How to Save Smell During Drying?

Newbie just wrapping my second legal outdoor autoflower grow/harvest/dry/cure in the urban and typically humid midwest. Both times I seem to have lost that good weed smell during outdoor drying. Both crops have still delivered the desired medical effects, but neither retained those good smells.

First grow was done Sep-Nov 2020 with GG #4 on covered back porch with grow light (my wife and children won’t allow anything indoors). Had tons of smell at harvest, very sticky. Dried outdoors under covered back porch hanging from hangers inside brown paper grocery bags, open end down, with fan on low blowing near the bags. Dried for about a week before jarring to cure and that dank weed smell was already fading fast and starting to smell more like hay. Figured maybe I dried too fast and so vowed to use less fan on dry attempt number two.

So this year, for attempt number two, I tried Northern Lights, grew between June-August 2021 (much hotter and sunnier months then previous attempt) with just natural sunlight up on the roof, then harvested (maybe a week too late, lots of amber trichomes, plus much less smell than previous GG #4 and much less sticky) and dried using same technique, only this time turned fan away from hanging paper bags, figuring it would pull less air than it pushed the year before (maybe?) and thus slow my dry time.

However, just checked buds after just three days of hanging in the bags out back, and my buds are already super dry to touch, not very sticky, and have already lost most of their weed smell.


I’m never going to be able to do any of this indoors where I can control every variable, just doesn’t work for my situation, so have to figure out next best options for outdoor everything every step of the way. On the plus side, I can make use of a covered back porch and grow light if necessary, though it was nice to have my grow up on the roof where it didn’t get in the way of back porch hangouts.



Usually loses its smell and turns to a hay smell. The good smell usually comes back during curing . Can take several weeks/month


Yes have you been curing your bud?

Ahh, well, been curing in glass gars for about 8 months and still has that hay smell more than original dank weed smell. Early on in the curing, I was burping 1-2 times daily. Moisture in the jar is around 62%.

Yep, been curing for about 8 months, burping daily for maybe the first few weeks. Still has that hay smell. Moisture in the glass curing/storage jar around 62%. And that’s the natural moisture, I haven’t tried anything to adjust it.

Well that sucks
I got nothing…

Maybe @Hellraiser would have an idea as I know he’s cured a ton of weed

Not going to get any better after 8 months. The terps that make it smell good was lost with the fast dry, they evaporated away and you’ll never get that back. There is no fixing it at this point.

Really need to slow down the drying process and never let them get too dry.


Yeah, I figured. So if I just hung out back in the paper bags no fan, does that sound like a better set up than with fan? I can’t imagine how I’d ever be able to really control ambient humidity.

What are the paper bags for

Blocking light. The covered porch gets lights certain parts of the day.

If you can slow your dry time down while maintaining good air flow. I dry mine as slow as possible. Leaving your leaves on helps to slow it down.
I realize you don’t have much control on the porch.
How’s the humidity in your area?

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Have you considered a wedryer xl and set in a spare bedroom or somewhere controlled for a week?

After that you’re in jars. I didn’t get much smell from the wedryer but to be honest where I had it I didn’t really care about smell so it may have been worse than I paid attention to!


I think @sd3 is very close to me. In which case rh around here is terrible for growing lol. Extremely high in summer and Extremely low in winter.

I think Hellraiser is correct in that this stuff was just allowed to get too dry. Outdoor temps here this time of year can cook off profile very quickly too. I do not typically recommend, but this may be good situation to research old school commercial quick cure methods. Basically short dry and bulk short cure in trash bags. It is higher risk of molding and won’t be smooth like runninga connoisseur type of cure, but retains a lot weight and loudness to nose.

You could always try to jar for smoothness from there. Initial retention of moisture could be all you need to reach more desirable product.


In summer, VERY humid and often VERY hot


I don’t know why but to me they always have more smell if cured on the stalk. Remove as much leaf as you can


Hang branches - brown bag sucked up your terps. You can dry from jar. I’ve jarred some after cutting the buds off the stalks too soon. Fixed by drying it slowly drying it more down to the % I was looking to hit. You can dry it more after but you can’t go other way. I hang mine about three days then check maybe four days then into jars. Burp for hour instead of minutes. :grin::v:


Thank you for sharing your experience, I can tell already that a good cure is going to be harder for me than the grow.

I did 3 rounds of harvest, dry, and cure this first season. In each round I dried different batches and types (gsc and gg autos) in my outdoor shed, and indoors in a bathroom shower, with humidity and temp control. All the plants had great smell up to and immediately following harvest. I was able to achieve 60 to 62 percent humidity in jars and Grove bags spot on, but after a month of ‘cure’ I have about a pound of tea smelling buds.


Only the late harvest hung in the outdoor shed in the cooler part of late October came out right.

  • The Temps during dry were in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
  • I only achieved a partial dry 9ver tge course of a week, as they never got crispy on the outside in the lower temps and higher humidity of late october. Smell was still good.
  • After a week or so I brought them inside and hung them in a partially open ice chest (no ice) in the indoor crawlspace to get them into moisture range as they were still pretty damp. They still smelled good at this point. Crawll space was elow 70 degrees consistently.
  • when the buds were still a little damp, with bendy stems but crispy leaves, I trimmed them and put them in bags and jars. The crispness of the sugar leaves allowed me to ‘trim’ them by just breaking them off. Buds were still moist and sticky
  • the buds smelled good going in the jars and still smell good and the resin is sticky 2 weeks later.

Based on this experience, it appears to me that temperature is the key controllimg factor to terpine retention.

  • I had multiple 10+ day dry times
  • all but the last batch with Temps in the low 70s indoors and out. I had very close control over humidity during dry.
  • they last batch was 'dried withe tge lowest temperature, and is the only one with good smell.

My key objective next year is to devise some refrigerated drying system next season to see if I can consistently repeat this accidental success.

Incidently, I notice some green smell dissipation on my tea batches as i dry small quantities closer to 50 percent. Not a great smell or long term solution, but make the product more pleasing to smell.

Hope my experience helps!

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Try making the area you are using a bit smaller easier to control you can try trimming after they dry might slow it down too depending on how dense your buds are. If smaller it has a great bearing on how long the dry takes