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Joaquin Acosta PharmD, MBA - 15 / Oct / 2020

Drying & Curing Hemp

Drying & Curing Hemp

Understanding how to correctly cure and dry hemp or cannabis is one of the most vital steps for anyone in the industry. Many first-time farmers and growers often overlook the drying and curing process and end up out of the soil unprepared to implement a proper drying & curing protocol. These steps are crucial for maintaining enjoyable and high-quality hemp, and hemp products. In this article we will explain all of the necessary things about drying and curing hemp. 

Drying & Curing Hemp-

Understanding how to correctly cure and dry hemp or cannabis is one of the most vital steps for anyone in the industry. Many first-time farmers and growers often overlook the drying and curing process and end up out of the soil unprepared to implement a proper drying & curing protocol. These steps are crucial for maintaining enjoyable and high-quality hemp, and hemp products. In this article we will explain all of the necessary things about drying and curing hemp. 

Why does hemp need to be dried properly?

After a successful harvest, there is still residual moisture and chlorophyll that is present in the flower. The easiest way to notice improper drying & curing technique is when you smoke the buds. Not only will the smoke scratch your throat, the taste will be diminished and the actual plant levels of CBD, CBG, and other phytocannabinoids will degrade. No one spends all summer caring for their plants just to ruin all of the hard work in the field. End of story, lack of knowledge and poor technique leads to a terrible consumer experience.

When done properly, you will enjoy the terpenes and get the full entourage effect from all the phytocannabinoids in your harvested cannabis genetics.

Optimal conditions:

Come of the optimal conditions for drying and curing hemp are given below: 

  • Air exchange
  • Absolute darkness
  • 30 to 50 % humidity
  • 59-68-degree F temperature

Curing hemp:

After harvest, curing will be your next step, before drying. For the most quality cure, we recommend storing the flowers upside down at 50% humidity and 60-70 degrees F for at least three days. It helps to homogenize the level of the moisture of the plant material. It will promote better growth. 

Make sure that the humidity stays at the level of 45-50 % so that hemp is being protected from mold formation and fungus. If the buds give a moldy smell, then the container opens immediately. Curing is an art. It should be first tried with small batches. It not only increases the flavor intensity it removes unnecessary moisture which causes a poor user experience or exposes plants to mold.

How to dry hemp?

After curing, unless using dryers, hemp should be hung upside down for drying in a dark, climate controlled warehouse or room with good airflow from above and below. At this point you can dial the humidity down anywhere from 40-20% as the temperature remains around 65 degrees F to promote the dry. The time takes for an ideal dryness may vary because it depends on different factors like drying location and climate. 

This should be done over 5 to 7 days and the quality and genetics of the plant material are all going to require different humidity levels to achieve this. As it dries, cannabinoids begin to fill the surface of the flower. Cannabinoids such as CBD & THC can slightly degrade depending on drying technique, temperature, and light. In general, the buds which are dried immediately will experience the most cannabinoid decomposition. 

The plant condition also plays a significant role in:

  • How many fan leaves are being attached
  • How fat the buds are?
  • so on.

Ideal conditions for Hemp Drying

You must dry your hemp in a dark location and suitable temperature. Good airflow is important because it gives better drying power. The ideal level of humidity for drying hemp is going to vary from 20-40%. If the humidity is lower, then keep the fan low to avoid over drying. 

Use climate-controlled location so that everything happens in a consistent controlled matter. 

You can even dry hemp in spare rooms. 

Some techniques used for drying hemp are:

  • Drying nets
  • Drying ropes