Brick Weed: How To Enjoy It If There Are No Other Options

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Added 16 October 2022

Those who enjoyed weed in the early 60s or even 70s know everything about brick weed. However, the younger generations are clueless about it.

Now, whether that's a good or a bad thing is hard to say because brick weed was all some people could get their hands on in the earlier days. But, the quality was — what do you say — meh. Not that the weed was bad, but the way they stored and transported it probably had something to do with the outcome.

Now, if you're a younger person who started smoking after the 90s or so, you're perhaps wondering what in the world brick weed means.

In this article, we will explore what brick weed is, how to use it, and what it meant to old-timers.

What Is Brick Weed?

compressed brick weed

As the name states, brick weed is weed compressed into thick bricks or blocks. It was super popular once upon a time, particularly when a lot of weed was being exported from Mexico into the United States.

Cannabis users loved brick weed, and some even swear that it was the best weed they have ever come across; however, it makes you wonder whether there's any truth to those statements.

After all, brick weed is compressed to a point of no return. It was done to make transporting weed easier into the United States. In addition, it was in high demand because people didn't have much choice. Generally, it would be compressed to make a 500gram or 1kg brick. In fact, brick weed is prevalent even today in some countries where marijuana is illegal. For instance, most street dealers today sell brick weed in Asian and Central American countries. You can find it even in South American countries although they generally grow high-quality weed. It just makes it easier to send large quantities of weed from one place to another.

Brick weed was in full swing by the 80s and well into the 90s but it slowed down after people began cultivating their own cannabis at home. Of course, it was still illegal at that point, but consumers probably didn't see the point in using low-quality cannabis anymore (we'll get to this in just a bit).

Brick Weed History: Where Did It Come From?

So, how and where did brick weed originate from?

Brick weed was first made somewhere in South America, particularly in Mexico. Some people say it came from Thailand too. Regardless of where it came from, dealers had to ensure the bricks were sturdy enough to handle long distances. It wasn't uncommon for customers from one part of the world to get brick weed from a different part of the world. Usually, local dealers would then sell it to regular customers. Those were the big bad ol' days when brick weed was considered the best.

Typically, growers would grow loads of cannabis. Then, they would harvest it, compress it into bricks using industrial presses and export it to Europe and the United States. This way, the peddlers or smugglers could transport large quantities in one go, thanks to the compact bricks.

Brick weed was so common that a juicy cannabis bud coated with a hefty dose of trichomes was unusual even to a western consumer. People would typically buy hash bricks or brick weed and it wasn't uncommon for dealers to purchase 250 to 500 grams and distribute them to consumers.

However, not everyone could buy anything they wanted easily. Every time a new type of hash or charas was imported from another country illegally, you needed to be connected to the right (or wrong!) type of people to purchase high-quality stuff. But it was rare and not available to everyone.

How Is Brick Weed Made?

How is brick weed made

Brick weed is generally of bad quality. But why? Well, it’s because of the way it’s processed. Thus, you need to first understand how brick weed is manufactured to fully grasp why it’s not worth it. 

That said, it’s extremely simple to manufacture brick weed. The process of cultivation is very similar to what you’d do at home; however, rather than drying and curing the buds in proper environmental conditions after harvest, the buds are first dried and pressed into bricks immediately. 

Typically, the weed is pressed into bricks using industrial presses. Now, you can imagine how that crushes the trichomes. And, with no trichomes, the taste and smell fall flat, making the cannabis pretty unpalatable. 

You already know that brick weed originates probably from South American or Central American countries. Perhaps it comes from Thailand. So, does that mean that the quality of marijuana grown there is bad? Hell, no! You’re bound to find some of the best cannabis in the world in such countries. 

The genetics are top-notch and most users would give an arm and a leg to get their hands on some of those landrace strains. The plants are also cultivated well, although you’d find the males fertilizing the females usually because they are all in an open field. The THC content reduces a bit, but it’s still great cannabis compared to what happens to it later. 

Up to the point of harvest, the plants are grown well. However, when it’s time to harvest, they cut the branches and pile them together to dry them. Now, did you realize what may happen to the trichomes? As a home grower or even a commercial grower for that matter, you’d cut the buds and hang them to dry. But, since brick weed is piled together and sundried, the chances of mold developing in the buds are high. Plus, the buds can even rot because of the moisture getting trapped between buds — a reason why it smells so bad, sometimes like ammonia. 

Okay, so what happens once the branches are completely dry? At this point, the buds are separated and shaken vigorously to get rid of any large fan leaves. The sugar leaves are left behind, which is another reason why the smoke is so harsh on your throat. Apart from the trichomes falling off, the seeds also remain in the buds. 

Finally, once the "drying" process is complete, the buds, or whatever is left of them, are hauled into industrial hydraulic presses that can produce a whopping 50kg of brick weed at a time. 

