Whether you're an experienced grower or a beginner, explore how to dry and cure marijuana for the best taste, fragrance, and potency with Leafly's experts. It’s time to harvest your buds, and all you can think about is the first smooth, flavorful hit, but not so fast, you have to dry and cure them first. Without a
The ultimate guide to drying and curing cannabis for the best results
After cutting down marijuana plants at harvest, a proper dry and cure are crucial for buds. These processes help preserve and accentuate flavors by retaining terpenes and cannabinoids, while diminishing chlorophyll and getting rid of the vegetal taste of the plant.
The drying process is the initial drying of buds, which usually happens in the open air—freshly harvested plants can lose up to 75% of their weight to moisture loss, as well as sticks, stems, branches, and leaves that get trimmed off.
When dry trimming, drying happens first and then buds are trimmed; in wet trimming, vice versa.
A dry shouldn’t be too quick or too long: Too quick and the outside of buds will appear dry but the insides won’t be; too long and buds could develop mold.
When buds are trimmed and dried, they are placed in airtight containers for curing. This stops the loss of moisture, preserving flavors and aromas and allowing buds to take on their full flavor.
How long does it take to dry cannabis?
Drying takes about 2-7 days. The process is usually shorter when wet trimming because most of the plant material is trimmed away first and there is less plant to dry.
When dry trimming cannabis, you can hang harvested plants upside down on a line or hanger, either whole plants or branches—this prevents buds from getting flattened or misshapen as they dry.
When wet trimming, you’ll place trimmed buds on a drying rack.
Whether wet or dry trimming, check drying buds or branches after two days by bending a branch or stem—if the stem snaps, that means buds are fully dry. If they don’t snap, leave them and check the next day.
How to set up a cannabis drying room
What makes for a good drying room?
A good drying room will need to be dark with temperatures between 60-70°F and humidity between 55-65%. A cheap hygrometer will help you monitor these numbers.
Depending on your house or property, you may be limited in what you can use for a drying room. Know that it can be hard to control temperature and humidity in big rooms. Also, know that the room will smell like weed. Be sure the space you choose doesn’t have huge fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
Add a small fan to circulate air, and you may need to add a dehumidifier or AC as well. If it’s taking too long to dry buds in your space, you may need to adjust the temperature or humidity to help the drying process.
How dark should a drying room be?
UV rays from sunlight can degrade cannabis, so for optimal drying, keep your space dark. If you don’t have a light-tight space, cover your buds.
It’s OK to open the door and check in on the buds, but prolonged light exposure can quicken drying.
Cannabis drying room equipment
- Drying rack or line to hang buds for drying
- Hygrometer to measure temperature and humidity
- AC unit (optional)
- Dehumidifier (optional)
How to hang dry buds
Hang drying buds is less labor intensive but takes up more space. It involves cutting off big branches, or even hanging whole plants upside down. This saves time because you don’t have to “buck,” or remove individual buds off of branches, but as there is more plant hanging, drying this way will take up a lot more space.
Another downside to hang drying is that buds may take longer to dry as there is more plant matter, i.e., branches, stems, stalks, and fan leaves.
How to dry buds without hanging on a line
When trimming wet, you’ll need a flat rack—you’ll have lots of trimmed individual buds, so you can’t hang them. Flat racks are circular with layers of mesh, and are great for airflow.
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.
How to cure marijuana
Check out Johanna’s full video series on how to grow weed on Leafly’s YouTube .
When buds are done drying and have been trimmed, the initial amount of moisture is out and it’s time to cure your weed.
For curing, you’ll be storing finished buds in containers—typically airtight glass jars—to stop the loss of moisture, and to preserve flavors and aromas. Curing usually takes two weeks to a month, and humidity inside curing containers needs to be between 55-65%.
Why curing cannabis is important
The curing process is possibly the most overlooked aspect of growing weed. During curing, moisture continues to draw from the center of the bud toward the outside.
Curing affects the flavor and quality of the smoke. Many terpenes, which give cannabis its unique smell and flavor, are quite sensitive and can degrade and evaporate at temperatures as low as 50°F. A slow cure at low temperatures will preserve terpenes better than a quick, hot dry.
A proper cure also allows you to store weed for long periods without worrying about mold, or cannabinoid or terpene degradation. Well-cured flower can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to two years without significant loss of potency.
What does curing do to weed?
Curing helps finish off buds, improving their taste and smell. During curing chlorophyll continues to break down, getting rid of a vegetal taste—without curing, weed would taste like a freshly cut lawn. This loss of chlorophyll makes buds less harsh and smoother to smoke.
