How to rehydrate weed
Copy article link to clipboard.
Link copied to clipboard.
- How to store weed
- Why would you want to rehydrate weed?
- How to rehydrate weed
- Bottom line
Any cannabis flower you consume should have a certain level of moisture for an optimal experience. Moisture affects potency, flavor, aroma, and the health of a bud. If cannabis is too moist, it may develop mold and harm your smoke. If cannabis is too dry, it will burn up and possibly degrade too quickly. The ideal moisture content will prevent these potential problems and help give your cannabis the flavor, feel, and effects that you want. If you end up with some dry weed on your hands, there are a variety of tried-and-true methods you can use to rehydrate.
How to store weed
When it comes to keeping flower properly hydrated, the optimal method is always prevention. Proper storage that keeps flower fresh is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your weed. Never store your bud out in the open or on a tray. Improper storage will expose your weed to an excess of oxygen and light, the two most immediate culprits of cannabis degradation. Keeping weed fresh and potent requires a delicate balance of environmental conditions.
Though clear containers and plastic bags are common forms of packing, the best way to store weed is to keep it in an opaque, airtight container in a cool, dry place without direct sunlight. Storing in an opaque container helps to ensure optimal moisture content because it keeps light out.
Storing in an opaque container helps to ensure optimal moisture content because it keeps light out. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Ideally, you should store your weed just below room temperature. Some light and air will inevitably get into your weed containers when they are opened, so be sure to keep them closed when not in use. Properly storing your weed ahead of time is the best way to prevent dehydration and extend shelf life.
Why would you want to rehydrate weed?
Even those with limited cannabis experience have likely smoked some dry weed before. Depending on the severity of the dry bud you smoked, you may not have ever considered rehydrating it, or known it was an option. Weed will inevitably degrade over time andmay dehydrate too quickly, leaving you with a subpar end-product.
In most legal markets, weed isn’t cheap. No one wants to throw their money away, especially if they’ve invested it in top-shelf cannabis. Fortunately, most methods of rehydrating weed aren’t labor-intensive, and many are effective.
There’s no escaping dehydration of your bud in the long run, but if the weed comes to you dry, or dries out before you have a chance to smoke it, rehydrating is well worth your time.
How to rehydrate weed
Weed’s relationship with moisture is complicated. All cultivators dry and cure their cannabis. The goal of drying and curing is not to completely remove moisture from the bud, but to let it slowly dissipate without altering cannabinoid and terpene content.
The ideal moisture content for cannabis flower tends to fall between 6 and 9%. A humidity level above 65% will likely result in mold development on the bud. The drying process is intended to decrease moisture content to less than 15%, while curing takes the bud down to 9% or lower.
The process of drying, curing, and maintaining the optimal moisture of cannabis is a delicate, complicated process. If you find that the weed you’ve purchased, grown, or stored is dry and brittle, there are a variety of ways to resurrect your dry buds.
Here are some of the most common methods of rehydrating weed.
Lettuce comprises up to 95% water, which makes it a great candidate for rehydrating your weed. Similar to using a citrus peel, leaving a small cut of lettuce peel in a bag with your dry buds for 2-3 hours can rehydrate them without transferring any taste or smell.
Fresh weed mixed with dry weed
If you happen to have some fresh, sufficiently moist bud on hand, you can try putting it in the same jar as your dry bud. This method may not be as reliable as others, and you may want to keep your different strains separate, but it’s a quick and easy way to make all your bud fresh without having to use any extra materials.
Damp q-tip, paper towel, cotton ball, or small sponge
Another method of rehydrating without transferring scent and aroma from other plants or foods is to place a damp q-tip, cotton ball, piece of paper towel, or small sponge in a container with your dry bud. If you use a q-tip, try and place it above your nugs without touching them. The point is to absorb minimal moisture from the q-tip, towel, or sponge to get the optimal amount for your weed.
If all else fails, buy disposable humidity control packs to place in your weed jars. Some control packs are specifically designed to preserve optimal humidity for cannabis.
Using a citrus peel is arguably the most popular DIY method of rehydrating weed. All you have to do is cut the outer layer of an orange, lemon, or other citrus peel and place it in your nug jar, tightly sealed of course. Citrus peels are naturally moist but will likely transfer some of their flavor and aroma to your bud. Since weed shares many of the same terpenes as citrus fruits, the added taste and smell may enhance your experience while rehydrating the marijuana.
What you’ll need:
- Dry cannabis
- Resealable jar
- Orange or lemon
- Sharp knife or peeler
First, assemble what you’ll need to rehydrate your weed. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Step 1: Place dry cannabis in a resealable jar
Place dry cannabis in a resealable jar. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Step 2: Carefully peel the outer skin of a citrus fruit
Carefully peel the outer skin of a citrus fruit. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Step 3: Put a piece of peel in with the cannabis
Put a piece of peel in with the cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Step 4: “Burp” jar once or twice over the next day
“Burp” jar once or twice over the next day. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Step 5: Enjoy rehydrated weed within 24 hours
Enjoy rehydrated weed within 24 hours. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Moisture is essential for experiencing the best cannabis flavor and aroma, and rehydrating weed can be achieved with a few DIY solutions from ingredients in your kitchen.
Don’t over hydrate your weed
Rehydrating your weed isn’t labor-intensive, but it is something of a delicate dance. The goal of rehydrating is to get your bud back to the state of balance of moisture content that comes from a well-executed drying and curing process. As you rehydrate your weed, check on it rigorously to make sure you aren’t infusing it with too much moisture and risking mold growth.
