How to Dry Marijuana FlowersAn in-depth guide on how to dry cannabis buds. Discover how drying weed results in the best cannabis imaginable.
Harvest time is a moment of excitement, worry, and absolute euphoria.
As you’ve watched your cannabis plants grow for the last few months, it goes without saying that you’ve been waiting for this moment with intense anticipation. However, one wrong move and all of your efforts will have been for nothing.
Once you harvest your weed plants, drying takes center stage in terms of importance. Although it sounds basic, drying cannabis buds is an art that few master.
Read along to learn how to dry weed like a pro. You’ll discover why drying cannabis flowers matters and why your buds will benefit from it.
Ready to turn your uncut cannabis flowers into terpene and cannabinoid-packed gems?
What is The Drying Process and Why Does it Matter?
First, let’s talk about drying weed.
Before and after harvest, cannabis flowers are fresh and contain an abundance of moisture. From a consumer’s point-of-view, moist buds don’t burn well and produce a harsh flavor, lack aroma, and decrease the efficacy of cannabinoids.
In other words, moist weed isn’t a joy to consume.
Therefore, drying cannabis flowers is how cultivators allow the moisture to evaporate and undesirable compounds to break down from the buds. By allowing cannabis flowers to dry, the buds are:
Additionally, drying weed prevents mold from growing within the flowers. Remember, moist flowers are a breeding ground for mold, which will destroy your final harvest.
In other words, the drying process enhances the quality of your cannabis flowers while protecting them from mold. As we like to say — it’s a win-win scenario when you properly dry marijuana flowers.
How to Dry Your Cannabis Flowers in Five Easy Steps
Alright, enough talk and more action! It’s time to sit down and learn how to dry your cannabis buds to perfection.
Here’s a list of tools that you’ll need to get the job done:
- Oscillating fan
- Thermometer/hygrometer combo
- Clothes hangers or clothesline
- AC/Dehumidifier (optional)
Furthermore, you must have a space, such as a closet or grow room, to allow your cannabis flowers to dry properly.
If you grow cannabis indoors, you already have a controlled environment for drying marijuana buds. However, if you are drying an outdoor crop, a garage or converted space for drying will suffice.
Step One: Set Up Drying Line
After you’ve harvested your cannabis plants as detailed in our previous guide, How to Harvest Cannabis Plants, it’s time to set up the clothes hangers or line in the drying room.
If you are using clothes hangers, allow enough space between each so that the hanging cannabis stalks don’t touch each other.
If your cannabis plants touch each other while drying, they may:
- Improperly dry
- Generate mold
If you are using a clothesline, ensure the line is adequately secured to avoid fallen buds. Once complete, move on to step two.
Step Two: Check Environmental Conditions
Next — it’s time to check the environmental conditions.
When it comes to drying weed — nothing is more important than the rate at which it dries. Cannabis buds that dry too fast or too slow are not nearly as top-shelf as those that dry just right.
The three factors that dictate the rate of drying buds are:
By dialing each of these factors in — your marijuana flowers will optimally dry. Here are the ideal values that you must maintain in the drying room before adding the harvested cannabis plants:
- 45-60% RH
As for airflow, place the oscillating fun below the hanging buds. Never shoot air directly at the buds as this will cause uneven drying and dry one half too fast.
Place the hygrometer/thermometer combo at the same height where your hanging cannabis flowers will be. As long as the temperature and relative humidity are in the ideal range — proceed to step three!
Step Three: Hang Up The Cannabis
Now that your drying room is set up — it’s time to hang the cannabis plants or branches upside down.
We say cannabis plants or branches because you should have harvested the entire plant or smaller “pieces,” such as branches, depending on the plant’s overall size.
In either case, when hung upside down, cannabis branches offer a natural hook that allows you to hang the cannabis plant securely.
Take care that each plant or branch is adequately spaced and does not touch other hanging branches. Remember, you want your buds to dry evenly and prevent mold.
Once you’ve hung all of your cannabis branches, you should notice them swaying gently as the oscillating fan blows below.
Remember, do not turn on any lights while the cannabis crop is drying. The point of total darkness is to allow unnecessary compounds, such as chlorophyll, to dissipate.
Step Four: Monitor the Environment and Buds
Once you’ve hung your cannabis crop in the drying room — it’s time to monitor the environmental conditions and the buds.
Check the temperature and RH at least three times per day to ensure the grow room isn’t too hot, cold, damp, or dry. You may gently use your index finger and thumb to press against a bud to monitor dryness.
Step Five: Touch Test and Snap Test
In general, drying cannabis flowers takes roughly 3-7-days.
However, how long it takes to dry weed is entirely dependent on the total weight of your cannabis harvest. In other words, a massive weed haul will take longer to dry compared to a small yield.
Therefore, you must rely on the touch test and the snap test.
After 3-days, use your index finger and thumb to feel a few different buds. How do they feel?
If the outer flower feels moist — they require more drying time. However, if the buds feel dry on the outside, give them a gentle squeeze to determine inner moisture.
Additionally, you may use the snap test to gauge dryness. After 3-days, you may gently bend a branch. If the branch snaps — it’s lost a significant amount of moisture. If the stem bends without snapping, there is still a substantial level of moisture present.
Using both of these tests, you can determine the optimal time to remove the cannabis flowers from the drying room.
Remember, you must be vigilant during this process. You can ruin your weed if you over or under-dry your cannabis plants! Once branches snap and the flowers are dry on the outside but exhibit moisture when pressed — it’s time to end the drying process!
The Last Step Before Enjoying Your Cannabis
As you look at your gorgeous buds dripping in resin — you’ll be tempted to test a sample.
We recommend waiting a bit longer to get the best aroma, flavor, and potency — especially after putting so much work into growing cannabis. Therefore, the step after drying marijuana is the Trimming and curing processes.
If you’re ready to catapult your cannabis flowers into top-shelf or boutique-grade territory — you must trim and cure your weed. Read How to Trim Marijuana and How to Cure Weed and master the art of transforming decent marijuana into pure fire.