NOTE: The following methods are for quick drying purposes only, and results should not be compared to cannabis, which would normally be dried and cured correctly. Also, buds that are removed before maturity will reduce your plants potential yield.
Hey everybody! Well as my first indoor grow comes to a halt, I'd like to express my views and personal experience with different methods of quick drying out some buds straight off the plant. Ive tried tons of different methods as none of the first ones I tried ever satisfied me. Now before I start I must state that air-drying your buds is THE best way to dry and curing is certainly advised. Additionally the ideal way to smoke buds right off the plant would be a vaporizer. But for those who might not like vaporizers or dont have the money to buy/make one, and who are running short on the stash but have a plethora in the closet so close to being done. To all of you I offer my experiences and maybe a few methods you havent tried before. Ill start simple and go through and share my views.
The only thing I can say to this is 'hey it does work' you can smoke pot dried in the oven. Taste and potency all goes to crap, but smoke will go out of your mouth as you exhale. If thats all you crave, then this is the simplest way to dry your herbs out, just keep an eye on it. I find oven-dried weed to be lacking in everything, including the high.
When used on lower power settings (40-50%) can do an adequate job. Mind you it still tastes like crap and certainly not as potent as air-dried, but in a pinch it will work. Keep an eye on it and go for short 5- 10 second bursts.
Dankmaster's Microwave Steam Method
A vast improvement in quick dry technology. It does a satisfactory job fairly quickly. Trichomes dont burst and flavor while not great isnt awful anymore -- which is all I can say for any of the previously mentioned methods. What the method does is use steam to dry out the weed.
*Tupperware container with lid.
*Buds fresh off the plant (cut into small pieces, dont shred them cut into nice little chunks).
*Microwave with power setting options.
First, take 1/4 piece of a paper towel and lay it on the bottom of the Tupperware container. Then put your cut up weed on the paper towel. Next, take two paper towels, fold them several times and get them wet. Wring out most of the water. You want the paper towels wet but not dripping. Now, you lay the paper towels over the top of the Tupperware making sure that you completely and evenly cover the top. Then take the lid and squeeze it almost all the way on. When I say almost I mean to get all sides and corners on tight except for one corner to allow the steam to exit. Now your ready to put your steam dryer in the microwave.
Set the microwave power to 40 or 50 %. I recommend 40% -- I tried it on full power the first few times and it didnt work nearly as well. Now set it for a minute and let it go. Take it out and let the steam evaporate out and let sit for 15-20 seconds. If the bottom paper towel (the one that the buds are on) is wet change it. If the two paper towels you were using are dry make sure to re-wet and wring out and put back over top and put lid on in same way.
Now microwave at 40-50% for another minute and repeat process for typically 3-5 minutes. This is the best method if you need the herb in less than 20 minutes.
Ballast Drying Method
Cut up fresh buds and place them in an envelope evenly spread out. Close the envelope and place it on top of your ballast. Obviously you need a remote ballast to do this. Built in ballasts typically get too hot. I've tried this a few times. I typically left it on the ballast while the light was on for 2 to 3 hours. As I remember I always kept over or under drying the buds. On retrospect I would say go for a little bit too dry because you can put it in an airtight container and allow the moisture to be sucked out of the stem. Taste was good for a quick dry, and potency seemed acceptable.
My Toaster Oven method
Turn your toaster oven onto bake on the lowest setting it has. Take your herb and cut it up small similar to the steam method. Then take the tray you would use to say, toast peanuts and put the cut up herb onto the tray. Next place the tray ON TOP of the toaster oven NOT inside it! Turn the pieces of herb over every 5 minutes or so. This typically takes a good 20-30 minutes but is well worth the wait. When dried right the taste still isnt great, but its the best of the already mentioned methods. The high is great, the trichomes remain intact and the smoke is semi-smooth. I like it and it works pretty well.
The Couch Method
And finally, the method that works the best but takes the longest, and sounds the strangest. Take a few fresh cut buds and put them in a clean ashtray. I do this the night before I want to smoke the buds. My couch is over a vent in my house and stays fairly warm under there at night when the heat is on. (Its been cold lately) I just put it there before I go to sleep and the next morning the bud is nicely dry! Not extra crispy and the taste is great. Still not air dried/cured but gives a real good hint what your buds are going to taste like. The high is great, its probably 85F under my couch when the heat is on, and over 8 hours it does a great job. This method is the only one that my girlfriend will smoke and enjoy. The other methods always make her gripe about how bad they make the weed taste. This keeps her and me happy. If you wake up and find the herb just a little two crispy, put in a jar or bag and it will draw a little moisture out of the stem and make it just right.
Most electronic devices could be used, TV-monitor, cable box, refrigerator fan etc. Finding the method that works best for you is crucial.
I know people yell about not sampling your plant but I think its a good way to tell when your herbs reached that peak. To all those first trying these methods, I would urge patience and multiple attempts. I didnt get any of them right the first time, but I am glad I kept trying.
Car Window Method Contributed by: Hopefull
Take a few buds and throw them in an envelope. Then just put them in your car window on a sunny day. Smoke when dry simple!
