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Grow Stages

How to Check Trichome Ripeness: Recognize When They’re Ready



Once your cannabis plants have reached maturity in the late flowering stages, they’ll look and smell beautiful. This is often when cultivators start to think about harvesting. Resist the temptation to harvest early and let your plants mature to get the best quality out of your grow. 

While it can be difficult to know when to harvest and a bit of an art at times, the most common way is to look at the trichomes on the plant. They can help you to find the ideal “ripeness” for harvest. Under ripe is never ideal, but some growers like a harvest with over ripe trichomes for a more sedative effect.   

What are trichomes, and why do they matter?

Trichomes are the terpene and cannabinoid-rich magic in cannabis. They contain the resin and cannabinoids that give cannabis its psychological and medicinal properties. They’re not unique to cannabis – you’ll find them on other plants, lichens, and algae

Clear cannabis trichomes

The trichomes are also the part of the plant used to create concentrates. They resemble tiny hairs and can be seen without magnification on well-grown mature cannabis. Magnification at 40x or more will reveal a forest of trichomes that coats the flower. Biologically these trichomes are made to protect the plant from pests, predators, and weather. They help the plants stay healthy and strong through flowering and just so happen to smell delicious to humans. 

The three types of trichomes  

Microscopic view of the most common trichomes

Capitate-stalked Trichomes are hair-like structures with caps full of cannabinoids and terpenes. They are the most abundant trichomes and the most prevalent during the late stages of flowering. While all trichomes contain the chemicals that contribute to the effect of cannabis, stalked trichomes are the main source of chemicals like cannabinoids and terpenes. Capitate-stalked trichomes are easily visible on cannabis flowers, even more so with a magnification of 40x and greater.  Use these as an indicator of trichome ripeness.  

Capitate-sessile trichomes are found on the sugar leaf and inner buds. They are not visible without magnification and tend to coat the stalks of the plants. Capitate-sessile trichomes grow very close to the plant’s surface and contain both cannabinoids and terpenes. You will not typically use these trichomes to determine ripe buds vs. unripe buds. 

Bulbous Trichomes are smaller still than sessile ones and are found on the stems and leaves more than the flower. These are not often used to identify over ripe trichomes as they are the smallest of the three here. However, they will undergo color changes that are noticeable with magnification. 

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The three stages of trichome ripeness

The three stages of trichome ripeness. FLTR: Clear / Milky / Amber

Clear coloring indicates immature trichomes and a plant that is not ready to harvest. They appear clear because they are still empty. They fill themselves with those juicy chemicals we love as they mature. Harvesting at this point would lead to lower-quality cannabis with less effect, flavor, and aroma. 

Milky trichomes begin to look cloudy and white. These are now full of cannabinoids and terpenes. Once trichomes have turned this milky color, the time to harvest is just around the corner, typically within ten days. 

Amber trichomes are the finishing line for growers. As the plant’s flowering stage reaches its conclusion, the cells creating resin in the trichomes begin to die and give the trichomes an amber-red/brown shade. The amount of amber trichomes on a cannabis plant is how many growers discuss and decide when to harvest. When trichomes begin to turn amber, the plant is very close to its peak maturity. Soon after, it will degrade and lose potency. 

How to check trichome ripeness with a hand-held loupe in three steps 

Step one: 

Carefully take a look at the trichomes on the plant in its last 2-3 weeks of flower. This can be done with a 40x or greater jeweler’s loupe. Do this regularly to determine your trichomes’ ripeness. 

jewelers loupe

Step two: 

Assess the majority color of the trichomes  – are they clear – immature, milky – maturing, or amber – mature? If the answer is clear, you’ve got several weeks to go. If they are starting to turn milky, you have about two weeks. If you see any amber, proceed to step three.

up close view of trichome colors

Step three: 

If amber trichomes start appearing, then assess the percentage. When looking at the flower in general, look at the percentage of trichomes that have gone amber. The general number to shoot for is ~15% amber trichomes. This can be more of an art than science, but shooting for about ~15% amber will reduce the chances of over ripe trichomes.

