Drying and Curing Marijuana
Drying and curing marijuana are the final stages of your marijuana grow and are vital in making sure you have good, tasty, smooth weed to smoke. Most methods on how to dry marijuana sound easy but rushing this stage will ruin the months of hard work you’ve put in, but get it right and you’ll maximize your plants potential and be left with some quality buds.
By reading the following section, you will understand how to dry weed, how to cure weed and know the time scales required, what equipment you need, as well as understanding the optimal conditions required to create the perfect cured bud.
The importance of patience to a well executed dry and cure
Now that your bud has been harvested, the temptation will be to start smoking it immediately by drying your weed too fast. However, marijuana that hasn’t been dried and cured properly will lack potency and taste harsh and acidic. The most important asset when it comes to drying and curing your weed is patience. During the drying and curing process of marijuana, you must remove 75% of its moisture and this takes time.
If you dry your weed too fast, you will trap sugars and chlorophyll in your buds that will leave your weed tasting bitter, whereas over heating your bud while it is drying will degrade your THC, CBN and CBD making the final product less potent. Allowing the moisture to evaporate from your bud slowly and evenly will make your smoke smooth and sweet to taste.
How to Dry Weed
What will a good dry achieve?
If you have chosen a strain for its high potency and taste, the best way to guarantee that you enjoy these characteristics is by drying marijuana properly. If you want to speed up the drying process, make sure that you have spent the time manicuring your marijuana properly as this will reduce the amount of time it takes.
What do I need and where can I dry weed?
Drying marijuana needs darkness, so a good place to do it is in a closet. If you do not have a closet, you can use a cardboard or wooden box, with air holes cut into the sides to allow air flow. You will need to hang your buds so they are not touching any surfaces as they will leave some of their sticky resin on anything they touch. Use some washing line, fishing line or even dental floss, making sure it is able to take the weight of the bud you’re drying. The easiest way to attach your hanging marijuana is by using a clothes pin hanging from the stem, otherwise bendy garden wire works well
Do not try drying weed in the same room you’re growing as your bud needs darkness and low humidity to dry properly.
Step by step guide to drying marijuana
The most common and trusted method of drying marijuana is through air drying. To air dry your harvested weed, use the following short steps;
• Once you have harvested your marijuana, manicure and trim your buds properly to help speed up the drying time.
• Hang your buds in a dark room, attaching them to a line by the stem (as above) using a clothespin or bulldog clip, ensuring they don’t touch each other.
• Use a circulating fan to keep air moving around the room. DO NOT point it directly at the buds as this will dry them out too quickly and will cause poor tasting weed as we mentioned earlier .
• Leave to dry over the next 5-9 days, checking daily for signs of mould or being overly dry. Rotate to get an even dry, taking care to handle them by their stems.
• Your buds are ready for curing once they are dry to the touch but you can bend the stems without them snapping.
What are the optimal conditions for drying weed? The following conditions are considered optimal for drying marijuana;
• Heat – Between 65 and 75°F (18-24°C)
• Humidity –Between 45 and 55%
Low temperatures will increase the humidity, which increases the time it takes for your bud to dry and increases the risk of mold. High temperatures will reduce the humidity of your drying space and will dry your weed too fast.
Light, heat and over handling are the biggest enemy when drying marijuana. Dry your buds in a dark room, making sure you keep away from hot surfaces. Try not to over handle your buds as it damages the resin glands while they’re drying which can result in less potent buds.
What will curing your weed achieve?
A good cure allows your weed to continue to dry slowly, removing moisture within the bud and increasing the potency. Curing it correctly ensures good quality, smooth tasting weed that is dry and can be stored with a much lower vulnerability to mold.
What do I need for curing weed?
For a good cure that reduces the risk of mold, use canning jars, as they are airtight once sealed and the glass does not pass on any unwanted flavors to your weed. If you do not have canning jars, you can use any airtight container, but avoid using zip locks bags as air and moisture can get in.
Keep your curing weed in a cool, dark, dry place, making an effort to keep out of the direct sunlight as this may over sweat your bud and cause mold to grow.
How to Cure Weed – All the Steps
The following technique is arguably the best and most commonly used when curing marijuana, be warned though it requires a lot of patience. If you use the following instructions, you will have nice, smooth and sweet tasting buds to smoke.
• Dry your weed for 5-9 days until they are dry to touch on the outside, but you can bend the stems without snapping.
• Place your buds in an airtight container, being careful not to squeeze them in as this will damage the resin glands, and close the lid.
• Sweat for 2-3 hours. Open the lid for a short time allowing the buds to become dry to the touch again. Close the lid.
• Follow the same pattern for the first week (keeping the jar shut when you are sleeping), opening the lid until dry to touch (10 -15mins), before closing it again for a couple of hours.
• After the first week of drying, your buds should not be so vulnerable to mold and you can move on to keeping the jar shut for longer. Keep the jar shut for 12 hours, opening it until the buds are dry, as per the established process above.
• Continue this process for at least another three weeks.
• On the fourth week, your buds will weigh 75% less than at the start of the drying and curing process and will be ready to smoke or put into storage.
This process can be continued for up to six months, with some growers saying that the longer you take when curing marijuana the better the buds taste. However, if you choose to do it as per the instructions, you will not be disappointed with your smoke.
How to Store Marijuana
Keep your weed in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place, similar to those used for curing your weed. You can keep your bud in the refrigerator and the cool temperature slows down the degradation of the THC. Make sure that the container is airtight, as moisture within the refrigerator will spoil your buds and cause the growth of mold. When storing marijuana, make sure you avoid light and heat as they will spoil all the hard work you’ve done.
What do I do if my weed gets wet?
THC is not water soluble, so water will not affect the potency of your bud. It will, however, invite mold to grow. Make sure you dry your wet buds in a dark room with good air circulation.
What do I do if I over dry my buds?
If you over dry your buds, you can dab them gently with a damp towel. Alternatively, you can add the peel from a citrus fruit to your curing jar, which increases moisture and adds a citrusy flavor to your buds.
Can I dry marijuana and cure my weed in the oven?
You can, but this is very risky as the heat will seriously degrade the THC in your bud and reduce the potency. You can place them in an oven heated to 150°F (63°C) for 10-15 mins, checking regularly and taking out and cooling, moving them around to even the cure, and repeating until your bud is dry. This is not recommended as it is likely your will vaporize your weed.
Can I dry and cure my weed in the microwave?
Just like using an oven, using a microwave for drying marijuana and to cure your weed is very risky. If you do choose to go about curing weed with a microwave, set it to 50% of full power and turn on the microwave for 15-30 seconds, leaving to stand for a minute. You can repeat until dry. Avoid using this technique if you can! This should only be used if you’re desperate for drying marijuana in small amounts.
If you follow this section and take our advice on how to dry weed we have no doubts you’ll end up with some of the tastiest dried and cured bud you’ve ever smoked. Remember this final note, patience is the key when drying and curing marijuana.