How long does it take to dry weed? (+curing techniques)

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How long does it take to dry weed? (+curing techniques)

Key takeaways:

  1. Most times, weed will be dry enough to smoke within 5-7 days.
  2. Although, cannabis that is dried for 10-14 days will taste better and be less harsh to smoke.
  3. The strain, trimming method, humidity, temperature, and dry room airflow all affect how long it takes for weed to dry.
  4. For storage purposes, dry cannabis should be cured.

The drying process is arguably the most important step (aside from the planting process) to produce high-quality, great-tasting, smooth-smoking cannabis.

I know that sounds like a lot of pressure, but don’t worry, I will walk you through the entire process, step by step, so you can rest assured that your final product is everything you hoped it would be.

jump ahead

    How long does weed take to dry

    Most weed will be dry enough to smoke within 5-7 days.

    However, I would recommend waiting at least 10-14 days to allow the weed to dry and cure, which allows for the best taste and it will be less harsh on your throat and lungs. The key is to not let your weed get too dry, as this will make it harsh to smoke and will decrease the overall potency. Conversely, you don’t want your weed to be too moist, as this can lead to mold or mildew growth.

    The length of time it takes for your weed to dry will depend on a few things, such as the size and density of the bud, the humidity and temperature of your drying environment, how much product you are drying at once, and how many fan leaves are still attached to the buds.

    So, how do you know when your weed is dry enough to smoke?

    There are a few things you can look for, such as:

    • The cannabis flower is dry and snaps clean
    • The stem is dry and brittle
    • The color of the bud and sugar leaves is a little duller than it appeared before the harvest
    • The aroma is fainter than it was before the harvest
    • When you squeeze a bud, it shouldn’t feel wet or moist

    If you are unsure if your weed is dry enough, err on the side of caution and give it a few more days to dry. Better too dry than too wet.

    The importance of drying weed

    The drying process is one of the most important steps in preserving your weed. If cannabis is not dried correctly, it will not last as long and will not be as potent. Improperly dried weed will also be more susceptible to mold and mildew.

    The ideal relative humidity level for drying weed is between 50-60%. If the humidity is too high, the weed will take longer to dry and be more susceptible to mold. If the humidity is too low, the weed will dry too quickly and lose some of its potency.

    The ideal temperature for drying weed is between 70-80° Fahrenheit or 21-27° Celsius. If the temperature is too high, like humidity, the weed will dry too quickly and lose some of its potency. If the temperature is too low, the weed will take longer to dry and be more susceptible to mold.

    When to harvest cannabis

    The best time to harvest your weed is when the majority of the trichomes are milky white with a few amber, gold-like ones mixed in. If you harvest too early, the weed will not be as potent. If you harvest too late, the weed will be more likely to make you feel couch-locked and tired.

    up close picture of flowering stage of cannabis plant with pistils and trichomes

    To check the trichomes, you will need a magnifying glass. I recommend getting a jeweler’s loupe or a botanist’s hand lens.

    At the end of the flowering stage, examine your bud to see if it is ripe and ready for harvest. Here are some indicators to help you identify that it’s harvest time:

    • 50-70 percent of the pistils (hairs) have changed to a red, orange, or brownish color
    • Plants have significantly reduced or completely stopped producing crystals and resin
    • The fan leaves and lower leaves are starting to turn yellow and drop off
    • The buds are dense and firm to the touch
    • The aroma of the buds has reached a delicious-smelling peak
    • There has been no increase in bud mass over the past few days

    The different factors that affect drying time

    Several different factors can affect the drying time of your weed. These include the:

    • Type of strain
    • Quality of the trim
    • Humidity
    • Temperature
    • Airflow

    Type of strain

    The type of cannabis plant you are drying will have the biggest impact on drying time. Indica strains typically take longer to dry than Sativa strains.

    Quality of the trim

    If you have a lot of fan leaves and large sugar leaves left in your cannabis flower, it will take longer to dry than well-trimmed buds. Cannabis can be manicured using either dry trimming or wet trimming, so there really isn’t a wrong or right answer here. It will just take longer to dry if a grower opts for dry trimming.

    Humidity

    The humidity of your drying environment will also affect drying time. If the humidity is too high, the weed will take longer to dry. If the humidity is too low, the weed will dry too quickly.

    Temperature

    The temperature of your drying environment will also affect drying time. If the temperature is too high, the weed will dry too quickly. The weed will take longer to dry if the temperature is too low.

    Airflow

    The airflow in your drying environment will also affect drying time. If the airflow is too high, the weed will dry too quickly. If the airflow is too low, the weed will take longer to dry. Read about the best inline fans for grow tents to learn more about ventilating your grow area.

    How to dry weed properly

    The best way to dry weed is to hang it upside down in a dark, dry, and well-ventilated room. You can use a clothesline, hanger, or a specialized drying rack to hang your weed. Also, keep in mind:

    • The area you are drying your weed in has good airflow. A fan will help speed up the drying process.
    • The drying room you’re using to dry weed in is dark. Light will cause the weed to dry too quickly and lose some of its potency.
    • The dark room you are drying your weed in is not too humid.

    Also, check on your weed regularly to make sure it is drying properly. Depending on the factors mentioned above, your weed should be dry enough to smoke within 5-14 days.

    A word of caution:

    Do not try to hasten the drying process by using a dehydrator, oven, or microwave, as this will degrade the THC and reduce the potency of your weed.

    Once your buds are dry, you can store them in a glass container like a mason jar or another airtight container.

    The curing process

    Curing weed is the process of allowing the weed to dry slowly over some time. This allows the weed to “cure”, which results in a better-tasting, smoother smoking product. The curing process also allows the weed to “off-gas” any residual moisture, which prevents mold and mildew growth.

    To cure cannabis, store it in a glass jar or other airtight container in a cool, dark place. Every day, open the container for a few minutes to allow the weed to “breathe.” After 7-10 days, your weed should be cured and ready to smoke.

    Cured weed will last for several months, if not longer if stored properly.

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