How to Rehydrate Cannabis?

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Added 11 May 2022

Did you leave your cannabis bud out in the open for too long or find some old weed in your closet? Perhaps it's too dry to smoke. However, don't discard it just yet — you might be able to salvage it. 

Dry weed can still be revived — in most cases — using some simple DIY techniques. Essentially, you have to reintroduce moisture in the cannabis to bring back its flavor, aroma, and potency. Once the moisture is restored, you can consume the cannabis buds.

Learn various ways to rehydrate your old cannabis and how to prevent your weed from drying out in this article.

Why Do You Need to Rehydrate Cannabis?

Rehydrate cannabis buds

Cannabis buds are dried and cured thoroughly to bring down their moisture content and keep the terpenes and cannabinoids intact. However, over time, the buds can still dry out.

You can use dry buds in a few ways, but they are not fun to smoke or make edibles. They aren't potent, aromatic, or flavorful. And cannabis is expensive, so why throw away buds that you can revive? More about this below.

Rehydrating the buds help regain their freshness and potency. While this process requires a little patience, it can be pretty rewarding.

When the buds are fresh, they must contain 6% to 9% moisture, but it drops significantly once it starts drying out. Rehydrating can help you bring the moisture content back up, saving the terpenes and cannabinoids in them.

Causes of Dry Cannabis

Causes of dry cannabis

Some of the common reasons why your bud may dry out are as follows:

1. Incorrect Storage

The most common cause of dried cannabis is poor storage. If your buds are exposed to light, oxygen, and low humidity, they can dry out quickly as all these factors evaporate the moisture content from the buds.

Similarly, it's not good to expose the buds to high humidity as well. For instance, relative humidity of over 65% can make the bud too wet and increase the chances of mold growth on them.

2. Excess Decarboxylation

If you smoke cannabis, you don't have to worry about decarbing your cannabis — it happens instantaneously when you light the joint. However, if you want to cook up some edibles or make concentrates, you must decarb your cannabis by lightly heating it to activate CBD and THC. 

But if you heat your buds for too long, it can evaporate the moisture, leaving the buds too dry to enjoy.

3. Buds are Overdried, to Begin With

If you source your cannabis from novice growers, there is a chance that the buds might be too dry as you get your hands on them. Scoring from shady dealers will also lead to the same.

Drying and curing is a delicate process, and even small mistakes can hamper the buds' moisture content, so if the grower has not dried and cured the buds properly, they can dry out.

Reasons for Not Consuming Dry Cannabis

Reasons to not consume dry cannabis

It's not that dry cannabis is just bland to taste — you wouldn't mind that if you just want to get high. But dry weed has various other downsides, such as the following.

1. Dry Buds are Harsh to Smoke

Have you ever made a bonfire? Then, you'd know that you need suitable wood. If the wood is too dry, it burns quickly, and it won't burn at all if it's wet. The same rule applies to cannabis buds.

Buds that are too dry burn very quickly, leading to a harsher smoking experience. They may also be harder to light, and the joint may crumble as cannabis starts turning to ash within.

2. They Taste Terrible

Cannabis buds get their flavor and aroma thanks to their terpenes. But the terpenes evaporate quickly on dry buds, leading to a terrible taste. Plus, quick-burning, as mentioned above, can give the joint a burnt flavor. 

3. They can be Difficult to Roll 

Dry cannabis crumbles quickly, sometimes even turning into powder. So, rolling your bud into a joint can get difficult, though not impossible.

4. Dry Buds Aren't Potent Enough

As moisture evaporates from your bud, the cannabinoids within start transforming. The trichomes contain cannabinoids like THC-A and THC-V in a fresh bud, which convert to THC under heat. 

However, if high temperatures persist, THC may further transform into CBN, a cannabinoid preferred to support sleep — it won't get you high, though.

Additionally, dry buds don't contain any terpenes. It wouldn't be an issue if terpenes only created the aroma and flavor, but it is also responsible for the entourage effect. Terpenes don't get you high by themselves, but little to no terpenes can hamper the overall impact. 

When to Rehydrate Your Buds

When to rehydrate buds

It's important to know when to rehydrate your buds and when you shouldn't. Below are three ways you can determine whether your buds are dry or if you can still salvage them.

1. Buds' Consistency

Fresh buds need to be slightly moist and soft, but they may feel firm and snap when you pull them apart if they have dried out. But they must still resemble a fresh bud in shape and consistency. 

If your buds are firm to touch but still look like cannabis buds, it's time to rehydrate them.

On the other hand, if the buds barely look like cannabis or crack or crumble when you touch them, they are beyond repair. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do now — tossing them would be the best option.

2. Dry Buds' Color

Even if your bud has dried, as mentioned above, but they have the classic green hue, they can still be saved with a rehydrating session.

