Guide For Curing and Drying Buds In Brown Paper Bags

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    Is Drying and Curing Cannabis In Paper Bags legit?

    Using the brown paper bag for drying and curing weed, at first glance, seems a bit shabby. However, if you know what you are doing, a simple paper bag will work wonders for most hobbyists or small-time growers.

    Drying and Curing Weed Is Essential

    Drying Weed

    If you do not correctly dry and cure your plants, you will have sub-par results, even if you have purchased top-shelf weed, bought the best-LED grow lights on the market, and have the best grow tent.

    Drying marijuana occurs right after harvest, and it primarily dries the outside of a cannabis bud. (Curing dries a bud’s insides) Some popular ways to dry marijuana are hanging it, storing it in paper bags (Click Here For More Info), and drying racks. If you do a half-assed job of drying, your curing will be substandard. So, learn how to dry marijuana properly. 

    Dry herb is a make-it-or-break-it moment when it comes to harvesting cannabis. At best, if you do not have a correctly dried bud, you will lose vital terpenes. At worst, your plants may lose their buds because of bud rot. So, learn to dry bud correctly, and you will be on your way to growing cannabis that you can be proud to smoke and share with your friends.

    Why Is Dry and Cured Weed Necessary?

    Freshly picked weed that is not dried or cured will almost always be too wet for smoking. So, if you somehow get freshly cut weed lit, it will taste awful, and you’ll likely have a monster headache.

    Dry weed is necessary for several other reasons, which I will explain below.

    • Mildew Control-Perhaps, the most important reason is that you’ll be more likely to get powdery mildew on dried buds when a half-assed job is done on drying. So, you could have had the best buds ever grown. But, because you were trying to cut corners, your buds are now mildewed mess.
    • Quality Control-When cannabis is improperly dried, the terpenes will escape via evaporation. And, with fewer terpenes, your cannabis plant will be less likely to develop its distinctive taste and smell.

    Go to the drying weed section in this article’s appendix to see more info on drying weed. 

    Step-by-Step-Guide For Drying Via Paper Bags

    The following is what needs to be done, no matter how you do it before you start drying weed:

    1. Pick your buds at their peak ripeness
    2. Do your proper bud trimming
    3. Prep the drying area

    I will go over each of these steps in detail below.

    Why Are Paper Bags Preferred By Many?

    Perfect Stix - Brown Bag 4-100 4lb Brown Paper Lunch Bags - Pack of 100ct

    A drying room should be at 45 to 50% humidity. It is easier to control humidity in a closed bag vs. a room. That’s why this method is so helpful when the humidity in your bag is higher than the relative humidity in the dry room.  

    Trimming Bud

    Bud Trimming

    Wet and dry trimming are the two types that are most commonly done for harvest. With wet trimming, the buds are cut right after they are ripe and ready to be harvested.

    With dry trimming, you start cutting after the drying has finished and right before you start curing. Most professionals recommend wet trimming as it will cut your trimmed bud more precisely, and you are less likely to lose resin.

    When Should You Start Bud Trimming?

    If you start trimming too soon, your weed will have lower THC, and your crop yield will not reach its full potential. On the other hand, When you harvest too late, your weed will be more likely to rot and self-pollinate.

    As a result, you need to know when to start trimming your plants.

    There are two ways to know when your weed is ready to be processed for drying: the visual method and the microscope.

    • Visual Method-A bud is ready to be harvested when you see that the hairs (“trichome”) on the bud are dark, curled inward, and a solid bud is seen be under the hairs.
    • Microscope-When buds are near the time to be harvested, the head of the trichomes will start turning a milky white color. When this occurs, the buds will be at their highest THC and CBD levels.

    Click here for a more in-depth explanation.

    How Do You Do A Wet Trimming?

    With wet trimming, you need to remember to do the following:

    1. Fan Leaf-Remove the fan leaves that do not have any resin glands on them.
    2. Sugar Leaf-Remove and save the sugar leaves. (Leaves that are covered in tiny white crystals or resin glands)-These leaves work for edibles, bubble hash, cannabutter, etc.
    3. Separate the Buds-The final step before you are ready to start drying is to trim the buds from the stems.

    Trimming bud is a detailed process that is beautifully shown below in this video. The video below will show you the exact way to remove both the fan leaf, sugar leaf and prepare your plants for drying.

    Youtube tagged this video as being an adult. So, I cannot embed it here. So, click this link to get to see the video.

