Every vegetable requires a unique curing method to extend its longevity. The goal is to safeguard the product while retaining its rich flavors and potent nutrients. The same is in the case of cannabis plants for preserving cannabinoids. After harvesting hemp or marijuana plants, buds require a proper dry and cure.
The techniques help retain terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytocannabinoids. They accentuate flavors while reducing chlorophyll and eliminating its vegetal taste. If you want to extend the shelf life of cannabis, the drying should neither be too quick nor too long. If it is rapid, the outer part of the bud may appear dry, but the inside portion will have moisture. On the contrary, buds could develop mold if dried for a prolonged time.
After trimming and drying, you should place these buds in sealed containers for curing. It prevents moisture loss, conserves aromas, and allows buds to develop their flavor entirely. Continue reading for more information on how to dry cannabis quickly. This post is a comprehensive guide to drying and curing cannabis for the best outcomes.
Methods To Dry Fresh Cannabis Materials
Cannabis production involves a series of critical phases, from germination to trimming and curing. After harvest, enzymes and aerobic bacteria break down surplus sugars and starches, causing the plant to deteriorate. Cannabis drying and curing processes force the plant to utilize those sugars, starches, and nutrients before they ruin. The drying process removes moisture from the cannabis material, preventing the growth of mold and mildew. But how should you dry cannabis? Some people bake buds in the oven, but this desperate measure is incorrect.
It will eventually cause waste of weed because the oven temperatures are too high for them. It is intolerable warm, even in the lowest setting. And, though the buds may seem to dry out in minutes, you will also have cooked off potent botanical substances, including cannabinoids. They may taste like burnt plant material and fail to provide the desired effects. Instead of oven baking, go for the following quick-dry methods.
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Hanging Cannabis Buds Upside Down
Individual residences commonly have boiler rooms. The water boiler inside maintains a comfortable room temperature and low relative humidity. It provides an ideal place for quick-drying cannabis. You can place small-sized buds in brown bags and hang the larger buds upside down using strings. Set your string or wire off the ground and tie the branches or whole plants with clothespins.
This method keeps the bud healthy because the juices inside of them will not drain out after clipping the branch. Bend a branch or stem to check if the buds are dry after two days. If they snap, it signifies that the buds are completely dry. But if they don’t, leave them alone and see them the next day. Generally, smaller buds dry in 3-4 days, while heavier hanging colas take 6-7 days.
Sun-dried Traditional Method
Outdoor marijuana growers have dried marijuana on rocks in direct sunshine for thousands of years. It’s not the most efficient method to dry cannabis because heat and sunlight can deteriorate the quality. But if you need to dry buds quickly and it’s hot and sunny outside, placing a handful of popcorn buds in a brown bag and sun-drying them is a good option.
To prevent a gust of wind from spoiling your buds, use a rock to weigh down the weed bag in direct sunlight. After waiting for a day or two of warm, dry, sunny weather, you will have some crispy buds ready to smoke. One drawback of this traditional method is that it may alter the flavor and potency of cannabis.
Using Brown Paper Bags
Using brown paper bags is another perfect option for drying buds. These bags are generally available in bakeries or general stores. If buds are big, trim them and break them down into smaller nuggets. When you place freshly manicured popcorn buds in a paper bag, you can expect them to dry within 4-7 days. However, the duration depends on quantity and drying space.
Cold and damp places will increase the drying time. It is best to monitor temperature and humidity levels for quick and efficient results. Remember not to open the bags now and then. Just give the bag a shake and check once in a while to avoid air exposure. How much you keep in this bag is considerable. It will take a few more days to dry if you place a whole plant in it.
Set Up A Cannabis Drying Room
The best approach to dry cannabis is to set up a good drying room. For this purpose, look for a desirable space in your house or property. The first step is to clean up any potential pollutants in the room. You can then add drying racks or expand on existing bars. Avoid using hazardous cleaning products and disinfectants in the drying area. Otherwise, they could affect the results you get from drying by changing the taste and incorporating chemicals that are not healthy for you. Other critical elements of a drying room include:
The optimal temperature (60-70 °F) is significant because too much heat could dry the cannabis buds inadequately. And if it’s too cold, the buds may take too long to dry cannabis, increasing the chance of mold growth. Always keep an eye on the temperature to ensure that the cannabis dries evenly and progressively over time. To maintain the temperature, you can install digital thermometers wisely in the room.
Keeping track of the humidity levels in your drying room is necessary. It should be between 55 and 65%, and you can use a hygrometer to monitor these values. It will help keep mildew and other mold pollutants out of your cannabis.
Keep your drying space dark for the best results because UV rays from the sunshine can destroy cannabis. Keep your buds in paper bags if you don’t have a completely dark room. You can open the door to check on the buds for a while, but note that prolonged light exposure can hasten to dry.
When drying cannabis, your space should have a stable temperature and humidity. Wet basements or a muggy room are not ideal. The chamber should maintain the room temperature and not be overly humid. You can use the following equipment to maintain the required measures:
- AC unit (optional)
- Dehumidifier (optional)
- Drying rack for hanging buds
Curing Cannabis Material
It’s time to cure your cannabis once the drying process is over and the initial amount of moisture is out. You can keep finished buds in containers, typically sealed glass jars. It helps to prevent moisture loss and preserve flavors and smells. Generally, the curing process takes two weeks to a month, provided that the humidity and temperatures are stable.
The curing phase is the most overlooked aspect of weed cultivation. Moisture continues to draw from the core of the bud towards the exteriors during curing. It affects the aroma, taste, and quality of the cannabis material. At temperatures as low as 50°F, many terpenes, which give cannabis its distinctive flavor and aroma, can break down and evaporate. A slow cure at minimal temperatures will maintain terpenes better than a rapid, hot dry.
Eventually, an ideal cure enables you to preserve weed for extended periods without fear of mold or cannabinoid, or terpene breakdown. You can store well-cured flowers in an airtight container without worrying about loss of potency for up to two years. Like a whiskey barrel or quality wine, properly dried and cured cannabis is best when kept in a cool, dark place. Mildew and other molds thrive on cannabis and organic matter at temperatures of 77-86°F.
Excessive heat can dry up cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that have been developing for months. When these essential oils and plant materials become too dry, they can produce scorching, unpleasant smoke. Here are some storage tips for retaining the quality of cannabis:
- Store cannabis in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight.
- Keep in neutral packaging, such as a glass mason jar
- Use hygrometers to monitor and control humidity levels.
- Vacuum seal jars and containers to reduce oxygen exposure.
- Preserve individual flavor profiles and avoid mixing strains
- Label the stored cannabis material with a date.
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Conclusion On Dry Cannabis
Reliable sources show that the global cannabis market will expand rapidly over the next decade. In 2020, consumers spent an estimated $415 billion on cannabis, with annual spending expected to rise to $496 billion by 2025. Most cannabis users seek the best quality. The dry cannabis process is integral in the successful transition of hemp plants from harvest to sale.
Cannabis growers use many methods, including sun-drying, hanging buds, and storing material in brown bags. The goal is to dry harvested cannabis immediately before it begins to degrade. For efficient results, you can keep them in a well-set drying room. In such rooms, the products lie in a dark space with air circulation, at temperatures ranging from 60 to 70°F and humidity levels between 45-55%. It will help retain its color, consistency, aroma, flavor, and potency.