After harvesting cannabis, there are two steps that a grower must take to get the best quality herb: drying and curing. These will take some time. Drying takes anywhere between two to seven days, while curing can take weeks! But skipping this crucial back-to-back method can result in harsh, unpleasant, and inactive cannabis.
Why Do I Need To Dry Cannabis?
After harvest, cannabis still contains a fair amount of moisture. Drying removes that initial moisture and, together with curing, gives these results:
● Reduces the harshness of the herb
● Removes the vegetal flavor
● Increases the potency
● Accentuates the terpenes (improves aroma and flavor)
● Prevents the growth of mold or bacteria
● Allows for longer storage
How To Dry Cannabis
Before starting the drying and curing processes, make sure that you have the necessary equipment:
● A drying line or drying rack
● Air conditioner (optional)
● Humidifier (optional)
With these, you should prepare a dark room with temperatures between 60 to 70°F and humidity between 55 to 65%.
Drying cannabis starts right after harvest, and how to do it depends on whether you’re doing a wet trim or a dry trim. Wet trimming involves trimming the bud as soon as it’s ripe. Dry trimming involves cutting the branches and drying the cannabis before trimming. The former is easier and more precise; the latter is trickier but best when harvesting commercially.
How To Dry Cannabis With Wet Trimming
You’ll need a drying rack to deal with the trimmed buds. A drying rack is a flat rack with mesh that’s specially made for drying cannabis.
How To Dry Cannabis With Dry Trimming
Dry trimming starts with fan leaves being cut off to help speed up the drying process (though this is optional). Next, hang the cut herb upside down (to maintain a good shape) on a drying line. Make sure not to over-crowd the branches, leaving some space between them to promote airflow.
How Long Does It Take To Dry Cannabis?
It typically takes between two and twelve days for cannabis to dry. If you’re using the wet trimming method, it usually takes two to three days. You can check by squishing the buds. If they’re dry to the touch, then they’re ready. But if there’s still a bit of moisture, leave it for another day or two.
Meanwhile, the dry trimming method takes between seven and ten days. You can test if it’s ready by bending a branch. If it snaps, then you’re prepared for the next step. If there’s still a slight bend, then you can leave it to dry for a little bit longer.
Apart from the trimming method, other factors affect how long it takes to dry cannabis, such as:
● Size of the branch or bud
Do not rush the drying process! It takes a lot of patience, but time is what distinguishes a dull bud from an award-worthy one.
What To Do After Drying Cannabis
After drying your cannabis, you must then cure it for four to eight weeks. After that, you can begin to either store or use it.
Once you’re satisfied with the dryness of your cannabis, trim it (if you haven’t already) and place them in large-mouthed Mason jars. Make sure to fill the containers only ¾ of the way so that there’s space for oxygen. Seal the jars and keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place. Make sure the humidity in the containers stays between 55 to 65%.
For the first week, you’ll have to “burp” the jars several times a day to check that they haven’t dried out too much. This also ensures no anaerobic (i.e., bacterial or fungal) growth, no moisture, and more oxygen. After that, you’ll only need to check on them once every one or two days.
Storing Or Using
After drying and curing, your cannabis is finally ready! You can now store them in the same jars (or humidity packs) or start lighting them up. You can do this any way you like, including using vaporizers for dry herbs.
Whatever you do, remember to consume cannabis responsibly. Do it in a legal state using legal means. And, if you’re going to work, keep in mind that both THC and CBD in your urine is detectable, so flush CBD from your system as best as you can before those random drug tests!