As the number and size of dispensaries grow, so do consumer expectations of the quality of marijuana products and the availability of diverse and unique brands. As in the wine industry, premier brand names can command a price ten or more times that of an average product.
If you opt to use the wet trimming method, you will need to spread them out across a large surface area. Aeration is important so you’ll want to avoid setting the flowers on a surface like cardboard or newspaper as the buds will dry unevenly. Wire mesh or netted drying racks are more beneficial. This allows airflow to reach all sides and lessen the chance of moist air pockets. Make sure to allow yourself enough space to spread your crop out evenly with a small amount of space between buds for the best results.
On top of the need for specific temperature and humidity controls throughout the growing process, it’s worth mentioning that humidity level during the drying process is equally important to the quality of the final product.
Shop Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers.
Over the last decade, more and more states have chosen to legalize the sale of both medicinal and recreational marijuana. Even without national legalization, the U.S. marijuana market was worth $9.2 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $47.3 billion by 2027, a growth rate of 514% over 10 years (source: Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics).
Pure n Natural Systems specializes in the sale of commercial and industrial humidifiers, dehumidifiers, drying fans, air movers, and portable heating and cooling solutions. We have the equipment you need to make your growing operation a consistent success. And as we’ve already discussed, consistency is king.
To get started, you’ll want to buy a hygrometer and a thermometer. With these tools, you can accurately monitor and then alter humidity and temperature conditions in an attempt to strive for repeatable quality levels time and time again.
Too much humidity in your curing space and you might be left with perfectly grown, but moldy cannabis. Nobody wants that; neither the individual user nor the dispensary buyer. Moldy cannabis is easily the fastest way to ruin your reputation as a reliable grower of high-quality buds.
You may be tempted to speed up the drying process but it has been shown that slow and steady wins the race. Rushing the process and exposing your crop to high temperatures will almost certainly reduce the quality, and result in diminished flavor and even potentially a “poor and uncomfortable high.” Good luck explaining that to your investors or to a discerning dispensary that has numerous growers vying for their shelf space.
To start with, relative humidity is determined by how much water vapor the air can hold at a specific temperature. Warm air can hold more water than cold air, so the warmer the air is, the higher the relative humidity will be .
This technique is usually reserved for growers with a large amount of plant matter and little time to process it. This involves cutting off branches and hanging them whole from drying lines. Once the plants are dry, they are then trimmed and processed. It is more difficult to achieve the neatness of a wet trim as sugar leaves will curl in toward the buds while drying. The agitation of handling a dried bud during trimming can also result in the loss of potent resin crystals.
Investors are flocking to the marijuana industry, seeing it as one of the safest long-term bets in recent history. Many of them are directing their investments toward dispensaries rather than growers, according to Scott Greiper, president of Viridian Capital Partners.
Here again is the equipment you can use to help you attain these levels:
The curing process breaks down chlorophyll remaining in the plant, resulting in a less-harsh taste. Remember: harsh buds are not quality buds. These procedures can enhance the shelf-life of a crop, which is highly important with a product like cannabis that isn’t afforded the addition of preservatives.
As you probably already know, after choosing a substrate (the material you’ll be growing your plants in/on), the strain(s) of cannabis you’ll be growing, lights, watering mechanisms and nutrients needed, the most important element of your day-to-day operation will be managing temperature and humidity.
“Wet trimming” involves trimming as soon as plants are ripe. Remove individual branches and proceed to use sharp scissors or shears to precisely trim excess plant matter. As soon as the plants are cut down, the drying process begins. What’s immediately noticeable is how sticky and wet the buds are. While this is an excellent indicator of potential quality, it’s also a breeding ground for contaminants. Buds left in this state will almost certainly be ruined so it is best to act quickly to begin a controlled drying process.
That said, we are not experts in growing specifics or in the design of custom-growing spaces.
Again borrowing from Royal Queen Seeds expertise, here’s a how-to on drying your valuable crop:
The increased humidity levels allow seedlings to take water in through the leaves while their root systems are developing.
Step 3: Correct humidity and/or temperature that is too high or too low.
Ideal temps are 70-80 °F (21-27 °C) during the day (lights on) and 5-10 degrees cooler at night (lights off).
This range is also optimal for preventing mold, so it doesn’t get any better for drying if you’re a beginner!
In all stages of cannabis growth your plants will have a constant need to intake water, and the amount of water they need fluctuates with the humidity in your grow room. When the humidity is high, cannabis plants use their leaves to absorb moisture from the air which causes them to drink less water from their roots. Conversely, when the humidity is low, they will pull more water in through their roots.
Even if the humidity is low, it is still important to have air moving over and around your plants. Small fans blowing over and under the plant canopy will help keep air moving so that wet spots don’t form around any parts of the plant.
Young plants (seedling to end of vegetation)
As an advanced drying and curing technique, some growers like to keep the humidity a little higher so buds dry slower (which could possibly increase the quality of your cured buds). Drying with high humidity is considered an advanced technique because drying must be done with extra care to prevent mold forming on your harvested buds!
It moistens the air while keeping the temperature down, which can also be a problem in Denver.
Bud Mold or Rot.
