Cannabis Grow guide by Royal Queen Seeds

By Max Sargent

OK, so you have cannabis plants close to harvest and insufficient marijuana reserves to see you through the typical 30+ day period between harvest and cured finished product. Perhaps you don’t even have a stash to make it through the average 1–2 weeks it takes to dry buds conventionally? Or perhaps you are just curious whether or not your flowers are ready to harvest? Regardless of your personal motivations, you have plenty of options when it comes to quickly drying cannabis. The problem is, the most popularised quick-dry methods will degrade buds so much in the process, they are hardly worth the effort.


Our readers deserve better. Not only will we break down simple ways to speed-dry Sinsemilla without ruining your reefer. We have also included a sticky surprise in the text for those cannabis concentrate lovers seeking more flavoursome extracts using the fresh non-dried material.

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1. Brown Bags and Computer Fans

Simple brown paper bags, like the kind you get from the bakery, are perfect for drying buds. Especially popcorn buds. If you place a handful or two of freshly manicured smaller nuggets into a paper bag and leave them to dry for 2–3 days your halfway there. Ideally, you should leave them another 3 days to dry completely. But if you’re in a hurry, proceed to the next step.

Next, turn on your laptop and figure out where the fan is. Modern laptops all have fans expelling warm air to keep the internal workings of the device cool. Place the small half-dry nuggets on a paper towel on the keyboard. Or on a paper towel directly in front of the fan vents, if you have a model that vents a different way. Turn buds over every 10 minutes or so, until they feel dry to the touch. This may take an hour or longer, but the buds will still pack a punch. Don’t expect a full bouquet of aromas or mouth-watering flavour, rather an acceptable if a little harsh tasting smoke.

Brown Bags And Computer Fans

2. Convert the Boiler Room Into a Drying Box

Most private homes have a boiler room. The water boiler inside keeps the boiler room temperature pretty cosy and relative humidity is minimal. This is a great place to quick-dry cannabis. It’s best to place all small buds in brown bags, but you can use string to hang bigger buds as you usually would when drying. The big difference is that you are going to turn up the heat by switching on the hot water heater. You can completely dry huge harvests in 3 days if you leave the hot water on for most of that time. That’s sure to spike the utility bills. With normal use, expect the small buds to be dry enough to smoke in just 3–4 days, with thicker hanging colas requiring 6–7 days. This method has a lower impact on quality than most, but the buds still won’t taste fantastic.

The Boiler Room

Alternative: Go Live

The dabbing trend of 2023 is live resin concentrates. Even the most potent extracts like wax and shatter have some room for improvement. Using fresh frozen flowers rather than carefully dried and cured buds is the breakthrough US extract artists have made to produce gourmet concentrates with far more terpenes. Something is definitely lost in transition with the standard BHO extraction methods. Live resin boasts the same skyhigh potency with a vastly improved flavour profile. Unfortunately, this is probably out of reach to the average ordinary home grower. The cannabis must be kept at subcritical temperatures for the entire extraction process and you really need lab conditions and equipment to accomplish this. Nonetheless it’s a top-shelf treat coming to all good cannabis clubs, coffee shops, and dispensaries in 2018. Be on the lookout for names like “sauce”, “sap”, and “syrup” popping up on the menu.

Sun-dried Weed

Outdoor ganja farmers have dried marijuana placed on rocks in direct sunlight for thousands of years. It’s certainly not the most efficient method to dry cannabis, but it works. Both heat and sunlight will degrade quality. However, if you want to dry small buds fast and it’s hot and sunny outside, you could do worse than tossing a handful of popcorn buds in a brown bag and sun-drying them. Best use a rock to weigh down the bag of buds in direct sunlight, you don’t want a gust of wind swiping your weed. Then you play the waiting game. After a day or two of warm dry sunny weather, you should have some crispy buds to toke on. Again flavour and potency will have deteriorated, so you are not getting the most from your marijuana with this method.

Dry Cannabis Fast FAQ

Can you dry weed in 3 days?
The only way to dry weed in 3 days is by using a dehydrator or baking your buds in the oven, and we don't recommend either.
How long does it normally take to dry weed?
Drying weed typically takes 1–2 weeks, depending on the heat and humidity in the area in which your buds dry.
What happens if weed takes too long to dry?
At cooler temperatures, weed can take longer than 2 weeks to dry. This shouldn't be a problem, given that it's not too humid. In humid conditions, weed can spoil and develop mould.
Does a fan dry weed faster?
Yes, air circulation helps to dry weed faster and more evenly. However, do not point fans directly at your buds; instead, keep them circulating air around the room in which you're drying.

Desperate Measures

Baking buds in the oven is a horrible idea. Just don’t do it. It really is a waste of weed. Oven temperatures are far, far, far too hot for cannabis. Even on a low setting—still too hot. Sure the buds will dry out in minutes, but you'll also have cooked off most of the cannabinoids. These buds will taste like burnt plant material and won’t get you high.

Microwave marijuana is another guaranteed disappointment. Nuking buds with 10-second blasts in the microwave is a disastrous way to dry weed. These methods likely origins are “the big book of bad ideas” and are to be avoided.

Can You Dry Weed in a Dehydrator?

Food dehydrators use heat to dry out meat, fruit, or other foods in order to extend their shelf-life. We do not recommend using a food dehydrator to dry your weed, as the heat from the dehydrator will degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes in your bud in the same way an oven would, making for a flavourless, less potent smoke.

Step 1

Drying Weed — Patience Is Key

When it comes to drying cannabis buds, patience is key. The drying process is all about activating cannabinoids and reducing the moisture in your flower, making for a more potent smoke with a longer shelf-life. While there are many express ways to dry out your buds, we do not recommend any of them. Though they're faster, these techniques all rely on heat, which breaks down the cannabinoids and terpenes that give your weed the effects and flavours you love.

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