Jun 30 , 2020
We’ve all been there. Looking down at a bag of overly damp or even wet weed that just won’t burn. You might have recently cropped a few plants and can’t wait for it all to be perfectly dried and cured or maybe your guy might have sold you something that’s not quite reached its best.
Either way, it’s annoying! Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help the process along a little.
In the following article, we’ll look at a load of topics relating to quick-drying cannabis. They include:
- Should I even be trying to quick dry?
- The best way to dry weed.
- The fastest way to dry weed.
- Alternative ways to fast dry your weed.
As you’ll see, the fastest way to dry weed certainly isn’t the right way to do it. However, there’s a time and a place for these techniques. We’ve all had to use them at some point and if someone says they’ve never hurried a bud along at all, they’re probably lying.
Should I Even be Rushing to Dry My Bud?
Obviously, you need to dry your weed before you can even think about using it. Buds that are not fully dry will burn unevenly, be a chore to keep lit, and will infuriate the hell out of you - if you’ve ever tried to use your grinder with wet weed, you’ll know what we mean! Even an absolute beast, like the Banana Bros Otto Mill & Fill, will struggle with damp weed!
Make sure your buds are properly dry if you have plans to smoke them. For other uses, like hash making, for example, you might prefer to use a wet product.
However, should you quick-dry your buds? The answer is almost always a firm no. Drying weed properly takes time. The slower you manage to do it, whilst still avoiding bud rot, the more pleasant your smoking experience. You should aim to properly dry and cure as many of your buds as possible and quick dry as few - if any at all.
That said, there are sometimes occasions when you might need to rush the process slightly. You might have completely run out of smoke yourself. Without the means to buy some more before your own produce is ready, you’ll certainly be tempted to dry some buds for quick use.
If you do need to rush drying, you can expect your product to taste very “green”. This is because the stress you put the plant under to remove moisture quickly actually causes the cell walls to burst and for chlorophyll (the stuff that makes a plant green) to be released.
By contrast, chlorophyll breaks down into other, tastier and funkier smelling terpenes when the bud is dried correctly. It takes a lot longer but the result is so much better. Curing further improves this too.
Similarly, cannabis that has been dried at anything over the optimum temperature of 21°C has a tendency to become crispy and may burn extra hot and harsh.
The Best Way to Dry Weed
Before we explain exactly how you shouldn’t dry weed (unless in an emergency), we’ll first give you some pointers to show you how you should be doing it.
For the smoothest toke and the maximum flavour possible, cannabis should be dried slowly. Whether you want to trim your buds before or after the drying process is a matter of personal preference. Some prefer to trim when leaves are still fresh since the task is arguably easier. However, others swear by drying before trimming. If you’re trimming a serious amount of bud, you might want to invest in some electric secateurs, like the Trim's Matic Electric Hand Held Trimmer. Either way, the drying technique should be the same.
You want to hang your buds in a dark space that retains a constant temperature of around 21°C and stays at about 50% humidity. Thermometers and humidity readers can give exact measurements but if space feels about room temperature and you don’t live in a particularly dry or wet part of the world, your humidity levels will probably be fine.
Hang your buds up by the stems in the space so that none of them touches each other or other surfaces. A coat hanger is great for this job but some growers prefer to use a designated drying rack, like those by Yield Lab. Meanwhile, a fan will increase air circulation, which will help to prevent bud rot. Don’t blast the fan directly at the buds though. This tends to dry parts unevenly, with those drying fastest ending up crispy.
Check the progress after around three days by trying to break the stem of one of your drying buds. If it snaps with a break rather than a bend, it’s good to go. If not, you need to wait for a little longer.
Since buds are usually vastly different sizes and densities, even from the same grow, they might be ready at different times. Just start curing as and when each reaches the correct water content - judged using the stem snap test.
To really get the best taste from your weed, you want to be curing it for around two weeks. This process involves storing buds in a canning jar, releasing moisture build-up twice a day. You should also regularly rearrange the buds to avoid getting damp spots from any residual moisture.
During the curing process, this residual moisture spreads to the drier parts of the plant. Essentially, it further slows the drying process. During this phase, different components of the plant start to break down into various fragrant terpenes. Once dried and cured properly, it’s ready to hit the bong or vape!
How to Dry Weed Fast
As you can see, drying weed correctly isn’t a particularly difficult task. It does take time though. The difference between a properly dried weed and quickly dried weed is huge in taste, smell, and bag appeal. However, if you really need your weed fast, you can consider speed drying some buds to tide you over.
