After harvesting marijuana, all is not done. You will need to first manicure your harvest before proceeding to drying your plant, after which curing will be appropriate to crown the whole process. When manicuring, you will get to separate the good stuff from the not so good. Drying marijuana, preferably until the small stems snap, will ensure a great taste and quality in your weed distinguishing it from other low quality weed you can find in the street. Some cultivators shrug off this essential process for quick money ending up with sub-par marijuana.
Manicuring is an important process of removing excessive leaves and branches from the main stems with bud on them in order to create some really high quality weed. This process is time consuming especially if you grow in large scale and end up with a lot of plants to manicure.
What you require is firstly and a lot of care and patience and a clean flat-topped workspace. It is recommended that you work in a cool and dark room; not so as to hide from anybody but it is just ideal conditions for the marijuana. Light degrades THC and, additionally, you don’t want the leaves to manufacture starch in the presence of white light and your buds end up taking too long to cure. You will need a pair of small sharp scissors. You may need a number of scissors because they are going to be coated in resin and will be sticky. You can clean them using an organic solvent such as alcohol.
Pre-coating the scissors with some olive oil is a trick by some cultivators for lubrication and making them resistant to resin; but still resin does stick. Do not throw away the resin before cleaning with alcohol; it’s packed with lots of cannabinoids and can be used to make some sticky hash for smoking or vaporizing. Wear powder-free latex gloves when working on many plants. These too, will get stuck with resin and all you will have to do after using them is to place them in a plastic bag and put in in a freezer for some time. Frozen resin will be easy to peel off the latex.
Some cultivators manicure right after cutting. This is termed as wet-trimming. Others wait for the plants to dry a little so that the buds pull cannabinoids from the leaves to improve the taste. This is referred to as dry-trimming; it logically aimed at improving the taste but the manicuring gets much difficult. The offcut leaves are not to be thrown away as they too contain cannabinoids though not as much potency as the buds. Drying the leaves will produce pretty good hash.
After manicuring, proper drying will ensure production of the best tasting weed. It takes patience to let your plant dry up till the smaller branches start to snap. It can get really tempting to smoke right after manicuring but with some patience, drying your marijuana will let you have what you really need.
The following is a step-wise guide to proper drying marijuana.
- Bud positioning: hang the stems upside down in a dark room. The buds should be pegged hanging down for faster drying. Alternatively, you can lay them on a mesh and keep rolling them over so that they dry evenly. All this should be done in dark room for reasons of prevention of THC degradation.
- · Spacing: the buds should be adequately spaced away from each other so that individual buds don’t touch.
- · Temperature: ensure that the room temperature is 18-23oC an equivalent of about 64-73oF. Temperatures exceeding these values will take a negative toll on the weed quality.
- · Humidity: ensure that the room’s humidity is maintained at 50%. A hygrometer will assist in measurement of humidity. A humidifier or dehumidifier will help to regulate humidity by adding or reducing moisture content of the air respectively.
- · Ventilation: ensure there is good air ventilation. Clean and circulating air dries up your plant optimally.
A proper drying should take 10-20 days. Do not put your marijuana over a heater or in a microwave, for example, to hasten the drying process; patience is key remember. Hastening the natural process will definitely affect the final taste and weed quality. Cannabis is fully dried up when you can break a stem easily; it should immediately snap when you bend it. Flexing or resisting bending calls for further drying. You should, however, not over-dry your marijuana because it will take longer to cure.
In conclusion, it is worth pointing out that odor control and proper ventilation will be necessary especially when a large batch of marijuana is being let to dry. Freshly cut marijuana buds are smelly. Give your plants time and be patient so that they can snap immediately when bent. Having fully dried up your marijuana, the next step will be curing.