This percentage of amber trichomes will get the plant right at its most ripe and potent stages. There’s some art in this decision and some grower’s preference. Sativas can be pulled a little earlier (like ~10% amber) to maintain the sativa effects, while some indicas can be pulled later to create an added sedative effect. 

Amber color trichomes seen up close with a loupe

Other methods of determining harvest ripeness

It’s worth pointing out that other indicators combined with the trichome coloring technique can help you tell when harvest timing is right. One example is checking the pistils (reproductive organs of the female plant) and stigmas for color. The stigmas are also hair-like in structure but are easily visible in and around the cannabis flower. The stigmas grow from the flower’s bract and are biologically meant to catch pollen.

The stigmas that grow from them start white but gradually degrade to orange or red depending on the cultivar. Curious how to recognize immature or (over) ripe trichomes in combination with looking at the pistils and stigmas? Read this article on when to harvest marijuana for more information. 

The reproductive organ of the female cannabis plant (Pistil) consists of the Bract, the Stigma, and the Stigma papillae.

Personally, I pull plants to harvest when they are a little over 10% amber. I believe harvesting based on the percentage of amber trichomes allows you to get the most potent and lovely-smelling cannabis, with ~15% amber being the ideal time. However, you should start looking at the trichomes regularly once harvest is near to determine the best time to pull your plants using a small jeweler’s loupe or other magnification.  Your environment, preferences, and cultivar selection impact this decision as well. Remember that deciding when to harvest isn’t the only key to quality. It’s very important to start with high-quality seeds to get hearty plants and great yields. You can find the best seeds at

Frequently asked questions about trichome ripeness

How long does it take trichomes to turn amber?

When trichomes start changing from clear to milky in late flower, they’ll be amber in 10-14 days, depending on the plant and environment.

What should trichomes look like before flushing?

Start your flush when milky trichomes first appear to allow for 10-14 days of flush before things start going amber.

Can you see trichomes without a magnifying glass?

You can see trichomes without magnification with good eyesight and the right light. You may not be able to see enough detail to get an accurate perspective on trichome ripeness however.

How do you check trichomes with a phone?

If you don’t have a loupe or other means of magnification, you can use your phone to zoom in and capture an image of the trichomes on the plant. Make sure to keep your hand steady or use a tripod, as the zoom function is excellent but can require some extra time to focus.

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Grow Stages

Why is it Important in the Curing Process?




If you have ever cured cannabis before, odds are you’ve had to burp your jars during the process. But have you ever wondered why burping weed is important? The short and sweet of it is that doing so removes the buildup of carbon dioxide and moisture in the jar caused by your buds.

As for why your buds release CO2 and moisture, it mainly has to do with the chemical reactions during curing. And unfortunately, there’s no short answer to this one. So if you want to know why burping weed is important, you’ll have to continue reading.

What is “burping”?

Burping weed is where you remove the lid of your curing jars to allow moisture and CO2 to escape. It’s done to release a buildup of water vapor and carbon dioxide in the jar caused by your buds as they cure. In a way you’re allowing air to circulate in your curing jars to avoid mold growth like jar rot which is caused by high moisture and humidity.

But why do your buds release carbon dioxide and water vapor? When it comes to moisture, it’s because of transpiration. Even after plants have been cut, transpiration can still occur in them. The same goes for your buds that have been dried. They will still transpire, releasing their leftover moisture as they cure which causes a buildup of it in the jars.

As for why your buds release carbon dioxide, it’s a byproduct of a chemical reaction that happens during curing to ‘activate’ the cannabinoids in the trichomes. Part of the reason we dry and cure our buds is to partially decarb them to convert the THCa in the trichomes into THC which makes for a more potent bud. An easy way to explain decarbing is that it’s a reaction which uses heat to remove a part(carboxyl group) from a chemical compound. In the process of removing that part, CO2 is released. For cannabis buds, this is removing a part in THCa which then converts it into THC(1).

Find a step by step guide to curing your weed for maximum yields in Robert’s Grow Bible below!

How do I burp weed?

