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Anyone who is a pothead can tell you that you can't just grab bud off the plant and smoke it—at least, not if you want to have a quality smoking experience. To actually get the full flavor and potency of the cannabis you're smoking, you need to dry and cure it.
Over the years, a lot of contention has come up about the best way to dry cannabis. That being said, we've decided to put it to a rest by giving you a good guide on how to dry and cure weed according to the top budtenders and sommeliers in the industry.
First, let's talk about drying versus curing.
Drying your bud is literally drying out the flowers so that they turn into the smokeable stuff. Curing your bud is about aging the dried bud you have so that you get the maximum amount of flavor.
Though they're technically not the same thing, most people use the terms interchangeably. In this article, we're going to focus on drying—but later on, we'll touch on curing your weed.
The main reason why you need to dry your cannabis isn't just because you will get more flavor from it.
Sure, flavor does count for a lot when it comes to a quality smoking experience—but it's not the main reason. If you try to smoke weed right off the plant, you're going to have a very hard time keeping the joint lit.
So, even if you don't feel the need to be fancy about it, you still will need to dry your herb. However, if you want to roll a joint like a boss, you will need to have delicious, cured cannabis to roll alongside your choice of rolling papers.
The best way to dry cannabis is in optimal conditions.
Let's face it—drying cannabis, just like any other part of the cannabis growing and harvesting process, will have its own ideal conditions. Most growers will tell you that the best way to dry cannabis will be in a room that's around 70 degrees in temperature, with a humidity level of around 50 percent.
You can have a higher temperature reading and still get well-dried bud. In some cases, having a temperature as high as 90 degrees may make the drying process go by faster.
High humidity can cause mold to grow. However, drier climates aren't necessarily the best option. If the place where you choose to dry your ganja is too dry, it can make the bud too brittle to smoke easily.
Cannabis humidors might offer a good moisture level, but they aren't necessarily the best way to dry cannabis.
In this sense, some people might find that a slightly modified humidor might be a good place to dry their buds. Believe it or not, there are certain companies that create cannabis humidors that keep buds drier than the typical cigar humidor, such as the one displayed later on in the article.
However, most people agree that cannadors are not actually good for the initial drying process. Rather, they are better for weed storage than actually bringing out the flavor from freshly picked herb.
Believe it or not, most experts claim hanging cannabis upside-down on a line is the best way to dry cannabis.
Surprised? To a point, some might consider this to be old-fashioned because it sounds like something pioneers would do to make vegetables ready for the winter storage period. However, it works very well and helps keep the flavor locked inside your harvest.
To do this, you'll need to set aside a small place in your basement or attic. Here's the process:
- Grab your weed, and prune away the fan leaves.
- Hang the weed upside down on wire, spacing them out so that the cannabis buds don't touch.
- Wait three to seven days, checking on the plants.
- When the stems start to snap instead of bend, transfer your weed to curing jars.
The best way to dry cannabis is simple to do—but so is the worst way.
There are other ways to dry cannabis that really don't do anyone any favors. Believe it or not, one of the worst ways to dry marijuana has a lot in common with one of the best ways.
If you ask me, one of the worst ways to dry your goods is to just try this process outdoors. Hanging weed outside is a pretty easy way to destroy your weed and make it unsmokeable.
This is because there are a lot of environmental factors that can wreck weed over the course of several days. These include:
- Excessive temperature fluctuations
- Excessive humidity or dryness
- Other pests, including police
But, the worst issue with drying cannabis outdoors isn't just because cops could roll by or rain could cause your plant to mildew. Even if you somehow manage to find a great temperature and humidity level, direct sunlight degrades THC.
At best, this will feel properly dried but will taste bad. At worst, it'll be moldy. So, if you want weak bud, do this.
If you are in a rush and don't have days to leave weed out in a room, there are other options to consider.
We've already established that the best way to dry cannabis is to use the "slow and proven" method of hanging them upside down. The fact is that most of us do not have the kind of lifestyle or living situation that allows for that time-tested drying method to happen.
Thankfully, there are faster ways to dry your bud without having to worry about waiting for a week before you can smoke. The most common ways to quick-dry herbs is to do one of the two options:
- Place the buds on a cookie sheet, and bake your buds for ten minutes at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a microwave to dry your weed, if you're willing to believe online forums. (We've never tried this, nor do we condone it.)
The issue with most quick-dry methods is that they tend to cause the weed to taste harsher—or may even burn your weed in a bad way. So, if you can, avoid it.
Now, let's talk about curing your weed.
Now that we've discussed the best way to dry cannabis, let's finish off the process with a simple curing procedure. To properly cure your herb, grab a curing jar and some moisture packets. (All glass jars can work as curing jars, by the way.)
Ideally, the moisture packets will let you keep your cannabis at 50 to 65 percent humidity. Put the weed in the jars, and place the jar in a darkened room that's around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. (Humidors and cannadors like the one above are good for this.)
Once it's in a nice curing location, leave it to cure for about four to six weeks. For the first two weeks, you should let the herbs "breathe" by leaving the lids off the jars for a couple of hours at a time.
Unlike drying, you can cure your weed for a lot longer than the basic timeframe and get good results.
The vast majority of cannabis experts will tell you that the best way to dry cannabis is to let it dry out for about a week using the hanging method, indoors, at a semi-moist location.
However, when it comes to curing, cannaseurs are split. Realistically, you don't have to cure your cannabis to enjoy weed. You can smoke it the moment it's dried.
However, cannaseurs agree that having it cured for as little as four weeks can increase flavor and potency. Some will say its best to continue curing it up to six months.
Once you're done with drying and curing your goods, enjoy it.
You now know the best way to dry cannabis—and how to cure it, if you choose to do so. It may take a while to do, but the fact is that it can be very rewarding in terms of both potency and flavor. So, give it a shot. You might find that being patient has its own rewards.