Everything you need to know about growing cannabis at home

How to Dry Cannabis Plants

by | Jul 11, 2022 | Cannabis, Finishing

Drying cannabis plants can be a little daunting for those who have never done it before. If you’re drying for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind that will ensure your drying process goes smoothly and gives you an optimal result. In this article, we’ll cover everything from drying for the first time to the different types of drying methods used by cultivators as well as how long it takes to dry cannabis plants and whether or not they need any special attention during the drying process.

What is drying for cannabis plants?

Drying cannabis plants is the process of removing most of the water from the buds and leaves. This is important because it makes sure that your plants are more pleasant to smoke and also helps preserve them for future use. The moisture is removed by placing the plants in a controlled environment after you have harvested them.

Why do cannabis plants need to dry after being harvested?

The cannabis plants need to be dried before you can smoke them or use them in any other way. This is because the buds and leaves will contain excess moisture, which can make them unsuitable for consumption. If you try to smoke wet cannabis, the smoke will be much harsher. This is due to the fact that the chlorophyll has not broken down to a level that will make the smoke palatable.

Is there a step I need to do before drying cannabis plants?

This is dependent on you and your preferences. After harvest time, you now have the option to either trim now, which is called wet trimming, or trim after the cannabis buds are done drying, which is called dry trimming. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both below.

Wet trimming

Wet trimming involves trimming your buds right after harvest and before you hang them to dry. It is easier and less time-consuming than dry trimming. It also allows you to take off fan leaves and make the buds smaller so they take up less space when drying. Wet trimming gives your bud the opportunity to dry quicker than dry trimming due to lower moisture levels in the plant.
The drawbacks of wet trimming are that it produces a harsh smoke because it dries quickly and doesn’t allow the chlorophyll to fully break down. It also takes away the fan and sugar leaves before drying which many people think are needed for a longer, better cure.

Dry trimming

Dry trimming is when you trim all the sugar leaves and fan leaves off your bud after your plants are done drying. Dry trimming is supposed to have a superior taste and smoke compared to wet trimming. You also will have more control over the speed at which the plants dry due to it having a higher moisture content.

Dry trimming does have drawbacks though, the main one being that it is much harder than wet trimming. The fan leaves, and especially the sugar leaves, shrivel, dry, and curl into the buds which makes them hard to trim. It also takes longer due to the slow drying process and takes up more space in your grow area.

Whether you dry trim or wet trim is a personal preference. Both methods have been proven to work and your circumstances may dictate which one you use. We personally prefer dry trimming but can see scenarios where people may need wet trim due to time constraints.

How do I dry my cannabis plants?

There are a few different ways to dry marijuana plants, but the most common is by hanging them upside down in a drying room, tent, or closet. Another method gaining in popularity is using a drying rack. These are mesh racks or wire racks that stand on their own and you place the marijuana buds on each level. You can use these instead of hangers or twine from the ceiling as the process is the same for proper drying. Make sure the drying area is a dark environment and has good air circulation. If you are drying in your tent, you can always use clothes hangers on the support bars across your ceiling. If you need more space running a string across the top to hang more plants also works.

The ideal humidity level and temperature are very important at this step. We recommend a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 60% relative humidity for optimal environmental conditions. Other growers will use different temperatures and relative humidities but if your temperature is between 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit and your relative humidity is between 45%-60% your buds should be fine.
The first step is to remove all the extra leaves from the plant material if you are wet trimming, if not, leave all the leaves on. The leaves will dry out faster than the buds, so it’s important to know whether you would like a longer or shorter drying period.

Next, you can either cut the plants into smaller pieces so they will dry faster and hang individual branches or leave the whole plant as is. Hang the plants upside down by their stems and make sure there is good air circulation around them but no fans should be blowing directly on them.

The drying process takes about a week but can take as long as 14 days depending on your plant and on the humidity and climate. You’ll know your cannabis plants are done drying when the buds are moist to slightly crispy and the stems bend slightly and are close to snapping.

What problems should I look out for during the drying process?

The drying process is very important in the overall quality of your cannabis flowers. If you notice any problems during this critical time make sure to fix them right away.

Make sure there is no water on the leaves that may drip down into your buds and cause the development of mold or mildew. You can tell if a bud has been exposed to too much water because it will smell like hay or grass and not have a pleasant aroma. Keep an eye on your drying plants for any problems like mold, which can form if you have a humid climate or the air circulation isn’t good enough. If you see any signs of mold, take the plants down and discard them immediately.

Don’t let your drying plants sit on the floor where they can be exposed to dirt and bacteria, make sure there is circulation above them as well. Make sure you aren’t drying right next to an oven or heater because this will dry out your buds too fast which could ruin their taste.


There most common way to dry cannabis plants is drying by hanging them upside down in a drying room, tent, or closet. Make sure there’s good air circulation and that the temperature stays between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit with 45%-60% relative humidity. Once your buds are done drying you can either cut the plant into smaller pieces or leave them whole. Look out for any problems during the drying process like mold and water on the leaves. It generally takes about a week to dry cannabis plants, but it could take up to two weeks depending on your climate and plant size.

Thank you for reading our article, should you have any further questions please see our other articles regarding harvesting, curing, budwashing, and bud rot.

To learn more about growing cannabis at home consider checking out our guides on: Getting Started, Troubleshooting, and Optimizing your Grow or search our Knowledge Base.

We strive to help your plants thrive.