The Ultimate Guide to Drying and Curing Cannabis
Drying cannabis is one of the final steps before gaining perfectly smokeable buds! After you have dried your weed, you must cure it and in this article, we will guide you through every step of the drying and curing process.
Contrary to popular belief, drying cannabis is more important than you think. Curing weed is essential in preventing mold and providing a smooth smoke. Be careful though, over-drying is a thing, and it’s not pleasant. Fortunately, you can read this guide to learn how to cure weed right.
- Why you need to dry and cure cannabis
- Preparing your room for drying cannabis
- How long does it take to dry cannabis?
- The best humidity and temperature for drying cannabis
- How to dry weed
- How to cure weed
- How to prevent problems during drying and curing weed
- Re-hydrating overdried buds
Why you need to dry and cure cannabis
You might wonder to yourself why drying and curing cannabis is such a big deal. As with anything we preserve, it slows and stops bacterial and fungal growth. It also extends shelf-life and expresses the terpene profile.
Uncured ganja is very useful in making oils, extracts, and concentrations, but we’re looking at the final flower smokability. Getting rid of excess moisture improves flavor, smoothness, and potency. Much of the flavor and smell of marijuana only gets carried over in the smoke from dried buds.
We can’t stress the importance of curing weed correctly. Please don’t be impatient after a fresh harvest and try the goods before they’re ready. Not only does it barely affect you, but it also tastes like a fresh-mowed lawn thrown on a fire and feels like you’re inhaling steel wool.
Preparing your room for drying cannabis
Before you go chopping off all your marijuana plants and hanging them around your house, you need to be ready for it. While drying cannabis is very straightforward, it takes a fair amount of time. Another consideration is that weed plants are a lot less compact once you separate the buds.
Before curing marijuana in your house, you’ll need to prepare a bit.
- The Room: Although that was a nod, it doesn’t disregard that you’ll need a room designated for drying and curing weed. Choose an area of your home that isn’t easily accessible, is away from prying eyes, and has good ventilation potential.
- Spring clean: Make sure the cannabis drying room is clean and clear of clutter. Wash the floors, walls, windows, and yes, even the ceiling. Contaminants like fungal spores or mold can create bad smells, affect the taste, and even be toxic.
- Get a good rack: There are various cannabis drying racks you can install. Some allow you to hang your buds, and others to lay them on top. Alternatively, you can use a rail with hangers from which your flowers can hang. Regardless of which option you choose, checking moisture is vital in curing marijuana.
- Temperature checks: Overly hot environments can dry out your weed too fast, while very cold temperatures slow it down and increase mold risk. Having a digital room thermometer is essential in drying weed. To maintain the temperature, a small heater and a fan or two can make a huge difference.
- Humidity Checks: A hygrometer is very handy for anyone curing cannabis, even on a small scale. By keeping an eye on the humidity, you can alter temperature and ventilation to compensate where needed. If it’s too high, your buds take longer to cure, and if too low, your flowers dry too much.
- Keep it dark: Ganja likes it dark. UV rays have a very detrimental effect on trichomes and cannabinoids in the buds. Curing weed in jars in a darkened room minimizes damage from the sun and preserves the potency and flavor.
How long does it take to dry cannabis?
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are buds that make the fattest joints. It’s important to note that the cannabis drying process requires patience. Drying weed can take anywhere from three days to two weeks, depending on your setup and the humidity.
Spacing your weed and letting them dangle from hangers is a quick, safe method of drying cannabis. Unlike a cannabis drying rack, you won’t need to flip them for even air exposure. Keeping the buds on the branches also creates a steady, slow dry, which accentuates the terpenes.
The best humidity and temperature for drying cannabis
Before you fully understand how to dry marijuana, you need to understand the ideal climate. Although strains have individual growth preferences, drying weed is fairly universal. For a flavorful flower and a cough-free toke, the curing conditions need to be near-perfect.
Ideally, the temperature should be around 70 – 80°F when drying cannabis. You can achieve this by installing a small room-heater and a thermometer. Increasing the heat may let you dry your marijuana faster, but it comes at the cost of taste.
The best humidity for drying cannabis is around 55 – 65%. A dehumidifier and some ventilation can keep the moisture at bay very well. You could also use a fan, but try facing it away from your marijuana plants.
How to dry weed
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what you need to know, let’s learn about how to dry weed. When it’s time to harvest your flowering cannabis, you can trim your plants while they’re wet, or you can dry them first.
