Is Your Stash Bone-Dry? Rehydrate Your Cannabis Buds!
Have you ever seen a bud crumble to a powder when rolling a joint? Learn how to rehydrate your weed stash in record time with our three simple methods.
One of the worst things that can happen to your weed stash is to let it go bone-dry. If that’s happened to you, don’t worry, your buds aren’t helpless! With a little know-how, it’s possible to rehydrate cannabis using a few simple techniques.
Some of them may even bring in new flavours, while others can quickly destroy your stash if done recklessly. Nevertheless, your pot will never be exactly as it was before, but you can help restore it to its (nearly) former glory.
THE BEST METHOD OF ALL – PREVENTION
The two most common reasons weed gets dry beyond its optimal point are overdrying after harvest and inadequate storage.
Cannabis dries from the outside in. The outer leaves may seem dry, but the inner bud and stems might still hold considerable amounts of water. Therefore, it is common for growers to judge dryness by using the stem-snapping trick.
When you cut down your weed to dry, soon after, the stems lose a lot of their rigidity and stiffness. If you handle a stem, it will bend without snapping. As such, the general rule of thumb is, when you can snap a bud’s stem clean in half, it is sufficiently dry. If the stem still bends, it needs more time. While this trick works great for the more experienced, it is by no means the most scientific method.
In moderate climates with average humidity, expect a slow and even drying period. In arid climates, however, it’s essential to keep a humidifier close by.
Humidity Control Pack
USE HUMIDITY CONTROL PACKS TO MAINTAIN PERFECT MOISTURE LEVELS
After a final trim, buds should be placed in an airtight container to cure. Unfortunately, weed will continue to exchange water with the surrounding air, so, unless you look after them, your prized buds will end up bone-dry. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to maintain the perfect environment for weed is with a moisture pack.
Not only do these nifty little packs work with harvests big and small, but the silicone gel inside takes over the job of exchanging moisture with the air around your buds. The result is a perfectly maintained relative humidity of 58–65%—the sweet spot for curing.
TOO LATE, MY WEED IS BONE DRY – WHAT TO DO NOW?
Fortunately, in the same way cannabis can release water into the air, it can also suck water molecules back into the bud.
The solution is relatively simple. All you need is an airtight container (again!), or something very close. In this remedial situation, being airtight is not essential to success. But after rehydration and for long-term storage, airtight containers are indeed necessary.
The general idea is to increase the relative humidity inside the container to create a microclimate. Water molecules will disperse from high concentration zones to lower concentration zones until it has evened out.
There are several ways to achieve this—some you can even do regardless of excessive dryness. All these methods are slight variations on one another (except for the super express methods described below), but they do have their nuances.
3 WAYS TO REHYDRATE YOUR WEED
BREAD SLICE, LETTUCE, OR DAMP PAPER TOWEL METHOD
This is a non-flavour-adding technique. Grab a slice of bread and moisten it (don’t soak it). Alternatively, lettuce leaves work great too. A damp paper towel can also be used, though beware of excessive water content.
Place it on top of the weed in a thick plastic or Ziploc bag, close it tight, and let it sit for an hour or two. When the time has elapsed, check your weed and move it around a little. Check the lettuce, bread, or towel for how much drier it is. This is a clear indication of the amount of water retained by the buds.
Depending on the size of your stash, you may need to repeat this a couple of times. The trick is to not rush it. For instance, do not excessively moisten the bread or leave the same lettuce leaf in there for too long. This could lead to the formation of mould, which could transfer onto the buds.
Inspect thoroughly, and when satisfied, move the weed to a proper airtight container for prolonged storage.
FRUIT PEEL METHOD
This trick adds a little fun factor and is great for experimentation. You can use several types of fruit peels and herbs to rehydrate your weed, in precisely the same way as described above. The difference is that there will also be a transference of taste and smell.
The most commonly used fruits are oranges and limes, as they are very useful in rehydrating your buds, but also lend their citrusy flavour to the weed. They should not be used for long-term storage and curing, as they could cause mould or bud rot. Daily close inspection is needed to avoid any sort of fungal outbreak. Simply substituting the peel every couple of days will ensure the added taste lingers.
Banana peels are also quite popular. Quicker in action too, but they also rot much quicker. Some people swear it makes the weed more potent, though there is no concrete evidence to support this. Apple peels do not transfer their taste quite as effectively, but they do release moisture slowly and consistently, which is great for even rehydration.
Regardless of your chosen fruit, the trick is to leave the peels with your buds for several hours. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a day until the buds are in good, smokable shape.
You can also add in things like mint, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, or any other fragrance-rich cooking herb. Not only will they work for rehydration, but they’ll also add a zing to your smoke.
HOT VAPOR METHOD
If you are in a hurry and cannot afford to wait that long, there is a way to speed up the procedure. But a big warning; you run the risk of cooking your weed or rendering it too soggy to smoke.
Grab a large pot, fill it with water, and bring to a boil. Once the water’s boiled, take the pot off the heat and place it on a safe surface. Next, cover the pot with a study cloth or piece of fabric, and secure it around the rim of the pot, making sure not to burn yourself (use oven mitts!).
Now, place your weed on top of the cloth, and let evaporation do the rest. The hot vapor will pass through the cloth and the buds, providing maximum hydration in record time.
Be sure to turn the buds regularly to distribute the vapor evenly. After 30 minutes to an hour, your buds should be ready to use!
Smoking overly dry weed is very harsh and unpleasant. Here are some simple tricks to rehydrate your buds in no time.
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.