How to Rehydrate Marijuana to Perfection
Did you know that you can rehydrate marijuana flower? It’s an important trick to have up your sleeve if you’ve ever tried to smoke dried out cannabis. The experience can be unpleasant: the brittle consistency, the poor flavor and aroma, and the burning sensation in the back of your throat. Thankfully, there are several rehydration methods that work.
Why Rehydrate Marijuana?
Like most plant life, marijuana requires a certain amount of moisture. As marijuana dries out, the cannabinoids and terpenes start to degrade. As a result, the cannabis loses its signature flavor and scent, and it’s no longer able to provide you with the high or therapeutic benefits you’re looking for.
If your marijuana has been dry and collecting dust for months, it might not be salvageable. By that time, the cannabinoids have probably degraded to such an extent that you might as well be smoking a dandelion. But if the marijuana dried out recently because it was stored at a less-than-optimal temperature or exposed to too much air, you might still be able to save it.
How to Rehydrate Marijuana
There are numerous ways to rehydrate marijuana, but they all have one important thing in common: exposing the cannabis to moisture. The porous plant absorbs the moisture and slowly returns to the kind of soft, flexible consistency that good marijuana is known for.
If you commonly struggle with dry marijuana, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality humidor. Not only will this help to restore dry cannabis to its former glory, but it will keep all of your marijuana at an optimal moisture level for months at a time.
A typical humidor is a cedar-lined box equipped with a hygrometer for humidity control. Make sure to use a humidor that’s designed for cannabis, as you want to keep your relative humidity below 65%. Cigar humidors usually start at 70% relative humidity, so you’ll want to avoid those.
To rehydrate your cannabis:
- Place it into your humidor and moisturize the humidifier using distilled water. Some humidors will require you to place a damp sponge or cloth inside the box, but others are more elaborate.
- Calibrate your hygrometer if required.
- Seal the cannabis inside for at least 2 to 3 hours.
- You’ll know when your cannabis is ready to use; the leaves and buds should be flexible and soft to the touch.
Each humidor has its own instructions for setup and use, so read the instructions carefully before using.
Distilled Water & a Container
Even if you don’t have a humidor, you can still use distilled water to rehydrate your cannabis. This method works like a makeshift humidor.
- Place your cannabis in a container with a lid, such as a jar or Tupperware container. The container should be large enough to fit your cannabis in its original packaging (opened, not sealed) and a damp paper towel.
- Soak your paper towel in the distilled water. You want it about 75% damp, not dripping. Excess moisture presents a potential mold risk.
- Place your cannabis and your paper towel in the container, and seal the container for at least 2 to 3 hours.
Make sure only to use distilled water. This is important as distilled water is chemically pure and won’t contaminate your marijuana.
The fruit-peel method can be useful for enhancing the aroma of your cannabis while also increasing the level of moisture, but it’s not the most effective method for extremely dried-out cannabis. This method should be reserved as a short-term preventive solution and for rehydrating marijuana that’s just starting to dry out. Do not use this method as a long-term hydration solution, as it can lead to significant mold growth.
Oranges and limes both work extremely well for this method, but banana peels can work too.
- Start by peeling your fruit.
- Place the peel on top of your cannabis and seal it in an airtight sandwich bag.
- Leave it alone for 2 to 3 hours and then check the cannabis.
- If the peel has dried out but the marijuana still hasn’t reached optimal moisture, remove the existing peel from the bag and replace it with a new peel. Repeat the steps above.
You can also add mint, rosemary, and other herbs to your sealed bag to further enhance the aroma of your cannabis.
If you like the fruit-peel method above, but your peels aren’t giving you enough moisture, you might try using lettuce instead. Lettuce is excellent for rehydrating cannabis because it’s 95% water. This method is also great if you don’t want to introduce any new aromas to your cannabis.
- Rinse your lettuce briefly just to dampen it. You want to use a lettuce leaf that’s just large enough to fit in a sealed sandwich bag with your cannabis.
- Place the lettuce on top of your cannabis and seal it in your sandwich bag.
- Leave it alone for 2 to 3 hours and then check the marijuana.
- If the lettuce has dried out but the cannabis still hasn’t reached optimal moisture, remove the existing lettuce from the bag and replace it with a new leaf. Repeat the steps above.
In most cases, the lettuce should contain ample moisture to rehydrate your marijuana in just 2 to 3 hours.
Pot of Hot Water
Are you in a hurry? If you need to rehydrate your marijuana in minutes rather than hours, this method should do the trick. Just note that you have to be extremely careful, as this is one of the easiest ways to over-hydrate. Only attempt this method on a strict as-needed basis, and watch your cannabis closely.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Remove the boiling water from the stove and place it on a safe surface.
- Place a washcloth or other piece of fabric over the top of the pot and secure it around the rim, creating a tight seal. Be careful not to burn yourself.
- Place your cannabis on top of the cloth and allow the rising water vapor to rehydrate it.
- Turn the nugs every few minutes to ensure maximum coverage.
- Remove your marijuana after 30 to 45 minutes and enjoy.
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How to Know if Your Marijuana Is Worth Rehydrating
As previously noted, you first have to determine if your cannabis is worth rehydrating in the first place. Sometimes rehydrating is enough, but there are times when your marijuana is just degraded beyond repair—and all the hydration in the world won’t restore it to its former glory. There are three things you should observe when deciding if your cannabis still has some life left in it:
- The consistency. If the marijuana is dried out but still has its basic shape and consistency, it might be salvageable. You should hear a firm snap when you pull the nugs apart. If your marijuana barely looks or feels like cannabis anymore, it might be time to toss it out. If it has a cracked or powdery consistency or if it crumbles when you touch it, there’s not much you can do.
- The color. Even dried-out marijuana should have a green hue. If the color is splotchy, or if the cannabis is exhibiting more of a gray or brown hue, get rid of it. In addition, if it has white, velvety patches, do not attempt to smoke it—this is a sign of mold growth.
- The smell. If your cannabis smells like a wet shoe, or if it presents any unnatural or unpleasant aroma, it’s probably not going to be enjoyable. If your cannabis has no smell at all, it probably won’t have any effect at all. Lack of aroma typically means that the terpenes have degraded beyond recognition. And if your terpenes have degraded, you can bet that the cannabinoids have as well.
When in doubt, throw it out.
How to Keep Marijuana Moist for Longer
Prevention is the best cure, so you want to be diligent about preventing moisture loss in the first place. Start by ensuring that you purchase fresh, high-quality cannabis to begin with. You should always buy from reputable, licensed dispensaries.
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Most importantly, when it comes to preventing moisture loss, you want to avoid exposure to light, heat, and air. Oxygen and ultraviolet rays will kill your cannabinoids and terpenes, so store your marijuana in an airtight container and keep it away from direct light.
The easiest way to store marijuana for freshness is to use a glass jar. Keep the jar sealed at all times, and store it in a dark, cool location. This one simple trick can help you to keep your marijuana fresh for longer than the standard 6 to 12 months. If you really want to get fancy about it, you can use an airtight marijuana storage container.
When you take basic steps to lock in the moisture, you’ll be able to enjoy your marijuana to its fullest effect.