If you’re a regular marijuana connoisseur, you’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve had insufficient weed reserve for the week, but plenty of fresh buds waiting to be dry enough for use. Or maybe you have a new strain you’re dying to try but don’t have the patience to wait for it to dry out weed naturally. We get it, we’ve been there.
If you’ve never tried drying marijuana in the oven, or are curious about the process, below we cover everything – from the basics of why this process is needed, to how to actually do it. So, how to dry out weed? Let’s find out!
Why You Need to Dry Weed
For a brief recap, fresh, raw weed isn’t psychoactive. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have any benefits, though, because raw cannabis has many nutrients. However, for weed to become psychoactive, it needs to be exposed to high temperatures in order for the main cannabinoids to be activated.
In other words, raw cannabis contains THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), which are the non-active forms of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabinol). When these compounds come into contact with high temperatures, a chemical reaction happens where carbon dioxide is released, and they are converted into their active forms. This process is also known as decarboxylation, and it’s a prerequisite when making edibles, tinctures, and oils.
Something similar happens with the curing process, which is the proper drying and storing of marijuana for future use in order to fully preserve its flavor and aroma, as well as its cannabinoid content. Proper curing takes a lot longer, though, up to a few months in total, so many people dry weed using a simple and quick method like drying it in the oven. So let’s find out how to dry weed in the oven like a pro!
How to Dry Marijuana Out in the Oven
Drying weed in the oven may be one of the best methods and most widely used way to quickly dry those marijuana buds when you need them ASAP. When done right, your weed will still taste great, with its flavor and aroma nearly intact, and its cannabinoid content as good as ever. This method is a great backup for when you have some fresh buds and leaves on hand.
So, how to dry cannabis? Let us take you through the process step by step.
- The oven needs to be preheated at 220-240 °F. Don’t put in the buds before the oven has reached the desired temperature because exposing it to a gradually increasing temperature can disrupt the process;
- In the meantime, grind the buds. You can use a hand grinder if you have any, but you can also use your hands for chunkier pieces. Some people use a food processor, which is totally fine, but you’ll need to be careful to not overgrind. Blitz for 2-3 seconds at a time until you reach the appropriate size;
- Lay the buds flat out evenly on an oven tray. It’s best to line the tray with a cookie sheet or a tin foil in order to prevent sticking, as the trichomes are sticky anyways;
- When the oven is hot enough, place the tray and set the timer for 30-40 minutes, or until the dried buds change color from bright green to darker, brownish-green. What’s important during this time is to keep checking up on the drying buds every 5-10 minutes, and to keep stirring it. It’s important to let it dry evenly, otherwise it won’t be as good. Drying time largely depends on how fresh your cannabis buds are. If they had been exposed to air for a while, then you’ll probably need less time to bake them in the oven as some of the water content will have already evaporated. That’s why you need to monitor the process.
- Finally, when it’s done, leave them out on the counter to cool for a bit, and then they’re ready for consumption or storage. If you’re going to store the dry cannabis for later, make sure you first wait for it to cool completely before you transfer it to glass jars (the best for storage).
There is little that can go wrong when you dry weed out in the oven, however, precisely because this process is so simple, sometimes people make careless mistakes and end up with a ruined stash. To prevent this from happening and end up with a properly dried marijuana plant, let’s review the most common mistakes so you can successfully dry your weed.
Using a high-temperature setting is one. If you increase it even just a little bit, you will mess up the chemical process. It’s really important to stick to the temperature range provided because this will allow for a proper decarboxylation where the cannabinoids and the terpenes and flavonols (the compounds that provide the flavor and aroma) are preserved and not combusted. Therefore, if you use a very high temperature, it will not speed up the process, but you will burn your weed, and burnt weed produces a harsh smoke.
Similarly, if you don’t keep a diligent vigil and leave it for longer in the oven, even if you use the right temperature, the weed will dry out completely and lose its potency, not to mention its flavor. Therefore, be patient for half an hour, it’ll be worth it.
