How To Rehydrate Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide
When you think about what makes cannabis perfect, you probably think about the flower’s color, quality, and aroma. You’re not thinking about moisture, but you should be. If the moisture level isn’t correct, your cannabis is essentially doomed.
If your cannabis collects too much moisture, it will build bacteria and mold. Within 24 hours, your cannabis will begin to rot. If all the moisture leaves your cannabis, almost everything that makes it cannabis goes with it.
If you’ve found some crunchy cannabis, there’s a good likelihood that you’ll be able to rehydrate it. Modulate your expectations about its effects, because it probably isn’t going to deliver. The most important thing to take away from this experience is a lesson: store your cannabis properly and it won’t dry out for a very long time.
What Happens to Cannabis When It Dries Out?
The farm that grew your cannabis was really devoted to its wellbeing. They took excellent care of the plant and spent weeks of work perfectly drying it and curing it, allowing it to remain fresh until it eventually wound up in your hands.
The curing process is what locks the cannabinoids and terpenes into the cannabis and helps them establish the perfect moisture level. That level is then maintained by its primary packaging until you open it up. Then, it’s your responsibility to keep the humidity levels optimal.
Many people don’t know that because it doesn’t say so on the packaging. It’s easy to overlook that detail, and when you do, you’ll face the consequences.
When your cannabis dries out, the experience of smoking it will drastically change. Most of the things you love about your favorite strain will cease to be.
It Burns Harshly
Lighting a joint isn’t too much different from lighting a bonfire. You need sticks with the appropriate moisture content to keep the fire going. Really wet kindling doesn’t burn, and very dry kindling immediately. That’s exactly what’s going to happen with your dried out cannabis.
Dried out cannabis burns harshly and quickly. It may be harder to hit and messier to smoke because the joint will crumble quickly as it turns to ash. The rapid burn will also create a burnt flavor that overtakes any natural cannabis flavor within the flower.
It Loses Potency
Too much air circulation, heat, and light exposure culminate in dry cannabis. As the moisture evaporates and the flower warms up, the cannabinoids transform. When your cannabis was fresh, the trichomes on the outside were packed with acidic and virinic cannabinoids, like THC-A and THC-V.
These cannabinoids convert to THC when they’re heated. They become available to your body as you smoke or vaporize them.
Over time, the elements will slowly begin this conversion process. The low, long exposure of heat and air will convert the THC-A and THC-V to THC over time. Eventually, the THC will break down and become CBN, a cannabinoid often used to support sleep. It doesn’t have the same effect as THC.
All The Terpenes Evaporate
Terpenes are what makes a strain a strain. Every strain of cannabis has a unique balance of cannabinoids and terpenes that create its profile of signature effects.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that exist within flowers, with cannabis flowers being an absolute powerhouse of these compounds.
While the plant is alive, it uses these terpenes to attract pollinators, repel pollinators, and even ward off plant diseases. It creates a steady stream of terpenes that are designed to evaporate quickly, sending their signals into the air around the plant.
After your cannabis has been harvested, it doesn’t have a way to produce more terpenes. The terpenes that remain are still eager to evaporate.
Many of them are naturally lost in the drying process, and growers use the curing process to preserve the remaining terpenes. When your cannabis dried it, all of its remaining terpenes were released into the air as the moisture escaped.
If terpenes only existed as flavor and aroma compounds, this wouldn’t be a problem. Your cannabis would just be a little bland. Research suggests that terpenes play a role in a much larger picture called The Entourage Effect.
The study surrounding the Entourage Effect postulates that the effects of a strain are the results of its cannabinoids and terpenes working together. When the terpenes are gone, the cannabinoids may not work the same way.
Can You Smoke Rehydrated Cannabis?
Yes, but you probably won’t want to. Most dried-out cannabis is better suited to a funeral than a rescue operation. Rehydrated cannabis has already lost almost everything of value. You’ve simply restored it to a smokable state. If it imparts any effects, those effects will be minimal.
If your cannabis is only slightly dry, you might be able to pull it back from the brink by rehydrating it. It won’t be as great as it was when it was fresh, but it might impart a gentle high or, due to its CBN content, make you a little sleepy.
Using Citrus Peels To Rehydrate Your Weed
The world is full of bright, innovative, and creative cannabis users. Out of countless methods commonly used to rehydrate cannabis, the best method involves using citrus peels.
Many strains of cannabis contain the terpene limonene, which is the same terpene found in the rinds of citrus fruits. They’re usually responsible for producing zesty or even diesel-like flavors and aromas in cannabis. If your cannabis has lost its terpenes, reintroducing citrus terpenes may help to bring its flavor (and potentially aromatherapeutic effects) back to the surface.
You can choose whatever citrus fruit you’d like. Grapefruit, sweet orange, and sweet lemon work particularly well with most strains of cannabis. Pick your fruit, cut a large piece of the rind off, make sure you’ve gotten all the fruit off of the peel, and drop the peel into an air-tight jar with your cannabis.
As the cannabis sits in the jar, it will absorb the moisture and terpenes from the citrus peel. Allow them to mingle together in the jar for 24 hours. Every six hours, open the lid to allow the excess moisture to escape.
After the 24 hours is up, it’s best to use your cannabis immediately. Rehydrated cannabis doesn’t store as well as cannabis that retains its natural moisture.
Keep Your Cannabis From Drying Out in the First Place
Although the citrus peel method is by far the best option for salvaging dry cannabis that isn’t too old, there is no ideal way to salvage cannabis. Your best bet is to prevent your cannabis from drying out in the first place. If you store your cannabis properly, it might still taste fresh a year from now. It’s just a matter of preserving your cannabis’s preferred environment for preservation.
You wouldn’t pour a 40-year-old scotch into an empty salsa jar and hide it in your drawer full of old gym shorts. Why would you do that with your cannabis?
Stori invented the perfect cannabis storage solution, and we’ve made it really easy for you. The Stori stash case comes with six air-tight, light-proof aluminum pods.
Each pod has a different color child-resistant lid that you can label with the strain it contains. You can also use the case with the Stori app to record which strain is in which container, as well as when you bought it and your personal notes about that strain.
Inside the lid of every Stori pod is a place to put a size 1 Boveda pack. This Boveda pack turns the pod into a humidor, perfectly maintaining the humidity levels and preserving the terpenes.
Keeping your cannabis at ideal humidity is almost absurdly simple. All you do is write the date on the Boveda pack, stick it in the lid, close the pod, and periodically check on the pack.
The pack will lay down a monolayer of purified water on top of your cannabis. It’s just enough moisture to keep the terpenes from leaving, but not enough moisture to keep your cannabis too wet. It will maintain this balance without your help.
Check on the pack every once in a while. It might get harder near the corners or develop little hard spots, but that’s okay. It’s still working. It’s only reaching the end of its life when it starts to develop a uniform hardness. If you feel like the whole pack is firming up, toss it and replace it with another one.
Yes, it really is that easy. It only takes the right cannabis storage container, a humidity pack, and two seconds of your time to keep your cannabis as fresh as it was the day you bought it.
Why scramble for a solution when Stori + Boveda can prevent the whole problem?
The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain | Frontiers in Plant Science
Converting THC to CBN | Extraction Magazine