How Damp Is Your Dank – The Moisture of Cannabis

A fresh cannabis plant is 80 percent water. The grower must reduce this to be able to end up with a good quality weed. You can start curing your weed when there is only 33 percent of water left and weighs 50 percent less than its original weight. In about 50% of the cannabis grow ops I’ve seen, growers aren’t drying and curing marijuana the right way.

Curing is done to reduce the moisture content of the plant. Too much moisture can hasten the development of molds and bacteria in your supply thus ruining it entirely. However, too little moisture can impede the curing process totally.

Buds won’t dry properly or be clean and tasty unless they have the right environment. High humidity or heat, and/or the presence of molds and mildews, will seriously damage if not ruin your harvested marijuana.

One way to measure the moisture percentage of a leaf or bud is to weigh a small amount and place it in an oven at 80 degrees until it’s crispy and dry. Then measure the difference between its pre and post-oven weight and divide that number by the original weight of the wet material — the resulting number is the percentage of moisture.

A hundred grams of dried, un-manicured buds were weighed out, then placed in a low-temperature oven until they were crispy. When they were weighed again, their weight came to 91.5 grams, a difference of 8.5 grams from their pre-treatment weight. Taking 8.5 divided by the weight of the original, results in the percentage of moisture (8.5 percent) in the un-treated bud.

Properly dried buds have lost 2/3 of their wet weight. For example, if you harvest three pounds of wet buds, when the buds are properly dry, they’ll weigh about a pound.

Proposed moisture readings for various humidity levels of processing and smoking

  • Drying ends: 14-15%
  • Curing ends: 11-12%
  • Pleasant smoke: 10-12%
  • Harsh dry smoke: 10% or less

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