You’re almost there! If everything went well, your marijuana will have ripened nicely and you plants are ready to be dried. Drying is the most important process to make sure your marijuana gets a nice flavor and a powerful effect. Your plants are however very vulnerable to fungi and diseases during the drying process, because the defense mechanism of the plant is no longer working once it’s been cut. It is therefore important to have the right environmental factors. We go through various tactics such as drying upside down, and how long to let them hang.
Drying Cannabis Methods
In this course, I’ll teach you what exactly happens during the drying process and I’ll explain step by step how you should dry your marijuana to get optimal results from your harvest; some beautifully smelling marijuana with a distinctive taste and the best high ever…
- Evaporating the moisture to make it smokable
- Converting chlorophyll into glucose
- Activating the THC
Drying your marijuana has several functions. First, you have to evaporate the moisture out of the plant, so it can be easily smoked. A lot of chlorophyll remains inside the plant, which tastes very bitter. During the drying process, the chlorophyll is converted into glucose. Also, the active elements haven’t been converted into THC yet. THC is already present in the plant, but it takes a number of days for it to become active.
If you don’t dry properly, your marijuana will be very bitter because of the chlorophyll, it will be less powerful, because the THC isn’t active yet, and it will quickly spoil, because it’s possibly still too moist. If you stick to a number of rules, nothing has to go wrong during the drying process and you can almost start enjoying your marijuana.
How to dry cannabis plants
Always dry your plants in the dark, to make sure the photosynthesis stops. The sap flow will still continue if you dry it upside down. By putting the plants upside down in the dark, it can no longer produce energy through photosynthesis or absorb water through its roots. The plant will focus all its energy on its buds in a last attempt to reproduce.
Step by Step to Dry Your Plant
How to dry marijuana
- Hang your plants fully upside down
- Hang them in a dark room. Temperature 64 F, humidity 40%
- Make sure
there’sair extraction and ventilation present
- Dry them in 10 to 14 days
- Ready when buds are sticky and twigs snap
By hanging your plants upside down, the sap flow will continue and the plant will put its last energy into its buds. The plant ‘knows’ it’s damaged and will optimally develop the buds in a last attempt to reproduce.
You can already remove some leaves to make trimming easier and to decrease the chance of fungi. I never do this, because these leaves also contain nutrients the plant will use to ripen nicely. In addition, they make sure that the buds dry slowly and protect them a bit, because these leaves will curl around the bud after a couple days of drying. If you hang your plants not too close to each other and you let them dry in a good climate, they won’t be affected by fungi.
Always dry your plants in a dark area, preferably the room you grew them in, because you can influence the climate of this room a bit. THC is broken down by light and heat and then decays into oxidation products, such as CBC and CBN. This leads to a very dull high, instead of a nice high.
The temperature has to be around 64 degrees, preferably no colder than 59 and no warmer than 68. If it’s too cold, the drying process will be too slow, and there will be a bigger chance of fungi. If it’s too warm, the marijuana will dry too quickly, so not all of the chlorophyll will be broken down.
There’s a chance your buds become moldy if your humidity is very high. If your humidity is too low, the plant can dry out too quickly. Keep the humidity around 45 percent. You could increase the air extraction if the humidity gets too high, or lower it if it gets too low.
Another advantage of drying your plants in your grow room is that it has an air extractor with a carbon filter. The scent will become even stronger when you start drying your marijuana. If you just cut your plants, it possibly smells a bit like freshly mowed grass, but the smell of marijuana will become stronger and stronger during the drying process. You can turn the extractor up or down to influence the temperature and humidity.
A bit of ventilation in the room is also nice. This prevents fungi and enables you to create an equal climate for the entire room. Make sure your fan doesn’t directly blow on the buds, because this causes them to dry out too quickly, and they’ll become too dry on the outside, while still being wet on the inside.
It’s best to let your plants hang for 10 to 14 days to let the buds dry well. If you have a good climate in your drying room, it’ll take this long for them to dry. Don’t try to rush this, because it will negatively affect taste and quality.
During drying, starch is converted into sugars, and chlorophyll is broken down. If you dry it too quickly, the plant doesn’t have enough time to break down all of the chlorophyll, giving your marijuana a sharp and bitter taste. Your marijuana will also start to smell better and better because of the breakdown of chlorophyll.
When is it done?
Your marijuana should be dry after two weeks. If your buds are nice and sticky and the twig in the bud snaps and doesn’t bend when you’re trying to break it, it’s properly dry. If the twigs don’t snap yet, your marijuana isn’t dry enough and you run a risk of fungi if you pack it airtight.
Possible causes are a temperature that’s too low, a humidity that’s too high or the plants were hanging too close to each other. Therefore you should always have a thermometer and hygrometer in your drying room and make sure your plants have enough space.
Check your plants every other day to see if there’s any fungi present, but try to touch them as little as possible. The dryer a plant, the easier the resin can fall off. Also regularly check your temperature and humidity to make sure you always have a good climate. You can start enjoying your own grown marijuana within two weeks from now…
How much weight is left after drying
When I was still growing for coffee shops in Amsterdam, and quantity was very important, I could never wait for the moment I could weigh my marijuana. I took it so far that I started weighing wet plants in order to come up with a formula to calculate the eventual dry weight. Always take a deviation of 10% into consideration, but it basically comes down to this:
1 completely cut Sativa plant yields about 11 percent of dry weed
1 completely cut Indica plant yields about 13 percent of dry weed
Let’s say you’re weighing 10 wet Indica plants and they weigh 140 ounces, you’ll end up with about 18 ounces of dry marijuana. The better you dry, the bigger your yield.
Drying in 5 days
Although it doesn’t benefit the quality of your marijuana, there can be situations where you want to dry it a bit faster. Maybe your landlord is painting the house next week and you have no other location for your marijuana…
I’ve had to dry my marijuana faster a couple of times as well, and you can notice the difference in smoking pleasure very well. But if you have to make a choice between no weed and lower quality weed, this choice is easily made. A good way to get nice and high off this sharp tasting weed is to smoke it through a vaporizer. This way, only the THC is burnt and not the chlorophyll.
If you want to dry within 5 days, you should do the following;
Step by Step How to Dry Marijuana in 5 Days
- Remove large leaves
- Hang the plants upside down in a dark room
- Make sure the plants don’t touch each other
- Place electric heater with thermostat and set the temperature to 70 degrees F
- Place a fan behind the electric heater and aim it just below the buds
- Turn up the air extractor a bit to lower the humidity to 40%
In this way, you’re right at the limits regarding temperature, humidity and ventilation. 50% of the chlorophyll is broken down during the first few days, and also most of the THC will be active after 5 days. Even though your weed will have a more bitter and sharp taste, you’ll still end up with a nice product in a very short time.
Drying a weed plant in an hour
If the police are on their way and you only have an hour to dry your weed, you could dry the marijuana in an oven. You’ll end up with the lowest quality marijuana, but at least it’ll be dry and ready for packaging.
Since the boiling and evaporation point of most cannabinoids is between 248 and 437 degrees, we’ll have to stay under this temperature. Most ovens aren’t too precise with their temperature indication, so set it to 230 degrees, just to be sure.
Spread out the marijuana, without twigs and leaves, on a baking tray and place it in the middle of the oven. 17.5 ounces take about an hour to dry. It’ll be quicker if you turn up the oven, but a lot of cannabinoids will evaporate.