A good cannabis flower requires a certain amount of moisture to enjoy perfectly. Excessively dried marijuana or brick weed may lack the flavor or aroma of a good bud, while an excessively moist flower may leave it susceptible to mold and pathogens.
In this article, we discuss how to rehydrate cannabis for an optimal experience.
Why Do You Need to Rehydrate Weed?
Cannabis plants, when harvested, are fresh and contain a lot of moisture. In order to dry up this wet weed, cannabis growers can follow a number of methods to dry and cure cannabis flowers.
The most widely known method of drying cannabis flowers includes hanging the harvested and trimmed branches upside-down in a dark, enclosed, and well-ventilated area at between 60℉ to 70℉ and 45% to 55% humidity for a period of 5 to 14 days. This process helps the flowers dry correctly and prevents undesirable aromas and flavors.
During the cannabis drying process, starches in the plant are converted into “reducing sugars” that further degrade into carbon dioxide and water. Chlorophyll, the compound that gives the plant its green colors, also degrades alongside the starches during the drying process. Cannabis flowers are then often “cured” in order to remove remaining unwanted chlorophylls and built-up salts. Curing dries up the cannabis flowers further, allowing them to be stored for longer without the risk of growing mold.
So why would you want or need to rehydrate cannabis?
Cannabis flowers that become too dry may lose a good portion of their terpenes, which can reduce aroma and flavor. When your cannabis flower retains the perfect moisture content, it helps preserve the fragile terpenes within the trichomes on the flower. Cannabis flower with a good moisture content will have a better smell and taste and shouldn’t be harsh when inhaling.
If you find your bud is dry, flavorless, smells musty, or irritates the throat when inhaling, it may be time to rehydrate your weed. Ideally, cannabis flowers should have between 8% and 11% inner moisture content.
What are the Effects of Overly Dried or Overly Damp Weed?
When weed is too dry:
- Loss of aroma and flavor. When cannabis becomes too dried out, it results in a loss of terpenes and flavonoids due to the fragile nature of the compounds. This causes the flower to lose not only their flavor but their scent as well.
- Loss of potency. When cannabis has been dried out over a long period of time and exposed to oxygen and light, it can also degrade the cannabinoids making for a less potent high.
- Harsh to inhale. When smoking weed that is too dried out, users often experience a harsher inhale. This can increase throat and lung irritation, resulting in more coughing.
When weed is too moist:
- Mold and pathogen formation. Wet cannabis has a higher chance of developing mold and other bacteria and pathogens that thrive in moist conditions. Inhaling these toxins can cause difficulty breathing and has the potential to lead to pneumonia.
- Difficult to grind. Cannabis flower with high moisture content is often wet and sticky, making it hard to break apart with a grinder.
- Does not easily burn. Wet weed can be hard to smoke. It won’t burn evenly, if it burns at all.
- It weighs more but costs the same as dried flower. Flower with more moisture has a heavier weight, so when you purchase cannabis flower with too high of moisture content, you’re getting less smokable cannabis.
Learn more about how to keep your cannabis fresh.
How to Properly Rehydrate Weed
So you want to breathe new life into some old bud you found. Here are a few tips you can take to safely rehydrate overly dried weed.
Tip #1: Keep away from light and oxygen.
- Exposure to light and oxygen increases the rate at which your cannabis flower dries out. When rehydrating your weed, be sure to place it in an airtight and UV-protected glass jar. Not only will this help prevent the weed from drying out more, but it will slow down the degradation of the cannabinoids.
Tip #2: Use a humidity pack.
- Adding a humidity pack from a company such as Boveda can help rehydrate your weed and prevent it from drying out in the first place. These humidity packs help retain the optimal humidity level for your stored cannabis flower. You can store this with your cannabis flower long-term to retain the moisture content.
Tip #3: RAW Hydro Stones
- This product from RAW (best known for their rolling papers) is a round, flat terracotta disc you soak in water. Commonly used to keep brown sugar fresh, you can also use terracotta discs to rehydrate your weed.
- Ensure the disc is not too moist and only leave it inside the container for a short time to prevent mold growth. Remove the terracotta stone when the flower reaches your desired moisture level, and enjoy!
Tip #4: Use a damp paper towel or cotton ball.
- Place some damp cotton balls or a damp paper towel into the container with your dry flower and let it sit for a few hours (and up to a full day). Be sure the cotton balls or paper towel are not too wet to reduce the risk of mold growth. Remove the cotton balls or paper towel when the flower reaches your desired hydration level.
Tip #5: The fruit peel method.
- This method is a very popular way of rehydrating weed and typically involves citrus fruit peels such as oranges and limes. It also works with banana and apple peels. All you have to do is simply place your chosen fruit peel inside the container with your buds!
- Even more than the other methods, it is important to keep a close eye on your flower when using this method, and only use fruit peels over a short period of time (typically a few hours, and no more than a day) to prevent mold from forming.
- This method may also leave your weed with a bit of a fruity taste, depending on what type of peel you used. Remove the fruit peels, grab your lighter, and enjoy!
Tip #6: Add some fresh weed.
- Having some bud with a good moisture content can help refresh overly dried cannabis flowers. Just place the fresh nugs in with your dried-out stash and check back in a day or so.
- This method can help keep the same desirable cannabis scent over the fruit peel method.
Tip #7: Put lettuce in your devil’s lettuce.
- Lettuce contains up to 95% water, which makes it perfect for adding to your jar of dried-out weed. Popping some iceberg lettuce into the same container as your dry flower will help rehydrate the weed without affecting the smell as much as the fruit peel method. When your flower reaches your desired moisture level, remove the lettuce.
Tip #8: The bread slice or tortilla method.
- Similar to the fruit peel and lettuce methods, bread slices and tortillas can also contain some moisture that may help rehydrate your weed. Simply stick a piece of bread or tortilla inside your cannabis container and check on it in a few hours.
- You’ll be able to tell if moisture is transferring to the flower by feeling the slice of bread or tortilla for its dryness. When the flower is rehydrated, remove the bread slice or tortilla from the container.
Cannabis with the right moisture content provides a better aroma, taste, burn, and high.
To keep your weed fresh, we recommend that you take steps to store it correctly. Storing cannabis in the right conditions can prevent your flower from drying out, losing potency and flavor, and growing mold. But if it’s too late to prevent your weed from drying out, at least you know now how to rehydrate your bud.
The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.