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How do I test a live plant for potency?
While it's almost always better to properly dry and cure your newly harvested marijuana buds, there are times when it's very important to actually test your buds for potency. For example if you would like to sample a bud off your live plant to see if it's ready to be harvested, or any other time where you need to be able to use your newly harvested buds right away. During times like these, smoothness and flavor aren't important.
In situations like this, a solution is to employ a quick-drying technique for your marijuana buds. While you will still achieve the same potency from quick-dried marijuana, the problem with quick-drying techniques is the resulting marijuana can be harsh and have an unpleasant, planty odor. Two methods that have worked for me are using the microwave or using the sun to dry the buds. While not the tastiest bud, I haven't found the smoke harsh at all when I dry cannabis using either method. If you do decide to quickly dry some bud, you will only want to use a small bit of bud at a time. You will see that it's not a taste that you will be able to enjoy, this technique is only for experimental purposes, so don't waste a lot of your precious cannabis by using this method.
How to Dry Your Marjuana Using a Microwave
Put your buds on a paper towel and cover them with another paper towel. Put them in the microwave on 40% power and cook them for 20-30 seconds at a time. Each time, take off the top paper towel off and turn the buds over so they will dry evenly, then cover them again.
The THC may actually evaporate at higher temperatures (it's the same principle behind using a vaporizer) which is the reason you want to cook the buds at a lower power. You want to make sure your buds don't get too hot while they're drying, so if they feel like they're really hot when you're turning them, you may want to wait a few seconds before putting them back in or put the microwave on a lower power.
The amount of time it will take before they're ready will vary depending on your microwave, the number of buds, and other factors. Basically you want to keep repeating this cycle until the buds are a bit crackly and the stems actually break/snap when you bend them. If you've seen/used prepared marijuana before, you have a general idea of what you're going for. If you're unsure, I recommend under-cooking them a bit as opposed to potentially over-cooking them.
The whole process will usually will take less than 5 minutes for a couple of pieces of marijuana buds. At this point you can prepare your cannabis and use it as normal.
How to Dry Cannabis Using the Sun
Basically you just need to place your bud on a tissue or proped up on a sieve so that any moisture will not collect under the bud while it's drying. Once your bud is on something that will wick away moisture, put it in a bowl under seran wrap (like a mini green house) and set the bowl in the sun. You can also place your bud in a brightly lit window instead of in a bowl with seran wrap. On a sunny day your buds should be completely dried in 2-4 hours.