Harvesting And Drying of Cannabis

HARVESTING AND DRYING

Plants should be harvested when peak T.H.C. levels have been reached. (For a fast-flowering variety this can be after as little as 45 days in flower, but for white varieties, sativas and Haze strains the flowering period can go on for 12 -18 weeks!! -See flowering)

A handy way of telling if peak T.H.C. has been achieved is to purchase a good magnifying glass and compare trichromes with those in the photos.

Plants shouldn’t be watered for the last few days prior to harvesting. This helps cut down on moisture levels, and lessens chances of bud-rot. (Wet plants can still go mouldy after they have been cut) There are two general ways of harvesting a crop of cannabis- the wet-cut, and the dry-cut. Both require a minimum of equipment.

Equipment:

-Latex gloves

-Strong cutters for stems

-Small manicuring scissors

-Drying racks/string

-Rubbish bags

-Work bench or table

-A little vegetable oil or butter for removing sticky T.H.C.

Wet cut: With this method the plant is harvested and manicured all in the same process at the same time. It is often used for bigger crops where time, or space, is of the essence, and presentation is not so important.

-Cut the plant at the base with the strong cutters.

-Strip the large shade leaves off and discard.

-Cut the plant into branches and tops.

-Trim carefully the small leaf away from the flower.

-Divide fat fleshy tops into smaller buds to prevent bud-rot.

-Spread out onto racks in a single layer

-Turn them occasionally over the next few days.

-After 5-10 days the herb can be stored.

Dry cut: This is the SeedBreeders recommended way of harvesting your plants, and by far the most popular method.

Dry cutting takes a little longer than wet, but is the best way of preserving the taste and looks of your flowers, and the end result will always impress friends. It is often the growing room itself that becomes the drying room, so a week or so is wasted before the next crop can be planted unless another room is available. Remember that fresh-cut weed stinks, so if using carbon filters, you need to keep your air system on at all times.

-Cut the plant at the base with the strong cutters.

-Strip the large shade leaves off and discard.

-Hang string like a washing line from wall to wall

-Hang the whole plant upside down along the string making sure they have plenty of room between each other.

-Keep a daily watch for moisture levels and bud-rot. (45-60% humidity is ideal)

-After 5 -10 days, when the bud is getting crispy but before it’s totally dry, start to trim the small leaf from around the buds (saving this for hash making) and divide the big tops into smaller pieces.

-Put the marijuana immediately into plastic bags or jars and seal well, locking in a small amount of moisture.

-Open the bags/jars every day and let them breathe. When there is no more sweat forming inside the container it is ready to be sealed for good and stored away to cure.

Drying environment: Keep the area dark and cool and circulate the air well with fans. Ideal temperature is around 20 C, and the humidity between 40-60% with a dehumidifier, if necessary. The herb will smoke smoother if it takes around a week to 10 days for the moisture to evaporate. Quicker drying will ruin the taste and degrade the burning properties. Things to look out for that can result in harsh tasting weed are low humidity levels, high temps, and harsh light!

Curing: After drying, any variety benefits from a slow cure. Curing involves atmospheric oxygen to metabolise cannabinoids and terpenes into more desirable forms. Marijuana can be stored up to a year or longer if sealed well. After 6 months the weed will take on a lovely, dark, earthy taste and smell. The effects will be better and smoother.

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