Harvesting cannabis buds is one of the most exciting activities during the growing season, but once the buds are cut, your work is not over. After harvesting, most growers perform a drying and curing process to reduce moisture and improve the flavor and aroma of the flowers.
Why do freshly harvested cannabis buds need to be dried? Can you smoke them right after harvesting? How to dry cannabis on a budget? This guide to drying cannabis describes one of the most important steps in growing quality buds.
What does drying marijuana mean?
The drying of cannabis flowers is done after the harvest and consists of hanging freshly cut branches with cannabis flowers or just cannabis buds on a sieve to dry. In a climate-controlled area, the excess moisture evaporates from the cannabis plants and allows their flavour and aroma to emerge.
Why is drying marijuana important?
The method of drying cannabis is directly related to the quality of the dried marijuana flowers. Improperly dried marijuana bads can develop mould, which is harmful for consumption and produces a bitter taste due to the high chlorophyll content. Properly drying the marijuana plant will give you the best flavor, aroma and potency.
Speeding up the drying process or drying the marijuana plants for too long can have a negative effect on the quality of the marijuana buds. Insufficient drying of cannabis increases the risk of mould. Excessive drying can lead to brittle and brittle flowers.
What is needed to dry cannabis?
To dry cannabis you need:
- Climate controlled drying room/space
- Drying rack or hanger
- Exhaust and suction fan
- Airtight containers for flower storage
- Moisture meter for monitoring temperature and humidity
- Circulation fan
- Humidifier or dehumidifier
What is the ideal environment for drying cannabis flowers?
To achieve optimal drying of the cannabis buds, dry the marijuana flowers in a clean and disinfected place. Sunlight or artificial lighting can accelerate the evaporation of the plant’s essential oils. The environment of the drying room varies depending on the climate of the area.
Ensure that your drying room maintains the correct temperature and relative humidity (RH):
Temperature: 18º to 24º C
RH% : 50 to 55 %
Cannabis drying rooms must be properly ventilated. Ensure that fresh air flows into the space regularly. When drying cannabis plants, it may be necessary to use different strategies to reduce the odour of vaporised terpenes.
How to dry cannabis flowers?
Before drying marijuana flowers, the cannabis plant must be cut. Harvest time usually begins when most of the plant’s trichomes have turned amber. In some cases, growers may skip the drying and ripening process and freeze the marijuana flowers to obtain fresh products such as resin, which has a higher concentration of terpenes.
The method of drying the flowers depends on whether you use the wet or dry cutting technique. Wet-trimmed flowers are stripped of excess leaves when they are at their freshest. Dry trimming is more common in commercial settings and involves cutting off branches, hanging them upside down and trimming their leaves when the plant is dry.
There are two main ways of drying marijuana plants. If you trim the cannabis plant before drying, you can dry it on a sieve. If you don’t have a sieve, you can put them on cardboard. Just be sure to rotate the buds to avoid excessively wet spots.
If you plan to hang the branches upside down, leave a “V” on the stem of each branch. Hang the buds upside down in an open area with plenty of airflow. Ensure that the harvested cannabis is not in a draught.
How long does it take to dry cannabis flowers?
Cannabis flowers can take one week to two weeks to dry completely. The drying time depends on the temperature, relative humidity, light and cleanliness of the drying room. The yield and size of the cannabis flowers can also affect the drying time.
Avoid speeding up the drying process by using hair dryers, ovens or microwaves. Not only will your flowers taste and smell bad, but you will also lose many of their cannabinoids and terpenes. If you plan to use a fan, let it circulate air around the cannabis buds, but not directly on the flowers, which risk drying them out too soon.
If the stems do not bend but crack when bent, you can tell that the cannabis is dried. After four to five days, you will know if the marijuana sprigs are dry enough. The flowers will still contain some moisture, which is removed when the cannabis is dried.
How to store dried cannabis buds: the drying process
Once the cannabis is dried, growers must carry out the maturation process. This usually involves placing the properly dried cones in an airtight container where they will cure for several weeks or months. Wide-mouth canning jars are great containers for drying the flowers. Cannabis should be cured in a cool, dark area with a relative humidity of 55 to 65%.
Cannabis flower containers should be left open for at least 20 minutes several times a day to replace old air with new. Check your flowers for mould. Ripening can take as little as two weeks or as long as six months, depending on the genetics of the plant and your individual preferences.
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Published by Peca Sarm11/08/2022