Nothing is worse than a nug of dried weed. It’s a harsh smoke, and it tastes like burnt grass. The experience of smoking dusty old marijuana isn’t one you dream of when you think about rolling up a big beautiful joint. Marijuana is supposed to be sticky, crystallized, and colorful. It’s not supposed to resemble a tumbleweed. To avoid this problem altogether, let’s go back to weed smoking school and learn how to rehydrate weed.
Rehydrating cannabis improves the smoking experience from start to finish. Instead of straight up incineration and a deep inhale of burnt smoke, you get the terpenes. The subtle flavors, a smooth inhale, perfectly cured weed is better than a ball of dust.
Moistening weed is also a trick used by drug dealers who want to improve their product. It’s a gimmick they use to make the product weigh more, which means you pay more. However, with dispensaries, unscrupulous dealers are less of a concern. Dispensaries should know exactly how to package and store weed, to keep the moisture content at an ideal level.
What is the Ideal Cannabis Moisture Content?
Thankfully these days, labs test for this sort of thing. Third party lab testing helps to ensure that cannabis is consistent no matter who produces and preps it. That said, there are still large variances, but test results help producers maintain consistency from one round to the next. Moisture content will also change as the product moves from the cultivator, to the packaging facility, and then into the dispensary.
Humidity changes from one environment to the next, and can affect the content within the product. Typically, a high-quality product should have between six to 15 percent moisture. Anything above 15 percent might suggest some issues. Mold, mildew or fungal infection is not something you want to harbor in your buds. Just like dehydrated weed is an issue, so too is super wet weed. Look for a little crunch to the flower, but it shouldn’t fall apart when handled.
How to Rehydrate Weed
It’s all well and good to discuss the correct moisture ratio of cannabis, but what if your weed is always dried out. Maybe you left the plastic bag open or found a dried up piece under your couch. It’s time to moisten that bad boy up and make it much tastier for your next smoke session.
1. Proper Storage
The most important step to correct moisture in cannabis is the storage. You might not be able to do much for the process leading up to your purchase, but you can protect it afterward. And no, you don’t need to make a huge investment. It’s as simple as finding a sealable glass container. Cannabis deteriorates through a process called oxidation. It also decays through exposure to light. If you left a piece of flower out in the open air, exposed to the sun’s rays, you’d quickly find it loses the punch. The tasty terpenes and potent cannabinoids slowly transform into dust and dirt.
Look for dark glass containers with a tight lid. If you don’t have a dark glass container, you can always store a simple mason jar within a dark cupboard. Plastic is technically breathable, so avoid storage in plastic baggies, even if your dealer sold it in one.
2. Citrus Peel
But what if your weed is already super dry? There are ways around this issue, including the good old fashioned orange peel trick. Even a little peel of citrus, a few inches long, can spice up your stash and make it much more smokeable than before.
Either peel a strip off from your next orange, or use a vegetable peeler, and slice off a small piece. Place the peel in the airtight jar and reseal. You’ll want to check every day or so, and once the cannabis has a little spring in its step, remove the peel. The one issue with a citrus peel is it can bring unwanted pathogens into your storage jar. If you leave it too long, these can start to grow on your weed, and make it moldy.
3. Distilled Water
The next option is a bit less risky for introducing pathogens into your stash. It still requires careful monitoring, but because its distilled you won’t be introducing anything dangerous into the storage container. You also won’t always be smoking orange flavored weed.
Grab a small, snack size Ziploc baggie and place a folded paper towel inside. Using only distilled water, dampen the paper towel and seal the bag. it doesn’t have to be soaking wet, just damp. Poke a few holes in the baggie, and tuck inside the glass storage jar. Through the pinpricks, moisture will naturally travel to the hard nugs.
Again, it shouldn’t take too long for the cannabis to rehydrate. Keep a close eye on your stash. While the distilled water won’t contain contaminants, your weed might. If any microorganisms are living dormant in your pot, it likely won’t take too long to start growing again. You’ll want to quickly use up your rehydrated weed before anything gets a chance to develop in it.
Way back when humidors were a more common storage container. Your grandfather, maybe even your father, had one in their den to keep their Cuban cigars at the relative humidity. Today, with the rise of weed smoking, comes a new wave of cannabis specific humidors. While these are a slightly fancier, and a way more expensive option, they have been specifically engineered with your stash in mind.
A typical cannabis humidor is made from cedar and has a moisture control inside. Some of the high-end options even include a hygrometer, which is a device to measure the moisture content of the air. If you’ve got the funds, and want to curate a perfect smoking experience, why no go all out with a cannabis humidor?
5. Piece of Bread
Another do-it-yourself option is using a piece of bread. It works in a pinch, and won’t take more than a few hours to transfer its moisture into the flower. It’s the same principle you may have used to keep your brown sugar from hardening. On a molecular level, the water molecules travel from the fresh slice of bread and are absorbed into the dusty old stash.
Just like with the orange peel, and to a lesser degree the distilled water method, this method is a temporary solution. Bread, just like the orange peel, may carry microorganisms with it. If left unattended, the bread may encourage mold and yeast to develop. If you rehydrate your weed with bread (or any other food), you’ll want to smoke it within short order.
6. Humidity Control Packs
Another purchase, but a better long-term solution than a piece of bread are humidity packs. These packs, sold at dispensaries and many places online, are portion controlled, sterile packages of moisture. Without introducing damaging microorganisms into your stash, they’ll transfer a little humidity and keep your stash fresh. The concept is essentially the opposite of the little silicon packages you find in a box of new shoes. Instead of pulling moisture out of your weed, it’s going to put it into the stash.
This is a perfect solution for dry climates. If you find your stash is always too dry, and want a safe way to keep it humid, these packs are affordable and effective. You don’t need to keep a close eye on your storage container, and the packages are replaceable if required.
Learning how to rehydrate your weed is one of the simplest ways to get the most out of your product, even if it’s as dry as a bone. Some methods are more effective than others. And some options work in a pinch, but not over the long term.