and isn’t as potent as it should be. Your weeks of tedious work have culminated into low-quality buds after harvest because the drying process was inadequate. Avoid this nightmare scenario by following our drying process guide to maximize the flavor and THC content of your cannabis buds.    

How to Dry Marijuana

Drying weed properly is crucial as it retains the flavor of your strains and it converts the THCA into THC in your marijuana plants. Without a proper drying process, you risk losing flavor and significant potency in your harvested flower. 

When your marijuana plants are ready to dry, put them in a dark area to stop the photosynthetic process. This area should remain between 62° and 64°F with 60-70% humidity. Without touching the sticky flowers, begin hanging whole plants to dry upside down so their juices circulate and the plants still “think” they’re alive. The plants will use their chlorophyll as a last energy resource because the roots can’t absorb any water and the leaves aren’t receiving light. All this energy goes to the flowers so the marijuana plant can reproduce. 

Avoid using fans and heaters, allowing the plants to dry very slowly so the plants will break down chlorophyll and convert starches into sugar. This process will ultimately activate the THC and enable the full flavor and aroma in the buds produced by the plants. 

Check on your marijuana plants for mold every day. If there is any mold, use a dehumidifier or heater to speed up the drying process. Make sure the plants are not touching each other. Cut large flowers into smaller pieces and put them on a sieve to dry.

Some marijuana cultivators remove leaves while drying their marijuana, but this practice isn’t advisable for several reasons: leaves contain nutrients the plant will use to ripen, leaves protect the buds and ensure they dry slowly, and leaves can reduce the risk of mold. 

After two weeks the leaves should be dry, but the flowers and stems should still be flexible and sticky. The resin detaches easily, so handle the plants with care. If the stems are brittle, and the flowers turn to powder with applied pressure, the marijuana is too dry. This is another reason it’s crucial to check your plants each day. If the flower is sticky and the stem inside it cracks when bent, the plant is ready. When smoked, the flowered buds should have a pleasant flavor reflective of the marijuana strain’s terpene profile.

Drying Pot Buds

Learn how to dry marijuana buds by hanging them upside down.
  1. Use a dark room with 60-70% humidity, and a temperature between 62° and 64°F.
  2. Hang your pot plants upside down.
  3. Avoid using fans or heaters.
  4. Make sure there is air flow, but not too much ventilation.
  5. The buds should dry in 10-14 days, but check them daily to look for mold.
  6. When the buds are sticky and the stem cracks, the pot plants have adequately dried. 

How Can I Dry My Buds without Hanging Them?

Many beginning cannabis cultivators are curious about how to dry buds without hanging them. While hanging bud stems is the preferred method, many don’t have the space to do so. Instead of hang drying, you can use a cannabis drying box, drying racks, or even brown paper bags for small quantities.

How to Dry Weed Fast without Losing Potency: How Long to Cure Weed? 

How long does it take to dry weed? To cure weed properly, it takes about 10-14 days. However if you want to dry weed fast without losing potency, you can utilize the boiler room in your home to create a marijuana drying box of sorts. In the boiler room, hang your big buds and place small ones in a brown bag. Then, turn up the heat by switching on the hot water heater. You can dry a large harvest in 3 days if you leave the hot water heater on, but it will also substantially increase utility bills. The buds won’t taste fantastic, but they won’t lose much potency either.

Dry Buds While Flowering

Alt text: Drying buds while flowering is not recommended as part of the drying weed process.

It is important to avoid drying buds while they’re still in the flowering stage. Cannabis buds need to fully develop during this stage to achieve maximum THC potency as well as a smooth draw and terpene-rich flavor when smoking. Closely observe your bud’s trichomes before harvesting and drying; the trichomes should be milky white, with a few amber colored. If the trichomes are clear, it’s too early. 

Do Smaller Buds Dry Faster?

Smaller buds dry faster than big, thick, dense buds, and they’re less susceptible to mold and powdery mildew. Even with smaller buds, you should wait until they’re dry on the outside with enough moisture on the inside to make them somewhat pliable. If your bud’s stems crack when bent, your marijuana plants have finished drying.  

Why Are My Buds Drying Out?

Your buds are likely drying out because of improper environmental control during the drying process. Make sure your buds are drying in a dark room with a temperature between 62° and 64°F, and humidity between 60 and 70%. Avoid using heaters as the excessive heat will exacerbate this problem. 

Additional Readings on Cultivation

The Weed Blog is a comprehensive source to find reviews of specific top strains of cannabis and online news resources regarding the legalization of marijuana. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about cannabis on our website. With marijuana law constantly changing, learn about the latest legislation from our website and what you can do to help. Otherwise, consider these other top tier articles regarding cannabis cultivation:

How to Cure Marijuana

Getting That Perfect Dry Trim for Your Cannabis

Nipping Bud Rot in the Bud: Stop Crop Loss Before It Starts


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