How to rehydrate weed is a topic that comes up time and time again in most smokers’ lives. It’s not hard to see why that’s the case. Everyone wants to smoke weed that’s as pristine as possible. You want to look forward to trying out your favorites after a hard day. Or to celebrate special occasions with an old and predictable favorite. That predictability comes from weed that’s not too dry and not too damp. Cannabis that’s kept in pristine condition and tended to if it starts to slip. And you’re about to learn how to make that happen.
Why It’s Important to Rehydrate Weed
You’ve probably noticed that old dry weed doesn’t have the same kick as fresher alternatives. This is often because drying can damage and increase the fragility of some of the plant’s most important components – terpenes and flavor-related compounds. You can see a similar principle with other plants. Think about fresh, crisp, lettuce on your hamburger. Now replace that image with lettuce that’s either dried out or wilted and yellowing. Your cannabis suffers in a similar way if it’s not properly hydrated.
Pros and Cons of Too Dry or Too Damp Weed?
Saying that weed shouldn’t be too damp or too dry is inherently ambiguous. Unfortunately, moisture levels are something that you need to develop a feel for through personal experience. When you know, you know. There are some pros and cons that appear as the moisture balance changes though. And learning to keep track of those signs will help you recognize the goldilocks zone of “not too dry” and “not too damp”. You want to always aim for the “just right” level of moisture that sits in between the two extremes.
One of the best signs of overly dry weed is a lack of potency. Dried-out cannabis that’s not had proper storage and has had time to incur damage from light and oxygen will generally produce less of a high due to decreased cannabinoid levels. But you’ll also notice other qualities have degraded as well. In particular, the aroma and flavor of the plant degrade at a consistent rate with the cannabinoids. But keep in mind that your own state will often influence things just as much as the cannabis itself. For example, it doesn’t take long for your THC tolerance to lower. If you haven’t smoked for a while then you might overestimate how strong your weed is when you jump back into it.
Conversely, you don’t want to let your weed become too moist either. You can often detect this by a slightly pungent smell coming off your supply. The odor comes from a combination of rot and various types of mold, bacteria, and other contaminants growing on it. You’ll also find that the material is difficult to grind or burn because of the excess moisture and contaminants.
How to Rehydrate Weed
But all’s not lost if you find out that your weed’s dried out. You can always fix your supply through some fairly simple rehydration methods. And some of them can even add a little extra along the way like additional taste or flavor.
This might sound absurd, but it actually works. Just moisten a slice of bread while making sure that it’s not fully soaked. You want the bread moist, but not dripping. Then put the bread in a sealed and airtight container with your weed for an hour or two. The bud should be fully rehydrated by moisture from the bread. If not, give it another hour. The secret here is that the moisture is slowly released from the bread in something akin to a time-release system.
Don’t just eat your veggies
The earlier example of lettuce also offers a solution to dry weed. Fresh lettuce is about 95% water. That water content tends to evaporate rather easily, and you can use that to your advantage by placing it in a sealed container with your dry weed. Water will evaporate from the lettuce into your cannabis.
Like attracts like
You can also use a variation on the lettuce trick with fresh weed. If you have properly moist weed you can place some of it in with your overly dry stock. Over the course of a day or two, some of the moisture from the fresh will migrate over to the dried-out weed.
Cotton balls and the like
You can essentially use anything that slowly releases stored water to rehydrate cannabis. That even includes damp paper towels and cotton balls. You just need to use a similar method with those and other analogous materials as you would with bread. But make sure that your material is damp but not outright dripping. You want to raise humidity rather than soak your bud.
Fruit peels are one of the best ways to rehydrate weed. You can use apple or even banana peels. But most people prefer to use peels from citrus plants like oranges. This method works in a similar way to using any other moist material but adds the benefit of flavoring your product a little. But you have to be especially careful about mold growth.
The sugary nature of fruit means that their peels are extremely attractive targets for mold and bacteria. If you’re not careful this can move over to your cannabis. But it shouldn’t be a concern as long as you’re careful about not using this method for longer stretches of time. You should ideally only rehydrate with citrus peels for a couple of hours. With a full day as your absolute maximum duration.
Finally, water vapor can produce the fastest results. You simply need to start boiling water, move it to a safe location, and cover the pot with a cloth. But make sure the cloth itself never comes into direct contact with the water. We prefer to use distilled water for this as it has no impurities in it that can be passed on to your marijuana flower during the rehydration process.
When you place your cannabis on the cloth it’ll receive a constant stream of vapor from the water as it cools. The cloth will help to modulate the process and ensure your plants aren’t getting too much moisture at once. All you need to do is shift your plant material regularly so that the vapor is evenly distributed. The process should be finished within a half hour. Just make sure that your cannabis isn’t exposed to too much heat. You want to rehydrate the material, not cook it.
Will humidity packs rehydrate weed?
Humidity packs are another great option to quickly and easily rehydrate weed. But they can also help keep your weed from drying out at all. The packs can often maintain ideal humidity levels.
This is typically somewhere between 55% and 62% humidity.
Causes of Too Dry Cannabis
It’s also important to keep your cannabis safe from the various things that can dry it out. Exposure to light and air are the two biggest problems for long-term storage. Even opening and closing a jar will speed up the process as you’re continually adding new oxygen into the mix and letting moisture out.
You can prevent this issue by portioning your weed out in advance rather than opening up the full jar every time the mood strikes.
And speaking of jars, you should always favor them over permeable plastic bags. Though you can strike a good compromise by putting your portions in small baggies, pushing out any air, sealing them, and then storing them in a glass jar. You can optimize this process by just considering whether any storage method will expose your product to additional air and light. The more ways you can think of to prevent that from happening the better chance you have all keeping your weed fresh.
It’s also well worth playing around with variations of the different hydration methods to see which is the best fit for your own unique preferences. You’ll be surprised by just how much a little creativity can add to things. For example, think back to the fruit peel method. If you add some actual fruit alongside it and cycle the material to prevent mold, you’ll be able to add both a fruity flavor and moisture to your bud. Likewise, herbs like thyme or mint can add a little something to the experience. You can get similar results with vapor rehydration by ensuring the water you’re using has a nice flavor and scent.
Getting a Taste for the Best of the Best
Getting the optimal moisture level can feel a bit tricky at first. But like cooking the perfect meal it’s really just a matter of practice. You’ll quickly pick up on warning signs of your plant getting too dry. And, likewise, get a feel for how to perfectly rehydrate it. But that only happens when you make the decision to give it a try for yourself.