Drying buds part 1
After trimming it is now time to dry out buds.
Drying and curing weed is a critical step in the growth process. During this stage, you can lose, preserve, or cultivate odor, flavor, and potency. Odor and flavor must be carefully cultivated. The drying and curing process allows the plant to purge sugar and if desired to purge chlorophyll (although some have developed a taste for the chlorophyll in the plant). Improperly dried and cured weed can lose almost all of its original potency and lower potency weed can be concentrated to slightly higher potency if handled properly. Four things reduce the potency of weed those things are exposure to light, heat, damage to the plant tissue, and air. Additionally, a weed that is not dried and stored properly can contain too much moisture and grow mold. It is important to remember that many rapid drying techniques will dry only the outside of a compact flower and that slow techniques like curing may be needed to draw that moisture to the surface. The virtue in drying and curing as with all stages of growth is patience. Initially, drying can be performed free hanging or enclosed in cardboard boxes or paper bags, both of which will act as a desiccant
Drying can be performed by taking the branches and hanging them upside down so the fan leaves droop and cover the buds. During this step, you need to put the branches in a cool dark place (not humid) with enough good ventilation. You probably don’t want to smoke weed that is harsh and tastes bad. If you don’t take the time to dry the bud, you will not get the best possible smell and taste your crop is capable of producing. If you dry your buds too fast it will make your buds smell like pine needles, hay, and taste very bad. Proper drying and curing also ensure the maximum potency of the weed you have grown. Hanging your weed upside down in a cool dry place of total darkness is essential for potent buds. This way all the leftover THC is forced down into the buds. Weed is typically not potent just after harvest – some of the THC is in a non-psychoactive acidic form. Drying weed the right way will also convert the non-psychoactive acidic compounds into psychoactive potent THC.
The area where drying is done should be completely dark. Light and high temperatures(anything higher than 80°F (26.6°C)) will cause the THC to break down and lower the potency of your finished product.
Air Drying is probably the most popular method of drying weed today (and for good reason!). It can be very well controlled – by controlling the amount of airflow, you control the speed of drying. The most common technique of air drying is to suspend the plants upside down in a room with a circulating fan blowing (but not actually blowing on the plants themselves) to keep air moving. Another technique to put the buds on a half-open drawer or tray in a place with moving air.
The further along in the drying process the more you close the drawer to reduce airflow. A simpler way to dry the weed is to put the buds in a layer in a brown paper bag. This is simpler but faster and therefore the output is less desirable. The speed in this process is a trade-off. If you dry too fast then it will take longer to cure the weed properly. If you dry too slowly you will be exposing the weed to more air, therefore, reducing potency. Many growers shoot for about seven days of drying time. If you are not going to cure the weed the plants should be dried until the stems snap easily rather than bend. If you are going to cure then you can begin with slightly damper (but still mostly dry) weed.