How to Re-Hydrate Dry Cannabis Buds
As you reach the bottom of your cannabis stash, you’ve probably noticed that your buds have gradually dried out. Preventing dry-out and keeping your cannabis at the ideal moisture level has a few benefits:
- The smoke/vapor is more palatable and a bit cooler
- Ground cannabis is easier to manipulate and roll into joints
- Better preserved flavor and potency
Naturally, the best way to prevent your cannabis from drying out is to take care of it in the first place, so let’s first go over some of the best preventative techniques for keeping your green fresher, longer.
Preventing Dry Cannabis
With these two easy precautions, you can extend the shelf life of your cannabis significantly.
Air-Tight, Away From Light
UV rays and oxygen are the enemies of fresh cannabis. Sure, sunlight and oxygen were this plant’s best friends before it came off the stalk, but once the cannabis is dried, cured, and packaged, you want to limit its exposure to the elements as much as possible.
For people buying cannabis in bulk (i.e. 1/4 oz. or more), it’s prudent to portion out your cannabis to keep each pack at peak freshness instead of cracking open the same jar every time, exposing those fresh nugs to the unforgiving composition of your local atmosphere. Think ahead and keep your greens fresh!
Glass Jars Over Plastic Bags
A flat of tiny, air-tight jars only costs about $10, and glass storage make a world of difference when it comes to keeping cannabis fresh. These don’t have to be anything fancier than a mason jar, but you can obviously find some pretty slick containers to house your stash.
A plastic bag will work in a pinch or if you have nothing else. Just be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing. My preferred method is to roll the bag up from the bottom—like a rolled taco or crepe—toward the seal.
These simple techniques will keep your fresh bud fresher, but what if you get a dry bag of herb or you stumble across an old stash?
How to Re-Hydrate Dry Cannabis Buds
Re-hydrating your cannabis is a delicate process that requires patience, but not much more. Here are a few methods that I’ve used and have gathered from cannabis aficionados around the web.
Distilled Water Method
Distilled water is not that different from other water, but it is an extremely important ingredient when re-hydrating your cannabis. Distilled water, unlike tap water, has been evaporated and recollected to remove impurities. This chemically pure water is also used in some humidors.
Whether your cannabis came in a jar, Mylar bag, or a medicine bottle, this method will work about the same for each.
- Find a container with a lid that is large enough to fit your jar/bag/bottle of cannabis with a little room for your damp, folded paper towel.
- Wet a fresh paper towel with just enough distilled water to get it about 70% damp. Don’t get your paper towel too wet, because excess moisture can lead to mold.
- Place your open container of cannabis and your paper towel in your designated container and seal for 2-12 hours.
This process should slightly improve the relative humidity of your cannabis. This isn’t a silver bullet for dry buds, but it should help.
Note: This method is not a long-term solution—the more times the bud is re-hydrated, the more susceptible it is to mold. Be sure to replace your paper towel and clean your container between hydration attempts.
Fruit Peel Method
A fruit peel can be a nice way to up the moisture of your cannabis while gently infusing your dried-out herb with a light fruity undertone. While the flesh of an orange holds most of its juices, the peel contains much of its essential oils and essences. Peels work well for re-hydrating cannabis because they are natural and moist without being damp.
As with many of the options on this list, this is a temporary fix. Do not—I repeat—DO NOT use fruit peels as a long-term humidification solution. Doing so is a surefire recipe for mold. Personally, I would recommend using a peel for 1-3 days before discarding it (or composting it, if you have the option).
Be sure to leave a little space between the fruit peel and your bud. This can be accomplished simply by having your cannabis in a perforated sandwich bag inside another sandwich bag.
Boveda Humidity Control Packets
(Courtesy of Boveda)
Boveda is a self-regulating disposable humidity pack that helps maintain relative humidity. Ideally, cannabis is stored at 55-62% RH (relative humidity). Luckily, Boveda designed a humidity pack specifically for cannabis consumers.
The Boveda 62% RH is a small, rectangular packet that is squishy to the touch. Boveda’s unique exterior packaging allows moisture to pass through freely, humidifying the contents of a bag or jar over time.
Boveda’s lifespan depends on the current humidity of the starting materials and the quantity of cannabis that needs re-hydration. When the Boveda is spent, the packet will lose its pillowy texture and become firm. You can replace Boveda packs as needed.
(Courtesy of Cannador)
It may be the fanciest option of the bunch, but a cannabis humidor offers the best long-term solution to humidity control. A humidor is usually a cedar-lined box that contains a hygrometer to monitor relative humidity.
Some cannabis humidors, like the Cannador, feature a high-tech bluetooth humidity monitoring system. While a calibrated analog hygrometer works just fine for most people, having a discreet monitor for your cannabis’ relative humidity right on your phone is a truly modern perk.
Humidors maintain their humidity in a couple of different ways. Distilled water and sponge humidifiers work fine, but this requires a bit of monitoring to keep humidity at the perfect level. Other propylene glycol mixtures will regulate at a certain humidity—just make sure you pick a solution that has a RH below 65%. PG solution for cigar humidors usually start at 70% relative humidity, so be aware and pick up the correct bottle.
