How to Rehydrate Weed, Explained

Cannabis plant with a bud

If you’ve ever suffered from a bout of “cotton mouth” (i.e., dry mouth), you can attest to the importance of hydration. Every living thing on the planet – from desert cacti to single-celled bacteria, large mammals and underground dwellers – needs water to survive and thrive. We’re no different. And neither is cannabis. 

When a grower plucks cannabis flower from the plant and packages it for distribution, it kicks off a countdown clock. Every minute flower spends in transport on its intrepid journey to your stash, it loses moisture. If you catch it hot off its exit from the supply chain, you might buy a product that’s perfectly fresh and bright—in which case, your job as a cannabis consumer is to maintain that freshness. 

But more often than not, we receive slightly (sometimes severely) dry product. It doesn’t help that cannabis is often subjected to less-than-ideal environments, like the bottom of a backpack, or the back of a drafty cupboard. Keeping flower moist and sticky is more than an aesthetic concern; it creates an overall better cannabis experience. 

In this article, learn why cannabis hydration matters, how to store cannabis properly and how to rehydrate weed after it has gone stale. 

Why Cannabis Hydration Matters

Before we address how to rehydrate cannabis, let’s discuss why

The difference between sticky, fluffy buds and dried, dusty flower boils down to hydration. If you pinch a bud between your fingers and it easily crumbles to bits, your cannabis has dried out. But hydration is about more than chasing that ideal dense, resiny bud. Hydration also impacts flavor, aroma, burn time, terpene efficacy, and overall potency. 

The flavor of cannabis is inextricably tied to terpenes, those naturally occurring compounds in the essential oils of plants. When sufficiently hydrated (as in nature), these terpenes are bright and evocative—piney, woodsy, peppery, fruity, or floral, depending on the specific terpene. But as hydration dips, so does terpene complexity (consider the difference between fresh and dried rosemary). In simpler terms: the drier the weed, the duller the effects.

According to scientific studies, terpenes have benefits beyond aroma and taste; they are also responsible for the analgesic (pain-reducing), anxiety-mitigating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects of cannabis. Therefore, overly dry flower may have fewer health and wellness benefits than its fresher counterparts. 

Improperly storing cannabis impacts the cannabinoids (the chemicals responsible for the flower’s drug-like effects). Properly stored cannabis will only lose 16% of its THC potency after a year. Improper storage speeds up and exacerbates this process. 

Lastly, let’s be honest: dry cannabis makes for a lousy smoking experience. It burns fast and hot, harsh and muted. A far cry from how fresh flower burns: slow, sultry and robust. If you want to learn more about how cannabis humidity affects the processes of drying, storing and curing weed, check out the resources linked in this sentence.

A sealed mason jar with cannabis buds and a 62% RH Size 8 Boveda

The Best Offense Is Good Defense: Storing Your Cannabis Properly

Before we delve into how to rehydrate dry weed – the offensive strategy – let’s talk about your defensive strategy. Ideally, you store your cannabis properly the moment you bring it home from the dispensary and never get to the point where your bud needs resuscitation. 

Traditionally, consumers attempt to avoid staleness with unreliable remedies like lettuce leaves, soaked sponges, or citrus peels stored with their cannabis. Unfortunately, these methods are woefully imprecise, often failing to cultivate that sweet-spot microclimate between 55% and 65% RH. They’re also detrimental to cannabis stored in ambient humidity over 65%, which can result in moldy weed.

The best way to store cannabis is with Boveda’s innovative humidity control packs—and others agree! Leafly, the leading authority on all things cannabis, tried Boveda’s “Save the Terps” challenge, and found that Boveda’s two-way moisture control packets excelled at locking in aroma, flavor, texture and smokeability. There’s a reason Boveda is called The Original Terpene Shield™. 

How to Rehydrate Weed 

Life happens, and so does dry weed. Despite your best efforts, you might leave the lid off your jar, or forget that baggie at bottom of a backpack for a month. You might even receive overly dry product from a dispensary

Is this a problem? Sure. Can you do something about it? Yes! Learning how to rehydrate weed will set you back on the right path. 

There are three primary mechanisms involved in rehydrating weed: a tight seal, moisture, and time. To kickstart the first mechanism, grab any airtight container, like a Mason jar, sturdy zip-top bag or one of Boveda’s dedicated Cannabis containers

Now that you have the ecosystem, you need to create the microclimate—as mentioned above, somewhere between 55% and 65% relative humidity. This is the sweet spot for bud, with the lower end netting a more pliable product, and the higher end yielding stickier buds. And once again, our industry-beloved weed humidifier pack is the precise way to hit that microclimate. (For a severely parched product, we recommend rehydrating weed with a 62% RH packet). 

It’s as simple as  bud + Boveda. But all good things take patience. Whereas fresh buds stay fresh in an airtight container with a humidity control pack, dry weed takes a while to reach its equilibrium. It needs time to leech the moisture it requires from the humidity pack. Ideally, you should wait between 24 and 48 hours, but the longer the better. Because Boveda packs provide two-way humidity control (i.e., it gives and takes moisture), you never run the risk of overhydration. Your flower will hit 62% RH, and then coast there until you’re ready to enjoy. 

Hydration is as vital to your cannabis as it is to every living thing. Learn how to hydrate weed (or how to rehydrate weed), and you’ll never suffer through dry, harsh bud again. 


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