Equipment and tools needed to cure cannabis
When curing cannabis, it should be done in a room or space that has a stable temperature and humidity—dank, wet basements or hot, muggy attics aren’t ideal. The space should maintain room temperature and not be too humid.
Light can also degrade terpenes, so it’s ideal to be able to turn off the lights in the space or be able to cover jars so light doesn’t leak in.
To cure buds, you will need:
- Airtight jars
- Hygrometer (for each jar) to measure temperature and humidity
Curing cannabis buds
Once buds are dry, it’s time to cure them.
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.
Plastic bags aren’t good for curing as they are not impervious to oxygen. Also, you don’t want your weed tasting like plastic.
Pack buds loosely in containers without compacting or crushing them. Seal containers and store in a cool, dry, dark place.
Within a day or two you’ll notice buds get a little softer as moisture from the middle of the buds rehydrates the outer parts. If this doesn’t happen, you have likely over-dried your cannabis.
Humidity inside sealed jars should be 55-65%. If you’re unsure, you can also buy a digital hygrometer—which measures moisture—available for $20 or so at any hardware store.
If buds are too dry, you can add a humidity pack, such as a Boveda pack, to rehydrate buds.
If buds are too wet, leave the lid off for half a day or a full day before resealing them. Be sure to check humidity levels every day and leave the lid off for a period of time if they still are too wet.
Burp your buds
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 releases moisture and replenishes oxygen inside the container.
If you notice an odor of ammonia when opening a container, it means the buds are not dry enough and anaerobic bacteria are consuming them, which will lead to moldy, rotten cannabis. Leave the lid off for a day and reseal tomorrow.
After the first week, burp containers only once every few days.
How long does it take to cure cannabis?
After two to four weeks in containers, your cannabis should be cured enough to give you a flavorful, aromatic, and quality experience. Some people prefer to cure for four to eight weeks, and some strains even benefit from six months or more of curing.
How to store your harvested cannabis buds
After curing 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.
Excessive heat can dry out cannabinoids and terpenes that have taken months to develop. When these essential oils get too dry along with plant material, it can result in a hot, harsh smoke.
Here are some tips for storing buds:
- Store out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place
- Store in neutral containers, like glass mason jars
- Use hygrometers or products like a Boveda pack to monitor and control humidity levels
- Vacuum seal jars and containers to minimize oxygen exposure
- Separate strains to maintain individual flavor profiles, and label with a date—it sucks to mix up strains
Low temperatures 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.
Humidity control is paramount to keeping mildew and other mold contaminants out of your cannabis. Keep cannabis between 55-65% relative humidity when stored to maintain and enhance color, consistency, aroma, and flavor.
Harmful UV rays break down many organic and synthetic materials, and UV rays will degrade cannabis over time. Storing cannabis out of direct light will also help control temperature.
Drying & curing FAQ
How do you dry and cure buds fast?
We recommend taking your time with drying and curing. A slow dry and cure will greatly improve the flavor and aroma of your bud and reduce harshness.
Equipment such as fans, ACs, and dehumidifiers can help control temperature and humidity in a drying space, ensuring a smooth and consistent dry and cure.
What humidity should buds be dried to before curing?
Keep humidity between 55-65%, and temperatures between 60-70°F
Should buds be completely dry before curing?
Buds should not be completely dry before curing; if they’re too dry, they will have a harsh smoke. Drying should remove a large amount of moisture, and a little more moisture will be pulled out during curing.
How do you dry sticky buds?
The same as any buds—on a drying rack or by hang drying. Stickiness on buds refers to the amount of trichomes they have, not moisture.
What does it mean when you burp weed?
When curing buds, the jar needs to be opened up every few days or so to release moisture and replenish oxygen inside the jar—this is called “burping.”
Is burping weed important?
Yes; moisture needs to be released and fresh air allowed back in every few days.
Will my weed taste better after curing?
Yes; curing “finishes off” weed, pulling out the last bit of moisture and breaking down chlorophyll. This produces a smoother smoke and improves taste, flavor, and aroma in the weed.
Should I dry cannabis with a fan?
Fans can help regulate temperature and humidity in a drying room—reducing temps if it’s too hot and increasing airflow. Humidity should be 55-65% and temperatures 60-70°F; if your drying room is at these, you likely don’t need a fan, only if your dry space goes above these ranges.
How to Dry Cannabis Buds
Don’t settle for anything less than the best. Fast Buds shows you how to cure your buds for the best flavor and effects.
- 1. Slow and steady
- 2. Hang your buds to dry
- 3. Jars jars jars
- 3. a. If humidity is above 70%:
- 3. b. If humidity is 65%-70%:
- 3. c. If humidity is 60%-65% aka the sweet spot:
- 3. d. If humidity is below 55%:
- 4. Curing
- 5. How long?
