How to Harvest and Dry Cannabis

Discover how to harvest and dry your cannabis so that it is ready for use.

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The process of harvesting and drying cannabis is a delicate one. If done correctly, it can result in some of the most potent and fragrant buds. If done incorrectly, it can result in weak and tasteless buds. Let’s go over the correct way to harvest and dry your cannabis.

When to harvest

The ideal time to harvest your cannabis plants is when the THC levels are at their highest. THC levels peak approximately 3 weeks before the plant’s natural life cycle ends. For most people, this means harvesting around mid-October.

To determine when your plants are ready to harvest, you will need to invest in a quality THC testing kit. These kits are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Once you have your THC testing kit, you will need to take a sample of the buds from your plant and test the THC levels.

You will want to test multiple buds from different parts of the plant to get an accurate idea of the THC levels. The buds on the top of the plant will usually be ready to harvest first. Once you have determined that your plants are ready to harvest, you can begin the harvest process.

How to harvest

The time has come, your cannabis plants have flowered and are now ready for harvest. Here is a quick guide on how to properly harvest your crop and dry your buds.

When to harvest: The best time to harvest is when the majority of the trichomes on the flowers are milky white or amber in color. You can use a jeweler’s loupe or microscope to get a close look at the trichomes.

Harvesting: Cut down the entire plant or individual branches, being careful not to damage the buds. trim off any large fan leaves, but leave the small sugar leaves as they contain a lot of THC.

Drying: Hang the branches upside down in a dark room with good airflow for about a week until the flowers are crisp to the touch but not brittle. Store your dried buds in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.


After your cannabis plants have been harvested, it’s time to begin the drying process. This is an important step in preserving the quality and potency of your cannabis. There are a few different methods you can use to dry your cannabis, but the most important thing is to do it slowly and evenly. The drying process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the method you use.

The drying process

Cannabis drying is the process of reducing the moisture content in cannabis buds. Drying cannabis properly is crucial for storage and for smoking, as improperly dried cannabis can lead to moldy, harsh-tasting bud or too-moist bud that doesn’t burn well.

The goal of cannabis drying is twofold: to remove most of the remaining water content from the flowers so they can be properly cured, and to reduce the chlorophyll content so the final product is palatable. Chlorophyll is a necessary component of plant growth, but it can give cured weed an unpleasant grassy taste.

The ideal moisture content for smoking or storing cannabis is between 8-10%. If your buds are too wet, they won’t cure properly and may start to mildew. If they’re too dry, they’ll burn up too quickly when you try to smoke them.

There are a few different ways to dry your cannabis. You can hang it upside down in a cool, dark place with good airflow, use a food dehydrator, or dry it slowly in an oven on the lowest possible setting. No matter which method you choose, check on your buds regularly to make sure they’re not drying too quickly or too slowly.

It usually takes about 7-10 days for cannabis to dry completely. Once your buds are dry to the touch but still pliable, they’re ready to be cured.

Drying methods

After harvesting your Cannabis, the next step is to dry it. There are several ways to do this, and the method you choose will depend on a number of factors including the quantity of Cannabis you have and the resources available to you. Below, we outline four of the most common methods for drying Cannabis.

This is the most common and simplest method for drying Cannabis, and it can be done with just about any size harvest. All you need is a dark, dry place with good airflow where you can hang your plants upside down by their stems. The ideal humidity level for hang-drying is between 45% and 55%.

The downside of hang-drying is that it can take a long time – anywhere from 7 to 14 days – for your Cannabis to fully dry. This method also runs the risk of your buds developing mold if the humidity level gets too high or if there isn’t enough airflow.

If you’re hang-drying a small quantity of Cannabis (less than an ounce), you can speed up the process by removing the stems and leaves before hanging your buds upside down.

Paper-Bag Drying
This method is similar to hang-drying in that it uses air circulation to dry your Cannabis, but paper bags help contain the moisture released by your plants so that they dry more evenly. It also protects your buds from light exposure, which can degrade the quality of your final product.

To paper-bag dry your Cannabis, first trim off any large fan leaves and stem them if desired. Place your trimmed buds into a clean brown paper bag, folding over the top several times to seal in the moisture. Then poke holes in the bag for airflow and Hang or set on a table in a dark room until buds are dried – this will take 3–7 days depending on humidity levels. Check on your bag every day or two, opening it up slightly to release any built-up heat or moisture if needed.

Dehumidifier Drying Chamber
If you have a lot of Cannabis to dry or live in an area with high humidity levels, investing in a dehumidifier drying chamber may be worth your while. These chambers use a fan to circulate air over your plants while a dehumidifier extracts moisture from the air, helping speed up the drying process while preventing mold growth.

You’ll need to purchase or build a box big enough to fit all of your plants (if possible, aim for one that’s at least 3 feet tall so you can hang larger plants), along with a dehumidifier powerful enough to cover the same space. Most home improvement stores sell dehumidifiers with built-in pumps that discharge water automatically, making them ideal for this purpose.

Once you have everything set up, Hang trimmed and stemmed plants inside the box and turn on both the fan and dehumidifier. Check on your plants every day or two, opening up the box briefly if needed to allow some air circulation


Curing is an important process in the life of a cannabis plant. After the plant has been harvested, the curing process begins.

The curing process

Curing is the process of drying and aging your cannabis. It’s important to cure your buds properly to bring out their full flavor and potency, and to prevent them from degrading. Curing also helps to remove the chlorophyll from your weed, which can make it taste harsh.

To cure your buds, you’ll need to dry them slowly, at a temperature of around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 50-60%. You can do this by hanging your buds in a room with a fan, or by using a drying box or dehydrator.

Once your buds are dry, you’ll need to store them in an airtight container (mason jars work well) in a cool, dark place. Every few days, open the jar to allow the buds to “breathe” and prevent them from molding. After 2-3 weeks of curing, your weed will be ready to smoke!

Curing methods

There are two primary methods of curing which are air curing and water curing. Air curing is the most popular method of cure as it only requires time, patience, and a dark, dry, and humid-free environment in which to cure. Water curing is a newer method that is gaining popularity for its expedited results. Water curing involves submerging your recently trimmed cannabis in distilled water for a set period of time until the water has taken on the chlorophyll taste and the buds are cured to your liking.

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