How to Dry Cannabis The Right Way (Avoid Over-Drying!)

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Through the process of drying and curing, the cannabis plant’s natural terpenes and cannabinoids are preserved, and the flavor and aroma of the buds are improved.

If done correctly, it can also influence the overall potency of cannabis.

So, if you’re looking to dry your cannabis the right way, here’s what you need to know.

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What is The Purpose of Drying Cannabis?

When growing cannabis, you need to let the buds dry out after you harvest them to make them ready for consumption. This process is called “curing and is super important, as it can have a big impact on the flavor and potency of your buds.

If you smoke your buds while they’re too wet, they’re more likely to go moldy and lose potency, so it’s important to dry your buds out completely after harvesting them.

There are three main stages during the growing process when the cannabis plant is being prepared for harvesting – the growing stage, the flowering stage, and the drying stage.

During the drying stage, the buds are prepared to be harvested and dried out completely, ready for consumption. Drying cannabis is essential to ensure that the buds stay fresh for longer, as well as making them easier to store. As well as keeping your buds fresh, drying cannabis is also a great way to boost their potency.

How to Dry Cannabis

The first step in the process of drying cannabis is to select your drying method, as this will determine how long it takes for your buds to be ready for harvesting.

As well as drying out the buds to prepare them for harvesting, you’ll also need to dry them out to make them easier to store. The most common methods of drying cannabis are:

  • Air drying: This is the cheapest and most common way to dry cannabis buds. It takes the longest out of the other drying methods, but it’s also the easiest and risk-free. When you air-dry buds, they’re not in direct contact with any heat sources, which means it’s less likely that they will be over-dried. However, it does take a bit longer than some of the other methods, so you’ll need to factor that into your harvesting schedule.
  • Dehydrating: This is a quick drying method that uses hot air flow to quickly dry the leaves and the buds. Since you’re drying the buds with hot air, it’s important to monitor them closely so that they don’t get over-dried. It’s a cheap and easy way to get your buds dried quickly.
  • Rotating fans: If you don’t want to invest in special drying equipment, then this method is a great alternative. It’s easy to set up and costs nothing. You can also use it to dry outdoor cannabis. You’ll need to set up a rotating fan in a dark, cool room with low humidity levels so that the buds dry out completely. Rotating fans are perfect for drying large amounts of buds.

Tips for Drying Cannabis

  • Choose the right strain: Some strains of cannabis are better suited to drying out than others. Sativa and hybrid strains are generally better for harvesting and drying than Indica strains, as they are more likely to retain their terpenes.
  • Harvest at the right time: If you harvest your buds too early, they will not have reached the right level of dryness, so they’ll be more likely to go moldy. If you wait too long to harvest your buds, they’ll be too dry and won’t be as potent. Experts suggest harvesting your buds when they’re 30-40% dry.
  • Choose the right environment: Drying cannabis in a dark, cool room with low humidity levels is ideal for the best results.

How to Store Dried Cannabis

Dried cannabis should be stored somewhere dark and cool, which is away from direct sunlight.

The best place to store dried buds is in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, away from any potential sources of heat. Avoid storing your dried cannabis in the fridge, as it will cause the buds to become moist and could lead to the growth of mold.

If you don’t plan on smoking your dried cannabis within a few months, you can also consider storing it in the freezer in an airtight container. This will extend its shelf life, so you can use it at a later date. The best way to store your dried cannabis is first to let it sit and ‘cure,’ or ‘age,’ for a few weeks.

This is called the curing process, and it’s an essential part of preparing your buds for consumption. It helps to improve the taste, potency, and longevity of the buds, and it also reduces their chance of going moldy. Once your cannabis is fully cured, you can store it in jars or bags and take it with you when you go out and about.

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What to Avoid When Drying Cannabis

  • Excessive heat: Avoid drying your cannabis with hot air, as this can cause it to lose its natural oils and terpenes, so it tastes less potent and less flavorful than it would if it was dried at lower temperatures.
  • Direct sunlight: Avoid drying your cannabis in direct sunlight, as it will cause it to dry out too quickly, which can lead to the formation of mold.
  • Too much humidity: Excessive humidity can cause mold, so it’s important to keep the drying environment as dry and airy as possible.

Benefits of Drying Cannabis

  • Better taste: The drying process is a great way to improve the overall taste of your buds.
  • Increased potency: Drying your cannabis buds and then curing them for a few weeks can help to increase their potency.
  • Extended shelf life: Drying and then curing your cannabis is a great way to extend its shelf life and make it last longer.
  • Better storage: Drying cannabis and then curing it is a great way to store it, as it will last longer and be more potent.
  • Health benefits: Some studies have suggested that cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, can have health benefits when consumed.

Signs of Over-Drying Cannabis

If you over-dry your cannabis, it’ll be more likely to go moldy, so it’s important to monitor the drying process closely. If your buds are too dry, they’ll be more likely to crumble when you try to break them up for smoking, so it’s important to take them out of the drying chamber before they become too dry.

There are a few signs that your cannabis buds are becoming too dry, such as:

  • They start to crumble: When you touch the buds, they shouldn’t be sticky, but they should still be slightly firm.
  • They’re brittle: When you break the buds, they should break easily and not be sticky.
  • They’re light in color: The buds should be a light brown color when they’re ready to be harvested.

How to Dry Cannabis Buds – Conclusion

Drying cannabis is an essential step in the cultivation process, as it helps to preserve the buds and improve the taste. With the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can dry your cannabis perfectly and ensure it lasts longer and tastes better.

Through the process of drying and curing, the cannabis plant’s natural terpenes and cannabinoids are preserved, and the flavor and aroma of the buds are improved.

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Anna is an avid researcher of all things cannabis-related and has edited over 200 articles on growing marijuana, from choosing the correct grow medium, strains, controlling your indoor climate and even where to purchase seeds from.


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