- 5. a. Slow vs fast drying
- 6. In conclusion: what next?
It’s time to harvest your buds, and all you can think about is the first smooth, flavorful hit, but not so fast, you have to dry and cure them first. Without a proper cure, you’ll only get foul, harsh smoke.
So what’s the best way to dry your buds? Read on to find out.
1. Slow and Steady
There are a few hacks one can use to dry the buds as quickly as possible, but they all sacrifice flavor and potency for speed. You invested a lot of time and money in your seeds and plants, why sabotage the final product at the last second? The best-tasting marijuana slowly dries over the course of a few months. To do this right, you’ll want to invest in a hygrometer. You should already have one of these lying around, but if you didn’t use one in your grow tent for some reason, you can pick up a cheap hygrometer on Amazon for less than 25 Euro or 30 USD. This device will read the relative humidity in the air, which you’ll need to know to ensure a proper cure.
2. Hang your buds to dry
Step one is pretty simple, after trimming away the leaves (don’t forget to save them for extracts or edibles) you’ll want to hang your buds upside down, just like you were drying a flower for pressing. The ideal drying room should be kept at 21°C (70°F) with a 50% humidity reading on your hygrometer. There might not be a room in your home that meets these conditions, but you can use AC, heating, humidifiers, and dehumidifier to reach ideal conditions. Some environmental modification is better than nothing, so it’s OK if you can’t recreate perfect conditions.
If you live in a very humid area where the buds won’t dry quickly, consider buying a drying rack. It will help desiccate those buds before mold can start growing. You want this process to take around four to seven days. Any quicker and you’ll lose flavor and potency, any slower and you risk mold on your precious flowers. You’ll know you’re ready to move on when the stems of your buds cleanly snap off, instead of bending or hanging by fibers.
3. Jars Jars Jars
We’re done with the drying, now let’s cure things right to maximize that flavor. For this next step, you’ll need sealable glass jars like mason jars. Take your dried buds and place them inside and seal them tight. Ideally, you’d place a hygrometer in each jar, but depending on the size of your harvest that may be too expensive.
At least put one hygrometer in one jar and use its reading as a proxy for the others. So if it says 60% humidity in one jar, assume the other jars are around the same. We’re hoping to keep the jars’ humidity between 60%-65%. After sealing the jars, wait 24 hours and check on them. What you do next depends on the humidity reading.
If humidity is above 70%:
Take your bud out and let it dry in the open air for 12 hours. Return your bud to the jar and check again the next day.
If humidity is 65%-70%:
Open the top, but leave the weed inside. Let the open container sit in a well-ventilated area for four hours, then reseal and check again in 24 hours.
If humidity is 60%-65% AKA the sweet spot:
Perfect! No need to worry about the humidity today. Move onto the curing step.
If humidity is below 55%:
Uh-oh, humidity this low will make your buds dry too fast. Leave the jar sealed so more waters seeps into the air.
Once you get your jars into the sweet spot, you’ll want to open them for about 15 minutes each day. This lets the collected water vapor escape and makes room for more water to enter the air from the plant. This process is called burping, and you should do it at least once every 24 hours for the first week of the cure. Once your jars’ humidity has stabilized, you’ll only do it once every two or three days, then once a week or less.
5. How Long?
A proper cure for buds can take longer than the grow that produced them. As long as a jar’s humidity remains stable and between 60% and 65%, its flavor will improve for up to six months. To be honest, we’re not always patient enough to wait six months to taste our buds, but we do save a special reserve from each crop to receive the full treatment.
Slow vs Fast Drying
Ideally, the drying process should take anywhere from 7 to 16 days as the biggest danger to cannabinoids and terpenes are the temperature and humidity levels during the drying process. Failing to provide the right conditions will cause the evaporation of said chemical compounds. So when drying your weed, make sure the humidity ranges between 50-60% and the temperatures between 18-22 ºC. Another important thing to keep in mind is airflow as stale air can cause mold, so make sure to provide enough airflow but do not place a fan directly onto the buds, it’s recommended to have the fans pointed at a wall in order to prevent the evaporation of terpenes.
Once you have everything set, hang your plants upside down and make sure they take a minimum of 7 days to dry. Remember that slow drying will help preserve the smell, flavor, and cannabinoids in your flowers. So basically, slow drying will result in better flavor, aroma, and high while fast-drying will give your buds hay or plant-like flavor and harm potency.
6. In Conclusion: What Next?
That’s it. After months of growing, bud drying and curing, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you have more than you can smoke, be sure to protect your dry buds with proper storage. If you have any more questions, reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook. We respond to all messages, and love seeing the fantastic plants our seeds produce!