We’ve all been there. Looking down at a bag of overly damp or even wet weed that just won’t burn. You might have recently cropped a few plants and can’t wait for it all to be perfectly dried and cured or maybe your guy might have sold you something that’s not quite reached its best.
You want the truth about quick drying cannabis? We think you can handle it. So in this blog, we’ve compiled the best methods to get you a fast stash post-harvest. We can’t promise perfection but these methods will put a rush on the drying process and give you a decent bud to toke on.
OK, so you have cannabis plants close to harvest and insufficient marijuana reserves to see you through the typical 30+ day period between harvest and cured finished product. Perhaps you don’t even have a stash to make it through the average 1–2 weeks it takes to dry buds conventionally? Or perhaps you are just curious whether or not your flowers are ready to harvest? Regardless of your personal motivations, you have plenty of options when it comes to quickly drying cannabis. The problem is, the most popularised quick-dry methods will degrade buds so much in the process, they are hardly worth the effort.
Our readers deserve better. Not only will we break down simple ways to speed-dry Sinsemilla without ruining your reefer. We have also included a sticky surprise in the text for those cannabis concentrate lovers seeking more flavoursome extracts using the fresh non-dried material.
BROWN BAGS AND COMPUTER FANS
Simple brown paper bags, like the kind you get from the bakery, are perfect for drying buds. Especially popcorn buds. If you place a handful or two of freshly manicured smaller nuggets into a paper bag and leave them to dry for 2–3 days your halfway there. Ideally, you should leave them another 3 days to dry completely. But if you’re in a hurry, proceed to the next step.
Next, turn on your laptop and figure out where the fan is. Modern laptops all have fans expelling warm air to keep the internal workings of the device cool. Place the small half-dry nuggets on a paper towel on the keyboard. Or on a paper towel directly in front of the fan vents, if you have a model that vents a different way. Turn buds over every 10 minutes or so, until they feel dry to the touch. This may take an hour or longer, but the buds will still pack a punch. Don’t expect a full bouquet of aromas or mouth-watering flavour, rather an acceptable if a little harsh tasting smoke.
Most private homes have a boiler room. The water boiler inside keeps the boiler room temperature pretty cosy and relative humidity is minimal. This is a great place to quick-dry cannabis. It’s best to place all small buds in brown bags, but you can use string to hang bigger buds as you usually would when drying. The big difference is that you are going to turn up the heat by switching on the hot water heater. You can completely dry huge harvests in 3 days if you leave the hot water on for most of that time. That’s sure to spike the utility bills. With normal use, expect the small buds to be dry enough to smoke in just 3–4 days, with thicker hanging colas requiring 6–7 days. This method has a lower impact on quality than most, but the buds still won’t taste fantastic.
ALTERNATIVE: GO LIVE
The dabbing trend of 2018 is live resin concentrates. Even the most potent extracts like wax and shatter have some room for improvement. Using fresh frozen flowers rather than carefully dried and cured buds is the breakthrough US extract artists have made to produce gourmet concentrates with far more terpenes. Something is definitely lost in transition with the standard BHO extraction methods. Live resin boasts the same skyhigh potency with a vastly improved flavour profile. Unfortunately, this is probably out of reach to the average ordinary home grower. The cannabis must be kept at subcritical temperatures for the entire extraction process and you really need lab conditions and equipment to accomplish this. Nonetheless it’s a top-shelf treat coming to all good cannabis clubs, coffee shops, and dispensaries in 2018. Be on the lookout for names like “sauce”, “sap”, and “syrup” popping up on the menu.
Outdoor ganja farmers have dried marijuana placed on rocks in direct sunlight for thousands of years. It’s certainly not the most efficient method to dry cannabis, but it works. Both heat and sunlight will degrade quality. However, if you want to dry small buds fast and it’s hot and sunny outside, you could do worse than tossing a handful of popcorn buds in a brown bag and sun-drying them. Best use a rock to weigh down the bag of buds in direct sunlight, you don’t want a gust of wind swiping your weed. Then you play the waiting game. After a day or two of warm dry sunny weather, you should have some crispy buds to toke on. Again flavour and potency will have deteriorated, so you are not getting the most from your marijuana with this method.
Baking buds in the oven is a horrible idea. Just don’t do it. It really is a waste of weed. Oven temperatures are far, far, far too hot for cannabis. Even on a low setting—still too hot. Sure the buds will dry out in minutes, but you’ll also have cooked off most of the cannabinoids. These buds will taste like burnt plant material and won’t get you high.
Microwave marijuana is another guaranteed disappointment. Nuking buds with 10-second blasts in the microwave is a disastrous way to dry weed. These methods likely origins are “the big book of bad ideas” and are to be avoided.
SHOULD I EVEN BE RUSHING TO DRY MY BUD?
Obviously, you need to dry your weed before you can even think about using it. Buds that are not fully dry will burn unevenly, be a chore to keep lit, and will infuriate the hell out of you – if you’ve ever tried to use your grinder with wet weed, you’ll know what we mean! Even an absolute beast, like the Banana Bros Otto Mill & Fill, will struggle with damp weed!
Make sure your buds are properly dry if you have plans to smoke them. For other uses, like hash making, for example, you might prefer to use a wet product.
However, should you quick-dry your buds? The answer is almost always a firm no. Drying weed properly takes time. The slower you manage to do it, whilst still avoiding bud rot, the more pleasant your smoking experience. You should aim to properly dry and cure as many of your buds as possible and quick dry as few – if any at all.
That said, there are sometimes occasions when you might need to rush the process slightly. You might have completely run out of smoke yourself. Without the means to buy some more before your own produce is ready, you’ll certainly be tempted to dry some buds for quick use.
If you do need to rush drying, you can expect your product to taste very “green”. This is because the stress you put the plant under to remove moisture quickly actually causes the cell walls to burst and for chlorophyll (the stuff that makes a plant green) to be released.
By contrast, chlorophyll breaks down into other, tastier and funkier smelling terpenes when the bud is dried correctly. It takes a lot longer but the result is so much better. Curing further improves this too.
Similarly, cannabis that has been dried at anything over the optimum temperature of 21°C has a tendency to become crispy and may burn extra hot and harsh.