Drying Cannabis takes time and patience, and can not be rushed. After what can feel like a long flowering period, harvest time will come. At this point, when the buds are ripe and ready, and the THC has matured to your preference, the plant will be “chopped”, and prepared to dry.
There are many different techniques to drying cannabis. Some like to hang the whole plant, some like to remove and trim all of the buds, and then dry them.
The pros and cons of different drying techniques can be found in more detail in these guides;
Depending on the technique you use for drying cannabis, it will take between 5 and 14 days for your buds to dry. During this drying period, your plants are at a higher risk of mould and rot. To prevent this, it is important to keep your drying area in ideal conditions.
If you have any questions about drying cannabis plants after harvest, then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum
Hanging Your Harvest
After harvesting your cannabis plant, branches should be removed and hung upside down, in a dark place.
It is important when hanging to ensure buds are not touching each other, or the walls of your drying area. This will cause moisture to build up on that section of a bud, and it will increase your chances of mould and rot.
Once your harvest is hanging, you need to apply a gentle breeze to the drying area. Stale air will encourage mould spores to germinate. To keep the air moving will reduce the chances of you losing your crop.
Ideal Temperatures and Humidity for Drying Cannabis
Slowly drying your cannabis is a sure way to bring out the quality. Cannabis dried over a few days will still have starches and sugars in the plant matter. This will make it harsh to smoke, and it will smell like grass, or hay. The minimum drying time for small buds is five days. For the big main colas, 14 days is optimum.
Temperatures should be kept around 18c. Mould spores will germinate if it is too warm, keep temperatures under 20 c to reduce the chances of bud rot. If the temperature exceeds 22c, you not only increase your chances of bud rot, but your buds may dry too quickly.
Keeping humidity levels at no higher than 55%, and lower than 45%, will keep your buds drying at a steady rate.
Reducing the Smell of Cannabis After Harvest Whilst Drying Cannabis
Never underestimate the importance of a good carbon filter. Harvesting cannabis is very smelly! I can’t really describe in words how pungent the smell is and how far it will travel. You MUST use a carbon filter and extraction, to keep the smell to a minimum.
A few days after harvest, the smell of the buds will reduce, and they will start to smell like hay, and lose their cannabis smell. Don’t worry about this. The chlorophyll is breaking down. Over the next few days the smell will return.
When to Jar your Cannabis for Curing
Keep your buds hung until they are snapping at the base, and coming easily off branches. It will depend on the size of the bud. If you attempted to snap a bud, and it doesn’t cleanly break, there is still too much moisture in it for jarring.
Jarring your cannabis whilst still wet will make moisture seep from the middle of the buds, to the surface, and evaporate. This is what curing is. If your buds are too wet, the moisture will effect the terpenes, and your buds will lose their smell and flavour.
How to Cure Cannabis After Drying
Key Points of Drying Cannabis
- Keep air moving with a small fan
- Temperatures at 18-22c
- Humidity at 45-55%
- Leave hanging until buds snap at the base
- Do not jar too soon!
- Keep the smell down with a Carbon filter!!
If you have a harvest approaching, you’re going to need the right tools to make it as easy as possible. Check out percys guide to harvesting to make sure you’re ready!
Preparing for Harvest
Thanks for reading! You can find more information on anything related to growing in our cannabis grow guides. All of our guides are written by experienced growers, and members of our cannabis growers forum. If you have any questions, sign up. It is free, and we are always happy to help!