Many indoor growers tend to deal with too much heat and high temperatures – this is because grow lights can get very hot, and cannabis grows are often confined to very tight spaces due to stealth or privacy concerns.
Step 1: Get a Humidity & Temperature Monitor to see if you need to adjust anything.
If you want to grow sticky, high-potency buds, your cannabis will demand attention to its many needs.
40-50% RH (a little less humidity helps protect plants from mold – during the last few weeks of flowering, a lower RH can possibly increase resin production as buds approach harvest)
Flowering plants (making buds)
Ideally, the relative humidity of your grow room should be lowered to around 40-50% at the beginning of the flowering stage. As plants approach harvest, some growers lower humidity down below 40% or even less to force cannabis buds to produce more resin, though I’ve seen that can majorly stress some plants, so that technique should be used with caution. Definitely lower the humidity just a little at a time to see how plants react before putting your plants in an extreme environment.
Here’s what that means to you, the grower:
Warm air can “hold onto” more water than cool air. Plants will tend to thrive at different relative humidities depending on the temperature of the air. Once the air becomes too saturated with water, it will tend to form dew or films of water over leaves, which leads to mold.
Humidity for flowering plants.
Bigger grow light – Get a bigger grow light to produce more heat within the grow space (and get plants to grow faster!)
By the beginning of the flowering stage, your cannabis plants have created a large root system to fulfill their water needs. They will still be able to take in water through their leaves, but maintaining a relatively lower humidity than the vegetative stage helps prevent molds or mildews from forming.
Swamp cooler – will cool down air while increasing the relative humidity; works best when humidity is too low and temperature is too high. Read how one user used a swamp cooler to control his humidity.
White Powdery Mildew.
Keeping the humidity around the 50% range will allow your buds to dry, but keep them from drying too quickly.
Put the “indoor” display in front of a webcam (you may have one built into your laptop, or buy a cheap and easy-to-use one like the Logitech HD Webcam C310)
Temperature and How It Relates to Humidity.
Cannabis is a high-value plant that has come to be primarily cultivated indoors due to its high sensitivity. Each stage of cannabis growth requires a specific kind of tune-up to achieve optimum growth and obtain high-quality yields. Humidity not only plays a roll in the growth of this incredible plant, but also in the proper curing of cannabis, and in proper storage containers and conditions while in storage.
To understand how humidity affects the growth of cannabis, let’s first understand the plant’s respiration process.
The high water gradient created between the plant and the surrounding air causes high water loss. The marijuana plant will try to prevent this by closing the stomata, a process that compromises the vital respiration process.
What Factors Affect Relative Humidity Control For Cannabis?
When the air is moist (high relative humidity)
The carbon dioxide enters the plant via the stomata; tiny pores on the leaves. When this process occurs, some water from the plant’s water reservoir is lost to the environment. Relative humidity kicks in here as it dictates how much water the cannabis plant will lose to the environment.
From germination to late flowering, the cannabis plants call for changes in the humidity levels. Since each stage comes with distinct metabolic reactions, the relative humidity needs also vary.
If your grow tent is adequately ventilated, the relative humidity is reduced due to increased air circulation. Ventilation is required for mature cannabis plants that require low relative humidity.
Two scenarios can occur:
In conclusion, it can be said that humidity is an essential condition in the growth of cannabis plants. Always start with a high relative humidity of about 70% for your cannabis seedlings and reduce the moisture gradually until the plant is ready for harvest, where the humidity should be around 40%.
While many cannabis growers identify sensitivity to the condition of the soil and the nutrients available for the plant, it’s environmental conditions that really matter. One of the environmental factors that affect the growth of cannabis is humidity.
The water concentration gradient is significantly reduced due to the higher amount of water vapor present in the air. This means that the cannabis plant will lose less water and hence remain in its best shape.
Humidity can be defined as the amount of water vapor in the air. Generally, there are three types of humidity:
In cannabis growth, as with any other plant, the relative humidity is used. It is also worth noting that humidity and temperature are interrelated. The amount of water vapor that air in an area can hold increases with increasing temperature.
What Humidity Should I Have In My Grow Tent?
Did you know that mold infestation on one cannabis flower can ruin your entire harvest? Lowering the humidity in this stage is, therefore very crucial and should not be overlooked. The humidity can also be reduced below 40% when the cannabis is close to harvest. This, however, depends on how your cannabis plants respond to changes in humidity.
Watering cannabis plants in a grow tent increases the plant’s water intake through the roots. High uptake of water by the plant increases the water loss rate through the leaves, making the room more humid. The induced moist environment, in turn, regulates the respiration process keeping the marijuana plant healthy. Again, watering should be optimized to maintain the grow tent in the recommended level of humidity.
The sugars produced in the photosynthesis process must be converted to energy used to support plants’ growth. To convert the sugars, mainly glucose to energy and oxygen, later released to the environment, the cannabis plant must acquire carbon dioxide from the environment.
A good number of cannabis varieties have been developed over the years. Some cannabis species are adapted to warmer and more humid areas while others are adapted to cold and less humid areas.
In summary, relative humidity is vital to cannabis plants as it regulates the respiration process and its subsidiary activities such as water loss. For a cannabis plant to benefit fully from relative humidity, it must be maintained at an optimum level. It will also help if the humidity is also kept constant for an extended period.