Trimming and drying your buds.
There are many different methods you can try but here I will only talk about a few of them that are more old school and accepted methods then the rest.
First thing it’s a myth to think hanging a plant upside down will increase THC percent. That is an old hippy tale told around the trimming can at harvest time while you pass a fat J back and forth.
Hanging them upside down is only easy and that’s about it. You can cut the plant at the bottom, trim off all the fan leaves (that’s if you have not already done so the last week before harvest to increase light and air flow). The fan leaves don’t have enough trichomes to even add them to the trim for hash. Just trash them way to much chlorophyll in those leaves.
Once you have cut down your plant at the base and the fan leaves are gone you can clip your trim leaves as well just store those in a paper grocery bag for drying. The trim leaves are the larger leaves around your flowers (buds) just cut those as close as you can to the flower with out cutting the flower. Those have trichomes on them so keep them as your hash trim.
By now you should have just sticks with flowers showing.
Hang the plant as an easy way to store them for the drying. You keep them in a dry, dark and warm place for about 7-14 day’s depending on how big your plant is. If it’s too big just cut the branches off and hang them separately. You want air to be able to move around the plant freely to dry evenly but not directly on the flowers.
The next option is to cut the buds off the branches once you have trimmed them. You then use a metal window screen to set the flowers on the dry. You want air movement around in the dry area but you don’t want direct air moving across the flowers just passive air. Like a bounce airflow where it bounces off one side and then crosses the flowers works.
Slow drying is preferred but not required (here is where many people will get pissed)
Drying is only part of the process and you can speed up the drying process by about a week or better if you have a cabinet to use. A good dry cabinet is one made with cedar lined walls and door. The cedar will draw out the moisture and keep bugs away. You can use a very small heater and small fan as well just to move the air around. You want to dry the flowers at a temperature around 85f that will dry them slowly but faster then if you just hang them in a closet. You get a evenly dry flower ready to cure in about 3-5 day’s in a cabinet and if you are drying 5 pounds or more that is fast.
Once you have dry buds (the stems snap) you use glass mason jars like the ones your grandmother used to store preserves when you were a kid. Fill the jars with flowers but don’t pack them in you want airflow around them so they cure evenly on all sides.
Check them every day and look for moisture forming on the glass if you see moisture open it up and let them breath for a few hours then close it back up and check it again the next day. Most of the time if they are dry going in you will not have moisture build up but you may so keep an eye on them.
If you have no moisture forming you still need to let the jars breath for about a hour every 3-5 day’s so the gas escapes.
The idea at this point is to get rid of the ammonia odor. That is the chlorophyll being used by the flower, one last-ditch stand to keep alive. You need to rid the flower of the chlorophyll to improve the taste.
Curing takes anywhere from 10 day’s to 30 day’s or more depending on several factors and you can’t speed up this process at this point. If you stopped feeding them (N) the last 10-day’s before flushed this process should not take as long.
If you over dry them you can just add a fresh picked leaf from one of your other plants and that will bring just a small bit of moisture back into them and that’s all you want a small amount.
That’s about it for trimming and harvesting the real hard part is the waiting for them to cure, you can smoke some after it is dry but it improves with age.
If you go cheap you grow cheap. - Me