Drying Cannabis Seeds

How to dry marijuana, what is the difference between the drying and curing process, how does it affect our buds. Whether you're an experienced grower or a beginner, explore how to dry and cure marijuana for the best taste, fragrance, and potency with Leafly's experts.

How to dry and cure marijuana

How to dry marijuana, what is the difference between the drying and curing process, how does it affect our buds to perform these processes incorrectly. We are in a sea of doubts, but only for the moment.

We immediately start to answer all these questions, but without having answered any of them, we can already draw the first conclusion: The cultivation process does not end once we have harvested, after this moment there is still a lot at stake.

For all this, we explain you how to dry a cannabis plant and what should be its curing process.

To be able to answer the first question, the first thing we must be clear about is the differences between drying and curing marijuana. What is the distinction?

Differences between drying and curing marijuana

Since we collect the crop, until the buds are ready, we basically have to do two things: evaporate the water from these buds and remove a considerable percentage of chlorophyll.

Surely you have already realized this. If we have two objectives and we are talking about two different processes. right. In drying we are going to remove moisture from the pot bud, while the curing process primarily serves to cause it to lose chlorophyll.

What happens if we don’t dry and cure our buds or we do it incorrectly? Surely you have ever had a sensation that mixes unpleasantness with a flavor that is practically tasteless. If this has happened to you and you have wondered about the cause. you have just discovered it.

Tips for drying marijuana correctly

How to dry marijuana plants? Once it is already cut and you have done the manicuring process, you just have to hang it (facing the ground) on any thread such as a clothesline. Forget about closed spaces, they have to be aerated homogeneously, the more natural, the better. But what are the main keys?

Humidity, temperature and light. These are the three definitive factors in the drying of a marijuana plant.

We explain how to control them:

The relative humidity of the room where the plant is being dried should be between 55% and 60%. This is the ideal percentage, although if you go out (but minimally) of this spectrum, it can also work.

The ideal temperature for this process is around 18 degrees. As we have just explained in the previous case, this can change, but anything higher than 24 degrees or less than 15 degrees. It can spoil all the previous work.

– Light must be avoided at all costs. Both in this moment in which we are drying the marijuana and in the later curing the plants have to be in the dark.

– If you let it dry excessively, there is no turning back: We have started the post saying that we dry the marijuana so that it loses the humidity. Yes, but not all of it. When the curing is finished, the humidity has to reach at least 25%, therefore, when we are drying the bud we should leave it approximately a percentage of humidity of 30%, because in the later curation the bud is also going to lose some water.

Just by holding the buds you will know if they have dried too much. You will notice that they are now smaller (up to here everything is normal, the water takes up space). But if you notice that they are cracking, you have overdried it. Yes, fatal mistake, but you can still fix it, at least a little bit.

How? Very simple, give them moisture. For example, with boxes that include a controller to correct excess dryness. Let’s not fool ourselves, the result will never be as good as getting it right the first time. But at least we will get out of trouble.

Surely your question now is: when do I know when the buds are dry enough? Let’s find out.

How long does marijuana take to dry?

No hurry, this is more or less the summary of what you are about to read. First of all, let’s rule out a time of less than ten days. Also, size, in this case, matters. Bigger buds will need more days. But what is the definitive test that tells me that the marijuana has already dried?

If when you grab the stem you are able to bend it without any problems and you see that it makes the slightest crackle, the time has come. Yes, it is as simple as that.

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How to cure marijuana buds

We already know that this is the point where we need to extract the chlorophyll from the buds, but there is another key that we haven’t discussed yet that also depends on this process.

Both terpenes and cannabinoids have to mature during the curing process. What does this mean? Well, it means that part of the THC that we currently have in an acid state becomes a purely psychoactive component during the practice that we are going to explain to you right now:

First of all, remember that we have to remain in the dark. Yes, we already said it at the beginning, but just in case. You must keep the buds in jars of a considerable size and with a fairly wide opening. For example, the typical glass jars that we use for preserves.

But if you go for the perfection, try curing your crop in a wooden box. Why this material? Very easy: it absorbs humidity perfectly and creates an ideal climate. Surely, if we talk about flavor, plastic concentrates it better. But to achieve this goal we will store the marijuana in containers of this material once we have finished with this process. All in good time!

In the curing process patience is still the key: most say that this stage takes a month, but if we extend the period up to two months, from Delicious Seeds we assure you that you will notice it.

You have to fill the jar to cover a little more than ¾ parts, close it tightly and open it momentarily as the days go by. During the first week we will open it once or even twice a day, in the second week we will repeat the process three times (in a staggered way), do not open it three times in the same day! And from here on, only once a week.

It is not just a matter of ventilating them, but also of keeping an eye on them. If you see any mildew, remove the bud quickly so that the humidity does not spread.

