How to Dry Marijuana
Getting the Best Flavor:
With over 100 different flavorful terpenes and flavonoids, cannabis is one of the most diverse plants in terms of taste and smell. Whether you enjoy the sweetness of Bubblegum or the acidic bite of Sour Diesel, the complex flavors of different strains are dependent on these delicate molecules. Improper drying and curing damages the terpenes, resulting in bland weed that smells like hay.
There are three basic tricks to preserving the terpenes in your buds:
- Dry Slowly – Fast drying gets you smokeable bud quickly, but it results in light weight, bland buds. Dry slowly to preserve flavor, weight and smell.
- Provide Good Air Circulation – this prevents the growth of mold and fungus, which can not only damage the flavor but ruin the entire bud
- Cure for 2-4 weeks – Careful curing brings out the terpenes and makes for extra tasty buds.
Hang each of your freshly harvested branches upside down in your drying area. Your drying area should be dark and have a good supply of clean fresh air. Good ventilation is key here. A fan will help, but try not to train it directly on your plants. What you want is air circulating, not blasting at them. Remember to provide lots of space around each individual branch.
Heat will cause your plants to dry faster, but as we explained above, this is not always better. An ambient room temperature should be sufficient. Inspect your plants regularly to see how they are doing and turn them around so that the airflow in the room gets a chance to get to all parts of the buds.
A lot of growers use custom made drying cabinets or boxes. This is basically an enclosed, controlled environment to dry your weed in. Some simple DIY could build you a box with hangers and a throughput of fresh air. You can also buy commercial weed drying cabinets such as this Supherb Drying Cabinet that is suitable for 24 plants.
Drying can take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks. The average time is somewhere around a week. You will know that your plants are dry when branches and stems crack rather than bend between your fingers.
This dried weed is smokeable now, but to get the best of the flavors and potency a final cure is necessary.