Best Conditions For Your Drying Room and How To Dry Cannabis
The process of drying weed consists of evaporating most of the water in the buds, to do this you need to maintain the temperature around 20°C and humidity ranging from 45-50%.
Even though it sounds easy enough, there is a right way and wrong way to do it and each can be the difference between chunky, incredible smelling flowers with the ultimate bag appeal, or a flat-looking flower that has a minimal aroma with a fresh chlorophyll taste.
In this article, we explain how to dry your flowers properly, the correct dry room scenario, and our top tips for drying buds to perfection.
1. Trimming Your Cannabis
When harvesting your plants, you will have to decide on whether to trim the excess foliage before or after drying them, now this isn’t a problem at all but depending on your drying room, you should wet trim rather than dry trim.
Wet trimming consists of trimming your plants before the drying process, this is the most preferred methods by several growers because the moisture in the leaves can end up affecting the humidity level in your drying room, also, you’ll be able to use the fresh trimmings to make extracts, lotions, oils or even edibles.
Dry trimming on the other hand consists of trimming your flowers after the drying process, a lot of growers prefer this way because it can get quite messy when cutting leaves from fresh plants.
But you should have in mind that it’s recommended to dry trim only if you are able to control the conditions in the drying room because the excess moisture can end up molding your buds.
2. Placing Your Buds In The Drying Room
So, after trimming (or before if you’re dry trimming) you will have to hang up the branches in your drying room, this consists of just hanging the flowers to dry and you can do it in a rack, or on a rope similar to a clothesline, but first, you need to know how you’ll harvest your plant.
There are several ways to chop your plant, you can harvest your plant and hang it whole, cut each branch individually or cut each individual bud, and depending on which one you prefer, the way you hang them will differ a bit.
Hanging the branches on a rope
If you harvested your plant branch by branch or you cut the plant whole, you will need a clothesline or a similar rope to hang them, this is usually the preferred method because the branches still have water inside them, so it will prevent your buds from speed drying.
Obviously, you will still have to control the conditions (if possible) but this could be used as a safety precaution in case you’re worried.
Pros and Cons of Hanging vs Drying racks
– Slower drying can result in mold;
– Needs a lot of space.
– Can lower quality if not controlled;
– Can be expensive.
Drying the buds on flat racks
Flat racks are vertical racks that came with several flatbeds, these racks are mainly used when drying individual buds and are a great way to save space because some of them come with up to 5 flatbeds, meaning you can dry more flowers in the same amount of space that you would when hanging the branches.
Obviously, this comes with a downside, due to the flowers not having branches, it is possible for them to dry faster that you would like to so it’s essential to have the drying conditions controlled to avoid problems.
3. The Dry Room
For those new to growing Cannabis, have a clear understanding of exactly what occurs in the drying room is essential. The aim is to slowly dry the flowers for around 15 days which happens so it’s a matter of experimenting with different temperatures and humidity levels to get to that sweet spot, which can differ depending on where you live.
Sometimes it is not possible to control the temperatures of your drying room, however, you should aim for 20°C which is the ideal temperature in most cases. It is much better to dry the buds slowly at a lower temperature to prevent the cannabinoids and terpenes from evaporating.
Tip: If you have a temperature fan controller, setting it to 20°C and humidity around 50% will allow the drying room to stay consistent.
If the goal is to reduce the moisture in the flowers down to the point it is ready for curing jars, then it is necessary to do this process slowly. Keeping humidity levels at 40-50% will encourage the flowers to air out in their own time, and once the flowers are close to dry, then they can be placed in an airtight curing jar, from where they will reduce down further.
Tip: Use Boveda packs or something similar to ensure your buds are kept at an optimal humidity while curing.
A very important part of the drying room is that you cannot let your harvest dry out too quickly. You should never have a fan blowing directly at the flowers, and the airflow in the room should be very light and fresh. If using a fan, point in the direction away from the buds and have it blowing to the floor or the ceiling.
Using fans in a warm environment is the number one cause for harsh-tasting flowers because they’ll have a similar flavor and aromas as they would have when speed dried.
Tip: It is better to have very low airflow, however a gentle circulation of air in the dry room is ideal, as well as maintaining your plants in complete darkness.
Light or Dark?
The drying room should be a cool and dark place, that should not have any light entering or hitting the buds. As plants are left to die on the vine and hang up in the dry room, keeping them in darkness will guarantee the chlorophyll aroma and taste are totally removed, leaving behind terpene-rich, aromatic flowers.
Tip: Once the harvested plants are inside the drying room, there is no need to return until the two-week mark, so keeping the room in total darkness is not an issue.
