The 7 most common errors drying cannabis
After months of giving our plants all the care they require, the time to harvest finally arrives. Whichever variety of cannabis you cultivate, you’ll probably want to dry it before consuming it. While to many it may seem the least important phase (the hardest part is over!), the correct drying of our plants is essential to enjoy the best possible quality, if we don’t take the necessary care with drying, we can ruin our efforts… and our entire harvest!
In our post about drying and curing cannabis, we gave you the basic information to dry your flowers perfectly. In this article we will focus on the most common mistakes made when drying our precious buds, mistakes that as we say can ruin the flowers we have been caring for months. Let’s see what the typical errors are when drying marijuana.
Hanging the buds to dry the is standard practice
Not checking the colour of the trichomes
Closely observing the colour of the trichomes is crucial to enable us to harvest the plants at the optimum time, with the maximum possible content of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc. During flowering, this colour changes from transparent to milky as the glandular heads of the trichomes fill with compounds, ending with a lovely amber colour.
Normally, the best time to harvest is with a large proportion of milky trichomes, and a small number are already showing amber tones. At this time the cannabinoid and terpene content is at its highest, so the flavour, aroma and effect of the buds will also be at their peak. This is the first step to achieve a quality product, which we will finish off during the drying process.
Harvesting with wet substrate
Once we see that we’re at the optimum point of harvest, it’s time to cut the plants. A common mistake, which can delay drying for several days, is harvesting the plants when the substrate is wet, or to put it another way, when the water content within the plants tissues is at the maximum. So if we want to properly dry our buds in the shortest time possible, it’s best to harvest the plants when the substrate has been dry for at least one day and their internal water content will be therefore lower.
In the same way, if we want to accelerate drying, it’s best to trim cannabis thoroughly before hanging them to dry, and also removing as much stalk and stem as we can. In this way less vegetable mass must be dried, and the bud drying process will be faster.
Keep an eye on the colour of the trichomes to harvest at the best moment
Handling the buds too much
Both when we’re cutting the plants or during the trimming process (and also when hanging them to dry), it’s very important not to handle the flowers excessively. Trichome heads – where the various compounds that give cannabis its flavour and high are produced and stored – are very delicate, and can easily break off if we touch the buds too much.
In fact, charas is made by manually rubbing fresh flowers to get a thick layer of resin (hash) attached to the hands. This is precisely what we want to avoid here if we want to keep our buds in perfect condition!
Not removing infected parts of the plant
Once we’re ready to trim, or to directly hang to dry if we want to trim the dried flowers, we must carefully check each bud looking for infection, in particular fungi such as botrytis or powdery mildew. If we hang a plant up to drywith some type of fungal infection, the infection may spread during drying, leaving uswith the unpleasant surprise of an infected and spoiled harvest.
It’s very important to remove any mouldy parts of the plant before drying
Incorrect humidity levels in the drying room
We already have our flowers cut, trimmed, and ready to dry. However, we must bear in mind that the relative humidity level inside the drying room will determine both the speed of the drying and the quality of it. We want a slow and uniform drying, without peaks in temperature or humidity inside the drying area, which should be kept as constant as possible.
The ideal humidity to dry cannabis is 50-60%. Any lower and the plants will probably dry too quickly, while if it’s higher, problems with fungi can arise and the drying process can also take forever.
Inadequate ventilation while drying
As we already mentioned, in addition to maintaining an adequate level of humidity, it’s important to avoid the air inside the drying room becoming stagnant. Many growers use their grow tent as a dryer, leaving the ventilation system on during the drying process. In this way, a correct air circulation is achieved inside, and if a carbon filter is installed, the intense smell of the plants is avoided.
You can also install a small fan to help the air circulate and avoid the formation of air pockets or moisture, although we recommend not to point it directly at the flowers we’re drying. This could cause them to dry too quickly in some areas of the plants, and as we know, what we want is slow and uniform drying.
It’s important to control the temperature and humidity in the drying room
Temperature and light in the drying room
As with humidity, an incorrect temperature can ruin our flowers, as can drying them in full daylight. Temperatures over 25 degrees can dry the plant too fast, the ideal temperature being about 18-20 degrees celsius. On the other hand, if we dry the plants in the light this will degrade part of the content of the trichomes, reducing the final quality of the buds.
The ideal is to dry the plants in a relatively cool, well ventilated and dark place. This way, we will avoid many of the factors that can cause drying to reduce the quality of our harvest.
