Drying Versus Curing
Hey there new grower/canna-curious individual! Ready to learn about drying your weed? Let’s go!
Before we talk about drying we should make a distinction between drying and curing your Cannabis. Curing is a slow-dry process that comes later, after trimming and the initial drying of your buds. You can see our article on proper curing here.
Drying Cannabis adds the following benefits:
- Smoother smoke/Tastes better
- Increased potency of buds
- Brings out the subtle tastes and aromas of your buds
- The cannabis will not require a ton of lighter fuel to burn.
When to Trim?
This is up to you, but many sources recommend that a new grower should trim “wet,” before the initial dry. This is because you’ll find it easier to get at all the leaves and there’s a reduced chance of knocking the trichomes off your buds. You can read our article on trimming here to get more information on trimming wet versus trimming dry.
How to Dry
Your buds will begin drying as soon as you remove them from the live plant (or cut down the plant), so it’s important to keep them in the proper environment so they don’t get too dry before curing.
There are different ways to go about this process, but the most common is to cut branches from your plant (12”-16”), remove the unwanted leaves and hang the branches over a string or wire. Some growers prefer to hang the whole plant while others will snip the buds from the branches and use a drying rack.
Editor’s Note: The length of the drying process will vary based on how much stem you leave on your plants that you hang up. If you only cut the colas, for example, the cannabis will dry much faster, but less evenly. If you cut the whole plant down and hang it out to dry, the cannabis will dry more slowly, but much more evenly.
Proper Drying Conditions
No matter what method you prefer, you need to control the environment of your drying buds. You want to keep them in a dark room with a humidity of 45-55% and a temperature of 60-70 degrees F (15-21 C). Dark rooms prevent damage from the sun or other forms of light, and the environmental ranges are crucial for proper drying of your buds. Many growers elect to use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to maintain these conditions. It’s highly recommended that you use a small fan to help circulate air flow to prevent microclimates from forming. Remember: too high of a humidity and you risk mold. Too dry and your buds will lose potency and won’t cure properly.
Once you begin drying, you can expect the process to take between 5-15 days. This is a rough range, so we recommend that you monitor your Cannabis closely to avoid over drying. When your buds feel slightly “crispy” on the outside and the smallest branches snap rather than bend when you apply pressure, your bud is dry!
Here’s a quick recap:
- Read our “When to Harvest” article
- Cut your plants down,
- Dry in the dark for 5-15 days (hang by branches or use drying rack)
- Keep your humidity at 45-55% and temperature between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 C)
- Make sure to circulate the air.
Congrats new grower! Now you know the basics of Cannabis drying. Be sure to read the curing article before your initial dry is finished and check out the rest of the how-to articles. Happy drying!
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About the Author
Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for 10 years before joining the team at Growers Network.