Drying Your Marijuana Buds
Getting from tiny seedling to bushy, budding marijuana plant takes time and care, but you’re going to have to wait just a little bit longer before you can enjoy the fruits of that labor. Properly drying and (link) curing your marijuana buds will be the difference between the best smoke of your life or tossing the whole shebang into the bin – yes, the idea makes us cringe as well, but no one enjoys moldy, damp, unsmokable weed.
Why dry your bud?
It may feel like a time-consuming step, but the act of drying your bud is an important stop on the road to the perfect end-product.
Several Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip This Important Step:
- It’s common knowledge that marijuana plants produce THC, in fact, that’s one of the main reasons this plant is so popular to begin with. But those high levels of THC don’t show up in such great quantities until after the leaves have been dried, through a process called biosynthesis. Exposing harvested marijuana leaves to temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees, combined with low humidity (between 45 and 55%) will facilitate the conversion from THC-A and CBD-A into their by-product’s THC and CBD, allowing your buds to gain in potency.
- Cannabis plants are one of a few that produce chemicals called terpenes, which are responsible for the strong aromas of like wood, berries, diesel, and citrus fruits. Terpenes like pinene (also found in pine trees) and limonene (found in citrus fruits like lime) can degrade at high temperatures, so exposing them to low temperatures over a long period of time will prevent this burn off, and (fingers crossed) enhance those sought-after scents and flavors.
- Speaking of flavors, a good grower will practice flushing two weeks before harvest to remove the unwanted chemicals and fertilizers that can make for a harsh smoke. The curing process can also give your flowers a chance to break down minerals and sugars that have the same effect.
- Lastly, drying your harvested marijuana (the right way) means you’ll be able to enjoy it for as long as it lasts – mold and mildew from flowers that still contain moisture don’t just ruin the experience, but can make you sick, not to mention destroy your entire supply.
Drying Marijuana: Step by Step
Every breeder has their preferred method of drying their marijuana – in the freezer, in water, even with dry ice. If you want to toke your reefer sooner rather than later, you can lay the buds and branches flat on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven on its lowest heat setting for a standard length of time. Keep checking on them and turning them to make sure the heat is evenly distributed throughout, and no moisture spots remain.
We prefer the low and slow method, which ensures you get the most out of you get the most out of your harvest. You’ve already waited this long, what’s a few more days to having potent marijuana you can use for up to two years?
- With a sharp cutting tool (and a clean blade), remove the longest branches from your plant.
- Gently tie a string or wire around the stem near the cut, being sure the plant won’t slip through the knot while it’s hanging.
- String the branches upside down in a dark room, where the temperature can be maintained at 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity levels between 45 and 55 percent. A fan going on low should be enough to keep the air circulating through the branches and leaves.
Don’t give into the temptation to handle your plants too often: you’ll only have to wait around 3-7 days before your plants are dry enough for the next steps. A bud that snaps easily is one that has been properly dried. Buds that bend indicate the presence of moisture, and that the branches need more time to dry.
Of course, if you want to end up with superior quality marijuana, you’ll start with superior quality marijuana seeds – shop online with Pacific Choice Seed Bank for the highest quality seed strains from around the world.