However, if your buds appear gray or brownish or have splotches, you should dispose of them. And if the buds have velvety white patches, do not ever smoke it. White patches are a sign of mold growth and can seriously affect your health.

3. Buds' Aroma

Lastly, check the buds' smell. If they smell like cannabis, they can still be rehydrated. This is because the terpenes are still intact. 

However, if the buds don't smell at all, the terpenes and cannabinoids have degraded beyond repair, and the buds won't be potent. 

Beware of the moldy, unnatural, or damp smell of the buds — that's another sign of mold growth on the buds.

How to Rehydrate Cannabis?

The theory behind rehydrating cannabis comes down to relative humidity. Typically, you create a microclimate when you place a wet object next to a dry one in a sealed container.

In this microclimate, the water molecules start transferring from the wet object to the dry one — from high concentration to low concentration — until a balance is created, known as osmosis.

This is an oversimplified version, but that's basically what you are doing when rehydrating your cannabis. You place your buds next to a moist object and let osmosis occur.

Here are some of the best methods to rehydrate your cannabis buds.

Fruit Peel Method

Fruit peel method

The fruit peel method is perhaps the most common method to rehydrate your cannabis buds. Fruit peels naturally are moist, and when placed in a microclimate, they quickly transfer moisture to the buds within a few hours.

You can use various fruits for this technique, but the most common fruits are oranges and limes, containing limonene and other terpenes that even cannabis contains. The fruits' terpenes can enhance your cannabis' flavor and aroma.

Banana peels are also a good option. They work faster, but they are more prone to rotting in the microclimate. You can also use apple peels as they gradually release moisture and don't tamper with the flavor and aroma of the buds.

Speaking of flavor and aroma, some fruits like oranges and lime can alter the flavor and aroma of the buds. This is not a bad thing, though — some people enjoy fruity flavors on cannabis, and maybe you will too. 

You should choose this method only for short-term rehydration as old fruit peels can start rotting and develop fungi, which can then transfer onto your buds. For the same reason, always inspect your buds after rehydrating them with fruit peels.

Steps to Rehydrate Cannabis Using Fruit Peels:

1. Assemble the supplies: 

  • A resealable jar, preferably glass and opaque
  • Your choice of citrus fruit or banana or apple
  • A sharp knife and a cutting board
  • Dried cannabis buds

2. Place your dried buds in the resealable jar.

3. Next, peel the fruit and place the peels in the same jar. You can also tape the peels to the top of the jar to avoid placing the buds and peels next to each other. 

4. Let the jar sit for a day.

5. Inspect and burp the jar by opening them for a few minutes twice a day.

6. Within the next 24 hours, your buds will be ready for use.

If you’re worried about fruit peels leaving a trace of flavor on your buds, you can also use lettuce, as it contains 95% water.

So, instead of a fruit peel, just place a medium-sized lettuce leaf in the resealable jar with your cannabis, and let it sit for a few hours. Lettuce won't impact the flavor but acts quicker, so a few hours should be enough.

Some growers also suggest using bread instead of fruit peels. Essentially, you have to soak a piece of bread in water and place it in the container like the fruit peels. 

The downside of this method is that you must keep the bread from touching your buds. Bread can leave breadcrumbs behind, which may get in your buds and hamper its flavor and aroma. Plus, bread can grow mold quite quickly. In addition, don't leave the bread slices for more than a few hours at a time as you don't want to invite mold. 

Paper Towel and Distilled Water Method

Paper towel method

Another great way to rehydrate your buds is using a paper towel and some distilled water. Paper towels are great at retaining moisture without affecting the flavor or aroma of the buds.

Again, this method is only suitable for short-term rehydration because mold and fungi can quickly grow on moist paper towels.

Steps to Rehydrate Cannabis Using Paper Towel:

  1. Dip a couple of paper towels in distilled water until soaked.
  2. Rince the towel thoroughly to remove excess moisture.
  3. Place the paper towel in a resealable container with your cannabis buds. Ensure the buds don't touch the paper towel by taping it to the top of the jar.
  4. Reseal the container and let it sit in a dark place for 4 to 10 hours.
  5. Keep checking every couple of hours to determine if the buds are moist enough.

You can also use cotton balls or sponges instead of tissue paper.

Terra Cotta Disc Method

Terra cotta method

Did you know that chefs use terra cotta discs to store brown sugar as it keeps it moist for a long? We can use the same concept to rehydrate your cannabis.

Terra cotta is porous, so when soaked in water, it can retain moisture for a long time — just like a fruit peel. The best part about terra cotta discs is that they do not tamper with the flavor and aroma or grow mold. Plus, they are cheap to buy online or at a gardening store. Just choose one that is small enough to fit in the container. 