We hope this article helps you to get finished buds of the highest quality. A last and useful advice: if your buds have got too dry, you can put them in a hermetic jar with a few fresh weed leaves (or some other vegetable). In this way, the buds will recover moisture, which they absorb as the leaves release it. When they are at the ideal point, we just need to remove the leaves and begin the curing process.
Feel free to leave us any doubts or observations you may have, we’re always happy to answer you!
Comments and questions about The 7 most common errors drying cannabis
I am drying in a grow tent i have 1 plant can I hang that upside down and put extractor fan at the top and circulation fan pointing down wiĺl that dry my plant ok . bearing in mind my room that tent is in is pretty cool ..around 15c i have no way of warming up my room that my tent is in …apart from central heating / radiator …could I have heating on really low like 20c or will it still dry around 15_18 c
The important thing is to reduce humidity, provide ventilation and raise the temperature it is good to dry the plant. In these cases, a dehumidifier can be a great help.
i used to dry in my grow tent , i wasted 2 weeks waiting for it to finish.
than used dry net , but i had to put an industrial fan or else your weed filled with mold , and the smell was so strong . now i use wedryer and all my worries are over , and there is no smell . the day i trimme , i start a new cycle .
the electricity is minor and the product quality is the best i had until now.
With my house heater running, the humidity is low, can I dry in garage at 45f-55f degree because humidity is better? It’s dark , cool, and more easily able to move air.
hey thanks for this articale i have a question if im drying in 27-28 c and 40% humidity (i have no way to change that) how long shuld i dry them and what is the demage that im doing to them?
Well, while your conditions are not ideal, they’re not too bad. You should have your buds ready in about 2 weeks (just check the texture of the buds with your fingers until you feel like you’ll be able to grind them without problems). Still, you can improve the quality of the buds with proper curing, leaving them in sealed jars which should be opened just a few minutes once a day. You should have better buds after 3-4 weeks of curing.
I was reading that it’s ok to harvest some buds on your plant before others. They also say you can use your grow room as your drying area also. Mine is in a closet. My question is if I have some of the buds drying and the rest of the plant still in the flowering cycle will the light mess up the drying process? My closet isnt very big, like 8’×12′
That’s correct, although harvesting some buds before others is usually done when growing outdoors, where plants get really big and – normally – the tops are ready when the lower parts still need some extra days. Almost 100% of indoor growers harvest their whole plants on the same day.
As you say, trying to dry the buds with the lights on will definitely speed up the process, although quality will be lower. It’s always better to dry the buds in complete darkness.
Hope this helps!
That’s a solid article about growing cannabis, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of growing marijuana if you want to grow the super nice flowers, thank you for the hard work you put into gathering all of this great info. Have you heard of the new RSPEC Niemi Deep-Red grow lights are designed to enhance flower while still being a great full cycle grow light from seed to flower?
Thanks for your comment. Didn’t know about those lamps, will check them asap!
my dry room is a walk in closet temp is 72 degrees , what can I use to get temp to 20 degrees , just started 2 days ago… please help
Hi, your best bet would be a small, portable air conditioning unit/room chiller. If the walk in closet isn’t very large then you shouldn’t need a big, expensive model. Calculate the cubic footage of the space and find one that can comfortably cope with that capacity.
Also, presuming the temperature in the closet is 72º Fahrenheit, not Celsius (which would be insanely hot!), you only really need to reduce it to around 60ºF for a good drying temperature. Any lower than that and the air won’t be able to hold enough moisture to dry the plants. Getting the room temp down to 20 degrees as you suggest would be below freezing.
also I just put dehumidifier in today & set at 60 % & waiting to see if that will effect the temp 72 degrees , trying
to get room temp to 20 degrees or 30 , 40 , 50 anything closer to the correct room temp
In my experience, de-humidifiers will actually work to increase the temperature of a room. The air-con unit will have some dehumidifying effect, although it may not be enough to dry your crop, in which case you’ll have to alternate between the two units to maintain the ideal conditions.
Hey great read thanks fir the tips. Say one has a 4x4x6 tent. Temps range from 24-26 daytime and 20-22 at night. Between 40-55 rh. Is it possible to dry some stems in the tent at night while the plants are still in flower then move them to a small closet during the day? In order to get airflow the closet must remain open. Will get a little indirect light but less than the tent during lights on time. Finally is it important to get fresh air into the room containing the tent and closet? Room has a dehumidifier and a wall mounted ac/heater with dehumidifying function. Tent has carbon filter and intake and exhaust fan but the room is a closed system. Exhaust fan vents into the room. Thanks in advance.
