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How to Dry Weed Buds Drying Marijuana Plants

   MARIJUANA SEEDS :: Grow Guides mainpage :: Drying marijuana plants

A Note on Withering Pistils

Many times you'll read from new marijuana growers, "My hairs are 50% changed to brown or red, looks like its ready to come down." Calyx hairs turning color is one thing, calyx hairs withering, is another. When they have withered, they are for the most part, as ripe as they will get.

But just turning red/brown does not necessarily mean the weed plant is ready.Calyx hairs are just an indicator that the marijuana plant is ripening , not necessarily ripe yet. I have  taken full Indica strains with 60% hairs turned, and sativas when 90% hairs have  turned, and they were all at peak ripeness. The trichome color is the only true indicator!


The harvesting process from flush to cure

A personal tip I would give anyone prior to harvesting their Cannabis would be  to  have  the  weed plant  flushed  with  distilled  or Reverse Osmosis filtered water two weeks prior to harvesting. If the filtered water isn't available, use a clearing aid and tap water. Any leftover chemicals and fertilizers will be flushed from the soil, given at least 10 days.

Plant moisture prior to cutting

Prior to cutting down, it is a good idea to let the soil get fairly dry. Not so dry as to hurt the marijuana plant, but more like it  is  just ready  for another watering. I find that this speeds drying time rather than harvesting a freshly watered weed plant.

24 hour dark period

When the marijuana plants are ready to harvest, I like to give them 24 hours of darkness to promote more resin.Since potency is lowest in the middle of the day period under full  heat,  the  darkness  should  let  the  weed plant  come  to  it's  full potential.  Some marijuana plants, especially the White family (Russian, Widow) really seem to like this, and I can't see it causing  any damage  either  way; just another way to maximize the potential of the weed plant in some circumstances. The frosting on the cake, so to say.

Cut down, trim, and drying 101

Now comes the fun part! Time to get those scissors sticky. For  this  part  of  the  procedure,  you  will  need  a good  pair  of  trimming scissors.Many garden nurseries and hardware stores carry appropriate models with small enough blades to get the marijuana bud leaves and comfortable handles for hours of work. A small closet  or  room  is  all  you  will  need  for  drying  a personal harvest. Larger grows may need more though. But for just a few weed plants, a small closet will work  fine.  Enough clothesline or rope to wire across your small room is all that you will need to hang your branches, but make sure its attached well  on each end. You don't want to come in and find your precious stash on the floor!


Temperature in the space should be between 70 and 80°F, with the lower to mid-range preferable.The closet should also be able dark. At this point, heat and UV rays are the two  main  enemies  of  THC,  the  active  ingredient  in  your  weed buds. A small oscillating fan is a must as well. Also advisable is a gauge to measure the humidity in the room. This is especially important in areas such as a basement or tropical climates, as too much humidity will extend the drying time and perhaps bring on mold in the marijuana buds.

Cut down
Depending on your method of growing, natural, topped, fimmed etc. you can cut down differently. Some people cut down the whole weed plant and just  trim up the  larger  leaves. Others cut individual branches, some cut off the whole top part  and trim and  do  the same to the bottom.I prefer to cut off individual branches if its just a small grow,though sometimes  I'll  do  the  top  half  bottom  half  thing  as  well.  Cutting  off  the individual branches from the main stem, and trimming off  the smaller leaf will  result in a  quicker drying time if time is of the essence. After the branch has been  cut,  I  then go in  and remove ALL the leaf I want to trim right away.Some people prefer to leave the leaf on, either as a protectant for the  trichomes  underneath,  or  because  they'd rather make trimming a two-step job.

I prefer to do it all at once, especially when dealing with low marijuana plant numbers to trim. It also gets a bit  messy  trying to trim weed bud leafs after they have dried. Did this once, and will never do it again! Makes my life a little easier and once again,  makes  it  a little easier to dry as well.


You can hang your colas and branches by just using simple clothespins, or running a  paperclip  straight  thru  the stem, and curling it to hang on the clothesline. Just make sure the branches and rope are secure enough to hold the weight of the marijuana buds.

Air circulation

As long as the humidity in the room  does  not  go  over  50%,  I  generally  let  the  weed buds  hang  for  one  day  without any air movement. I do this just as a measure against drying too fast. Too dry of humidity (30% or lower), can  sometimes cause the weed buds to dry too fast, and make them crispy and crunchy.On the second day, I put my fan on low making sure that the breeze doesn't hit too directly on the marijuana buds and branches. Too much of this will cause certain weed buds to dry out faster than others. Try  to position your fan in such a way that all marijuana buds get  some  air  movement  on  them,  just  not  directly  from  the fan. Humidity readings of 45-55% are ideal. Sometimes I will flip the weed buds around from day to day, just to make  sure  they  all  get good air movement around them.

Drying before curing

To get to the next stage, curing, the marijuana buds must be dry. Too much moisture in the weed buds after  putting  in  the  jars can result in moldy marijuana buds, and then everything you have achieved up to this point will have been in vain. So how do  you  know when the weed buds are really dry?

In general, five to seven days seems to be the norm for marijuana buds to be ready to put in curing  jars,  given the above parameters.  For the weed buds to be ready for the next step, try this: gently, but firmly try to snap the stem that the marijuana buds  are  on. If  you get a crisp snap, the weed buds should be ready. Also check the marijuana bud itself by gently squeezing it. I would recommend this after a few days of drying, and then every day after to get a "feel" for the weed bud drying.When the marijuana buds have hardened a bit, and the stem cracks crisply, your weed buds are ready for the next step: the curing jars.

The curing process

To cure your marijuana buds for short term storage (up to a year), I would recommend using glass mason jars and canning  lids, which are available at most department stores and supermarkets around the world.

Cut off the weed buds from the main stem using a pair of scissors, and place  inside the jars. Try to handle the marijuana buds gently, you don't want to lose too  many  precious  glands!  Gently  pack the weed buds in the jars, don't stuff them in too  tightly. Store your jars in cool  dark  place,  with temperatures around 65-75°F. Remember,  light  and  heat  are  your  two  worst  enemies! Each day for the next five, I like to open the jars completely for 15 minutes a day to  get  rid of any extra moisture. After this, the marijuana buds remain in the jars for the duration, until  they  are ready to smoke. You can smoke them  now,  but  they  will  not  be  at  their  ideal  potency, flavor, or smokability. In my personal experience I have found that certain  strains  wil l take longer to smooth out, but after about two months,  most  strains  should  be  quite  ready  to smoke. Potency, flavor and smoothness all improve in  good time,  and  keeping  the   away  from high heat, light, and air will enable them to remain at optimum smokability. Buy!!!
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