How to Rehydrate Dry Weed

Sophia Delphi May 18, 2022 - 7 min read
Fact Checked
Weed buds in a jar, how to rehydrate them?

It’s an awful feeling.

You’re looking forward to getting home after a long week at work and reaching into your stash jar. Kicking back, smoking up, and relaxing — you’re dreaming about the moment.

But when you reach into that jar, your weed is as dry as the Sahara desert.

Well, maybe it isn’t quite that bad, but it’s still dry enough that you know it’s not going to be as tasty and enjoyable as you were expecting.

Sure, you resolve to keep your stash in better condition moving forward. That doesn’t help right now, though. You’ve still got dry weed.

Relax. There’s a good chance you can salvage the flower by adding moisture to it.

Here’s how to rehydrate weed and why it may become necessary.

Why Dry Weed is Such a Problem

Dry, crumbly marijuana can be difficult to deal with. If you’re trying to roll a joint or pack a bowl, it can just fall apart and make the task virtually impossible.

And even if it’s not that dry, it’s far from the ideal flower.

Dry weed is usually less potent than it was when it was purchased. The issues that cause it to dry out also cause its cannabinoids and terpenes to degrade. That affects potency, as well as the flavor and aroma of the herb.

Even if the bud is still strong enough to get you baked, the smoke from dry weed will taste harsh and burn hot. In short, it’s not the experience you’ve been looking forward to.

What causes weed to dry out? As you’d guess, the possible explanations all involve moisture.

Cannabis and Water

All plants and flowers, except drought-resistant varieties and succulents, will dry out quickly if they don’t get enough water.

Weed doesn’t count.

When you purchase cannabis, the plants have been dried and cured to preserve the flower. It no longer needs to be watered; it can often be stored for as long as a year (in the right conditions) without an issue. And it still contains the water necessary to keep it moist.

The drying and curing processes are designed to keep the moisture content of consumable weed around 10-12%. Less than that, and it’s not enjoyable to smoke; a higher level of moisture increases the chance that mold will develop in the stash.

Here’s the problem, though: moisture levels only remain stable under ideal conditions. Ensuring the proper conditions is the responsibility of three parties: the producer, the dispensary or dealer, and the person who buys the weed.

Cannabis that hasn’t been dried and cured properly may contain too much moisture — or it may be too dry. The first problem can cause mold, and the second will cause the herb to dry out and crumble much more rapidly than it normally would.

Dispensaries usually store their product properly, most often in sealed packages. Street dealers, however, aren’t known for their careful tending and storage of product. If they don’t store it in the right conditions before they sell it, the customer can wind up with flower that’s too dry. It’s likely to become unusable quickly, even if it looks OK at the time of sale.

Finally, there’s the end-user, who’s most commonly the culprit. Careless storage of a stash can cause it to dry out in a hurry.

What Causes Weed to Dry Out?

Think about what makes you feel dehydrated on a hot summer’s day, other than heat. If you said sunlight and humidity, you’re on the right track.

The three big enemies for a weed stash are light, humidity, and oxygen. They all cause moisture to evaporate, and as we’ve discussed, marijuana needs to maintain its moisture level to stay fresh.

That makes it easy to understand how weed should be stored.

  • It shouldn’t be exposed to light, especially sunlight.
  • It shouldn’t be exposed to the open air, and containers should protect the air from getting in.
  • And the relative humidity in the stash container should stay at or near an optimal level.

So the best way to store weed is in an opaque glass jar that seals firmly, like a Mason jar. Opaque means that the container won’t let light in, but it’s best to keep the jar somewhere dark to further minimize the possibility of light exposure.

The stash jar should also be kept at or slightly below room temperature. That’s one way to help keep humidity levels under control. The more important step is to put humidity packs (Boveda is the growers’ choice) inside the containers. They prevent the relative humidity from getting too high (which could spur mold growth) or too low (which dries out cannabis).

That’s what you should do. How do you handle flower that’s already dried out?

Rehydrating Weed

“Rehydrating” means exactly what it sounds like, adding moisture back into dry weed. There are three ways to do it.

1. Wet Paper Towel

You can put a folded wet paper towel (or a wet napkin, a wet cotton ball, or even a wet piece of white bread) into your stash jar and let the weed absorb some of its moisture.

But you have to be careful.

First, the towel should be damp, not soaking wet. That means it should only be 60-70% saturated. Second, you should use distilled water, not tap water; distilled water is chemically pure and won’t contaminate your stash. Finally, you should put the towel near the weed without making contact since too much exposure to water can cause that dreaded mold growth.

Let the towel sit in the stash jar for a few hours, then check to see if the weed has been rehydrated. If not, let it sit for a few more hours and check again. After 12-15 hours, the herb should either be good to go — or it’s too far gone.

2. Produce

Some people put a lettuce leaf into their jar, others use an orange peel. Each contains a good deal of moisture which may rejuvenate your weed. Again, don’t let the lettuce or orange peel touch the weed, and check after a few hours to see if the flower has absorbed enough moisture.

You may find lettuce to be preferable because it won’t transfer any residual flavor or odor to the cannabis. Orange peel will. On the other hand, you may like the taste and smell of oranges in your weed.

One caution: some believe that using an orange peel is a good long-term method to regulate their stash jar’s humidity. It’s not. Use a humidity pack designed for the purpose.

3. Fresh Weed

We’re not fans of this approach, but you can try it as a last resort. Mix some fresh, moist weed with the dry weed in your stash. The old stuff may absorb enough moisture to be usable.

On the other hand, that may mean mixing different potencies or strains — which defeats the purpose of keeping them separate to be enjoyed on their own. If you’re desperate, though, it could be worth a try.

How to Rehydrate Weed: FAQ

Q: Can all dry weed be rehydrated?
A: Usually, but that doesn’t always mean that you should try. There are times that a stash may have lost too much potency to be much good, even if you can get it to absorb moisture introduced into the stash jar. If your flower falls into crumbs when you touch it, it’s probably too late.

Q: Can you rehydrate weed in a humidor?
A: Yes, although that’s an expensive solution to the problem. One thing to watch out for: be sure you buy a cannabis humidor and not one designed for cigars. Tobacco needs more humidity than weed should be exposed to, so cigar humidors establish the wrong environment for marijuana. There’s another reason to avoid tobacco humidors: most are made from cedarwood, which releases oils that will ruin the flavor of weed.