I don’t see the problem. If your closet was closed, then perhaps RH would raise too much during the night period. But if I understood correctly the closet is open, so there should be no problem. What concerns me is that you say plants will get some light during the night period? You should avoid that!
Apart from the light issue, your temp and RH ranges are optimal, so you should have no problems.
Thanks for such a informative article ! Good read and helps us newbies learn the are of cultivation. I live I’m melbourne Australia and my grow was outdoors . The weather has turned and I’ve harvested my plants even though I probably could of left them but with the rains starting to take more occurrence I didn’t however the dry room is my shed which has plenty of ventilation but has a skylight that’s shines light during the day and temps here in Melbourne are 15 degrees Celsius in the day and 9 degrees Celsius at night obviously depending on weather patterns but float at around 12 degrees Celsius at night . Humidity 71%
1. Do I need to put a temp tarp over my roof to make it completely black
2 . Is it too cold at night
I’m 3 days into drying. I hung most everything up on a line but hung some in a cardboard box. I found that in the box I maintained a good environment ie. 68-69 and 50-54% rh. So today I boxed the entire crop into another box. My rh shot up to 58%rh. Good air circulation and temperatures are within range. Second box is my concern being that it has gone up as high as it has. Dehumidifier and carbon filter is running to no avail. What to do? Thanks.
Is this ready to dry
I live in Thailand.Its 30 c most days.I don’t have access to a cool area? What are my options.
I love living in the tropics but this is a challenge.
Hey I’m new to growing, but old school stoner, got 4 girls in a 3×3 gorilla tent with 600 watt HPS, hortilux super bulb of course, and 2 6in intake fans with both carbon filters. I thought this would give me a good setup.. Everything is going amazing, im only using technaflora nutrients 8 different kinds, with royal gold basement mix for my medium, my question is about Flushing I heard so many different things that I can tell what’s best but I was told since I was using this kind of soil and the organic nutrients that I wouldn’t have to flush more than 7 days and another say two weeks and what happens if I go three weeks will that kill my plants or what cuz I’m trying to get the timing down perfectly cuz I would like to attend a flush or the best tasting flush I can do? What would you recommend also drying its 100 degrees where I live going to dry out in closets maybe bathroom with air conditioning vent but can keep it at 70 degrees during the day but overnight it gets up to 75 is that going to be okay or is that going to try it too fast I’m looking for a good 10-day dr14 and does it really make a difference if you drive trim or trim after you dry because I heard if you trim it all before you can dig rate the THC on the buds?
I just harvested my plant and drying my lady under my GAZEBO outside…she is hanging. The TEMPS are in the 50’s at night and in the 60’s – 70’s during the day….
Can I dry in a garage with lows at about 5 or 6 degrees Celsius
I was wondering how important is it to leave your plants in the Dark full time they are drying
Hey. Last year I pretty much wasted my first ever crop. I dried my bud in the basement washroom, with doors closed, lights off and a fan indirectly blowing against the wall circulating the air. Also had the exhaust fan from the washroom running non stop. The skunk dank smell disappeared after the first day of drying. Turned into an awful hay/grass/earthy smell. Curing didn’t bring back the skunk smell. They buds also turned brown and tasted like absolute $&it.
I feel like my problem was I couldn’t control the humidity in the room. It was naturally around 39%-40%. Room temperature about 20c. I’m not sure and I’d like to know if the humidity is the problem. All the homework and research I’ve been doing is saying it’s my humidity
Just plucked my 1st auto flower and this time I have –
In Basement washroom
Washroom exhaust fan going
Indirect fan blowing upwards
Humidifier set on low
Room temp 20.4c
The scary part is that it’s been drying a little over a day now, it still has the skunky smell, but I feel like it’s transforming into the hay/grass/earthy smell.
Wtf am I doing wrong?
Só i have mines drying in 31/34 celsius and humidity 49/64 whats the damadge that can happen?
Also im drying in my closet its a 3 door closet só o have fans Doing air circulation in One SIDE só theres always air movement
What souls i worried about and can the cure revert thoes damages??
So for about 30 hours I used a fan to dry my plants, which were hanging. I had it on the lowest temp, but the plants were swinging a bit. I ended up reading that you shouldn’t do this, and quickly took the fan off them when I figured this out. I’m hoping I haven’t done too much damage. It’s in my basement, and they don’t seem to dry yet, but im scared I ruined my harvest… 🙁 ?