3. How Long Should Buds Take To Dry?
When harvesting the flowers off a Cannabis plant, their buds should be left in a dry room that meets the optimum conditions. It is during this time that the moisture levels are reduced from 80% down to 25-30% depending on curing criteria.
Buds should be left to dry for a minimum of 15 days until they’re relatively hard to the touch and the twigs and branches bend but do not crack completely.
What To Remember
- Freshly harvested plants should take a full 2 weeks to be fully dried.
- Smaller-sized buds or wet trimmed buds may be ready in 10 days.
- The dry room will slowly reduce the moisture content of the flowers.
- This is where the chlorophyll will die off and the fresh smell will go.
4. Speed Drying
We have all probably been guilty of this at some point, and there is nothing worse than speed drying a crop. If intentional or not, the end result always lacks a full aroma and flavor. Speed drying basically means the crop has been rushed and dried in 3-5 days maximum due to high temperatures and excessive airflow directly on the flowers.
When a flower is dried so quickly, it will not have a chance to eliminate the chlorophyll that was present only a week prior. The color of the buds will also have a darker shade of green than normal and the smaller leaves wrapped around will be bone dry and when grinding the flowers, the majority will become dusty.
5. Smell Proof The Dry Room
Drying your freshly harvested Cannabis plants in a smell-proof environment should be a grower’s main concern for a number of reasons, the main one being to prevent neighbors from catching a whiff of your high grade.
This will allow you to place the buds inside your grow tent for the next 2 weeks without worrying due to the carbon filter and extraction unit.
Tip: Avoid placing your flowers inside a cardboard box or leaving them hanging on an old cupboard, and treat them with extreme delicacy.
6. What To Consider When Drying Cannabis Buds
1. Be patient and wait until the buds are ready. It can be extremely tempting to keep on taking flowers as the flowers are drying, and sometimes the only choice for some growers have. However, patience will reward you with the best tasting, smelling, and looking flower possible.
2. The way to test if your flowers are dry enough to be cured, is to take a bud and snap the smaller twigs. If the twig feels hard and snaps easily then you are good to go. Remember that the bigger branches should not snap, they should bend easily but the fibers should not rip completely, this is when you should cure your flowers.
3. For the sake of smell proofing your drying room, use a grow tent that is equipped with a carbon filter. Grow tents are cheap and converting it into a permanent drying room is well worth the investment in the long run.
4. The chlorophyll and fresh smell will disappear once the flowers have been properly dried. If the buds contain a fresh or hay aroma then the buds are not dry yet or the flower has been dried too quickly.
5. If you are going to use an oscillating fan, turn the fan away from the flowers so the air is blowing around the room, and off the floor. The key is to have a soft, freeze cool breeze circulating the room, as opposed to warm air blowing around at a fast rate.
6. Flowers that were infected with mold should not be dried and are not suitable for consumption. Smoking contaminated flowers or extracts can cause serious health issues.
7. Most Common Mistakes When Drying Cannabis
Make sure no light reaches your buds
A strong light can end up evaporating the terpenes and cannabinoids, and your flowers will end up tasting and smelling like hay so make sure your drying room is light-proof.
What to do if your buds are too dry?
If you’ve let your flowers dry for too long or dried them too fast, it’s possible some of the terpenes and cannabinoids evaporate and if this happens, there’s no way to get them back.
If you want to moisten your buds before curing them, you can spray a bit of water, this will allow the flowers to absorb the moisture and go back to normal.
Leave space between the hanging branches, especially in high humidity
If you’re not able to control the drying conditions, make sure you leave space between the branches, especially if you didn’t trim your flowers before hanging them, this will prevent your buds from getting mold by allowing air to flow in between them.
8. What To Do Right After The Buds Are Dry?
Once the 15 days have passed (if everything goes as it should), you should quickly transfer all of the buds to an airtight glass jar because you don’t want your flowers to continue drying.
When you’re 100% you have dried the flowers properly, transfer them to a glass jar with a boveda pack if possible and let the curing process begin.
9. In Conclusion
If you follow the right steps and have plenty of patience it will only take 2 weeks to have cup-winning flowers. There are many ways during this time things can go wrong, so take the extra steps necessary to turn the crop you have spent the last 10 weeks growing into the finest cured flowers around.
It’s not worth ruining your harvest in the very end so make sure you do everything as you should, if you have tips or tricks to help fellow growers dry their flowers properly, please leave a comment in the comment section below!How to dry your freshly harvested Cannabis plants correctly, the optimum drying room conditions, tips, and things to consider. ]]>