Burping your weed jars is pretty straightforward. You open the lid of your jars and leave it open to allow moisture and carbon dioxide to fully escape. The question, though, is when should you start burping your jars? Without a hygrometer it’s hard to tell exactly whether you should open the lid of your jars to burp them.

It’s important that you don’t haphazardly open your jars. Doing so exposes the trichomes of your buds to too much oxygen which causes the terpenes in them to degrade, resulting in a loss of potency and flavor(2).

Should I burp my weed everyday?

Your buds will constantly release moisture and carbon dioxide as they decarb. So yes, you should burp your weed everyday and keep your jars open for at least 30 minutes. But this only applies to the first week of curing. During the second and the following weeks after that you will have to gradually reduce the amount of times you burp your jars.

This is where the hygrometer will come in handy. Typically when it comes to curing, you need to maintain a relative humidity of roughly 55-60% with a temperature of 18°C(3). This allows for a slow cure that will better preserve terpenes while still partially decarbing the cannabinoids of your buds.

Week of curing Number of burps
1st Week Once per day 
2nd Week Once every other day
3rd to 6th Week Once every 2 weeks
Past 6 Weeks Once every month

When should I stop burping my weed?

The main purpose of burping weed is to let out a buildup of CO2 gas and water vapor, which means it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. Half an hour is all you need for your jars to return to an acceptable relative humidity for curing.

Another question is when can you stop burping cannabis? And the answer is: you don’t. 

So long as your buds are curing, you have to burp them. Even after your cured buds have gone past 6 weeks, you would still need to burp them once every month to avoid CO2 from accumulating. This air exchange is vital in maintaining your buds’ potency and overall quality.

Combining burping with a high yield cannabis seed from ILGM will guarantee huge yields! Buy high yield weed seeds today!

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What happens if you burp weed for too long?

One of the main issues with burping marijuana buds as they cure is overexposing them. While it is important to let excess moisture and carbon dioxide gas escape the jars, leaving the lid off for too long can release too much moisture. This causes your terpenes to evaporate along with the moisture, resulting in a loss of flavor and aroma in your buds.

But the problem of overexposure is a relic of the past thanks to humidity packs. These handy packets can help maintain a relative humidity in your jars by absorbing excess moisture in them. In some products like Boveda Humidipaks, they can also release moisture if the air is too dry. The only caveat, though, is that it cannot also absorb CO2 gas in the jar. Meaning you will still need to burp them.

Are burp lids good for weed?

Burp lids are a great alternative if you’re looking for a fast and easy way to burp your jars. The way it works is that the lid comes with a valve at the center. That valve can then have an oxygen extractor attached to it which will pump out stale air. It can also remove excess oxygen in the jar.

But do you need these ‘self’ burping jars to cure? No. They’re more of a commodity than a necessity. Your buds will cure just fine even if they’re manually burped. Plus, I personally believe a hygrometer is more necessary than auto burping jars. Since with a hygrometer, you can tell when you should burp the jars.

Burp Lids to cure your marijuana buds

Other facts you need to know about curing weed

Why you should cure weed in the dark

When it comes to curing cannabis, it’s critical that they’re placed somewhere that’s dark, cool, and dry. The reason for this is that light, heat, and oxygen are factors that cause the cannabinoids in your buds to degrade(3). Especially light since it can also contribute to the heat in your curing room which will also result in your buds drying out too quickly. Moreover, UV light still plays a factor in affecting your buds, particularly in reducing both their terpenes content and THC content.

Why is curing weed important?

The main reason we dry and cure cannabis is to preserve them. Through curing we remove the bacteria and enzymes that cause the buds to break down and decay. What that means is that the terpenes and cannabinoids in the trichomes of the flowers are preserved.

Does curing increase smell?

Additionally, curing your buds helps accentuate the terpenes in the trichomes. This is because as your buds cure, it’s also breaking down things like chlorophyll, starch, and sugars. By removing those things, it gives your buds not only more aroma but even a stronger flavor and a smoother smoke. In addition to that, curing also helps further ripen the terpenes in your buds by giving it the time it needs to fully form within the trichomes. It’s the exact same reaction that occurs with the cannabinoids in the buds, wherein by giving it time to ‘ripen’ the THCa turns into THC.

