Whether you’re an at-home cannabis grower or recreational or medical cannabis user, chances are you’ve ended up with some dry marijuana buds from time to time. If this is the case, you’ve also likely experienced that smoking dry cannabis is not the most pleasant due to its ashy taste and less-than-desirable aroma, as well as its crumbly structure.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which to restore the moisture levels of your dried-out weed.
Why Use a Rehydration Process for Your Dry Weed?
When you or another cultivator harvest cannabis plants the buds are fresh and contain ample moisture. As such, drying and curing wet weed is an important step before it can be used, as it allows the fresh cannabis flowers to dry properly, and serves to prevent fragrances and flavors that aren’t up to snuff. Furthermore, of the many purposes the curing process serves, it makes it possible for the cannabis buds to be stored for longer without the risk of mold growth.
One of the most popular methods for drying and curing fresh weed involves hanging the harvested branches upside down in a dark, enclosed space that is well-ventilated for about 5 days up to two weeks. Generally, humidity levels are maintained at 45-55% and temperatures are kept at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Essentially the cannabis drying process and curing process allow for the preservation of weed while maintaining proper moisture levels because marijuana flower does need to have a particular moisture level of about 8-11% to ensure its strength, scent, taste, and health. Excess moisture levels in your buds can result in moldy weed, which is unhealthy for you to ingest, whereas cannabis that’s had too much moisture loss not only breaks down the cannabinoids and terpenes but will burn much too quickly.
If you have bone-dry marijuana that’s been hanging out with the dust bunnies for months on end, it may not be possible to save it. However, if your marijuana has only just started to dry out, due to not being stored in an airtight container or incorrect temperatures, or getting too much exposure to light, chances are you can still salvage it by rehydrating it. (To learn what not to do and what to do when storing your cannabis read more here.)
By moisturizing weed, you are restoring its proper level of moisture, which can then help to preserve the cannabinoids, terpenes, and trichomes, thereby providing you with nuggets that can still deliver the effects, tastes, aromas, and potency you’re seeking, as well as smoke that isn’t too acrid on the inhale.
There’s a plethora of effective methods for rehydrating dehydrated weed, all of which include serving as a moisture source for dried-out cannabis to regain its proper consistency.
The sections below are just a few of the many ways in which to restore your dry cannabis flower to its optimal moisture level.
Several DIY Methods of Rehydration for Dry Weed
If you happen to have an airtight weed container filled with fresh buds, adding your dry cannabis to it may help to remoisturize it. However, if your dry nugs haven’t rehydrated in the course of 24-48 hours, then you should try one of the methods provided below.
Citrus Peel Method
This is probably one of the simplest and most common methods used for rehydrating cannabis.
- Resealable airtight glass jar
- Citrus: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, or any other citrus fruit
- Cutting board
- Dried-out nugs
- Step 1. Put your dry weed into the resealable cannabis container or jar.
- Step 2. Place your citrus fruit onto the cutting board and using your knife, slice off a strip of its peel.
- Step 3. Add the slice of peel to the cannabis storage container that has the dried-out weed in it.
- Step 4. The next day, “burp” the jar one or two times by opening its lid and resealing it.
- Step 5. Use your rehydrated weed in the next 24 hours.
Note that using this method may result in some of the fragrance and flavor from the peel being transferred to the dried-out bud, which quite honestly, the complaints about this extra perk are few and far between.
Hot Vapor Method aka “Hot Water Method”
While this is the fastest way to rehydrate your buds, it is also the one with the most risks as it requires you to keep a close eye on things throughout the entire 30-45 minute process as over-hydrating is a very real possibility.
- Medium- to large-sized pot
- Washcloth or rag
- Dry marijuana buds
- Step 1. Bring the pot of water to a boil.
- Step 2. Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from the stove and place it on a stable surface.
- Step 3. While being careful to not burn yourself in the process, place and secure the washcloth or rag over the top of the pot so that it is tightly sealed over the pot.
- Step 4. Set your dried-out cannabis nugs on top of the fabric so that the hot water vapor rising from the water can rehydrate it. Make sure to turn your nuggets every few minutes so that all parts of them are exposed to adequate moisture levels.
- Step 5. After 30-45 minutes have passed remove your rehydrated and refreshed buds and enjoy!
The Lettuce Trick
If the citrus peel method wasn’t quite enough to rehydrate your nuggets or you don’t have any citrus around or you don’t want to add any new scents or flavors to your weed, using a fresh lettuce leaf is another effective method, which if you think about the fact that lettuce is composed of 95% water it makes sense that this has the potential to salvage your dry weed.
- One leaf of lettuce, iceberg lettuce is ideal but other types will work in a pinch
- One plastic baggie that can be tightly sealed
- Dry cannabis buds
- Step 1. Take one leaf of lettuce that’s big enough to fit inside the plastic bag and rinse it just enough so that it’s slightly damp but not soaked.
- Step 2. Place your dried-out buds in the plastic baggie and lay the lettuce leaf on top of your weed.
- Step 3. Let it sit for 2-3 hours.
- Step 4. Usually after 2-3 hours, your weed should be rehydrated. However, if the lettuce leaf is dry but your buds still haven’t achieved their ideal moisture content then simply remove the lettuce and repeat Steps 1-3 and add a new leaf of lettuce.
Damp Paper Towel or Cotton Ball Method
Lastly, let’s end with the Damp Cotton Ball or Paper Towel Method, which is the much cheaper version of using a cannabis humidor, which though effective can be relatively pricey. Like the Hot Vapor Method, this one also comes with the risk of creating a conducive climate for mold to grow, so you’ll want to make sure that the paper towels or cotton balls aren’t too wet, and that you remove them as soon as your buds have reached their optimal moisture level.
- Paper towel(s) or cotton balls
- An airtight marijuana storage container with a lid
- Distilled water (even purified water where the chemical and contaminants have been removed can still contain minerals, whereas distilled water has had all of these removed including any minerals)
- Unsealed plastic bag
- Dry weed
- Step 1. Place your dry weed into the unsealed plastic bag and leave it open.
- Step 2. Wet the paper towels or cotton balls with distilled water so that they are damp but not dripping wet.
- Step 3. Place your damp paper towels/cotton balls in the bottom of the storage container and then place the open plastic bag of dry marijuana buds on top of it (or you can sort of “enwrap” the plastic bag with the damp paper towels making sure that water doesn’t get into or onto the buds as any excess moisture could result in moldy weed)
- Step 4. Seal your cannabis storage container for approximately 2-3 hours. (If your weed still doesn’t have enough moisture reseal the container for a bit longer and/or replace the dry paper towels/cotton balls with new damp ones.)
- Step 5. When your weed is rehydrated remove the paper towels/cotton balls and enjoy!