How To Dry Weed

How To Dry Weed

Knowinghow to dry weed properly is an important skill in a weed grower’s toolkit. When you see that yellow or brown tinge, you know you’re in for a good time. This is because the drying process directly impacts the flavor, potency, and smoothness of the smoke.

Whether you're an aspiring grower or simply curious about the topic, we're going to lay it all out (pun intended) for you. Get ready for a deep dive into the best methods to dry your weed effectively.

How to dry weed step by step

Drying weed properly at home is easier than you might think, and getting it right can really bump up the quality of your stash. Here are the main steps of how to do it. We’ll go into detail on each step below.

  • Step 1: Harvest at the right time
  • Step 2: Set up your drying area
  • Step 3: Trim the buds
  • Step 4: Hang the buds dry
  • Step 5: Check if it’s properly dried

Drying weed, explained

What you’ll need:

  • Scissors or gardening shears
  • Drying rack or clothes hangers
  • String or wire (if hanging)
  • Fan for air circulation
  • Hygrometer to monitor humidity
  • A dark, cool room/closet/basement

Related: How to Build Your Own Grow Room in the Garage or Shed

Step 1: Harvest at the right time

If you want to maximize the flavor and potency of your weed, you need to time the harvest period perfectly. Generally, you’ll want to harvest when you notice around 20-30% of the trichomes (the sticky, hair-like parts of the plant) turn amber in color. This means that THC levels are at their peak.

We suggest harvesting the buds early in the morning since that’s when they’re at their most potent stage.

Step 2: Set up your drying area 

Choose a cool, dark, and dry place for your drying area. Basements or closets can also work well (as long as they’re not too damp). Finding the proper drying place helps preserve terpenes and prevent the degradation of cannabinoids.

Place a hygrometer to keep an eye on humidity, aiming for 45-60% relative humidity and around 60-70°F (15-21°C). You can also add a small fan to introduce gentle air circulation within the room.

Step 3: Trim the buds

There are two methods of trimming buds: wet trimming and dry trimming.

Wet trimming is done right after you harvest your plants. This method is more doable since it’s easier to snip off the leaves because they haven’t dried and curled up close to the buds yet. This can speed up the drying process since less plant material means less moisture.

How to do it: Make sure to put on gloves since the sticky trichomes will get everywhere. Using sharp scissors, carefully remove the larger leaves sticking out of the buds, as well as any smaller leaves with visible stems. This exposes more of the bud surface to air, helping it to dry evenly.

Dry trimming happens after your buds have been dried. It’s a bit more labor-intensive, as the dried leaves can be trickier to trim close to the bud. The drying process will also be slower. However, it will be less messy since there will be less sticky trichomes getting everywhere.

How to do it: Cut down the entire plant and hang it up to dry. Once your buds are dry, take some sharp scissors and carefully trim away the now crispy leaves that are close to the bud. Since the leaves have dried and shrunk, they’ll be easier to differentiate from the bud itself for a precise trim.

Related: How To Create The Best Outdoor Grow Setup For Cannabis

Step 4: Hang the buds dry 

After trimming, hang your buds upside down on a drying rack, clothes hanger, or string/wire stretched across your drying area. Give each branch enough space around it to promote adequate airflow. This helps to dry the buds evenly and reduces the risk of mold forming.

Step 5: Check if it’s properly dried

This step usually takes about 7-14 days, depending on the conditions of your drying area and the size and density of your buds.

How do you know they’re dry enough? Take a branch and bend it. If it bends, there’s still a lot of moisture. But if it snaps off cleanly, it’s likely good to go. Also, touch the buds. They should feel dry to the touch but shouldn’t crumble.

What is the best process for drying weed?

For the best results, drying weed should be done slowly in a controlled environment that’s cool, dark, and well-ventilated. The humidity should be kept at around45-60%, while the temperature should fall within 60-70°F (15-21°C). Under these conditions, the moisture in the buds should slowly evaporate, preserving all of the cannabinoids and terpenes containing the plant’s natural aroma, flavor, and potency.

Can you dehydrate weed to dry it?

Yes, you can use a dehydrator to dry your weed quicker, but you need to be careful. Using a dehydrator can rapidly dry out your cannabis, which could result in degraded quality. You’ll know that your weed dried too quickly or is overdried if it has a hay-like smell and a harsh, unpleasant taste. 

This is due to the chlorophyll in the plant not having enough time to break down properly. Additionally, quick drying can cause the loss of some of the potent cannabinoids and aromatic terpenes, resulting in weaker and less flavorful buds.

While it's tempting to speed up the process, remember that all good things come to those who wait. Patience in drying weed generally yields the best results.

How to tell if a bud is dry enough?

First off, the buds should look more yellow and brown than vibrant green. Next, the buds should feel dry on the outside but retain a slight sponginess when squeezed — not crumbly or damp. Lastly, and most definitely, the stems should snap rather than bend.

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