How to rehydrate weed Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents How to store weed Why would you want to rehydrate weed? How to rehydrate weed
How to Re-Hydrate Dry Cannabis Buds
As you reach the bottom of your cannabis stash, you’ve probably noticed that your buds have gradually dried out. Preventing dry-out and keeping your cannabis at the ideal moisture level has a few benefits:
- The smoke/vapor is more palatable and a bit cooler
- Ground cannabis is easier to manipulate and roll into joints
- Better preserved flavor and potency
Naturally, the best way to prevent your cannabis from drying out is to take care of it in the first place, so let’s first go over some of the best preventative techniques for keeping your green fresher, longer.
Preventing Dry Cannabis
With these two easy precautions, you can extend the shelf life of your cannabis significantly.
Air-Tight, Away From Light
UV rays and oxygen are the enemies of fresh cannabis. Sure, sunlight and oxygen were this plant’s best friends before it came off the stalk, but once the cannabis is dried, cured, and packaged, you want to limit its exposure to the elements as much as possible.
For people buying cannabis in bulk (i.e. 1/4 oz. or more), it’s prudent to portion out your cannabis to keep each pack at peak freshness instead of cracking open the same jar every time, exposing those fresh nugs to the unforgiving composition of your local atmosphere. Think ahead and keep your greens fresh!
Glass Jars Over Plastic Bags
A flat of tiny, air-tight jars only costs about $10, and glass storage make a world of difference when it comes to keeping cannabis fresh. These don’t have to be anything fancier than a mason jar, but you can obviously find some pretty slick containers to house your stash.
A plastic bag will work in a pinch or if you have nothing else. Just be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing. My preferred method is to roll the bag up from the bottom—like a rolled taco or crepe—toward the seal.
These simple techniques will keep your fresh bud fresher, but what if you get a dry bag of herb or you stumble across an old stash?
How to Re-Hydrate Dry Cannabis Buds
Re-hydrating your cannabis is a delicate process that requires patience, but not much more. Here are a few methods that I’ve used and have gathered from cannabis aficionados around the web.
Distilled Water Method
Distilled water is not that different from other water, but it is an extremely important ingredient when re-hydrating your cannabis. Distilled water, unlike tap water, has been evaporated and recollected to remove impurities. This chemically pure water is also used in some humidors.
Whether your cannabis came in a jar, Mylar bag, or a medicine bottle, this method will work about the same for each.
- Find a container with a lid that is large enough to fit your jar/bag/bottle of cannabis with a little room for your damp, folded paper towel.
- Wet a fresh paper towel with just enough distilled water to get it about 70% damp. Don’t get your paper towel too wet, because excess moisture can lead to mold.
- Place your open container of cannabis and your paper towel in your designated container and seal for 2-12 hours.
This process should slightly improve the relative humidity of your cannabis. This isn’t a silver bullet for dry buds, but it should help.
Note: This method is not a long-term solution—the more times the bud is re-hydrated, the more susceptible it is to mold. Be sure to replace your paper towel and clean your container between hydration attempts.
Fruit Peel Method
A fruit peel can be a nice way to up the moisture of your cannabis while gently infusing your dried-out herb with a light fruity undertone. While the flesh of an orange holds most of its juices, the peel contains much of its essential oils and essences. Peels work well for re-hydrating cannabis because they are natural and moist without being damp.
As with many of the options on this list, this is a temporary fix. Do not—I repeat—DO NOT use fruit peels as a long-term humidification solution. Doing so is a surefire recipe for mold. Personally, I would recommend using a peel for 1-3 days before discarding it (or composting it, if you have the option).
Be sure to leave a little space between the fruit peel and your bud. This can be accomplished simply by having your cannabis in a perforated sandwich bag inside another sandwich bag.
Boveda Humidity Control Packets
(Courtesy of Boveda)
Boveda is a self-regulating disposable humidity pack that helps maintain relative humidity. Ideally, cannabis is stored at 55-62% RH (relative humidity). Luckily, Boveda designed a humidity pack specifically for cannabis consumers.
The Boveda 62% RH is a small, rectangular packet that is squishy to the touch. Boveda’s unique exterior packaging allows moisture to pass through freely, humidifying the contents of a bag or jar over time.
Boveda’s lifespan depends on the current humidity of the starting materials and the quantity of cannabis that needs re-hydration. When the Boveda is spent, the packet will lose its pillowy texture and become firm. You can replace Boveda packs as needed.
(Courtesy of Cannador)
It may be the fanciest option of the bunch, but a cannabis humidor offers the best long-term solution to humidity control. A humidor is usually a cedar-lined box that contains a hygrometer to monitor relative humidity.
Some cannabis humidors, like the Cannador, feature a high-tech bluetooth humidity monitoring system. While a calibrated analog hygrometer works just fine for most people, having a discreet monitor for your cannabis’ relative humidity right on your phone is a truly modern perk.
Humidors maintain their humidity in a couple of different ways. Distilled water and sponge humidifiers work fine, but this requires a bit of monitoring to keep humidity at the perfect level. Other propylene glycol mixtures will regulate at a certain humidity—just make sure you pick a solution that has a RH below 65%. PG solution for cigar humidors usually start at 70% relative humidity, so be aware and pick up the correct bottle.
These are just a few methods that I’ve found success with, but chime in and share your favorite way to keep your buds fresh.
Keeping your cannabis fresh can lengthen its lifespan, but it is also possible to fix dried cannabis with re-hydration techniques. Learn all about how to fix your dry cannabis buds.