A lot of effort and time goes into curing your cannabis. Especially if you have to manually burp your jars. That means you need to make sure that the buds you’re curing are grown from the best seeds which you can get from Guaranteed to germinate and worth the effort to cure.

Does burping weed prevent jar rot?

Yes. By burping your jars, you prevent moisture from accumulating which avoids creating an environment where bacteria and mold can thrive. That’s not to say that burping will fix your mold issues. If your buds were improperly dried, odds are they’d still grow mold. Especially if the buds have a lot more moisture in them still.

Are auto burping jars any good?

If you’re looking for an easy and fast way to burp your jars, then yes. Auto burping jars or burp lids are a novel way to reduce the work around burping your jars. They are pretty expensive, though. Especially if you consider they’re a nice-to-have and not a need-to-have utility. 

Can you cure weed in a plastic bag?

No. With plastic bags, they don’t offer a tight enough seal that makes them ideal for curing. So before you can even think of burping weed in turkey bags, you’ll find that your herbs have grown mold.


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Grow Stages

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds with Hydrogen Peroxide




Growers who have handled hydrogen peroxide before know how potentially dangerous it is for plants. In high doses, it can cause cell damage. But, H2O2 is something that plants also produce during photosynthesis. It acts like a hormone that regulates growth and development.

In fact, H2O2 may potentially speed up the germination process and help your seedlings’ growth and health. If you’re curious to know how to germinate weed seeds with hydrogen peroxide, our step-by-step process will help you go about it.

Should you soak your weed seeds in hydrogen peroxide?

So long as it’s a diluted solution, soaking seeds in hydrogen peroxide is a great way to speed up germination. It’s also a good way to sterilize your seeds and remove any bacterial or viral pathogens. But you mustn’t soak your weed seeds for too long, or your seeds may decompose in the solution.

How does hydrogen peroxide help with germinating seeds?

Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound that acts like hormones for your plants and seeds. In plants, they regulate growth and development in the roots. For seeds, H2O2 triggers physiological processes like germination to occur faster(1). Another way that H2O2 speeds up germination is by cracking the seed’s outermost covering. Because seeds need water and oxygen to kickstart germination, breaking their seed coat allows for more of it to be absorbed by the seed.

You can also use H2O2 to germinate old seeds that have developed a harder seed coat over time.

Besides speeding up the germination process, soaking cannabis seeds in hydrogen peroxide also sterilizes them. In fact, it’s a better solution for your seeds and far safer than aggressive chemicals like bleach(4).

However, it’s critical that you don’t soak your seeds in pure hydrogen peroxide. The concentration of the hydrogen peroxide (water to H2O2 ratio) can make the difference between it being beneficial or detrimental. Too much H2O2 will damage your plants’ cells or kill your seeds. Ideally, use a 1% H2O2 solution; this is enough to show the best results for cannabis seed germination (3).

Find a step by step germination guide in Robert’s Grow Bible below.

Does H2O2 speed up the germination process?

Yes, H2O2 does speed up the germination process. It is a signaling molecule that triggers physiological and biochemical processes in your cannabis seeds, which then induces germination. Additionally, H2O2 is regarded as one of the most stable signaling molecules for cannabis (1). Unlike other compounds, H2O2 requires a specific enzyme to decompose(5), making it ideal for creating seed-soaking solutions.

What happens if you use too much hydrogen peroxide?

When soaking seeds in water and hydrogen peroxide, it’s common to make mistakes around the concentration levels. Note that 10% hydrogen peroxide is the concentration for weed killer, and it will also kill your plants (6). The recommended solution is 1-3%. Any solution that contains more than 3% can do more harm than good for your seeds.

stirring peroxide into a cup for seedlings

How long should you soak your seeds in hydrogen peroxide?

We recommend that you only soak your cannabis seeds in the hydrogen peroxide solution for no more than 12-24 hours(4)(1). This is because your seeds will usually  show signs of germination around this time frame. To keep your newly germinated seeds from drowning and decomposing, don’t go over 24 hours. This would not be the case if you were soaking your seeds in water alone.

