You might think that after harvesting all of your cannabis plants that the work is done. Think again. You will need to properly dry and cure your cannabis first so that is burns smoothing and has enough flavor and aroma. Drying your cannabis can be a complicated and delicate process as different factors are in place. There are different ways to do this such as drying cannabis in paper bags but it requires a lot of finesse and understanding of the process.
Why You Want To Dry Cannabis
There are specific reasons why you would want to dry cannabis. Apart from extending its shelf life, cannabis contains natural substances called terpenes. Terpenes contain the flavor, aroma, and certain effects of cannabis. Different strains of cannabis have a different amount of terpenes. Drying cannabis prevents terpenes from dissipating.
However, improper use of drying techniques will also lead to loss of terpene due to evaporation. This is also the reason why the drying process needs to be in a controlled setting. These buds must be dried at a low temperature where the terpenes are preserved.
Keeping your drying area clean is another reason to prevent loss of terpenes and allow for the process to be perfected. Drying your cannabis also prevents mold and fungus from growing. The drying area must be kept at low temperatures and there should be no pets or animals within the area. Workers should be wearing gloves to avoid cross-contamination.
Different Ways to Dry Cannabis
There are a lot of ways to dry your cannabis. Some would want to go for a climate-controlled drying box while others want to go for a controlled workspace that has manageable humidity. Another option is to use a rack to dry out the plants as air flows more freely and with the help of fans, faster air circulation helps shorten the time to dry the plants.
For those with a limited budget, one of the best ways is by drying cannabis in paper bags.
Drying Cannabis In Paper Bags
The use of brown paper bags to dry your cannabis might sound way too simple but the process involving such case is delicate and complex. Before you start, clean the space to be used for drying first. Make sure that it is thoroughly clean. If you want to go beyond, you can use a hydrogen peroxide solution to get rid of the microorganisms on the surface. Always make sure that the room has proper ventilation to keep spores from circulating.
The process starts with storing your cannabis and placing them inside the usual brown paper bags that you get from grocery stores or the bakery. Leave them inside to dry for 2 to 3 days.
The brown paper bag traps humidity from within thus it has higher humidity than the room outside. This slows down the evaporation rate of the plants thus allowing for quick drying. You can promote proper circulation into the bag by opening it and closing it once in a while.
When you do open to check the contents of the bag, make sure to bring a hygrometer to measure the moisture within the bag. If the humidity is beyond the 50% mark, use a fan to circulate the air and remove moisture from within. Next, leave the bag again for another dry day to that it will dry completely.
You will know that the buds are dry when they become brittle and lose their usual greenish color. This is the time when the chlorophyll in the plants has slowly decreased thus the plants have a yellowish to brownish discoloration. Check and see if the stem bends when you try to fold it. If it does, there is still enough moisture in the plant and it would need a few more days to dry out. If the stem breaks easily especially if it snaps then it is ready to be cured.
Big and thick buds tend to dry out much longer than the smaller ones so make sure to check on them regularly. The big ones also tend to be more vulnerable to mold and mildew infestation so always be careful with the humidity.
What To Avoid When Drying Cannabis
There are certain things that you need to avoid when drying cannabis. First, you need to need to avoid the paper bags in the same room with the growing plants. The growing plants need a different amount of humidity, temperature, and moisture for them to grow properly whereas those that are in your paper bag will need to have a stable environment to let it dry out. Move your paper bags out of the area and provide a different area for you to dry out your cannabis.
Another thing to avoid when drying cannabis in paper bags is putting it in another container especially ones such as closed plastic containers or transparent glass jars. The buds should not be dried using any jars or containers as it traps air inside. This trapped air only builds up the moisture inside of the container and you end up having to deal with rotting buds and molds. Fungi and bacteria can even grow and produce an ammonia-like smell. These contaminants decrease the flavor, aroma, and effects of cannabis hence they need to be avoided at all costs.
It is always best to simply dry cannabis in paper bags and store them in a well-ventilated area in your own home. The concept of using a sealed jar to hasten the process of drying is inaccurate and should be avoided at all times. The goal is to avoid trapping humidity inside hence when you use paper bags, you would still need to let air circulate for a while before sealing it again.
Many have tried different ways to dry cannabis faster. Some use desperate measures such as the oven or microwave to fully dry out the buds. Without any control over heat and humidity, the buds will simply lose all the terpenes including the effects, aroma, and flavor that is key to its potency. It is always best to do the simplest way which is drying cannabis in paper bags.