As cannabis legalization sweeps the nation, more businesses are researching the best ways to dry cannabis plants to gain the maximum yield. When growing cannabis, many cannabis growers hang cannabis plants upside down; however, more businesses are incorporating drying racks into their facilities to increase their profits.
Drying and curing cannabis ensures a high-quality final product, so choosing the best rack for the job is important.
Drying Cannabis Plants
To understand what kind of drying rack you need, it’s important to know what drying and curing cannabis entails. The drying process is an essential part of cannabis cultivation, directly affecting the taste, aroma, and shelf life of cannabis buds. The cannabis plant loses most of its water content during drying, usually in the first three days.
It’s important to ensure the plant dries in a consistent, uniform manner. Try to keep the humidity between 55 and 65% at all times. If the humidity drops below 50%, you risk drying out the plant too quickly, causing damage. This may require installing a humidifier or dehumidifier to control the moisture levels in the air and a hygrometer to measure the humidity. The ambient temperature should be between 60ºF and 70ºF. For the best results, store cannabis in a dark room.
Cannabis Drying Methods
Cannabis growers use two primary methods of drying. In the first, the grower hangs the plant upside down, leaving it exposed to the open air. This can be a cost-effective option for growers on a more restrictive budget or whose production is comparatively low volume since hang drying requires more space.
Tray drying is another popular method in which the grower trims away leaves and stems, leaving behind the buds. The grower then places these drying buds on a metal tray that rests on a shelving system. Tray drying is popular among growers who need to maximize their use of available space.
If you need high-volume production, for example, tray drying is generally more economical than hang drying. Tray drying also protects the buds against the growth of mold and other airborne contaminants.
Materials for Shelving
There are several materials and finishes you can use in a shelving unit. As the ideal drying room has a humidity as high as 65%, you will need a shelving system resistant to moisture and corrosion.
Carbon steel shelving should have a protective finish for this reason. For example, our wire shelving is available in chrome, black powder-coated, or green-epoxy finishes to prevent rust. Stainless steel construction is also highly beneficial for this purpose and has the advantage of being food-safe.
What is the Best Drying Rack for Cannabis?
The best drying rack for cannabis depends on the drying method you’re using and how much space you have dedicated to the drying process. Here are some of the options to consider for your cannabis drying rack.
If you decide to tray-dry your cannabis plants, you’ll need to lay your cannabis trays on a tray rack or shelving system, also known as a drying rack. One of the best types of shelving systems for this drying method is wire shelving.
The open wire mesh design significantly improves air circulation compared with other shelving systems. The airflow is more symmetrical, enabling a uniform drying and curing process since exposure to heat and moisture are more consistent. This also allows you to optimize airflow using an air-conditioning system or portable fan.
Our wire shelving, manufactured by Quantum Storage Solutions, can fulfill the role of both tray-drying rack and hang-drying rack. These shelving units are designed for many applications, available in various shelf and post sizes, and feature height adjustability.
The heavy-duty construction ensures long-term functionality, and the split-sleeve clips and grooved posts allow you to assemble the unit quickly and easily. At Shelving + Rack Systems Inc., we supply written assembly instructions and provide guidance where needed for an efficient installation.
If you’re looking for a mobile cannabis drying rack, our polyurethane non-marking casters allow you to move your cannabis plants where you need them.
In addition, wire shelving add-on units, such as those offered by Midwest Wholesale Container, allow you to increase the hanging volume of either method. These shelving units, made from carbon steel and suitably finished to protect against corrosion, are easy to assemble and join without special tools.
Bulk Storage Racks
An alternative to dedicated wire shelving for cannabis drying is the bulk storage rack. We carry FastRak™ Bulk Storage Rack Units With Wire Mesh Decking, manufactured by Jacken, which meet various storage and retrieval needs for warehouses. In the context of cannabis growing and drying, a bulk storage rack with wire-mesh decking offers several of the same advantages as wire shelving. It allows the free flow of air and a high degree of visibility.
However, the key difference is its versatility. If you need to use your storage racks for multiple purposes, a bulk storage rack provides increased strength and weight capacity compared with wire shelving systems, supporting between 1,600 and 2,000 lbs. per shelf.
This allows you to allocate racking/shelving space to heavy-duty growing supplies, such as bags of soil, creating a multipurpose storage system. Furthermore, as the bottom of the racking unit doesn’t require a shelf or horizontal beams, you can store additional supplies under it.
Closed Shelving Systems
Galvanized steel shelving, such as the R3000 by Schaefer Shelving, provides a durable and high-strength option for tray and hang drying. Although the solid shelves provide less airflow than wire shelving, when you buy a closed variant, you increase the security of your cannabis plants during periods of downtime.
Choose an open unit with wire-mesh shelving for the best balance between protection and air circulation. Compact and easy to install, the R3000 uses a boltless assembly method.
In addition to a drying rack, utility carts can help you ferry equipment and keep your plants organized during later processing stages. Our Angle Leg Utility Carts, manufactured by Lakeside, are made from electronically welded stainless steel and are easy to clean and sanitize.
Designed to keep noise to a minimum, these carts feature sound-absorbing panels to reduce vibration. Depending on your specific requirements, these carts are available with a 300 or 500 lb. weight capacity.
Grow and Drying Room Design
The design of your grow and drying rooms is important for several reasons. Greenhouses can fulfill the growing room role effectively, drawing on the sun’s light and heat and allowing you to use less energy. This can also help you avoid the need to use grow lights to compensate.
However, when creating a space for drying your cannabis after harvest, you’ll need to ensure there is minimal exposure to sunlight, which can degrade the potency of THC. This is especially important if you opt for wire racks, which do not provide protection from any light sources in your drying space.
Before establishing your grow room, you should understand the space each cannabis species and strain requires because these can vary considerably. Selecting drying racks that can also be used in your grow room is a great way to save money on your setup.
Choose the Drying Rack That’s Right for You
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we offer a wide range of shelving and racking systems for various businesses. If you need racking systems to cultivate cannabis plants for commercial production and sale, we can help.
Give us a call at (800) 589-7225 to discuss your options. We’ll help you find the drying rack that meets your needs.