What is the ratio of water to hydrogen peroxide to use for seeds?

One of the most important things to take into consideration when making a hydrogen peroxide solution is the concentration. H2O2 comes in different strengths, and each one requires different amounts of water to dilute it into a solution that’s safe for soaking weed seeds. This chart details the ratio of water to H2O2 needed for making a soaking solution for your seeds.

Amount of water 3% H2O2 35% H2O2
1 cup 1 and ½ tsp. 7 to 10 drops
¼ gallon 2 tbsp. ½ tsp.
1 gallon ½ cup 2 tsp.
5 gallons 2 and ½ cups 3 tbsp. and 1 tsp.
10 gallons 5 cups 6 tbsp and 1 tsp.
20 gallons 10 cups ¾ cups with 1 tbps. and 1 tsp.

Can you germinate older seeds with H202 (hydrogen peroxide)

It is certainly possible to germinate older cannabis seeds with hydrogen peroxide. The only issue with germinating old seeds is their harder seed coat(11). You need to crack that tough seed coat to germinate them, which is possible by using H2O2. You won’t need to make a higher concentrated solution for it either. The same 1% H2O2 solution you use for regular seeds is enough to germinate older ones(3). So if you have a bunch of old seeds you didn’t find the time to sow, don’t just throw them away. They may still be viable.

But, it’s only possible to germinate old seeds if they were stored properly. Just like with storing buds, if you don’t give your seeds the right conditions, they won’t last. For more on storing your seeds, read the article, how to store cannabis seeds. Or if you don’t trust you old seeds, check out collection of high yield marijuana seeds today!

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  • Easy to grow
  • Guaranteed germination
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How to use hydrogen peroxide for germinating marijuana seeds

Disinfect growing medium

Besides using hydrogen peroxide to soak your marijuana seeds, you can also use it to disinfect your growing medium by applying the diluted solution as if you’re watering. Doing so eliminates harmful fungi like fusarium from soil-growing mediums and increases seedling growth in plants(7). Applying H2O2 on soil has the added benefit of remedying heavy metal-contaminated soil(8).

hydrogen peroxide germination process for seedlings

Seed sanitization

Because of hydrogen peroxide’s oxidizing properties, it is a good disinfectant that removes bacterial and viral pathogens and stops fungal infections. It’s the best solution if you want to sterilize your seeds. Other alternatives like mercuric chloride or bleach require additional washing of your seeds(4). For this method, soak your seeds in a 1% solution and let them sit for 12-24 hours or until most seeds have germinated.

Faster germination

Like sanitization, use hydrogen peroxide for faster germination by soaking your seeds in a 1% solution for 12-24 hours. H2O2 can speed up the germination process in seeds because it acts as a trigger for germination, which would otherwise take twice as long if you were to soak them in water(1). In older seeds with thicker seed coats, H2O2 breaks open the hardened outermost cover, allowing more oxygen and water to be absorbed by the seed.

Increased cannabis seedling root development

Promoting root development is another benefit of using hydrogen peroxide on your cannabis. Watering with your H2O2 solution increases O2 concentration in the soil, which increases nutrient and water uptake and has a positive effect on root growth(9)(10). 

cannabis seedling root development

Fight off fungus infections

In the same vein, watering your cannabis with your hydrogen peroxide solution helps fight off fungal infections in your plants, particularly in its roots which play a considerable role in increasing root development. It’s important to note that you need to be careful with how much H2O2 you introduce to your cannabis, which is where the chart will come in handy.

But with that said, you don’t have to trouble yourself with all of this. Unless you just want to salvage some old seeds you forgot to plant, you’re better off purchasing high-quality seeds from ILGM – they’re guaranteed to germinate. You can also check out our germination instructions for more information.

FAQs about using hydrogen peroxide with cannabis

Can you treat root rot with hydrogen peroxide hydroponics?

Yes you can. Outside of cutting off the damaged parts, you can use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to treat root rot in your cannabis plants.

Should you dilute hydrogen peroxide solution when using it for germination?

