Drying weed is an important step in the process of prepping your bud. Learning how to dry weed will ensure you get a smooth, even, potent hit every single time. So grab your grinder and let’s get into it.
Why You Should Dry Weed
Freshly harvested cannabis is filled with moisture, among other things. This makes for a rather unpleasant smoking experience and isn’t recommended. Drying your weed essentially means regulating the moisture content in the bud and encouraging the decay of sugars and chlorophyll.
Overall, drying your weed encourages a smoother, cleaner, and more flavorful toke. Additionally, it extends the shelf life of your weed. The lower moisture content prevents mold from forming as well as other pathogens from making a new home in your stash.
After drying, the buds are further cured in closed containers to enhance the flavor, aroma, potency, and shelf life.
The Best Way to Dry Weed
There are several ways to dry weed. You can choose whichever method is most convenient and accessible for you. Just be sure to test your chosen method on a small batch to make sure you get it right before you go ham on the whole stash.
Prepping Your Weed Before Drying
Before drying, you need to prep your weed and your drying station.
- Trim the stems and leaves off your buds to make sure they dry quickly and evenly, especially if you live in a more humid zone. If you live in an arid area, keep a few leaves on to prevent it from drying too quickly.
- If you’re new to drying weed and aren’t sure how long to leave weed to dry, keep an inch or two of the stem on. When it snaps instead of bending, your buds are just about ready.
- An ideal drying spot should be dark, cool, and airy. Too much light could cause the cannabinoids in your weed to decompose. Too much humidity could encourage mold or mildew.
- The ideal temperature for drying is between 60-70°F. Humidity levels are best kept at 45-55%. You can monitor this using a cheap hygrometer, and use a dehumidifier if possible to keep the moisture down.
- Use a standing or table fan in case the room isn’t already airy enough.
- If you can’t keep the room dark, keep a towel or sheet handy to cover your weed as it dries out.
Now you’re prepped, let’s get drying.
As the name implies, the hanging method involves hanging your fresh buds upside down in a cool, dark place.
Here’s a step-by-step of the method:
- Harvest your buds and trim them in preparation.
- Tie a piece of string around the base of each bud.
- Hand the buds upside down from a wire or metal rack or rod with the string. A clothesline or curtain rod are generally good options.
- Choose a spot that is dark and has a good amount of airflow.
- Play the waiting game as your buds gently and evenly dry out. This can take between 5 to 14 days, depending on the level of humidity and temperature in the drying area.
Brown Bag or Screen Drying
Of course, not everyone has the ideal drying rack just laying around. In case you’re short on space, you can try using a brown bag instead.
- Prep your buds.
- Place them in a paper bag and fold the top over to seal it.
- Store the bag in a cool dark place with a decent amount of airflow. Place it on a mesh or similar surface, if possible, to encourage more airflow.
- Check on them every few days to make sure they’re not getting moldy or drying out too much. It can take up to a week for the buds to dry, depending on the conditions in the drying room.
You could forego the bag altogether and place your buds directly on a screen or mesh rack. A regular wire mesh sieve or strainer from your kitchen will work in a pinch.
Heat degrades cannabis. It is known. That said, if you’re in a hurry, you could use heat to dry your buds. Just keep in mind that you’ll end up with a less potent, less flavorful toke. This method works best on smaller nugs, as larger ones won’t dry all the way through.
- Use nature’s heater: Place your buds in direct, hot sunlight. Ganja farmers traditionally placed weed on rocks, you can use a regular table. This can take up to a day or two.
- Easy bake: Oven drying isn’t unpopular, but it is certainly not recommended. You’re essentially cooking the cannabinoids out, even at the lowest temperature. That said, in a pinch, you could pop your tiny nugs in the oven for a few low-heat minutes for a crispy, low-potency toke.
- Microwaved buds: This is even less recommended, and you’re better off not toking at this point. If you must, however, just nuke the bad boys at 10-second intervals and hope for a hit, any hit, to follow.
- Laptop fans: Some stoners have actually tested drying their buds out using the hot air that blows out of laptops. It, surprisingly, isn’t the worst idea. Certainly not as bad as fried cannabinoids. That said, we’d still recommend just hanging them up for a few weeks.
Curing Weed After Drying
You can begin toking once drying is complete. But if you really want to get those buds popping, cure them in jars or bags. Generally, the process is completed within a few weeks, but you can cure buds for up to 6 months. After that, you risk them deteriorating so be sure to label your containers and use them in time.
Now that we’ve got the technical things out of the way, you’re ready for: The Cure. Who, incidentally, have some bangers that go great with prepping weed.
Curing in Jars
Weed is traditionally cured in jars. They’re a pretty good option for larger buds where the center isn’t drying out as quickly as the surface. That said, you can cure all your weed, especially if preserving flavor is important to you.
Here’s how to cure weed in a jar:
- Fill your jar about ¾ of the way with your dried buds. Don’t fill them all the way. You want some air in there.
- Use a hygrometer to keep the humidity level in the jar in check. Some jars come with one attached. If you can’t use one, toss in a humidity packet or two to keep the moisture levels down.
- Seal the jar tight. Store it in a cool, dark spot.
- Gently turn the jar once a day to move the buds around and encourage even drying. Be careful not to break the buds while doing this.
- For the first week, “burp” your buds by taking them out, inspecting them, and placing them back in to nip any problems in the bud.
Curing can take between 1-3 weeks, depending on how much drying was needed to begin with. Check on them daily to see how far along they’ve come. After the first week, check on them once a week.
To test your buds, pick one and squeeze it. It should smell just right, and not have a moist edge to the aroma. Additionally, if they don’t have much give to them when you squeeze a bud, they’re just about done. If they’re still too soft, seal them back in. If it’s too crunchy, you’ve let them dry a little too long, and need to rehydrate them.
Turkey Oven Bags
Jars can be a little tricky because the airtight seal means humidity will build in the jar. If you’re doing it right, the level of humidity in there will be ideal for curing.
But if you’re new to the process, it might go awry. In this case, try turkey oven bags instead of jars. They offer an even drying process that doesn’t let your stash get too dry or stay too moist. They’re also cheaper than jars. Not to mention, they can hold up to a pound of weed at a time.
Properly drying and curing your weed can make a world of difference to your toking experience. Learning how to dry weed is, therefore, an essential stoner skill. After the first blast of flavor from properly cured and stored weed, you’ll never go back.
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