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Setting the stage for the final aspect of the cultivation process begins with properly drying cannabis. For anyone familiar with the plant, it’s almost inevitable that they have come across wet flowers, also known as buds, or have wondered whether freshly harvested plants can be consumed. The answer to the latter is, simply, no. And, while possible, it’s not recommended to consume sobbing wet flowers either.

These facts help underscore the significance of properly drying cannabis flowers after harvest. In the same way that a tobacco farmer working to produce fine hand-rolled cigars must be cognizant and pay close attention to drying his or her product, so too must cannabis cultivators devote energy to the same concerns. Suffice to say, an entire crop – even one grown with fine detail and precision – can end up being trashed if concessions aren’t made to ensure the product is well dried.1 

While drying cannabis outdoors is certainly possible, particularly in tropical climates, it is rarely the best-case scenario. In fact, there are few countries and jurisdictions that have consistent enough weather patterns to facilitate outdoor drying. For obvious reasons, namely drops and spikes in temperature and humidity, it’s almost always best to dry cannabis in a controlled environment, even if it was grown outdoors. This general rule applies to coastal regions like California and mountainous states like Colorado.

There is one prerequisite to determining the best means of drying cannabis flowers: whether the plant is trimmed before or after the process. Obvious differences, like whether the plant can be hung or placed onto drying screens, exist when considering this question, so it is of utmost importance that growers determine the method of trimming they plan to employ even before the plant is harvested.2

If the idea is to use the dry trimming method, the entire plant can be hung and dried, typically at a room temperature of about 21 degrees Celsius and a humidity level of 50 percent. Though the same temperature range should be factored into the drying process when wet trimming, the flowers will already be separated from the stock and other plant matter, making it easy to put onto drying screens or racks and left to dry. The length of time should be about the same – roughly five to 15 days – for each method, but the plants should be checked every day to ensure the process is progressing, and that no climate issues are arising.

  1. "Master the Art of Drying and Curing Cannabis." http://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/master-the-art-of-drying-curing-cannabis/
  2. "Top Tips to Successfully Dry and Cure Your Fresh Cannabis Buds." https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-top-tips-to-successfully-dry-and-cure-your-fresh-cannabis-buds-n682

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