When using hydrogen peroxide for germinating cannabis seeds, you must dilute it before you soak your seeds in it. Undiluted H2O2 will only damage your seeds.

Does H202 help with mold on cannabis plants?

Spraying your cannabis plants with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution can help reduce the likelihood of mold appearing. However, it’s more of a preventative than a remedy. It won’t help much if your plants are already infected with mold.


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Unlocking Potency & Extraction Efficiency




Before we get down to the brass tacks of freeze drying weed, it’s important to know that freeze-drying is not the same as putting your buds in a freezer. Freeze-drying cannabis is a more effective way of long-term storage as opposed to freezing cannabis. It ensures a longer shelf-life for your buds while also keeping them potent. The difference lies in what freeze drying avoids that freezing doesn’t.

Reasons not to freeze weed

Freezer burn

Freezer burn occurs when cold and dry air in the freezer draws out the moisture in your fresh buds and replaces it with oxygen. While this has the potential to dry your nugs, the moisture has no means to evaporate, so it remains on the surface, where it forms a layer of frost. While it won’t result in your buds becoming susceptible to mold, the freezer burn alone causes reduced potency as it exposes your buds to more oxygen.

Additionally, thawing out your buds after they’ve been frozen leaves them moist and mushy. This is the result of the water molecules in the buds contracting and expanding as it freezes, which destroys the cells’ structural integrity. If you use a normal kitchen freezer, your buds won’t be consumable anymore. And you can only convert them into extracts if you’ve made the proper preparations to catch the fallen trichomes.

Loss of trichomes

Freezing temperatures will result in the trichomes on your buds turning brittle enough to fall off if you touch them. This isn’t ideal if the buds you stored were meant to be smoked. But it can be a blessing in disguise as you can turn the kief into extracts.

Slow decarboxylation

Due to the moisture that has collected on the surface of the buds (aka water activity), it will take longer for them to decarb. While this isn’t an issue if you’re smoking them, it can prove detrimental if the buds were meant for edibles. Slower decarboxylation means it needs to stay in the oven longer, which lowers potency as the THC degrades into CBN(1).

What is freeze drying?

As the name suggests, freeze drying is a process that involves freezing the moisture in your buds and drying them. The drying part is achieved through a process called sublimation. Sublimation is a type of transition that turns a solid into its gas state without needing to turn it into a liquid. In our case, it’s the moisture-turned ice crystals in the buds that need to be sublimated into water vapor. And for sublimation to occur, it needs certain temperatures and pressures. This is why freeze drying weed can’t be done with your standard kitchen freezer. You need specialized equipment that has those specific functions.

It’s said that freeze drying is a high-quality dehydration method as it retains many of the flavors of foods, and for the most part, it translates well into cannabis. A little too well, in fact. Studies have shown that freeze drying doesn’t break down chlorophyll the same way standard drying methods do(2)(3). It’s for this reason, we recommend that if you freeze dry cannabis, do so with the intention of using it for making hash.

How does freeze-drying cannabis work?

Deep freezing

There are three stages in freeze drying(4). The first is deep freezing which is the stage where you bring the buds down to -40°C (-40°F) or lower. This is done to turn the moisture in your buds into ice.

Sublimation drying

The second stage of the process involves sublimating the ice into water vapor. This is done by lowering the pressure in the freeze dryer. One thing to note is that this is all done automatically.

Desorption drying

The last step, also known as the secondary or final drying, is when your freeze-dried weed is brought back to room temperature. This removes the last bit of moisture from the buds.

What are the benefits of freeze-drying marijuana?

The main benefit of freeze drying weed is that it improves certain qualities, such as flavor and shelf life.

But that’s not all. A study states that the best method for drying buds is freeze-drying. It preserves the quality and does so for longer than traditionally cured weed(4).

Freeze drying as a method for curing

One of the more novel ways of curing cannabis is through a freeze dryer. Unlike traditional drying methods that implement heat, freeze drying does the opposite. It uses extremely low temperatures to dry and cure your buds. The resulting end-product has a higher quality to it and a longer shelf-life. However, freeze-drying isn’t necessary for the home grower.