Bulb & Foil method Contributed by: HashMan
Here's a fast way to dry your dank. Break up your buds, and place them on a 4square piece of tinfoil. Then take the piece of tinfoil and put it on top of a light bulb -- 60-80w works best (NOT YOUR HID). Stir it every 30 seconds. It should take about 1-3 minutes to dry completely. Dry buds, and you don't stink up your microwave/oven in the process.
Heat Plate Method Contributed by: Pharmer
The following method has worked the greatest for me when quick drying my buds:
Step 1 - get your buds, cut them up reasonably, then stick them on a plate-- make sure they're evenly distributed all over the plate.
Step 2 - get a pot and fill it one-third with water and bring it to boil on the stove.
Step 3 - place the mull plate on top of the pot. The steam heating the bottom the plate dries the weed. It should take about half an hour using a medium sized plate covered in weed. When the weed is dry, make sure you don't tip the plate on an angle when getting your weed into your bowl-- you don't want all the steam from the bottom of the plate to drip off and drench your buds all over again!!!
The Crystal method
To dry, break up your bud into small pieces then put them in a small canning jar with a sealing lid. Place silica gel desiccant packs into the jar with the bud. These desiccant packs will remove the moisture from the bud. Small jars work best because there is less air in the jar.
Auto parts stores sell desiccant crystals (similar to silica gel packs) for cheap. They turn to goop once moisture has been absorbed, so they need to be put above a drip tray.
(works for seeds too..)
I have tried most of the quick dry methods in the current quick dry FAQ. The quicker ones usually didn't produce good quick dried bud (oven, microwave, etc) and the longer ones did produce quicker dried buds but not QUICK dried buds When I say quick, I mean I need my buds ready in at least less than half an hour!!!
I found the most convenient, quick, and least destructive way to quick dry weed for me is with a piece of equipment that almost all of us have -- a plain ol' TOASTER!
What I do is set my toaster on a low setting (1-3). Mine also has a 'defrost' setting which is supposed to make it cook for a longer time, although that's not necessary for this method. You'll need to expiriment with your particular toaster to find out which settings works best for you.
The goal is to heat the bud enough so that the moisture within the bud evaporates, but without vaporizing or bursting the THC-laden trichs by overcooking them (or burning the bud itself!). The low toaster settings usually will accomplish this.
My method is to take a piece of foil about 4"x4" or so. I take small buds no wider than a finger and no longer than your thumb or pinky and place them into the foil. I make essentially a dugout out of the foil for the weed to go into so it doesn't fall into the toaster (essential!) the foil on the sides and going up to the top of the bud and maybe a little over but not completely enclosing it (enclosing the foil will cause it to retain moisture). Also do not wrap tightly we don't want to burn the bud on the foil. Personally I use the new nonstick foil, but that's also not necessary.
Put the foil dugout containing the weed lengthwise onto the top of one of the toaster slots and let it sink down about 3/4-1" into the toaster. Use the wide foil on the top/side to spread over the top outside of the toaster to keep the foil/weed from falling down into the slot.
Run the toaster. Allow it to set a couple of minutes until it starts to cool down (a lot of RESIDUAL heat is used to evaporate the moisture... we want to heat it up as much as possible without burning or vaporizing trichs, then let the residual heat absorbed by the toaster and foil and radiated by the toaster coils slowly bake the weed in between operating the toaster. Optimally I run the toaster about every 4 or 5 minutes. Repeat until the bud is dry to your likings. I usually flip the bud in the dugout every 2 or 3 gos to make sure it doesn't burn and dry the bud evenly. Within a half an hour you will have decently burnable bud. The smaller the buds the quicker the drying.
To get the best results, let it sit longer between operation (like closer to 10 minutes) to allow the heat to full dissipate and go for about an hour instead of 30 minutes. The bud will be much more thoroughly dried (the quicker method can leave the insides a bit moist still on thicker buds, but no moisture than i've bought many bags of KB ) with the longer method.
I find using this method I usually get about 80-90% of the potency of properly dried (but not cured) bud -- with a slower dry you can keep almost all the potency. The key is not overheating.
As far as the taste goes, if you grow with chems I don't know what your buds will taste like as I don't. I grow 100% organic and my quick dried buds are perfectly tolerable and as tastey as most commercial sensemilla and definitely better tasting than schwag! If you are wanting to do a lot of quick drying, I recommend going organic as I wouldn't want to taste unflushed chem buds!
My buds quick dried look like my regular dried buds... they aren't all messed up from some freaky quick dry and they can be dried on short notice!
One final note, much like regular dried buds they do retain some moisture inside unless you take the longer time to completely dry them out with the quick dry (which IS possible -- just takes longer), so if you do not smoke them immediately, they may regain some of the moisture lost just as fresh dried buds put in a mason jar will regain some moisture when you first put them in a mason jar.
A word of caution AND advice -- as many will tell you, drying is part of the process of activating the THC in the trichomes. Smoking wet weed is a WASTE as it doesn't burn well and you barely get high off of it (unless you don't have a tolerance) -- be sure to give it at least 20-30 minutes and make sure the outside is dry to the touch and inside is no moister than a bag of kb you've gotten that's on the 'moist' side -- and for advice, taking the longer time to completely dry the bud will result in more potent buds than only a partial drying.