Of course, they cut the big bricks into smaller ones and then tape them so they are ready to be shipped to different destinations. 

What is The Quality of Brick Weed?

What is the quality of brick weed

We mentioned we’d get back to why brick weed is not as good as the weed you’d grow or buy from a dispensary. The answer lies in how it’s processed. Now, when you grow marijuana, you know that the quality depends on how you dry and cure it. Thing is, even if you grow spectacular buds, it’s all for naught if you don’t dry and cure it as needed. 

And, this is where brick weed comes short. Thanks to the process that smashes delicate buds into bricks, the quality reduces drastically. In addition, it travels from one part of the globe to another, enduring more damage. By the time the bricks reach the customers, very few trichomes are left on the buds, which is why it doesn't even smell like real cannabis. 

Also, trichomes are glands responsible for producing resin that contains cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and many more. Without them, it's unlikely you'll get any medicinal or recreational benefits from cannabis. 

You’ve probably heard that the THC content of cannabis back in the day was low. This doesn’t mean that people didn’t enjoy it. Brick weed or not, people had a fun time. Coming to THC content, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything over 10% THC. Typically, since most of the trichomes were gone, the THC content would measure up to 5% back in those days. 

However, if you wanted something extra potent, it would cost a bit more, just like it is now. But, even with extra money, brick weed would be crumbly, super dry, and smell bad. The biggest problem was that it would feel like a cake with lots of moisture in the core of the bud, only you wouldn’t want to eat it. 

How To Revive Brick Weed

how to revive brick weed

Unfortunately despite cannabis being legal in many parts of the world brick weed is sold in several countries even today. Black markets thrive more as governments try to oppose legalization.

If you're stuck with brick weed and have no other choice, there are a few ways you can try to revive it. Although it won't magically turn into juicy buds or get back its trichomes it will somewhat resemble the buds. Typically brick weed is extremely dry so your goal must be to introduce some moisture so that it is at least usable.

Here are a few ways to revive brick weed:

  • Use fruit peels for flavor

As mentioned already, the buds lose most of their trichomes during the harvesting and drying process and a lot more is gone during transportation. As a result, your dry brick weed might be very bland and lack the characteristic cannabis flavor we all love.

So to reintroduce some of the flavors, you can use fruit peels. You can also do this if your weed reeks of ammonia. Just like you can introduce some flavor into your dry cannabis buds, you can make your brick weed smell like either orange or lemon within a week. 

To do so break up your brick weed into small chunks and store them in a glass container. Next tape peels of either lemon or orange at the top of the lid and close the container. Many people put the peels directly on top of the buds but this can lead to mold, so avoid it as much as possible. You can replace the peels every 24 hours and the buds will also develop some moisture and start smelling a lot better in 7-8 days.

  • Steam it

If you've got extremely dry brick weed you can make it a little moist by steaming it. You can use a kettle or a pan to make your weed a little moist.

Fill some water in a pot and wait until it starts boiling. Secure the top of the pot tightly with a thin fabric cloth and place your brick weed on top of the cloth. Make sure the buds don't fall into the water. Let the buds soak up as much moisture as they can for about half an hour and leave them on your kitchen counter to dry for a few hours. 

If you are using a kettle or any other device that produces lots of vapor, use it only for about a minute or two or the buds will take in too much moisture. However, you run the risk of ruining your buds with this method if you overdo it. You will not be able to smoke at all if the buds end up too soggy.

  • Use damp kitchen towels

Take a thick kitchen towel and spray it with some water. Wrap the towel around the buds tightly and put it in a zip-lock bag or air-tight container. Within an hour or so, the buds should have absorbed some of the moisture. However, this technique will work only if you moisten the kitchen towel rather than soaking it. If the buds are still dry, let them sit for another hour or two until you're satisfied.

Tips For Using Brick Weed

tips to use brick weed

If you're stuck with brick weed and don't know what to do with it, there are a few things you can do. Don't throw it away just yet. Of course, if you don't have other options, it's the last thing you'd want to do anyway.

Brick weed smells bad and is nothing like regular marijuana. However, you can still make it smokeable if you put in a little effort. An effort that won't go to waste because you'll end up with clean stuff, although it won't be as potent as the weed you grow at home or purchase from dispensaries.

The only thing you can do is to eliminate any harmful substances from brick weed, especially if it's smelling strongly like ammonia or any other chemical.

A word of warning, though — if you notice mold, you have no other option choice other than throwing it away. You can lay your hands on better marijuana or even grow it at home, but don't take the risk of harming your precious lungs. Or, you can just search for better marijuana brick weed.

Okay, so now that we got the warnings out of the way, how do you use brick weed? Let's get to it.

  1. Wash the brick weed well

This sounds very counterintuitive but please wash your brick weed well. It gets rid of a lot of impurities. But you're probably thinking that you'll reduce the cannabinoids a lot more — don't worry about that because they are not soluble in water. You just need to get rid of the dirt and perhaps even fungi or mold collected on the surface.

