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how long to dry harvest cannabis seeds

Drying your cannabis flowers serves several important functions that ultimately increase the quality and shelf-life of the end product.

Drying, as the name suggests, involves drying fresh buds so they contain less moisture and can be smoked or vaporized properly. Curing, on the other hand, involves storing your buds in closed containers over a period of at least two weeks. This helps develop the flavour and aroma of your buds as they mature.

Ahhh, harvest time. After watching your ladies grow and flower, it’s finally time to collect your hard-earned buds. But before you can enjoy a toke of some homegrown Kush, you’ll need to dry and cure your freshly harvested weed. Below, we’ll share our answers to some frequently asked questions on the drying and curing process, so you can maximise the flavour and potency of your stash.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRYING AND CURING?

Freshly harvested cannabis buds contain a significant amount of moisture, which needs to be dealt with before smoking. Why? First, smoking fresh buds serves up harsh hits with little flavour—if the buds are able to ignite at all. Removing moisture helps to tone down the harshness and let the terpene profile shine. Second, fungi thrive in dark and moist conditions. By drying your flowers correctly, you’ll dramatically reduce the chances of mould striking your stash.

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The process of growing cannabis does not stop at harvest time. Properly drying and curing your fresh cannabis stash is paramount to prevent mould contamination from taking place. These procedures will also result in buds that taste better and offer a superior high.

By placing individual buds on a drying rack—or hanging entire branches in a drying room—you’ll reduce the water content of your buds by 10–15%. This process removes water from the outer layers of each flower, but you’ll need to cure your stash to rid moisture from deeper within the buds.

After curing your cannabis, you can store buds for up to two years without much loss of potency. Like fine wine or a whiskey barrel, properly dried and cured cannabis is best when kept in a cool, dark place—mildew and other molds on cannabis and organic matter thrive in temperatures between 77-86°F.

During the first week of curing, regardless of humidity level, open the containers once or twice a day for a couple minutes—this is called “burping.” This allows moisture to escape and replenishes the oxygen inside the container.

If they don’t snap, leave them and check the next day. Drying usually takes 3-7 days, but could take longer.

How to store your harvested cannabis buds

Check wet-trimmed buds drying in the flat rack after 2-3 days by giving them a little squish. If they’re still too wet, leave them and check again the next day.

Place the trimmed buds into some type of airtight container. Most people use wide-mouth quart or half-gallon glass mason jars, but you can also use ceramic, metal, or wood vessels.

Keep harvested weed in a dark room with temperatures between 60-70°F and humidity between 55-65%. A cheap hygrometer will help you monitor these numbers.

Lower temperatures also slow decarboxylation, the process in which THCA converts into the intoxicating THC. THC eventually degrades into CBN, a cannabinoid with different effects and properties. Additionally, warm air holds more moisture than cold air.