The main mistake: Using tricks to finish sooner

We don’t really want to hear about the tricks to speed up the processes we just explained, mostly because these have become the most common mistakes. During the drying process, focus on looking for the best place, once you have it, forget about gadgets to remove moisture faster. Neither ventilators, nor dehumidifiers.

In the same way, do not lock the buds before time. The drying of the marijuana must be done in the open air. We can continue with infinite advice, but until we start with the process, we don’t know anything 100%.

And if you have any other questions or need any advice, you know that from Delicious Seeds we are at your disposal.

The ultimate guide to drying and curing cannabis for the best results

After cutting down marijuana plants at harvest, a proper dry and cure are crucial for buds. These processes help preserve and accentuate flavors by retaining terpenes and cannabinoids, while diminishing chlorophyll and getting rid of the vegetal taste of the plant.

The drying process is the initial drying of buds, which usually happens in the open air—freshly harvested plants can lose up to 75% of their weight to moisture loss, as well as sticks, stems, branches, and leaves that get trimmed off.

When dry trimming, drying happens first and then buds are trimmed; in wet trimming, vice versa.

A dry shouldn’t be too quick or too long: Too quick and the outside of buds will appear dry but the insides won’t be; too long and buds could develop mold.

When buds are trimmed and dried, they are placed in airtight containers for curing. This stops the loss of moisture, preserving flavors and aromas and allowing buds to take on their full flavor.

How long does it take to dry cannabis?

Drying takes about 2-7 days. The process is usually shorter when wet trimming because most of the plant material is trimmed away first and there is less plant to dry.

When dry trimming cannabis, you can hang harvested plants upside down on a line or hanger, either whole plants or branches—this prevents buds from getting flattened or misshapen as they dry.

When wet trimming, you’ll place trimmed buds on a drying rack.

Whether wet or dry trimming, check drying buds or branches after two days by bending a branch or stem—if the stem snaps, that means buds are fully dry. If they don’t snap, leave them and check the next day.

How to set up a cannabis drying room

What makes for a good drying room?

A good drying room will need to be dark with temperatures between 60-70°F and humidity between 55-65%. A cheap hygrometer will help you monitor these numbers.

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Depending on your house or property, you may be limited in what you can use for a drying room. Know that it can be hard to control temperature and humidity in big rooms. Also, know that the room will smell like weed. Be sure the space you choose doesn’t have huge fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

Add a small fan to circulate air, and you may need to add a dehumidifier or AC as well. If it’s taking too long to dry buds in your space, you may need to adjust the temperature or humidity to help the drying process.

How dark should a drying room be?

UV rays from sunlight can degrade cannabis, so for optimal drying, keep your space dark. If you don’t have a light-tight space, cover your buds.

It’s OK to open the door and check in on the buds, but prolonged light exposure can quicken drying.

Cannabis drying room equipment

  • Drying rack or line to hang buds for drying
  • Hygrometer to measure temperature and humidity
  • Fan
  • AC unit (optional)
  • Dehumidifier (optional)

How to hang dry buds

Hang drying buds is less labor intensive but takes up more space. It involves cutting off big branches, or even hanging whole plants upside down. This saves time because you don’t have to “buck,” or remove individual buds off of branches, but as there is more plant hanging, drying this way will take up a lot more space.

Another downside to hang drying is that buds may take longer to dry as there is more plant matter, i.e., branches, stems, stalks, and fan leaves.

How to dry buds without hanging on a line

When trimming wet, you’ll need a flat rack—you’ll have lots of trimmed individual buds, so you can’t hang them. Flat racks are circular with layers of mesh, and are great for airflow.

Check wet-trimmed buds drying in the flat rack after 2-3 days by giving them a little squish. If they’re still too wet, leave them and check again the next day.

How to cure marijuana

Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .

When buds are done drying and have been trimmed, the initial amount of moisture is out and it’s time to cure your weed.

For curing, you’ll be storing finished buds in containers—typically airtight glass jars—to stop the loss of moisture, and to preserve flavors and aromas. Curing usually takes two weeks to a month, and humidity inside curing containers needs to be between 55-65%.

Why curing cannabis is important

The curing process is possibly the most overlooked aspect of growing weed. During curing, moisture continues to draw from the center of the bud toward the outside.

Curing affects the flavor and quality of the smoke. Many terpenes, which give cannabis its unique smell and flavor, are quite sensitive and can degrade and evaporate at temperatures as low as 50°F. A slow cure at low temperatures will preserve terpenes better than a quick, hot dry.

A proper cure also allows you to store weed for long periods without worrying about mold, or cannabinoid or terpene degradation. Well-cured flower can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to two years without significant loss of potency.

What does curing do to weed?

Curing helps finish off buds, improving their taste and smell. During curing chlorophyll continues to break down, getting rid of a vegetal taste—without curing, weed would taste like a freshly cut lawn. This loss of chlorophyll makes buds less harsh and smoother to smoke.