Steps to Rehydrate Cannabis Using Terra Cotta Discs:

  1. Place the terra cotta disc in water for half an hour.
  2. After half an hour, place the disc in a resealable container with your cannabis buds.
  3. Wait for a few hours and keep checking the buds to determine if they have rehydrated.

Water Vapor Method

Water vapor method

Another terrific and common way to rehydrate your cannabis is using boiling water. When the water is boiled, it starts evaporating. In this method, you use these water vapors to rehydrate your cannabis. 

Steps to Rehydrate Cannabis Using Boiling Water:

  1. Boil some distilled water in a pot.
  2. Once the water reaches the boiling point, remove the pot from the stove.
  3. Next, place a cloth on the pot.
  4. And place your cannabis buds on the cloth. The vapor will pass through the cloth and rehydrate the buds within half an hour.
  5. Turn your cannabis regularly for an even rehydration.

Note: Let the boiling water sit for a few minutes as boiling water vapor can cook the buds, damaging them. Thus, let the water sit for a few minutes before placing your buds on the cloth.

Humidor Box Method

Humidor box method

If you regularly have to rehydrate your cannabis buds, consider investing in a humidor box. This system was traditionally used to keep cigars moist, but nowadays, you can find cannabis-specific humidor boxes for 150$ to 250$ online.

Always select a cannabis-specific humidor box with relative humidity below 65% if you choose this method. Cigar-specific humidor boxes have a relative humidity of 70%, which is too much for cannabis.

Steps to Rehydrate Cannabis Using a Humidor Box:

  1. Place your cannabis buds in the humidor box.
  2. Add some distilled water to the box to moisturize it. Depending on the manufacturer, your box may even require you to place a damp cloth inside.
  3. And calibrate the hydrometer for optimal rehydration.
  4. Keep the bud in the humidor box for a couple of hours, and it should be ready.

Some Tips for Rehydrating Cannabis

Tips to rehydrate cannabis

Rehydrating cannabis is an easy but delicate process. Therefore, you must keep some things in mind while rehydrating your buds, so you don't damage them, such as the following.

1. Don't Overhydrate Your Cannabis

Overhydrating your cannabis can counteract your efforts and worsen your buds because ideal moisture is crucial for aroma, potency, and flavor. In addition, overhydrating can lead to various other problems — it can make your buds harsh to smoke, prone to mold, or challenging to crush.

Your goal must be to get the moisture content in buds to 6% to 9%, nothing above.

2. Only Use Distilled Water

Distilled water is the closest thing you can find to pure water. The water is evaporated, condensed, and pushed through a fine filter to clear out any impurities, chemicals, and minerals during distillation.

Regular water contains impurities, which may harm your cannabis buds. So, always use distilled water to protect your buds.

3. Watch Out for Mold

When rehydrating your buds, you are reintroducing moisture back into your buds, which can invite mold. And you must avoid it entirely. 

Mold can cause severe problems for your health, leading to lung damage, extreme fatigue, bleeding airway, lung infections, and invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The last one can be fatal if not treated correctly.

During the rehydration process, keep inspecting your buds to ensure they don't grow mold. Look out for white, velvety spots on the buds. You can even pull the nugs apart to check for mold on the insides.

How Can You Prevent Cannabis from Drying Out?

Prevent cannabis from drying out

Rehydrating cannabis is easy, but what's easier is preventing your buds from drying out in the first place. All you have to do is store the buds properly in a dark, airtight container. Here are some more tips on preventing cannabis from drying out.

1. Always Use an Airtight Container

You can keep your buds fresh as long as you store them in airtight containers. This is to prevent them from being exposed to oxygen and environmental moisture. Your best choice here is to use glass jars with resealable lids. 

And if you want to store large amounts of cannabis, use multiple jars and only use buds from one jar at a time. This will keep your other buds from drying out due to air exposure.

2. Store the Container Away from Light

Cannabis has a weird relationship with light. When it's growing, it survives on light, but when the buds are harvested, they can die due to light. This is because light causes the moisture within to evaporate.

So, you should choose an opaque container. Transparent jars also work as long as you store them in a dark place.

3. Choose Glass Containers over Plastic Ones

Mason jars are made of glass, but if you're using any other kind of container, you should choose glass ones. Glass containers with a seal ensure air-tightness and keep the buds safe.

On the other hand, plastic containers can leak some air within, which is not suitable for cannabis. Plastic containers of low quality may also leach plastic molecules over time, which can hamper your buds' flavor and harm your health.

4. Use Humidity Control Packs

If you want to store cannabis buds for long, you should consider adding humidity control packs to the containers. These little disposable packets are designed to maintain the relative humidity within close proximity, ensuring your buds don't dry out.

