Cannabis drying and tanning: how it works and why it is done

How cannabis tanning and drying works

Guide to the proper storage of cannabis: drying and tanning

If you have decided to open this article, it means that you, too, are part of that group of people curious about cannabis drying and tanning, right?

You should know that the wrong procedure could seriously affect the final product’s quality, taste, and aroma.

This is why we have decided to explain for illustrative purposes how the drying and curing of marijuana take place.

Let us begin!

cannabis drying

Why is it important to dry cannabis?

Drying cannabis is one of the most critical steps and, if not performed correctly, can negatively impact the final product’s quality.


Once the flowers have been harvested, the stems must be dried in a particular way (which we will see in a moment) for two reasons.

  1. to preserve their properties
  2. to improve their quality.

Remember that cannabis flowers are rich in active components: the resin contains a lot of THC, CBD and other features.

The problem, however, is that when the plants have been harvested recently, they are still quite green and most of the THC is inactive: the only way to ‘activate’ it is to dry it for about 10-15 days, depending on the quantity and location.

Once this is done, the cannabis grower will have to cure the plant to get the best possible flavour from the bud: this process is known as curing.

When curing the buds, one rots the chlorophyll so that the buds do not taste too green or fresh, which is characteristic of the herb dried in a forced manner (i.e. by using heat or if it is harvested too early).

When the chlorophyll rots, the herb looks more yellow or brown.

Read also: Rick Simpson Oil (RSO): what is it, and does it work?

Cannabis drying: how it happens

The first thing you do is hang the buds upside down from a string or wire in a room where you can

  1. limit the amount of light;
  2. control the temperature and humidity.

Hanging the buds upside down tricks the plant into ‘thinking’ that it is still alive, as the juices inside the buds will not flow from where the branch was cut.

In this way, the buds will remain healthy.

Wherever the grower decides to dry the buds, it is essential to maintain a smooth airflow and a constant temperature: let’s say 16 °C to 21 °C is ideal.

This way, the marijuana will dry evenly and gradually.

Finally, it is essential to maintain a precise humidity level, i.e. between 45% and 55%.

If the humidity is too low, the buds will dry out too quickly, and the taste of the marijuana will be unpleasant. If, on the other hand, the humidity level is too high, the buds will take longer than necessary to dry out, and mould may form.

Once you have made sure of these three factors—light, temperature and humidity—the stems will not start to break: as a rule, this procedure takes about two weeks.

In any case, the stems should be checked periodically.

If the stems have some elasticity, they should continue to dry. Once they appear brittle, the grower will try to bend the stems gently:

  1. o if they break, it means that the bud is dry;
  2. or if they bend only a little without breaking, they will have to continue drying.

Dried cannabis

Cannabis tanning: the final step to a quality product

Once the cannabis has been properly dried, it is time for tanning.

Cannabis curing is a critical step in the success of a high-quality harvest and has two main objectives.

The first is allowing the bacteria time to degrade any residual chlorophyll in the plant parts. Chlorophyll contains magnesium, which is responsible for the bitterness of cannabis smoke. Instead, the buds will taste much better by giving the bacteria the right time and environment to synthesize this pigment.

The second is to define the exact percentage of moisture required for proper storage. We know that the drier the cannabis is, the faster and easier it is to burn.

Keep in mind that curing is a process that can take anywhere from two weeks to two years, although the ideal period is around two to three months.

At this point, the cannabis should be stored in airtight glass jars, which should be filled two-thirds full.

This will leave the right amount of space between the buds and ensure adequate airflow and oxygen to keep the bacteria alive. If, on the other hand, the buds were to be compacted, there would be a risk of increased humidity and the formation of mould.

During this procedure, the jars should be opened several times a day for a few minutes during the first two weeks, after which they should be rotated from time to time to redistribute the buds.

Read also: What is hybrid marijuana, and how to recognize this variety?


In this article, we have seen how the drying and curing of cannabis take place, two fundamental steps to ensure a quality product.

That’s why our legal cannabis fits the requirements perfectly: we ensure that each procedure is carried out to the best of our ability.

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