Equipment and tools needed to cure cannabis

When curing cannabis, it should be done in a room or space that has a stable temperature and humidity—dank, wet basements or hot, muggy attics aren’t ideal. The space should maintain room temperature and not be too humid.

Light can also degrade terpenes, so it’s ideal to be able to turn off the lights in the space or be able to cover jars so light doesn’t leak in.

To cure buds, you will need:

  • Airtight jars
  • Hygrometer (for each jar) to measure temperature and humidity

Curing cannabis buds

Once buds are dry, it’s time to cure them.

Place the trimmed buds into some type of airtight container. Most people use wide-mouth quart or half-gallon glass mason jars, but you can also use ceramic, metal, or wood vessels.

Plastic bags aren’t good for curing as they are not impervious to oxygen. Also, you don’t want your weed tasting like plastic.

Pack buds loosely in containers without compacting or crushing them. Seal containers and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Within a day or two you’ll notice buds get a little softer as moisture from the middle of the buds rehydrates the outer parts. If this doesn’t happen, you have likely over-dried your cannabis.

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Humidity inside sealed jars should be 55-65%. If you’re unsure, you can also buy a digital hygrometer—which measures moisture—available for $20 or so at any hardware store.

If buds are too dry, you can add a humidity pack, such as a Boveda pack, to rehydrate buds.

If buds are too wet, leave the lid off for half a day or a full day before resealing them. Be sure to check humidity levels every day and leave the lid off for a period of time if they still are too wet.

Burp your buds

During the first week of curing, regardless of humidity level, open the containers once or twice a day for a couple minutes—this is called burping. This releases moisture and replenishes oxygen inside the container.

If you notice an odor of ammonia when opening a container, it means the buds are not dry enough and anaerobic bacteria are consuming them, which will lead to moldy, rotten cannabis. Leave the lid off for a day and reseal tomorrow.

After the first week, burp containers only once every few days.

How long does it take to cure cannabis?

After two to four weeks in containers, your cannabis should be cured enough to give you a flavorful, aromatic, and quality experience. Some people prefer to cure for four to eight weeks, and some strains even benefit from six months or more of curing.

How to store your harvested cannabis buds

After curing cannabis, you can store buds for up to two years without much loss of potency. Like fine wine or a whiskey barrel, properly dried and cured cannabis is best when kept in a cool, dark place—mildew and other molds on cannabis and organic matter thrive in temperatures between 77-86°F.

Excessive heat can dry out cannabinoids and terpenes that have taken months to develop. When these essential oils get too dry along with plant material, it can result in a hot, harsh smoke.

Here are some tips for storing buds:

  • Store out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place
  • Store in neutral containers, like glass mason jars
  • Use hygrometers or products like a Boveda pack to monitor and control humidity levels
  • Vacuum seal jars and containers to minimize oxygen exposure
  • Separate strains to maintain individual flavor profiles, and label with a date—it sucks to mix up strains

Temperature

Low temperatures slow decarboxylation, the process in which THCA converts into the intoxicating THC. THC eventually degrades into CBN, a cannabinoid with different effects and properties. Additionally, warm air holds more moisture than cold air.

Humidity

Humidity control is paramount to keeping mildew and other mold contaminants out of your cannabis. Keep cannabis between 55-65% relative humidity when stored to maintain and enhance color, consistency, aroma, and flavor.

Light

Harmful UV rays break down many organic and synthetic materials, and UV rays will degrade cannabis over time. Storing cannabis out of direct light will also help control temperature.

Drying & curing FAQ

How do you dry and cure buds fast?

We recommend taking your time with drying and curing. A slow dry and cure will greatly improve the flavor and aroma of your bud and reduce harshness.

Equipment such as fans, ACs, and dehumidifiers can help control temperature and humidity in a drying space, ensuring a smooth and consistent dry and cure.

What humidity should buds be dried to before curing?

Keep humidity between 55-65%, and temperatures between 60-70°F

Should buds be completely dry before curing?

Buds should not be completely dry before curing; if they’re too dry, they will have a harsh smoke. Drying should remove a large amount of moisture, and a little more moisture will be pulled out during curing.

How do you dry sticky buds?

The same as any buds—on a drying rack or by hang drying. Stickiness on buds refers to the amount of trichomes they have, not moisture.

What does it mean when you burp weed?

When curing buds, the jar needs to be opened up every few days or so to release moisture and replenish oxygen inside the jar—this is called “burping.”

Is burping weed important?

Yes; moisture needs to be released and fresh air allowed back in every few days.

Will my weed taste better after curing?

Yes; curing “finishes off” weed, pulling out the last bit of moisture and breaking down chlorophyll. This produces a smoother smoke and improves taste, flavor, and aroma in the weed.

Should I dry cannabis with a fan?

Fans can help regulate temperature and humidity in a drying room—reducing temps if it’s too hot and increasing airflow. Humidity should be 55-65% and temperatures 60-70°F; if your drying room is at these, you likely don’t need a fan, only if your dry space goes above these ranges.