For home growers, especially beginners, having a space to dry your weed is something you need to think about. To increase your chances of yielding a successful batch of smokable ganja, you want to consider a few basic items to take into consideration when setting up your room to dry your marijuana. This article will only cover the basics of what to look for in your drying room and nothing else. In future articles, we will discuss the curing and monitoring the process of drying your weed and how it can affect the quality of your weed. For now, check out this great Leafly article.
Choosing a space for your drying room
A drying room is something you want to set up way before you harvest your buds. Although you may have a lot of spare space at your residence, there are a few things to consider when choosing a room to dry your marijuana in:
- The climate of the room should not fluctuate with changes in the weather or external climate.
- Whenever possible, use a new room. Old spaces, especially those that have been used as storage, often have a lot of mildew.
- The room should not be too big that you won’t be able to accurately control the climate in it.
- The room should not be used for anything else except for drying.
If you have no option but to use an old room, make sure to clean it thoroughly, preferably with hydrogen peroxide. You want to end up with a room with a neutral smell, so if there’s a lingering smell from your cleaning chemicals, make sure to deodorize it thoroughly.
Drying Room Environment And Room Climate
You do not always need expensive commercial equipment for a dry room for weed. Depending on how much you’ll be drying, you can get away with using simple household appliances like electric fans. It can be easy to figure out the equipment you need if you know what kind of environment is needed to dry and cure buds properly. Here are some of the things you need to consider when setting up a drying room for weed:
- It should have adequate airflow and a way to vent out or neutralize odors.
- It should be dark since light, especially ultraviolet light, degrades cannabinoids and terpenes.
- It should always be clean since buds are susceptible to mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria.
The general rule is: the smaller the space, the easier it is to control the climate. Climate control is why many growers like to use drying boxes for smaller batches. However, if you’ll be hanging up a few plants, you need a room that is dark and clean. Your dehumidifier, fans, and air filtration system should be able to take care of the rest.
Most growers want to remove around 40% moisture content within the first 3 days by dialing in a temperature of 68 F and relative humidity of 55%. After this, the temperature should be dialed back a few degrees to slow down the drying process so that the undesirable compounds will have time to break down.
Drying Room Lighting
As mentioned earlier, light is known to degrade cannabinoids. Some light sources such as bulbs can also dramatically warm up a room so what you want is to keep your drying room for weed dark whenever you are not checking up on your buds.
If your chosen room has any windows where the sun shines through in the morning, you should cover those up. Or better yet, use that as an outlet for your ducting and ventine but make sure to seal any open spaces so the sun or any contaminants from the outside don’t get in.
Drying Room Equipment
It is very important to get a digital hygrometer/thermometer because you should never guesstimate the temperature and humidity in your drying room.
If you’re planning to grow more in the future and you know you’ll be hanging multiple stems of weed, you may want to invest long term in some decent equipment.
Although you can buy these things separately, buying them as a kit is usually better since you likely won’t need to do any modifications to make the parts fit each other. There’s practically a kit for every need: some include everything, even a tent or a cabinet, some just a part of the setup, like for the air filtration kit mentioned below.
- A fan
- A duct kit (ducting, exhaust fan, filter)
- Strings or rods for hanging your stems. Even a regular clothes hanger rack can be used.
- A drying rack or screen for your loose herbs.
The basic idea is to hang the stalks that you cut from your plant so that they can dry upside down. The most common method would be to hang them from rods or strings that you’ve set up inside the tent. But you can also put them on a rack or net dryer. Whichever you decide to use, just keep in mind: the less surface contact on the buds, the better.
You can use silica gel canisters or similar equipment to remove moisture from your drying cabinet but if you plan on drying 2 or more plants, especially if the climate in your area tends to fluctuate a lot, shelling out around $40 for a small dehumidifier is a worthwhile investment. For extra peace of mind, you can also get a dehumidifier-air purifier combo so that you’re sure no microbes, fungi, etc settles on your weed.
When getting a dehumidifier, consider the size of your drying room. Most dehumidifiers will have their working capacity indicated either in square feet or cubic feet. It’s advisable to get one that has a capacity that’s a little bit bigger than the size of your room.
The odor from marijuana warrants that the air filtration system for your drying room is set up properly, especially if you’re being discreet. A carbon filter, which will likely come with the ducting kit, is the most suitable for the job but if you’re in a pinch, a couple of charcoal bags will also work.
Quick And Easy Drying Room Setup
Most of the time, the challenge for new growers is to figure out the kind of setup that works best for the scale of their home growing operation. While it’s always nice to use a complete array of equipment and kits, it may be overwhelming if you only plan to grow 1 to 2 plants.
A simple setup can involve inserting rods into a large box where you can hang the stems. Just make sure that air isn’t blowing directly on your buds because that will dry them out too quickly. Terpene loss is unavoidable during the drying process so what you want is to evaporate just enough moisture at a rate where maximum terpenes can be retained.
The Dry Checklist – Do’s and Don’ts
To recap, here are some important things to keep in mind when setting up a drying room for weed.
- Do get a hygrometer/thermometer for your room and for your curing jars.
- Do make sure that your weed drying environment gets enough air circulation.
- Do make sure that you use equipment to vent, filter, or absorb odors.
- Don’t point your fans directly on your drying weed.
- Don’t turn up the temperature and bring down the humidity in hopes of drying your weed faster.
- Don’t dry in a room or space where temperature, humidity, and light will fluctuate.
- Don’t use your weed drying room for anything else.
Small-batch growers focused on producing top-shelf weed consider drying and curing an art. While you can certainly follow a few basic guidelines on how to set up a drying room for weed as you start out, you will only be able to fine-tune your setup through constant experimentation, which takes time. The fact that the environment plays a big role in drying and curing means that growers in the different parts of the country will likely have different setups. Typical goals as a beginning grower are to strike a balance between maximizing the quality of the weed that you are growing while minimizing the costs of your drying room setup.