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Does Cannabis Need Darkness When Drying?

Jun. 28, 2023

Cannabis drying is a crucial step in the cultivation process that affects the overall quality, potency, and flavor of the final product. While factors such as temperature, humidity, and airflow are widely recognized as important for proper drying, there is some debate about whether darkness is necessary during this stage. In this article, we will explore the role of darkness in cannabis drying and shed light on the different perspectives surrounding this topic.


The Importance of Proper Drying:

Proper drying is essential to ensure the preservation of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds in cannabis. It helps remove excess moisture from the buds, preventing the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Additionally, the drying process allows for the breakdown of chlorophyll, which can contribute to an undesirable taste and harshness when consumed.


Child Resistant Matte Black Glass Jar

Child Resistant Matte Black Glass Jar

The Argument for Darkness during Cannabis Drying:

Some growers believe that drying cannabis in darkness offers certain advantages. Here are the key arguments in favor of darkness during the drying process:


  • Preservation of Cannabinoids and Terpenes: Proponents of darkness argue that exposure to light during drying can lead to the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. They believe that light, especially ultraviolet (UV) light, can break down these compounds, resulting in a loss of potency and aroma. Therefore, drying in darkness is thought to help preserve the overall quality of the cannabis.


  • Minimization of Light-Induced Reactions: Light can trigger various photochemical reactions in plants. These reactions may result in the breakdown of certain compounds or the formation of undesirable byproducts. By drying in darkness, growers aim to minimize the potential for light-induced reactions that could negatively impact the quality of the dried cannabis.


  • Reduced Oxidation: Exposure to light can also promote oxidation processes in cannabis, which can lead to a loss of potency and the development of off-flavors. By avoiding light during drying, proponents argue that oxidation is minimized, allowing the buds to retain their original characteristics.

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Large Child Resistant Exit Bags

The Counterargument against Darkness during Cannabis Drying:

On the other side of the debate, some growers believe that darkness is not necessary during the drying process. Here are the key points made by those who argue against drying in darkness:


  • Lack of Scientific Consensus: While there is anecdotal evidence supporting the benefits of darkness during drying, there is a lack of scientific studies specifically addressing this issue. The absence of concrete scientific evidence makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions regarding the impact of darkness on cannabis drying.


  • Practical Considerations: Drying cannabis in complete darkness can be logistically challenging. Many drying rooms or designated areas may not have the infrastructure to block out all light sources effectively. It may require additional measures such as blackout curtains or specialized equipment, increasing the complexity and cost of the drying process.


  • Risk of Mold Growth: Darkness, especially in the absence of proper airflow, can create an environment conducive to mold growth. Proper air circulation and ventilation are crucial during the drying process to prevent the development of mold and ensure the buds dry evenly. Some growers argue that maintaining proper airflow and controlling humidity are more critical factors than darkness alone.

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