It’s more of a nice-to-have sort of thing rather than a necessary piece of equipment. And while it does make for a higher quality product, at the end of the day, it’s still a matter of preference. So only invest in a freezer dryer if you’re keen to try your hand at modern, high-quality hash making.

I’m sure the term ‘fresh frozen’ somewhat rings a bell, and you may have seen it being thrown around in articles covering freeze drying. This is because fresh frozen is a term used to describe a method that growers use to preserve the quality of their buds to turn them into high-quality extracts.

Freeze drying is key to this process since the trichomes of freeze-dried cannabis fall off a lot easier, unlike traditionally dried and cured ones. This is ideal when putting it through an ice water bath to make bubble hash which can then be pressed into live rosin.

What to look for in a freeze dryer for cannabis

When looking for a cannabis freeze dryer, the main things you need to consider are price, capacity, and rating. With price, there’s the cost of the freeze dryer itself and the ongoing costs. Overall, you might be looking at an average of $2,500 to $5,000 (depending on the size and type of pump) with a $30 to $50 ongoing cost to run it. For its capacity, it should have a shelf area of 1 square meter and a condensing capacity of 30 liters. 

How do you freeze dry properly?

Freeze drying marijuana requires you to use a professional freeze-dryer. This is because, with the right appliance, you won’t really need to do much of anything as the machine does everything for you. It beats working with something potentially hazardous as dry ice, which, in poorly-ventilated areas, can result in a buildup of carbon dioxide.

When should you put weed in the freezer?

When preparing live resin

The only acceptable reason for putting your weed in the freezer is if you plan to make high-quality extracts out of it. By putting your buds in the freezer dryer, it’s left preserved and prepped until ready to be made into either solventless or solvent extracts (aka ‘Dabs’).

The solvent extraction process involves using the (fresh) frozen buds and subjecting them to a solvent such as propane or butane to extract the resin. From there, the extract is purged, leaving behind a rich concentrate of cannabinoids and terpenes. It’s important to note that, like freeze drying, this process involves specialized equipment. Moreover, the compounds involved are volatile and dangerous, which is why we advise against making resin using these gasses.

When making ice hash

Ice hash (ice-o-later) or bubble hash is a method of making a more refined form of hash. It doesn’t strictly need you to use frozen buds; if anything, you can also just use dried and cured cannabis to make it. But there’s a notable difference in flavor and fragrance if you use (freshly) frozen or freeze-dried buds because of how well they’ve preserved the terpenes in the trichomes.

As for the process of making bubble hash, you won’t need any chemicals. Instead, you prep your frozen or freeze-dried buds for an ice wash where they’ll be stirred. This part of the process will break off the trichomes from the flowers, making it much easier if frozen or freeze-dried. Once they’re broken off, the resulting kief is then dried for 2 to 10 days, wherein it will become translucent.


Freeze drying is a novel way to dry and preserve your buds. It has the advantage of traditional drying methods in that it preserves the flavors and potency of your herbs. Yet, it is a specialized field and might not be obtainable or even necessary for most novice growers. If you do think this is something for you and you want to try your hand at freeze-drying cannabis, you need to grow weed that’s worth freeze drying in the first place. Buy seeds at ILGM.

FAQs About Freeze Drying Weed

How long does freeze drying weed take

Most freeze dryers nowadays only take a day or so to complete the process (20 to 40 hours). The time it takes does depend on the quantity you put in as well as the amount of moisture in your buds.

Does putting weed in the freezer make it less potent

Not necessarily. The only reason people say putting weed in a freezer makes it less potent is because of how the trichomes on the flowers will break off. In reality, freezing your buds preserves their potency and flavor much better than drying and curing. But it has the downside of only making your frozen buds viable for hash making instead of smoking.

What temperature do you freeze dry weed at

-40°C (-40°F) or lower, and it’s important that it’s done immediately. By flash-freezing your buds, you prevent ice crystals from forming, which would otherwise ruin their quality. This is also the main reason why your kitchen freezer is not up to the task of preserving and curing your precious bud to perfection.

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