These are just a few methods that I’ve found success with, but chime in and share your favorite way to keep your buds fresh.
Keeping your cannabis fresh can lengthen its lifespan, but it is also possible to fix dried cannabis with re-hydration techniques. Learn all about how to fix your dry cannabis buds.
What to Do if Your Weed Gets Wet
We’re all human. Mistakes happen. Anyone who smokes frequently eventually loses their weed, accidentally throws it away, or even spills a drink all over their stash. The “my weed got wet” moment isn’t a fun one. If you’re reading this now for that very reason, you’re probably asking a few questions. Can you still smoke weed if it gets wet? What happens when weed gets wet? What the best way to dry wet weed? Fortunately for you, we know a few methods for safely drying it out. These tricks won’t work every time, but it’s worth a shot, right?
The Problem With Wet Weed
You might be tempted to just ignore the fact that your weed is wet – we suggest not doing this. First off, over time, wet weed will develop mold. Moldy weed is dangerous to your health, so you should do everything you can to prevent its development. Additionally, wet marijuana is almost impossible to grind; and even if it was already ground before it got wet, it’s incredibly difficult to burn. Finally, even if you do manage to somehow get it to burn, it’ll taste awful. Damp, acrid weed with excess water vapor due to moisture is a very unpleasant experience. Trust us.
There are three specific occurrences that, unfortunately, make it unsafe to smoke your bud. Regardless of whether you dry it out successfully, weed is no longer safe to smoke if it’s been run through the washing machine or dropped in a pool or the ocean. Marijuana that’s been contaminated by sea salt or chemicals like chlorine and detergent aren’t safe to smoke.
How to Dry Your Wet Weed
The Paper Method
If you’re wondering how to dry wet weed, there are two primary options: the paper method and the rice method. The paper method is the fastest way to dry weed. Just follow these steps:
- Break up your nugs into smaller pieces
- Tightly wrap your wet marijuana in thick paper towels
- Place your wrapped weed in a dry, dark area
- Turn on a nearby fan or dehumidifier (not necessary, but helps prevent mold)
- Change the paper every few hours until your weed is dry
One downside to this method is a higher potential for mold. Because it’ll be in direct contact with the paper that’s absorbing water, there’s a chance that moisture will build and mold will grow. Make sure to keep an eye out for this if you choose the paper method.
The Rice Method
This method takes a little more time, but mold is much less likely to grow in the process. The rice method works for weed the same way it does for wet electronics. Follow these steps:
- Place your weed in a container of rice (mason jars are ideal)
- Put your uncovered container of rice in a dry, dark area
- Turn on a nearby fan or dehumidifier (not necessary, but helps prevent mold)
- Leave the marijuana in rice for 24 hours
- If there’s any leftover moisture, break up your weed nugs and commence with the paper method
The biggest downside to this method is that your bud will likely be covered in residual rice flower and have a faint rice smell (however, this is part of what makes it work so effectively).
What Not To Do
If you’re wondering how to dry weed as fast as possible, please refer to one of the two methods above. Other, quicker methods won’t be nearly as effective. Blow drying, putting it in the sun, and especially microwaving weed are all going to lower the quality of your bud and make it much harsher to smoke. Even leaving it out in the open with a fan may result in a lower-quality smoking experience. Also note that heat, light and humidity all increase the likelihood of growing mold. Instead, take your time, use one of the two methods above, and dry your wet bud in a dark, dry, well-ventilated area.
As we’ve previously stated, it’s really unhealthy to inhale mold. We know it’s sad, but you’re better off throwing away moldy weed than smoking it and getting really sick. Plus, moldy weed will taste absolutely disgusting. Both before and after you dry it, check your weed for mold. Generally speaking, mold will form as a powdery white substance on the surface of your nugs. Dark spots or yellow/gray fuzz may also appear where it shouldn’t, along with slime and sickly smell. If your weed has been wet and shows any of these sings, toss it.
How To Avoid Getting Your Weed Wet
Correct cannabis storage will ensure your weed is less likely to get wet and more likely to stay in quality condition. Safe storage will also stop moisture from causing mold overtime. The answer to “does marijuana go bad” is a resounding yes. Poor storage can result in bad weed. Follow these tips to ensure your weed stays smokable and accident-proof.
- Use airtight jars to store weed in dry, dark places
- Only take out how much weed you’re going to smoke at any given time
- If you have to travel with weed, keep it in a small, air-tight container
- Keep your weed away from pools and never put it in your swimwear pockets
- Be gentle with your weed and treat it like it’s worth something (because it is!)
These storage and drying methods are tried-and-true, but we also know the cannabis community is a fairly crafty crew. Share your personal tips and tricks for drying and safely storing weed, below. We’re always looking for better ways to keep our weed safe and smokable.
We’re all human. Mistakes happen. Anyone who smokes frequently eventually loses their weed, accidentally throws it away, or even spills a drink all over their stash. The