You can expect to lose about 3/4 of the weight of freshly cut buds as the water dries out. Drying weed at the optimal humidity and temperature levels will ensure a slow dry. It is important to dry as slowly as possible, because if you dry too quickly the bud color, taste, and smell will be negatively affected and you risk over-drying your buds as well. You can easily maintain the proper humidity level in a grow tent or drying room using a humidity controller connected to your exhaust fan or dehumidifier.
Since drying weed will give off moisture and raise the RH within a small tent, you can set the controller to turn on your exhaust at 55% and then turn off when the RH hits 45%. We use an Inkbird IHC-200 humidity controller (around $40 on Amazon) and it works great for drying weed plants. Never dry your cannabis plants in the microwave, food dehydrator, or an oven unless you really want to mess with the flavor, smell, appearance, and smoothness of the buds. Any method that dries too quickly will make your buds’ quality less than it could be with proper slow drying techniques at the best humidity and temperature levels. Excess heat will negative affect the terpine profile of your buds, which in turn will affect their taste and smell. Exact amount of time it takes to dry marijuana plants depends a lot about the environment where you dry them. Drying in high temperatures will cause drying to occur quickly. Low humidity levels will also dry your buds out quickly.
It usually takes between 5 to 10 days to dry out marijuana to the proper level. You know your marijuana is properly dried when small stems start to snap instead of bend. 7-10 it better, and it can take as long as 14 in certain conditions. Someimes weed plants will dry in as little as 3 days in too dry or too hot conditions, but this will reduce the flavor and smell and produce lower quality buds then in a slower dry. Buds that are dried on the sticks rather than cut off usually dry longer because they pull moisture out of the stems, this is recommended to slow drying and having the buds still attached to the main branches also makes the buds easy to hang to dry. Keeping your buds on the stems is a great way to ensure a slower dry which will improve the quality. So if you are wondering if you should keep marijuana on the stems when drying, the answer is yes. Some growers will hang entire plants upside down to dry. This is great to increase drying time but can be a bit unmanageable on the trimming side. Dry trimming smaller branches is much easier than doing large whole plants. Some growers leave all of the sugar leaves and fan leaves on their plants when drying. This slows out the drying process since the buds can pull moisture in from the stems. But it makes the buds very difficult to trim later. It’s much easier to trim freshly cut plants which have sugar leaves that stick straight out. When dried, these leaves curl in and this makes it more difficult to manicure weed. People make impassioned arguments for both wet or dry trims, so if you’re on the fence try a little each way on your next grow. If you under-dry your cannabis buds they may still feel dry on the edges when you jar them, but you will find that the moisture in the middle quickly pulls out towards the edges of the buds at the start of the curing process. If your weed is too moist, you need to open the jar and let the buds air out early in the curing process. Leave the cover off for a few hours for lightly damp buds. If your buds feel very damp or wet, you can take them out of the jar and place on a piece of cardboard until they are dry enough to return to the jar. Shake the jar gently each day when you burp it during curing to separate buds and keep wet spots from forming. Don’t shake too hard though, or you risk damaging the appearance of your buds and knocking trichomes off. It is important not leave marijuana too wet or you risk having the mold.
Monitoring your weed several times daily during the first few days of curing is a great way to catch any issues with underdried weed quickly. If you live in a humid environment you may find the ambient humidity exceeds 70%, which will not allow your buds to dry when you open your jar.
If it’s hot and humid, sometimes the dehumidifier will only add to the heat without effectively lowering the humidity. Air conditioners will solve this problem, as they lower humidity and temperature at once.