Drying cannabis without hanging can be pretty life-saving if you don’t have a spacious cabinet to spread them out. Plus, when you have only a few buds to dry, then drying without hanging makes sense.
It’s easier to monitor conditions in a small enclosure than in a whole room.
Drying is a quality-assuring procedure that needs to be done without little compromises.
The buds potentiate their terpenes and cannabinoids during drying, and to preserves these volatile components, you have to dry in a controlled environment.
Keeping the temperature and humidity at a suitable range is essential to retaining just the right amount of moisture in the buds.
When it comes to getting the right buds, growers want to go the full mile. Ease vs. Effective doesn’t have to be on either end of cross worlds.
Hang drying is famous for its effectiveness. But sometimes, it’s not the most appropriate, leaving you wishing you had just as effective drying technique.
How To Dry Buds Without Hanging
Growers have mastered varied ways of drying buds without hanging. Using a drying rack is the most common way to dry buds without hanging. But there are other less appreciated methods to dry your buds without hanging.
Unlike hang-drying which allows you to hang branches with many buds on them, using flat drying racks involves cutting the individual buds from the branches.
When you use drying racks, you also have to pay attention to how close the buds are apart. When the buds are crammed together when still wet, they become more prone to mold.
Drying racks have the advantage of space. Unlike hang-drying which requires a dedicated room for the entire drying period, dry racks doesn’t require much space.
But other than drying racks, there are different, less common ways to dry cannabis without hanging them. You can try whichever your resources and preference favor.
Most commercial growers use drying racks to dry their weed because it makes economic sense.Using dry racks allows you to preserve the visual appeal of the buds. You can place your buds far apart; they don’t knock on each other, which preserves their outlook.
How To Use Drying Racks For Cannabis
If you have invested in the commercial drying racks, well and good. If you haven’t, you can make one yourself. Make a wooden square, and secure the base with a mesh using staples.
The wooden frame should be as big as you want it to be. It should be enough to spread your buds without them touching. The more they touch, the more resin glands you lose to the friction.
Keep a box under your improvised drying rack to collect kief. Now that you’ve made the drying rack, here’s how you dry your buds on it.
- Cut the buds from the plants and place them on the mesh. Though you can use cardboard as the surface, a mesh is excellent because it allows for better airflow.
- Rotate the buds so that they dry evenly.
- Monitor the room temperature and humidity to allow the buds to dry slowly without losing potency.
- Install a fan to improve airflow, but don’t set them directly at the buds. That might cause fast-drying.
- Dry for between 5 to 10 days, then test by snapping the little branches. If they snap, your buds are ready for curing.
- Place the buds in mason jars for curing.
Note: Drying racks come in varieties. Some drying racks simply allow you to hang dry. But you need the flat-surface drying racks if you don’t want to dry without hanging. It’s always a good idea to make your own drying rack if you have a few buds to dry.
Hang-Drying Vs. Flat-Surface Rack Drying
Hang-drying is the most preferred way of drying because it allows your buds to dry slower, especially if you don’t trim the buds before drying them.
It is also beginner-friendly; you only have to cut the branches containing the buds and hang them. Easy.
But it requires more space. With rack drying, you only need the area for the rack—and it’s a small space!
Rack drying also allows you to space your buds, keeping them apart so that they don’t brush on each other. This saves the resin glands and reduces the powdery mess you collect as kief.
Since the buds are apart and don’t rub on each other, your buds will have a fuller look, hence more attractive to buyers.
Use a Microwave
Microwaving your buds is one of the fast ways to dry your buds without hanging them.
It’s less preferred because it rushes the curing process, but it can give you that much-needed high as you wait for the rest of your harvest to dry properly.
It’s simple, you want the microwave to evaporate the moisture in the buds.
Set the microwave at 50% power and toss your buds inside. Turn the buds after every 15 seconds for an even burn. Let buds cool for a minute, then power on again.
Repeat the process until the buds are perfectly dried.
Note: Microwaving your buds doesn’t help you retain their quality. It rushes the drying process and will give you harsh buds because it doesn’t remove the chlorophyll.
The terpenes also escape given the high temperatures; thus, the buds will lose their distinct cannabis smell.
Freeze drying is famous for being one of the fastest ways to dry your cannabis without losing the terpenes and cannabinoids.
With freeze-drying, you can smoke your buds from stalk within 24 hours— without compromise on potency.
Freeze-drying involves exposing the buds to – 40°F or below. The freezing temperatures turn the moisture into crystals which then are removed through sublimation.
Sublimation is the process through which solids (like the icy crystals) turn to air without passing the liquid stage.
Freeze driers have vacuum pumps that suck the water vapor from the chamber after sublimation.
The significant advantage of freeze-drying cannabis is that it keeps the buds looking fresh.
If you intend to sell your buds, customers will love to purchase when the buds look fresh and promising. Buds that look shrunk and emaciated don’t sell so fast.
Freeze-drying has its roots in the military. During world war two, it was used to preserve blood serum.
Today, it is widely used in the food industry. In cannabis, companies like CannaFreeze have built massive dry freezing units to help commercial growers dry their buds faster while retaining the buds’ potency, taste, and visual appeal.
Helpful Tips When Drying Cannabis Without Hanging
Drying cannabis without hanging means the buds get to drying as freshly picked. Dealing with fresh-picked buds needs caution, lest you lose your whole harvest to mold.
Here are a few tips;
Keep the drying rack sanitary— Whether you’re using the sophisticated flat-surface drying racks or simply using a wooden frame you’ve constructed at home, keep it clean.
The buds are more susceptible when wet, thus clean the drying surface.
Sanitize the drying surface with hydrogen peroxide to kill any microorganism that may attack your buds.
If the rack comes with a kief collector, clean that too. Always make sure the buds are dried in a clean, sanitary environment.
Don’t crowd the buds— Whatever methods you choose, don’t crowd the buds. Closely packing the buds inhibits airflow and makes them prone to mold.
Don’t aim the fan at the buds— Fans help improve airflow in your drying room.
However, when the fans are directed at the buds, they will hasten the evaporation of moisture from the buds. This leads to the effects of fast-drying like harsh smokes and weird-smelling buds.
Watch humidity and temperature— Avoiding hang-drying doesn’t mean evading essential drying practices.
Humidity and temperature are essential, whatever the drying method you choose.
When the humidity is higher, your buds become more prone to mold. Likewise, if the temperature is high, the buds will become too dry. None is preferable.
Keep humidity at 50% and tempts between 65-70° F.
In conclusion, you can dry cannabis without hanging and still get the best out of your buds. Though you can microwave your buds, you’d rather go for better drying methods that preserve the quality of your buds, like freeze-drying or using a drying rack.