5. Invest in a Humidor Box

If you have to store a lot of buds, invest in a humidor box. While they cost a bit of money, they are worth it. They can keep your buds fresh for a long and make up for the investment in the long run. And they are super easy to use and save a lot of time when rehydrating buds.

Summary: How to Rehydrate Cannabis?

If you are storing cannabis buds, there is no way to stop them from dehydrating. Dehydration is a natural process that occurs regardless of where and how you store the buds. But you can control the pace at which your buds dry out.

Your best bet is to invest some time to store the buds properly and keep them moist. So, remember to store your buds in opaque glass containers away from light and heat. And keep checking them once in a while to ensure they have not dried up.

If you notice some of the buds are starting to dry up, you need to rehydrate them. You can use any techniques mentioned above, from using a fruit peel or boiling water.

Whichever method you use, ensure you use distilled water, watch out for mold, and avoid overhydrating them. 

And remember, sometimes, the natural process may win over your buds. However, you have to discard them if your buds have gone too dry — they crumble up in hand, appear gray or brownish, or lack any aroma. 

Learning these techniques can help you store your cannabis buds and save them from dehydration. So, use this guide to keep your buds fresh and moist.



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This entire article could be summed up in a small bullet point list. **If the shit was not cured correctly no amount of anything will fix that** otherwise: -air tight containers "ideally glass" -humidity packs "optional" -absence of light and heat Boiling water vapour is a shit suggestion. The heat from the vapour will dissipate any terpenes left in the cannabis and then in turn contradict this very article as it kills as entourage effect, not to mention it will hydrate the bud way to much and fast. Extra dry buds will make fine edibles. most concentrates use extreme temperatures or solvents that remove the terpenes anyway, they all work just fine when eating or smoking them. Need to stop publishing bunk articles.
@CannaScience, then curate better articles.... some of them are good, but a lot of recent ones are not. You have not shown who you are or your credentials that enable you to be a expert on any of the fields/subjects and when you do post references they are grossly misinterpreted to add a sense of professionalism to fit a narrative. If you want respect then stop hiding behind blank accounts, show your work and be credible. This is journalism after all. I'm not the only one who feels this way. They do not voice their concern as its a waste of their time on this site, and that's a whole other subject. Furthermore everyone's entitled to their opinions of the articles posted here. In the end its a free site with free services so I guess I should just lower my overall exceptions so it aligns with your contract details and work ethics. My Bad
@m0use, Hello, I have used the water vapor method with good results, but you need to wait a bit and not use boiling vapor so the terpenes are intact. You seem to be disappointed with a lot of articles, but I'd like to remind you that there are many beginners that might find valuable information. Just calling an article "shit" that someone has worked hard for is uncalled for.
I kept my flower in a jar with boveda 62%, but it still feel dry and hard, but not crumbly. The scent also disappear. My digital hygrometer indicate RH between 60%-64%. What could be the problem?
@myketb, Fruit peel is a second class suggestion. Best thing to use is more weed. drop in a freshly picked weed leaf or two for larger jars and wait 24 hrs. if still not there yet, you can add 1-2 more and wait 24 more hrs. usually thats enough. No tape needed. No fruit to rot, plus leaves transfer moisture faster so less likely to cause mold. Or a nice fresh small bud thats def on the moist side but is still dry enough to not go moldy as it transfers the extra moisture over. If your going to use fruit peel, get some citrus peel, cut it into very thin strips and leave it out for a few hrs to dry a bit so its not dripping oil and juice everywhere. Then add it. But fresh weed leaves is the best if you can get em.
@myketb, perhaps you can try the fruit peel method? Just tape a peel to the top and let it be for 12 hours. That may help.
What about wetting some marijuana stems and using those?
@Robs77, Funny you said that. The best way I was told was throw a fresh Cannabis leaf or two into the jar, depending on jar size obviously, one leaf for small jars and more for larger ones but dont go over board. You can always add more later but if you add too many all at once you get mold. But weed leaves are thin, transfer moisture quickly and also dont hold much. But its the speed of transfer that is the saver here- the leaves you add dry out fast so mold is less likely. Its more a set and forget deal, with fruit peel lets just say I wouldnt leave it in there for a few days and be safe in the knowledge its still going to be mold free. Ive used the leaf method for years with no probs. Best thing to rehydrate weed, is more weed. Kinda obvious when you think about it. You can also soak a match stick in boiling water for 20 mins AFTER you cut the head bit off, and give em a QUICK pat dry with paper towel, then throw one or two in jars. Yes green weed stems work better than wet matches, but leaves work faster and less likely to screw up than the other two. Try one or two to start, throw in jar over nite and if not moist enough after 24 hrs, add 1-2 more leaves and wait 48 hrs. If thats not enough you can go 1-2 more for another 24 hrs but if your at this point it may be beyond saving and id be making butter out of it.