Any way of getting a consistently warm environment for your buds will work. However, we do recommend a few different methods.
Microwave - The Fastest Way to Dry Your Buds
The nuclear option - literally. If you really can’t wait 15 or 20 minutes for your weed, you can always use your microwave. Smokeable (if you can call it that) in just seconds, the quality of the resulting cannabis is questionable, to say the least.
If you really can’t wait to pack your rolling papers with your product, this is undoubtedly the fastest method. Whilst that’s the only award this method is winning, it’s comforting to know that it is possible for really desperate times!
Set your microwave to around 50% power or less and spread your buds on a microwavable plate. Give your buds a blast for 10 seconds at a time and check after each cook. They will be done in just a few and overdone very quickly afterwards.
If you do accidentally overdry your buds, you can restore some moisture to them using a ziplock bag and some orange peel. A few hours in there with the peel and your weed will freshen up. Let’s be serious though, if you overdry your smoke using the microwave, you’re not going to be waiting a few hours to freshen it up again!
If you’re fast-drying a reasonable amount of weed, the oven is probably your best bet. You can set it to the temperature you want and usually set an alarm too.
Spread your buds evenly out across a cookie sheet and place them in a preheated oven. The temperature should not exceed 60°C or you risk burning the cannabinoids and decreasing potency.
After five minutes, check nothing is burning with a quick visual inspection. Reduce the temperature if necessary. Bake the weed for another 5 minutes before leaving it outside of the oven cooling for another 5 minutes. Return the cookie sheet to the oven for a further 10 minutes and it should be ready to use. Prepare for some of the worst buds you will ever taste. It will still get you blazed though!
Rather than speed drying a heap of your freshly grown Grade A smoke, you might be doing the sensible thing and letting it dry and cure properly. However, if you run out of your own supplies in the meantime, it might be a few days until you can restock.
If you just want to fast dry a few small buds to keep you smiling for a few days, consider using a light bulb. They provide a pretty consistent source of heat and, providing you keep the power below 100w, you won’t be frying your stash. You want to get your buds within around 2” of the bulb itself where there is a nice heat. A tinfoil bowl over the top of a standard lampshade works excellently for this.
Make sure to turn your buds frequently for around 10 to 15 minutes. When they feel dry throughout they’re ready for use. But again, beware. Going from sodden to smokeable in less than an hour will definitely result in some wack tasting weed!
In the Boiler Room
Your boiler room will maintain a pretty consistent temperature that’s warmer than the rest of the house. Slightly cooler than a light bulb or the oven and a hell of a lot cooler than the microwave, the boiler room provides something of a compromise in the quick-dry weed world.
Place your buds in some brown bags (make sure not to pack them too tightly) and sit them close to the boiler. They should be ready to use in a few hours. This longer drying time will result in the slightly better tasting but this should never be a substitute for proper drying and curing.
Perhaps the slowest of the ways to get your weed fast is by using a food dehydrator. Instead of food items, just put your buds in there and use it in the same way you would with any other foodstuff. Since it takes 12 hours, rather than 10 minutes, the taste is much better than it would be if you were to just use the oven.
The said, it really won’t be comparable to properly cured, slowly dried cannabis - probably nothing ever will be either!
Don’t Destroy Your Weed!
Hopefully, after reading this you’ll have realized that quick-drying a harvest is not a good idea. Although you can have weed ready to smoke in just 10 minutes or less, the experience will not be anywhere near as enjoyable.
Drying above the optimum temperature will result in crispy weed that burns hot and tastes pretty foul. Whilst it will get you high, you’ll end up with a lot of marijuana that you won’t be all that proud of.
If you really must dry your weed fast, use one of the above methods on a few small buds. It’s better to quickly dry a little amount often. All the time it spends hanging in optimum conditions will improve the quality, even if it is only an additional day or two.
As a general rule of thumb, the faster you dry your buds, the worse it will taste. We recommend the brown bags in the boiler room method over the others since the end product shouldn’t be anywhere near as harsh and it doesn’t require specialist equipment. If at all possible, save nuking it in the microwave for the most desperate times!
That’s about all there is to quick-drying your buds. Generally speaking, you want to avoid it. However, there’s a time and place for everything, and knowing these few ideas might just bail you out of a tight jam. Happy toking!