    Start Drying

    Drying Room Environment

    The best practices for a drying room are listed below:

    1. Cleanliness-The drying room and or bags used to dry cannabis need to be thoroughly cleaned. TIP-A hydrogen peroxide solution is recommended if you want to make sure the room is extra sterile.
    2. Environment: The environment in your room, bag, or container should be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity at 50%.d

    Paper Bag Drying Steps

    1. Get Buds-Collect the freshly cut wet trimmed buds. 
    2. Fill Up-Fill up the paper bag with two to three layers of buds.
    3. Fold Up the Bag– Fold and close the bag up. It should be relatively tight. However, it should not be so tight that there is zero air reaching the cannabis.
    4. Wait-Under normal circumstances, your buds should be ready to be cured at around seven days. 
    5. Start Curing-The buds should now be able to be cured. 

     Paper Bag Drying FAQ

    Can you Dry The Whole Plant in The Bag?

    No, it is not recommended. Instead, it would be best if you trimmed it before you put it in the bag.

    How Much Do You Store In a Bag?

    At most, two to three layers.

    How Long Should They Be In The Bag?

    It should take from two to three days for a marijuana bud to be dried enough for curing. However, never rely solely on the number of days passed. Instead, examine the cannabis plants to see if they are ready to start being cured.

    How To Tell If It Is Ready For Curing?

    During drying, the chlorophyll product will decrease, which results in buds turning a yellow and brown-like color. So, one sign that your buds are done drying is when they become brittle to the touch and are no longer a bright green. Other signs are that the stem should break and not bend when it is folded.

    When Should You Open The Drying Bag?

    You should only open the drying bag to check to see if the humidity levels are correct. So, when you open it, bring your hygrometer to measure the RH. If the RH in the bag is above 50%, you can use a fan to help with air circulation and control moisture. Additionally, it would be best if you placed a humidity pack, like the one shown below.

    Curing Weed-What is Curing?

    Curing is the final step you have to take before you can start enjoying the fruits of your labor. It happens right after drying and could be described as a slower, more controlled drying. (i.e., Proper drying is done in an air-tight, wind-free container)  

    Why Is Curing Weed Necessary?

    Technically, curing isn’t necessary. So, you might want to skip this final step. This would be a mistake, though, as curing is necessary if you want to maximize the enjoyment of your crops.  

       Curing weed is comparable to aging wine and whiskey in oak barrels. Curing weed maximizes a particular cannabis‘s strains flavor, potency, and overall cannabinoid profile. 

      Removing the excess moisture of the inner bud does the following:

    • Bacteria-Eliminates Harmful Bacteria
    • Better Taste-Helps BREAK DOWN the chlorophyll, which lessens a harsh smoking experience. 
    • Better Smoke-Ages weed’s trichomes and terpenes, which results in better smell and flavor. 
    • Unwanted Effects-It might reduce or eliminate weed’s tendency to cause anxiety and paranoia. 
    • Stronger Weed-Maximizes the potency of your crop
    • Long Term Storage-The further drying of cannabis buds reduces or eliminates the chance of moldy buds. 

    Ways To Cure Bud

    There are many ways to cure weed. I wrote an article on using a mason or canning jar; this is a traditional dry cure. Other popular curing techniques are the following:

    • Freeze Drying-Mostly used by commercial growers.
    • Water-Cure Method-Cures weed quickly. But, water curing will sacrifice your crop’s flavor and smell.
    • Sweat Cure Method-risky as you are risking bud rot and mold
    • Traditional Dry-Cure-This is the preferred method that cures weed in a controlled environment. (i.e., Humidity, Temperature, etc.) It is traditionally done in a mason jar, other types of air-tight mason jar, and also paper bags. 

       How-To Guide For Drying Cannabis In Paper Bags

    The primary type of dry cure uses mason jars or other air-tight glass containers. Curing dried weed by a paper bag, though, is an old-school method used by many. I will now list the Pros and Cons of this curing method. 

    Pros and Cons For Paper Bag Curing


    • Quicker-A paper bag cured bud will cure more quickly than if a mason jar is used.  
    • Simple-All you have to do is put the buds in the bag, close it, and check on it a few times. 
    • Taste-Taste is subjective. But, many growers feel that paper bag curing results in tasty buds. 
    • Evenly Dried-Buds dried in paper bags tend to dry more evenly. 


