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How to rehydrate dry cannabis: the good, the bad & the risky 

Dry cannabis is a major bummer. Not only does it lose flavor due to terpenes evaporating, but it also creates a less enjoyable smoking experience. Dry weed can burn unevenly and create harsher, hotter hits which lead to coughing and throat irritation. While not all consumers prefer cannabis with the same moisture content, the optimal moisture content of dried bud is around 10%. 1

If you find yourself with bone-dry nugs, don’t worry – all is not lost yet. There are steps you can take to rehydrate your weed for an enjoyable smoking or vaping experience. The internet is rife with suggestions, some useful and some… not so much. One important thing to note is that rehydrating cannabis will not bring back evaporated terpenes. Once they have evaporated, they’re gone. Here’s what you need to know to rehydrate your dry cannabis. 

How do I rehydrate dry weed? 

Dry weed happens for a few reasons. The first is due to improper drying, curing, or storage that allows too much moisture in the plant to evaporate and leave you with dry, brittle buds. The other reason is due to changes in humidity that can leave the plant high and dry (pun intended).

Rehydrating cannabis comes down to a concept called relative humidity. Relative humidity is defined as “the ratio of the amount of water vapor present in the air compared to the greatest amount possible at the same temperature.” 

Put simply, relative humidity is a measure of water vapor content of the air. Cannabis can get too dry when the relative humidity is low and can be rehydrated by adding more water to the environment. Cannabis is best stored at 40-60% relative humidity, and this is generally the industry standard. The RH is the % water in the air within the car. This is different from the water content of the cannabis itself (moisture %) and also different from a concept known as activity of water, which is considered a better measure for cannabis quality than moisture content. 2

Is it possible to rehydrate your cannabis?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, for cannabis too. Proper storage can help prevent your buds from drying out (Shutterstock)

Yes, it is possible to rehydrate dry cannabis. Just as water molecules can evaporate from your weed, they can also be absorbed, at least to some extent. But bringing cannabis around water can invite trouble, as a spill could result in wet weed, which can ruin a good smoke and promote mold growth. 

If your weed has too much moisture, it can be a one-way ticket to moldy buds – and you should never smoke moldy weed. Always inspect your buds carefully if you want to rehydrate them, and throw them away if you suspect mold. It’s always better to be safe than to inhale mold and be sorry. 

You can avoid this issue entirely by keeping your weed stored properly. When weed is stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container with proper humidity levels, it can last between six and 12 months. If you live in an arid or humid climate, you may want to invest in a stash box to keep your weed fresh. 

How to rehydrate cannabis

Hydration packets 

Verdict: Good 

How does it work?  

Add a hydration pack like Boveda to your cannabis storage container. Humidity from the packs is slowly released into the air within the closed containerThat humidity is then absorbed by the dry weedThis process can take between 3 to 7 days, or longerDo not open the container – you lose that humidity from the jarTimes will vary based on container size and size of humidity pack

Should you try it? 

Yes. This is the recommended way to rehydrate your cannabis. Humidity packs are meant to regulate humidity in a closed container and can bring moisture back to your bud, but pose no risk of introducing water or mold. And sure these can rehydrate your bud to make it a but better, the real magic of humidity packs is keeping your cannabis fresh in the first place 

Citrus peel

Verdict: Risky

How does it work? 

Poke small holes in a plastic baggie and add an orange/lemon/lime peel. Place the baggie in your cannabis storage container and let sit. 

Should you try it? 

No . Orange peels just aren’t that moist, and in the time it would take to rehydrate the buds from the fruit peels, you may also be inviting mold and unwanted bacteria. Sure, citrus peels could hypothetically make your weed smell better, but the citrus flavors will be mild at best and it may just end up muddling the other flavors of your herb.

Bread 

Verdict: Risky

How does it work? 

Place a slice of bread in the container with your cannabis and let sit for a few hours.

Should you try it? 

No. Adding organic matter like bread to your weed can be a fast track to mold. And it’s no secret that bread can invite mold growth. Depending on the type of bread It could also introduce off flavors, like a yeasty or nutty flavor. 

Lettuce 

Verdict: Bad

How does it work? 

Poke small holes in a plastic bag and place a slice of fresh lettuce in. (variety wouldn’tn’t matter, all lettuce is high in moisture content.) Place the bag in with your cannabis and let sit. 

Should you try it? 

No. Lettuce is often physically wet, which is the enemy of even dry weed. Even if It’s possible the lettuce releases some moisture, you wouldn’t be able to keep these in the bag together very long (more than a few hours) for fear of mold growth.

Paper Towel/ Cotton Swab

Verdict: Risky

How does it work? 

Moisten a paper towel.Wring out excess moisture from the towel.Hang the moist part of the paper towel in the top of the container, above the bud.Not sure how to hang your towel? You could also place the paper towel inside an open plastic baggieClose the lid of your container with the weed and paper towel inside.

Should you try it? 

Maybe. If your weed needs a little hydration boost, this could work. But leaving a damp paper towel in with your bud is a recipe for disaster (and mold). Make sure to wring out excess moisture from the paper towel, you don’t want it to drip. If the bud is quite dry, it will absorb some of the moisture the paper towel released in the container. If you try this, don’t let the paper towel sit in with the cannabis for more than a few hours, and be sure it’s not touching any of the buds. Once (somewhat) rehydrated, consume right away or it will dry out again.

Mix it with fresh cannabis 

Verdict: Risky

How does it work?  

Place a freshly harvested cannabis flower in the container with your dry bud and let sit. Check your weed at regular intervals to monitor the rehydration process and remove the fresh weed once your bud is rehydrated.

Should you try it? 

Probably not – Don’t ruin any fresh herb by mixing it with old cannabis. If you grow your own and happen to have freshly harvested cannabis on hand that is in the curing stage, then potentially you could mix that fresher, more moist herb with your bone-dry flower. But the high water content in freshly harvested cannabis could expose both sets of buds to possible mold growth. 

The best ways to store your cannabis 

Hopefully when purchased, the flower is at the right moisture content. The easiest way to avoid having to rehydrate your weed is to store it in such a way that it won’t dry out in the first place. Proper cannabis storage can be broken down into a simple list of dos and don’ts. 

Do:

Keep it away from lightStore in an airtight containerUse a stash box or an airtight glass or stainless steel containerClean and dry the container before you use it Keep it in a cool, dry spot Use humidity packs

Don’t:

Store it in the fridge or freezerUse a plastic bag Leave it exposed to lightOpen the container too frequently Handle the buds more than necessary

Bottom Line 

While you can never really turn back time and get back the potent freshness of your weed, rehydrating dry buds can still preserve an enjoyable, if not top-tier, smoking experience. But introducing water to cannabis always comes with the risk of mold growth, so keep an eye on your bud, use common sense, and when in doubt, throw it out. It’s never worth inhaling mold. 

The post How to rehydrate dry cannabis: the good, the bad & the risky  appeared first on The Cannigma.

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