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How to Dry Cannabis

By Last updated on June 19, 2023Last updated on June 19, 2023No Comments

Growing cannabis is a calculated art. After spending months curating the perfect bud, the last thing you want to do is dry it incorrectly. 

If the weed is too damp, it may develop bud rot and mildew. On the other hand, overly dry weed will lose its potency, flavor, and aroma. The question is: how can you maintain the perfect balance?

We’ve got the answers. Keep reading for a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to correctly dry cannabis. 

Why You Should Dry Cannabis

Why You Should Dry Cannabis

Drying cannabis is crucial in its cultivation. It offers several benefits and mitigates potential dangers associated with using damp weed. 

Preservation of Potency

Drying cannabis helps preserve its potency by reducing moisture content. Freshly harvested cannabis contains 75-80% water content. Drying reduces it to an optimal range of 6-15%. This stabilizes cannabinoids and avoids degradation.

Prevention of Mold

Damp weed provides an ideal environment for mold and microbial growth. Mold can produce mycotoxins, posing serious health risks when inhaled or ingested. Damp cannabis can contain Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium

Improved Taste and Aroma

Controlled drying conditions promote the gradual release of terpenes. These aromatic compounds produce the scents and tastes of various cannabis strains. A damp cannabis flower would lack the sensory qualities sought by many.

Reduction of Harshness

High moisture content in cannabis can lead to uneven burning, excessive smoke, and increased chances of respiratory irritation. Drying mitigates these issues, allowing for a smoother smoking experience.

How to Dry Cannabis

There are many different ways to dry cannabis. Each method has pros and cons, as one may work better than the other for a specific strain or desired result. Hanging and drying racks are the two most common ways to dry cannabis buds.

Step 1: Create a Drying Area

Cannabis requires optimal drying conditions. The first and foremost step is to create a well-ventilated drying area. This area must maintain the specific temperature and humidity ranges required. 

Ideally, the drying area should be kept between 60℉ to 70℉. Some recommendations suggest between 60℉ to 65℉. Meanwhile, the ideal humidity range is 45% to 55%.

Disinfect the drying area if it was previously used for harvests or cultivation. This helps prevent the growth of pathogens and ensures a safe environment. It also reduces the risk of weed contamination and potential crop damage.

Drying outdoors might seem convenient, but it reduces control over temperature and humidity. Excessive heat, humidity, or rain can impact the quality of the dried cannabis. An enclosed and controlled drying area is always preferred to maintain optimal conditions.

Step 2: Prepare Your Space

Stagnant air poses a risk of mold and pathogen growth, so set up a fan in the drying area. The fan will prevent pockets of stale air and promote proper airflow.

Monitoring the temperature and humidity levels is also vital. Invest in a thermometer and hydrometer to measure these parameters. Then, adjust the conditions to maintain the desired range.

If necessary, invest in an air conditioning unit. This will allow you to keep the temperature between 60℉ to 70℉. On the other hand, a dehumidifier will help keep the humidity within the required range. 

Last, set up a sturdy hanging line using heavy-duty rope, a metal hanger, or a wooden pole. You can also use a wire or mesh drying rack. It should have enough space for the cannabis to hang freely and allow for proper air circulation.

Step 3: Hang the Cannabis Buds

Before hanging the cannabis, remove large sugar and fan leaves from the buds. This allows for improved air circulation and faster drying times. The leaves may block airflow and hinder the drying process.

You may hang the buds as a whole plant or separate them by branches. Either way, ensure that each bud has exposure to air from all sides. This will allow for more efficient drying and minimize the risk of mold or mildew.

You can also use drying racks instead of hanging the buds. These racks provide a flat surface to lay the buds out in a single layer. Remember periodically rotate the buds to ensure even drying and prevent shape loss. 

Drying racks may be more useful for delicate or larger buds prone to deformation or flattening. Still, both methods are equally efficient. The choice ultimately depends on the grower’s personal preference and available space.

Can You Excessively Dry Cannabis?

Yes, it’s possible to dry cannabis excessively. It can have adverse effects on the quality and experience of the weed. In most cases, it becomes brittle and has several undesirable outcomes.

Excessive drying can result in harsh smoke or vapor. This can cause throat irritation and a less enjoyable experience. The loss of moisture can also affect the flavor profile of the cannabis, resulting in a harsh or stale taste. 

Excessively dried cannabis may crumble easily, making it difficult to handle or roll. It can also lead to a significant loss of cannabinoids and terpenes. These are responsible for the therapeutic and aromatic properties of cannabis. 

Overall, excessive drying can result in a potency reduction and a less desirable effect when consumed.

Is Drying Cannabis the Same as Curing?

Drying cannabis and curing are interconnected processes in the post-harvest phase of cannabis cultivation. Both involve the removal of moisture from the plant material. But they serve different purposes and occur at different stages.

Drying is the initial step after harvesting, reducing the bud’s moisture content. Its primary goal is to remove excess water to prevent mold and mildew growth. 

It involves hanging the harvested buds in an enclosed area with controlled temperature ranges. Drying takes around 7-14 days. However, this period may vary based on environmental conditions and desired moisture levels.

Curing occurs after drying and involves a longer process of controlled storage. It gradually redistributes the remaining moisture in the buds to the plant material. This process enhances the development of flavors, aromas, and smoothness. 

It also allows for the further breakdown of chlorophyll and other undesired compounds. Curing takes several weeks to several months. During this time, the buds are stored in airtight containers and periodically opened to release excess humidity.


Drying is a crucial step in turning your healthy cannabis plants into usable marijuana. The process can be delicate, so finding the perfect balance between damp and brittle is vital. Following our step-by-step guide, you can correctly dry your freshly harvested weed.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.