    • Flavor-As I said, taste is subjective. Many cannabis growers and smokers say that a paper bag cured bud will taste funky. 
    • Over-Dried Weed-Overly dried, poorly tasting buds may result if your weed is dried too quickly. 
    • More Work-Curing weed via paper bags is easy. However, many growers, who cure weed by paper bags, also put the weed into a mason jar and continue curing. As a result, paper bag curing turns a two-step process into three. 

    How-To Guide For Curing Cannabis in Paper Bags

    As stated previously, paper bag curing is simple as The following is all that needs to be done:

    Equipment Needed 

    • Large Grocery Bags or Shoe Boxes
    • Trimmed Cannabis Buds


    1. Wet Trim The Buds– With wet trimming, you separate the cannabis buds from the plant before you start drying. 
    2. Dry The Buds-For best results, dry your buds for seven days. 
    3. Placement-Place the dried buds in the bag and then tightly seal up the bags. (To seal you fold the bag)
    4. Wait-You should keep Wait-The buds in the bag for at least seven days. 
    5. Jars-Transfer the partially cured buds into a jar. (Treat them how you would typically cure weed via the Mason Jar)

    All of the above steps are based upon common sense. For example, you will need to keep the curing buds longer in the paper bag if they have too much moisture after a week has passed. Also, the buds may need to be kept in the glass buds longer than two weeks.

    Final Thoughts

    Hanging up and using a drying rack are two of the most common ways of drying weed. Also, many growers believe that hanging and rack drying means better results. That may be true. But, hanging up your plants and using a dry rack also take up a lot of space, and the paper bag drying does not. That’s why paper bag drying is recommended for most home growers.   

    Using a paper bag for curing is another story. A few growers recommended it when it is combined with mason jar curing at the end. Many reputable growers state that using paper bags for curing is a good way to ruin your weed. My advice is for you to try paper bag curing with a small portion. See how it works, and then if you like the results gradually start curing more buds via paper bags. 


    Tips For Drying Buds In High Humidity

    As stated earlier, 50% humidity is preferred to dry buds. If you have any more than 50%, you are likely to have mildew and other problems.

    To review, for excess humidity, if you are using a brown bag method, you can place a humidity pack in the bag. Additionally, use fans, AC, and a dehumidifier to get the RH in your drying area to 50%.

    Drying FAQ

    Why did your Buds Turn Brown? First of all, it is perfectly normal for your buds to turn brown or a yellow-like color during drying as cannabis produces less chlorophyll when it loses moisture. (Chlorophyll is the reason for plants being green) With less green, your cannabis buds will then turn brown or yellowish color.

    How Much Do Buds Shrink When Drying?

    Your cannabis buds will shrink when drying as water makes up 50% to 75% of their weight. The reason for this is that less moisture means less bulk and weight for your plants.

    Are buds turning brown while drying a problem? 

    No, buds turning brown or a yellowish color is normal. Drying gets rid of the chlorophyll, which means that the color green will be less prominent in dried buds.

    Don’t Do This When Drying

    Avoid all of the following:

    • Using The Same Room-Drying and growing in the same room is not advised as drying buds require a different environment (humidity, temperature, etc.) for growth.
    1. Covering Or Confining The Paper Bag-You should never place a brown drying bag filled with weed in any closed containers. IE Closed Glass Jar or closed containers. Closed containers trap air, which in turn results in excess moisture. Excess moisture causes the dreaded bud rot, mildew, and other moisture-related problems.
    2. Use a Mason Jar-As I explained above. Because of a greater chance of mold infestation, you should never use a Mason Jar or any closed, air-tight, curing jar or miscellaneous containers for drying.

    Quick Drying

    Taking shortcuts in life often leads to mistakes. Quick-drying buds are no exception to this general rule, As quick-drying methods are to be avoided. Some of these methods are using a microwave, food dehydrator, or oven.

    Even though the above techniques are not generally recommended. Under some circumstances, you might want a smokeable bud ASAP.  Click Here for advice for quick drying buds. 

    Brown Paper Bag Vs. Drying Rack

    What is better for drying weed, a cannabis drying rack, or the brown paper bag? For the average hobbyist, small-time grower, the paper bag is better.

    First of all, a drying rack will almost always take up more space than brown bags. A Brown bag is much easier to fit in cramped spaces than a cumbersome rack. So, based on convenience alone, I would choose a bag for drying weed.

    Also, depending upon where you live, the brown bag drying method is better than a rack as it is more private. Unlike a cannabis drying rack, you can easily store a cannabis-filled bag in various nooks and crannies in your house. Additionally, drying weed can be stored and easily hidden if needed, which is not possible with a cumbersome cannabis drying rack.

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