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Can You Dry Weed In A Dehydrator?

Though it’s often those small details that tip it all over into ‘excellent’ rather than just ‘good’. And as cannabis is one of those crops that is so labour-intensive at every step, from strain selection and seed choice through to careful handling during the vegetative and flowering stages and all that happens post-harvest, getting good at all of it will produce award-winning bud.

Getting your drying technique right can put your buds into the ‘excellent’ category But we all know that sometimes we just don’t have the time or the tools to do everything as painstakingly as we want to. If you’re wondering whether to speed-dry your buds in a home food dehydrator, here’s why you shouldn’t.

Key Takeaways

  • Risks of Using a Dehydrator: Using a food dehydrator to dry cannabis is generally not recommended due to the potential degradation of flavor, potency, and overall quality of the buds.
  • Temperature Sensitivity: Cannabis is sensitive to high temperatures, and using a dehydrator can adversely affect the cannabinoids and terpenes, which are crucial for the desired effects and aroma of the weed.
  • Alternative Drying Methods: Traditional slow drying and curing processes are favored for preserving the integrity of cannabinoids and enhancing the sensory experience of cannabis. These methods ensure a smoother smoke and a richer flavor profile.

What is the Dehydrator Process?

It works by stuffing the plant matter into a food dehydrator and blasting it on due to the concerns that it can heavily sabotage the final product. At best, this method suggests using the lowest heat setting on your dehydrator and flipping the buds every 30 minutes or so until they start crisping up.

Small concessions aside, this method will likely alter the potency, flavour and texture of your cannabis. Most growers advise against using a dehydrator to dry weed at all because while it provides a relatively fast and convenient way to dry, it will likely result in a loss of terpenes, diminished efficacy of cannabinoids and an overall reduction in sensory quality.

Can You Put Weed in a Dehydrator?

But the answer is complex, as there is a lot of disagreement among growers about what proper drying entails. You might have wondered whether you can dry fresh weed in an air fryer, the oven or some other appliance after having procured some fresh, juicy buds. In short, it’s not dank to do it.

Plus, drying your sticky icky in a food dehydrator can seriously compromise its flavour and potency. Most growers believe this, but some say it’s possible to dry weed at a low enough temperature in a food dehydrator, as long as it’s done correctly. Proponents of the food dehydrator method advise using its lowest heat setting. Let the buds sit overnight, checking every so often and turning them until they are ‘crispy’.

After that, put them in a zip-lock bag to preserve moisture. The buds might shrink up to five times as much as after an air-dry or using the classic slow-drying and curing technique. In addition to shrinking, the dried buds lose potency and taste when dried in a dehydrator.

What Temp Does A Dehydrator Work On Weed?

When drying cannabis in a food dehydrator, one of the most crucial steps is setting the temperature. Users of this technique recommend setting the dehydrator on the lowest temperature it will go in order to minimise the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes, which can be damaged by heat.

This usually means drying at a temperature of around 95°F (35°C) or even lower if the dehydrator will tolerate it. Higher temperatures could speed up evaporation and precipitate the decomposition of the compounds in cannabis, reducing potency and flavour profile.

Best Way To Dry Weed

If the goal is to get the most out of the natural compounds in cannabis, slow drying and curing are the best choices. Weed is like wine in this regard; under the right conditions, it gets better over time. A good slow-dry can bring a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced Potency: Cannabinoid biosynthesis continues after cutting. Cannabinoids are sensitive to light, oxygen, and heat. But, under the right conditions, they continue to convert to their active form, increasing their potency.
  • Improved sensory experience: Air drying at low temperatures for a longer time preserves more terpenes, giving the flavor a chance to sharpen and develop better.
  • Smoother smoke: Giving the buds time to dry well allows them to discard the chlorophyll, starches, and sugars that can be sour and scratchy in the throat when smoked. Consequently, proper drying yields buds that are smoother and more pleasant to smoke.
  • Longer Shelf Life: You can store appropriately dried and cured cannabis for up to two years without degrading. Incorrectly drying your buds increases the risk of developing mold and the chances of losing cannabinoids.

The conventional method of slow-drying cannabis involves removing excess moisture from the buds for the first three days to prevent spoilage. Then you have to slow down the drying rhythm to prevent the buds from drying out too much.

It is best to hang the cannabis clippings upside down to stimulate circulation to the smaller branches and thus ensure even drying. Ideally, keep the product in a dark room with good air circulation, a humidity between 45% and 55%, and a temperature of 60 to 70°F.

Depending on the buds’ size and the surrounding environment, conventional hang drying can take between 5 to 15 days. Usually, to determine if drying is complete, growers test the brittleness of smaller branches by bending them. If they break and the buds feel crispy on the outside, they are ready for curing.

The curing process often makes many home growers impatient since it is similar to the aging of wine: the longer, the better. After placing the buds in an airtight container in a sunlight-protected place, the ideal time for good curing is two to three weeks. This is accompanied by opening the container daily on the first week and then every two to three days for the subsequent weeks.

Nevertheless, it gets better if you wait longer. Waiting four to eight weeks is excellent for most cannabis and hemp strains.

Can You Dry Weed In A Dehydrator:  Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Decarb Weed In A Dehydrator?

Weed can technically decarboxylate in a dehydrator, but you do not want to do that. Decarbing weed requires a relatively precise temperature to make sure the cannabinoids in the weed material (such as THC and CBD) are activated. Dehydrators generally have lower, less precise temperature settings and can’t reach the temperatures necessary for effective cannabinoid activation; they also have poorer heat distribution than an oven, which can lead to uneven activation of cannabinoids throughout your material.

What Is The Best Condition For Drying Weed?

The best condition for drying weed involves a controlled environment with specific temperature and humidity settings. Ideally, cannabis should be dried at a temperature between 60 to 70°F (15 to 21°C) with a relative humidity of 45% to 55%. This slow drying process helps preserve cannabinoids and terpenes, enhancing the potency and flavor of the buds. Proper ventilation and darkness are also crucial to prevent mold growth and degradation of active compounds.

Does Weed Go Bad When It Dries?

Weed can degrade and lose its quality if not dried and stored properly. Incorrect drying can expose the buds to too much moisture, which leads to mold, or too little, which can over-dry them. Both conditions affect the weed’s potency, flavor, and overall quality. Properly dried and cured cannabis, however, can maintain its quality for up to two years if stored in a cool, dark, and airtight environment.

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