Drying and curing are as essential towards the success of one’s harvests as the time and commitment it takes to cultivate them. If cannabis isn’t properly dried and cured, both potency and flavor will be hindered, causing the crop to fail reaching its full potential regarding THC and CBD content. This guide will teach you how to properly dry and cure cannabis, with options for those with a strict budget.
Step One: Manicure & Divide
Use clean, sharp scissors/shears to trim your bud. You’ll need something to catch the falling trim and powder-free latex gloves to ensure trichomes don’t stick to your fingers. Keep the temp around 65-75 degrees F and humidity around 45-55% so that cannabinoids continue to evolve, especially THCA. Maintaining temp and humidity will keep the potency of the cannabis at its ideal height. Warm & dry conditions hinder potency.
Note: You can choose to trim your cannabis either while it’s wet or after it’s been dried. Take a look at our article, “Trimming Your Cannabis: Dos & Don’ts”
Now, cut 12-16” branches from your plants, depending on how big your drying space is. You can forego this step and hang the whole plant for drying in step three if space permits it.
Step Two: Prepare Your Drying Environment
Ensure the place you’ve chosen to dry your cannabis has the following qualities:
A. Dark room/location where no sunlight can reach.
B. Consistent temperature of around 70 degrees F (21 C).
C. Around 50% Humidity, give or take a few degrees (use a dehumidifier or humidifier).
D. A small fan set up for gentle air circulation.
Step Three: Hang Your Buds
The most common & successful way to properly dry buds is by hanging them by their stem upside down from a string using clothespins. If you’re working with a small space like a closet, you can hang them from hangers. If you’ve the resources, you can place them on cannabis drying racks.
Step Four: Allow Drying to Commence
Wait 3-7 days for the cannabis to fully dry. To tell if it’s dry enough for the next step, try breaking a small stem. If it snaps easily, it’s ready. If the small stem still bends before breaking, give the cannabis another day and check again.
Step Five: Place in Airtight Containers
If you haven’t yet trimmed your bud, do so now. It’s time to place the trimmed bud in airtight containers, be it mason jars, metal, wood, ceramic, or plastic jars – or even oven bags (if resources are scarce, though oven bags are not the best choice as trichomes easily rub off onto the bag which isn’t fun). Use the same dark, controlled environment to keep the jars in.
Note: The first day of sealing the buds in airtight containers will cause the buds to become slightly moist again as the moisture from within the plants surfaces. This is normal. If this does not happen, the buds may be overly dried.
Step Six: Age Your Bud Like Wine
For the first week of curing cannabis in airtight containers, be sure to open the jars a few times a day (3-4) to allow the buds to breathe and prevent harmful mold or bacteria to grow. Once the second week begins, it’s only necessary to open the jars once a day. By the third week, opening the jars can happen every other day or every few days. If you open your jar and it smells funky (like ammonia) then bacteria is consuming your bud! Allow the bud to dry fully once again before resuming with curing.
Your cannabis is ready to consume after two/three weeks for a lovely smoking experience. However, if you have the time and patience to allow it to cure for four to eight weeks, then your bud will be deliciously potent! The longer you cure, the better your bud will be.