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The Complete Guide to Drying and Curing Cannabis: Expert Techniques for Home Growers

Kymberly Drapcho

by Kymberly Drapcho

July 10, 2023 10:30 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
The Complete Guide to Drying and Curing Cannabis: Expert Techniques for Home Growers

Cultivating cannabis at home is a very therapeutic and rewarding process. However, drying and curing cannabis can also be a challenging process to new growers. 

If you want a potent bountiful crop, there are a number of factors you need to consider. From growing in an indoor environment to an outdoor or greenhouse environment, the growing phase is only part of what makes good cannabis, well… good. You can do the best job in the world at growing it, and if you are not diligent during the drying and curing process, all your hard work will be for nothing.

  1. Properly Drying and Curing Cannabis: A Step-by-Step Guide

Properly Drying and Curing Cannabis: A Step-By-Step Guide

To achieve successful cannabis growth at home, consider factors like light, humidity, temperature, and nutrients while being sure not to over- or under-water your plants. 

Sure, figuring out the best way to dry and cure your cannabis is a learning process. If you have made it through the vegetation and flowering stage of a cannabis grow and are harvesting a beautiful crop of sparkly sticky buds, the next step is drying and curing them properly.

Follow this step-by-step guide for home growers to discover the most straightforward way to get dispensary-level yields.

Step One: Trim Your Plants 

This step can be done before or after you dry your cannabis. 

If you decide to trim your plants before they’re dried (also called wet trimming), remove the sugar leaves from around the bud directly after harvest. 

This method is easier than dry trimming, as the leaves haven’t curled around the bud yet. Also, because they dry on a flat rack rather than on the branches, the drying process is quicker and prevents mold more efficiently. However, the plants are stickier, and you risk losing some of the plant’s natural trichomes

Dry trimming may be more difficult, but it often results in a smoother final product. This cleaner taste comes from the longer curing period, as the sugar leaves retain excess moisture, allowing the plant to more easily break down its chlorophyll. 

However, dry trimming creates a bigger risk for mold and is a little bit harder, as the fan leaves curl around the bud when they dry. 

Step Two: Dry Your Bud 

Drying weed is fairly straightforward. You can dry your buds before or after you trim the sugar leaves off. Drying cannabis is essential, as removing moisture from the plant can preserve terpenes and cut down on the cannabis plant’s natural 

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To properly dry your cannabis, you’ll need a few supplies in your cannabis drying room:

  • Fan
  • Drying Rack
  • Hygrometer (to keep eyes on the room’s humidity levels and room temperature) 

Though those are all the essential tools you’ll need, we recommend setting up an air conditioner and dehumidifier in your drying room. These supplies will help you to establish air circulation and create an ideal temperature and humidity setting for your plants. 

Drying spaces should be kept around 70 degrees Fahrenheit at around 50% humidity. Additionally, dry your cannabis in a dark room, as UV rays from direct sunlight can degrade cannabis. 

After setting up your drying room, cut your plants at their base and hang them upside down to dry. If you trim your plants while they’re wet, place your trimmings on a flat mesh rack instead to ensure your plants get the proper amount of airflow. 

Depending on whether you’re wet or dry trimming, drying your plants can take anywhere from three to seven days. Dried buds must then be cured before they’re fully ready to consume.

Step Three: Cure Your Cannabis

After your bud is dried, you still have to cure it before it’s fully ready to be smoked. Curing your bud allows the terpenes to shine, improving the flavor and aroma vastly. 

To cure your cannabis, store the trimmed buds in an airtight mason jar. Fill the jar to be two-thirds full. To improve the buds smell and flavor, open–or “burp”–these jars once a day. Burping your jars ensures that the flower won’t grow mold or mildew, and it helps the sugars and chlorophyll in the plant break down, contributing to a cleaner, fuller flavor profile. 

When you burp your cannabis buds, check the flowers for any mold or mildew and remove those buds from your harvest. Place clean buds back in the jar and toss them to make sure the flower cures evenly. Alternatively, if the buds are too dry, toss in a humidity pack—like a Boveda pack—to rehydrate them.

Once your bud no longer smells like ammonia, your bud is cured and ready to be consumed. 

Step Four: Store Your Harvest 

After harvesting cannabis, make sure it stays potent and fresh by storing it properly. Properly cured cannabis flower can be kept for up to two years before the cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, begin to degrade. These cured buds can be stored in airtight containers, mason jars or other glass jars, humidors or titanium jars, and should never be stored in the freezer, as that harsh environment decreases shelf life. To learn more about proper cannabis storage, check out our guide. 

Final Takeaways 

Drying and curing cannabis can be intimidating–but it doesn’t have to be. Through trial and error, you can produce bountiful yields of flavorful flower in no time. 

Want to start growing your own cannabis? Check out our beginner’s guide to growing

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