Just break up the weed into smaller pieces and let it sit in water for a few minutes. Next, strain it and let it breathe.

However, after washing it, make sure you dry it properly. Spread a thin piece of fabric on it and let it dry in a cool area. Don't put it right under the sun, but choose a shaded area with lots of ventilation. If you don't do this correctly, you'll be developing a perfect spot for mold to develop more.

  1. Smoke it correctly

Now, to smoke the weed after it's perfectly dry, use new roaches. Many people have the habit of using old roaches because they are too bored to make new ones. However, you'll be ingesting combusted particles from your previous tokes, which is a big no-no.

You can also use cigarette tips if you want to keep it safe as they do a good job at reducing the negative effects as much as possible. Also, they kind of reduce the temperature of the smoke you inhale which is a plus.

  1. Store it correctly

One of the most important things you need to do is to store your brick correctly. To avoid mold or fungus from collecting on it, you need to store it in an area that is free from moisture and dry. This will help preserve at least some of the cannabinoids present in it.

Rather than storing your cannabis in plastic containers, use glass containers that extend the longevity of your weed. Try not to store them in ziplock bags unless you have kilos of brick weed.

Declining Demand For Brick Weed

Most countries are legalizing cannabis today, which is why brick weed is on a sharp decline, and thank god for that. Here are a few reasons why you may not find brick weed anymore if you are from a country that has legalized cannabis.

  1. Cannabis cultivation at home

Many people have understood that cultivating cannabis at home produces some of the best buds they have smoked in their lives. For some, there is nothing more enchanting than taking care of their plants and enjoying beautiful buds teeming with resin even if it takes some initial investment.

Also, commercial operations of cultivating cannabis are on the boom today. Brick weed saw a sharp decline during the late 90s as it became easier to purchase tools to grow cannabis at home. As time went by, people began to rely on the internet to gain more information about growing their marijuana at home.

Moreover, people were no longer interested in buds filled with seeds that didn't offer any relaxation or a solid high. A new type of cannabis, namely sensimilla, had wooed the users. Plus, people began to realize that cannabis offered many more benefits if grown and stored correctly.

Furthermore, seedbanks offering feminized seeds were a great deal for consumers who could grow anything they wanted in the comfort of their homes. No more worrying about male plants pollinating the females, which meant even more sensimilla!

In short, with the advent of technology like powerful LEDs, grow tents, feminized seeds, and hordes of information educating the growers, it was possible to become self-sufficient and grow high-quality cannabis at home. If not, there are way too many dispensaries selling top-notch cannabis if you can't grow it at home.

  1. Marijuana legalization

Legalizing cannabis in many countries helped people understand its medicinal benefits. Many countries are jumping on the bandwagon even today to reduce black market issues and make cannabis more accessible to people suffering from health issues.

Also, with legalization, it becomes easier to conduct clinical trials on cannabis. This way, more people are getting aware of cannabis and its medicinal benefits. Today, you have an FDA-approved cannabis drug, and we may see more in the future.

Most importantly, the stigma attached to cannabis as a gateway drug is slowly diminishing. Earlier, people were scared to admit that they've tried a joint or two, but nobody bats an eyelid today. And with several public places serving marijuana including coffee shops, clubs, and sophisticated dispensaries, it's only going to get better in the future. With so many high-class products including cannabis concentrates and whatnot, the demand for brick weed has reduced significantly and will continue to do so.


So, there you have it — now you know a lot more about brick weed and how it originated. In conclusion, brick weed is nothing but cannabis flowers and leaves compressed into thick bricks. It was done mainly to reduce the cost of transportation and make it easier as well.

Compressed weed like brick weed is hard to find today. 

Although brick weed was in great demand earlier due to a shortage of high-quality cannabis, people no longer consume it unless they're from a region where cannabis is completely illegal and they have no other options.

For those stuck with brick weed, there are a few ways to salvage them including washing and drying them properly. Last but not least, don't smoke your weed if you find any fungi on it as nothing is worth more than your health.


Is brick weed still a thing?

Yes, in some countries where marijuana is still illegal and the black market is prevalent.

How potent is brick weed?

Since brick weed is processed in a shabby manner, it loses most of its trichomes and cannabinoids, thereby making it less potent compared to high-quality weed.

Is Mexican brick weed good?

Although it has a bad reputation because of the way it's processed, Mexican brick weed is typically a good hybrid strain. However, they are less potent by the time they reach the consumer.

Is brick weed sativa or indica?

Brick weed is usually a hybrid because of the pollination that occurs in the fields.

Is schwag weed and brick weed the same?

No. Schwag weed is regular cannabis but is slightly inferior because it contains seeds so it can't be sold in major dispensaries. Brick weed is also cannabis but processed into bricks for easy transportation.


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