Finally, a lot of people might over-grind the weed thinking that that way they’ll extract more THC. But this isn’t the case, given that how coarse or fine the weed is has nothing to do with the THC content extracted and, in addition, the weed may taste more grassy. Ideally, the buds should be ground coarsely.
Other Quick Dry Tips
While the oven may be the most popular and quickest drying method, there are also other methods you can try to dry weed fast. And while some growers use a dehydrator in the drying process, while others place the weed upside down on a drying rack, below, we’ve included the easiest drying tips that anyone interested in marijuana cultivation should know.
Put the Weed in Paper Bags
This is one of the simplest methods and it involves the good old brown paper bags. This is a great drying method for small buds, but if you have a bigger bag, any size buds will do. Just put them in a paper bag and leave them in a dark room for 3-6 days. Make sure you leave some room for ventilation and check on them. When they feel dry and crispy to the touch, they’re ready.
Use the Boiler Room
If you have a boiler room, you can definitely use it to dry buds. It’s warm enough there for weed to dry, the only downside being that boiler rooms have relative humidity, meaning you’ll have to air it out frequently. If you have a large amount of crops, you can hang them on the rack for 3-4 days, checking on them frequently. Otherwise, for smaller amounts, just use a brown paper bag and give the buds about two days.
Leave the Buds in the Sun
Leaving out weed in the sun is nature’s way of drying it. It’s not ideal, as too much sun may influence the THC content, but if you’re careful enough and don’t have any other options, it’s perfectly viable. All you need to do is put the buds in a brown paper bag and leave it out in the sun for a day or two.
Freeze Drying Weed
Another method of drying weed is the freeze drying method or lyophilization. This method involves crystallizing the solvent or suspension medium, like water, at a low temperature and removing it from the weed through the process of sublimation, or the transition from a solid state to a gaseous one. Freeze drying weed is made up of three stages:
- The freezing stage;
- The sublimation drying;
- The desorption drying.
This method is suitable for commercial marijuana producers as it’s more expensive compared to other drying methods.
Worst Ways to Dry Your Weed Fast
Even though there are a lot of methods for drying marijuana, some aren’t as good as others, and we’ll give you a list of which ones to avoid if you want to dry your marijuana the right way.
Drying Weed With an Electric or Gas-Powered Heater
This is one of the methods of drying marijuana that can be really tricky for beginners, which is why it’s not recommended. Growers generally use this method for drying large amounts of cannabis and use either a gas-powered heater or an electric heater. If, however, you do decide to try it out, the room where you intend to dry the weed should be well ventilated and dry to prevent the formation of mold on the weed. The buds should be separated from each other to provide enough airflow and enable the marijuana to dry evenly.
Drying Weed With a Hair Dryer
Another method that has been used a lot for drying weed, but isn’t one of the best, is the method involving a hair dryer, which is similar to the heater-method, only you use a smaller device. To do this, you need to place your weed in a shoebox and cut a hole as big as the nozzle on the hair dryer in order to fit it in the nozzle. Start the hair dryer and let it blow for about an hour. Make sure that you check your weed once every 5-10 minutes to make sure it isn’t getting dry and that you haven’t put a lot of weed in the shoebox as it won’t dry properly.
Drying Weed in the Microwave
If you want to find out what happens if you microwave weed, you can certainly take a look at our article on the subject. However, you need to keep in mind that if you intend to dry your weed in the microwave, it may not be the best idea as you can easily burn your weed.
This method of drying weed only works if you want to dry a small amount of weed. To do it, place a small amount of weed at 50% power and turn the microwave on. Make sure you turn the weed at intervals of 15 seconds and leave the buds to cool off before turning the microwave back on. Do this until all the buds are dry. Remember that this process might not yield the same results as other drying techniques, similar to how baked potatoes aren’t the same as microwaved potatoes.
Drying marijuana is a necessary step you need to do before you can enjoy it because raw marijuana is non-psychoactive. Therefore, marijuana needs to come into contact with a heat source for the THC and CBD content to be activated.
Drying marijuana out in the oven is a very simple and easy drying process for cannabis plants, which can be done in less than an hour. Other quick-drying methods are using brown paper bags, using the boiler room, and leaving weed out to dry out in the sun.