Wet trimming lowers the drying time and stops the risk of leaves sticking to the colas. For that reason, we look at wet trimming:
1 – Cut down your plant
You might wonder when to harvest cannabis crops. There are multiple ways to start drying weed. You can keep the marijuana plant alive and reintroduce it to the vegetation stage or remove it completely. If you decide to keep it, only remove the top two-thirds of it. Don’t remove the smaller buds at the bottom, and only take away dead and damaged leaves. If it’s a single-cycle cannabis plant, you can cut it off at the base.
2 – Remove excess leaves
Trim away all the big leaves and even the smaller ones that poke out between the buds. Unnecessary foliage lengthens the whole process. Before drying marijuana, all the excess leaves need to be gone.
3 – Hang your buds to dry
If you have a cannabis drying box or a rack, lay the trimmed twigs down with at least 1 inch of space between them. Hanging the buds from hangars can be easier and more space-effective. Whichever you choose, ensure there’s a fan going to keep the air flowing.
4 – Continue drying until buds feel crispy
Buds on a drying rack or cannabis in a box need regular turning to prevent mold from developing. Ganja dries from the outside inwards. Once the outside is crispy but still has a sticky resin, they’re ready for the jar.
5 – Move your buds to jars to begin curing
Curing weed in jars is the most popular method. While you can use boxes or plastic bottles, it doesn’t work quite the same. Glass is impermeable, air-tight, and leak-proof.
How to cure weed
After your buds are in jars, the curing process begins. Curing marijuana is easy and very rewarding if done right. If done wrong, well, let’s say it’s disappointing.
So, to keep you from experiencing that suffering, here’s what you need to know on how to cure cannabis:
1 – Air out buds regularly
It might seem trivial, but when you’re curing weed, your jars need fresh air. Moisture from deep inside the buds comes out and can create condensation. To stop it, it needs to escape once or twice a day.
2 – Check on the buds
When you’re curing marijuana, progress observation is important for noticing any issues that arise. Regular checks also ensure that you air out the jars and are aware of their health. Don’t leave your containers unattended for days; that’s a sure-fire recipe for disaster.
3 – Remove buds when they are in-between moist and brittle
Once your weed starts looking and feeling sticky yet dry, separate your buds into different jars. Those that are still quite wet need to be separated from the others to prevent moisture absorption while you’re curing cannabis. Some may be smaller, and ready, or over-dry; those can be considered for immediate consumption.
4 – Long-term methods of storing buds
Curing marijuana allows you to choose between buds you want now and those for later. To keep them fresh, put the smokable-ready flowers in a jar and ensure it’s sealed air-tight in a dark space. You’ll still need to keep an eye on the container because it’s still possible for mold to develop over longer periods.
How to prevent problems during marijuana drying and curing
There are bound to be some fungal spores in your cannabis drying room. They’re global, and some were even found in the ISS (International Space Station). So it’s quite impossible to get rid of 100%.
What we can do, however, is cure them correctly to stop fungal growth. For that, make sure your weed is dry before putting it in jars. They should be firm, but not brittle, sticky, but not wet, and dry but not crumbly. For that to happen, the cannabis drying time is essential in preparing the buds.
You can prevent potential problems through regular checks and airing your jars. Humidity regulator packs are often used when curing cannabis, as they keep the moisture level balanced. Depending on the pack you use, they keep the humidity around 55 – 62% and can be found online or at local nurseries.
Re-hydrating overdried buds
Oh no! You’ve over-dried your buds, and they’re crumbling to dust before your very eyes. What do you do?
Don’t stress too much. While curing marijuana can result in over-dry buds, it’s not a train smash. Worst case, the taste is dulled, and it causes a bit of a cough. Unless you baked them under a heat lamp or left them to cure until they’re old enough to buy whisky, you can usually fix it. Fortunately, you can do a few things to change that:
1 – Citrus Peel
Adding a slice of lemon, lime, or orange peel can re-moisturize your buds. Anything that contains inherent moisture will seep it out and allow the ganja to absorb it. It might affect the taste, so be careful what you put in the jar when curing weed.
2 – Humidifier Packs
You can use high-humidity RH packets to re-adjust the humidity, so there’s added moisture in the jar. Alternatively, you can cover a wet cotton ball in aluminum foil and make holes in it to release moisture.
3 – Wet Buds
While curing cannabis, if you notice some of your buds over-dried, you can add a fresh flower to the jar. The moisture will leave and be taken in by the surrounding nugs. Adding the same or similar strain is advisable, as it might affect the flavor.
Time to get curing
Whether you’re a newcomer, or a veteran, knowing how to cure marijuana the right way is essential. Having proper ventilation, humidity, and temperature balances is the difference between success and failure.