My plants have been drying for a week. Stems don’t snap yet. I am leaving on vaca tomorrow for 2 wks, what do I do? Will it hurt them if I leave hanging for 2 more weeks or should I clean and put in jars before I leave. Please HELP ASAP
Bruv your plants are going threw it’s own process if u bk noticed if you go in b4 ya go to bed it will be all dry to touch bud u go bk in. early mmorning the plant will damp again. It’s the just the process of the cambium still goingbthrew the cycle of bring that water up to your epi bud nd back down to r/s . If u gtbthem.hanging in a dark room sitting round 50 percent to 60 percent and as long it above 15 degrees c ull be sweet . Have your fan turned towards the wall so it’s still oscillating but nt directly onto plants . They shud not be waving around. … I’d recommend having ya cabin filter remain on low on 20 degrees . The darkness is key for taste nd aesthetics
Juatbfijished drying 48 in 3 .2 by 3.8 room that I built takes me 6 to 8 days to dry the lot with 4 or 5 days curing. Running strawbury kish and banana strawbury.
My bad cnt spell fornshit hope this makes more sense
Temperature: In the first 3 days the best temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius. This way the buds will dry quick, but not too fast. After 3 days the temperature should be lowered to about 17-18 degrees Celsius to slow down the process.
Humidity: In the first 3 days the relative humidity should be around 50%. After three days the relative humidity should rise to about 60%, again with the reason to slow down the drying process.
Air circulation: It’s very important there’s enough air circulation in the room, so it’s advisable to use an electric driven fan. A ventilation fan can also come in handy to control the temperature and humidity. Don’t point the fan directly on the buds though, this will dry the cannabis buds unevenly.
Darkness: The room should be relatively dark as light, especially direct sunlight, degrades THC
Just harvest drying in tent door open temperature 73 degrees humidity 63 is this good or do i how to drop both .
U curing after drying…
If so wrong matter much you can chuck fresh shade leaf on the jar with ya buds dont stuff them in. Just fi and have them lose not compact chuck a shade leaf .or if you have none abit of lettuce and that will hydrate it a bit . .
If not curigbi oeraonly wouldn’t worry bout 3 percent 60 percent is good humidity after day 3 4 . B4 the day 1 to 3 want to b round 55 percent as a average . Low 50s first 3 days after tht high fiftys.
Should be 20°c (68 °f) first 3 days and lowered to 17 18°c (64.4 to 66.2°. Im.a kiwi so I’m in °c ur in of chur hope this helped
Tht wht gets ur smell nd flavour and really thts were it at . We not 16 smoking hay weed no more. Do it for the love
@Terri if they been hanging longer than five days all gud snap a nug off break it in half nd put it on ur lip g. Ul be able to fell it if its dry or not if dry chuck in jars.
(DO NOT OVER FILL JUST NICE LOSE ND FLUFFY . FILLED … NOT PACKED CHUR )
each to there own . But have. Never failed me and always turns .out gud with abeutufull aroma . Chur
I’ve been growing 15 years and I quit hang drying a long time ago after realizing it just doesn’t work. What I do is fill grocery paper bags loosely with fresh cut and trimmed nugs. Roll the bag closed with a safety pin. Then put it in the produce drawer in the fridge then adjusting the humidity control of the drawer to 55% with a wireless hygrometer. The buds will up the humidity slowly so keep adjusting to 55%. In about a week and a half or two weeks, the humidity will drop to 45-50, then put it in jars and burp it 2 times daily for 10 minutes for 3 days, then burp 1 time daily for 3 days, then 1 time every other day for a week, then set and forget. Hope yall that have problems with hang drying and losing smell will come to their senses and try this method. Its what many cannabis cup winners do. I believe this secret is held onto deeply. You’re welcome
CAJ – You seem so have a problem understanding degrees Celsius and degrees Fahrenheit 🙂
You state your room is 72 degrees – if this is degrees F you are fine …. if it is degrees C then you are in an oven!
So, presuming (ahem), you are talking about degrees F … then taking it down to 20 degrees would make it well below freezing.
LOL. Don’t mix and match your units: that’s how they got into trouble with the Hubble Space Telescope … did the conversion wrong between millimetres and thousands of an inch 🙂
If i was to dry in a cardboard box with plant hung full with a small fan at the back of my tent while I still have plants flowering how would this affect the end product
He first time grower will my buds be ok hanging up in my cubord overnight without a fan my who house stinks of it Getting fan in morning so 12 hours will they be ok ?
The 7 most common errors drying cannabis After months of giving our plants all the care they require, the time to harvest finally arrives. Whichever variety of cannabis you cultivate, you’ll