Last night, you inadvertently left your baggy out in the peak of summer. Today, you reach in for a bud, only to have it disintegrate into almost a powder in your hands. As you light up, you immediately notice the harsh sting in the back of your throat, with none of the pleasant tastes and aromas you’re used to.
Novice growers will tell you how uncertain they are when it comes to drying their crops. Drying in the middle of winter is very different from mid-summer. Even if a bag of weed is at its perfect moisture level, if transported to a new, dryer climate, it can dehydrate at record speeds. Luckily, this is not the most disastrous of situations. It is possible to rehydrate cannabis with a few simple techniques. Some of them may even bring new flavours, while others can simply destroy your stash if done recklessly. Nevertheless, your pot will never be exactly as it was before. The two most common reasons why weed gets dry beyond its optimal point are overdrying after harvest and inadequate storage.
The outer leaves may seem dry, while the inner bud and stems might still hold considerable amounts of water. Therefore, it is common for growers to judge dryness by using the stem-snapping trick. When a plant is cut down to dry, soon after, the stems lose a lot of their rigidity and stiffness. If you handle a stem, it will bend without snapping. As such, the general rule of thumb is, when you can snap a bud’s stem clean in half, it is sufficiently dry. While this trick works great for the more experienced, it is by no means the most scientific method. In moderate climates with average humidity, a slow and even drying period can be expected. In arid climates, however, a humidifier and frequent close-inspection of buds may be needed. After a final trim, the buds should be placed in an airtight container to cure. If left in a paper or plastic bag, they will continue to exchange water with the surrounding air—eventually drying up altogether. By placing the weed in an airtight container, you will preserve its water content, as well as promote the best conditions for curing, which will enhance its taste, smell, and potency. Fortunately, in the same way cannabis can release water into the air, it can also suck water molecules back into the bud. All you need is an airtight container (again!), or something very close. In this remedial situation, being airtight is not essential to success. But after rehydration and for long-term storage, airtight containers are indeed necessary. The general idea is to increase the relative humidity inside the container to create a microclimate. Water molecules will disperse from high concentration zones to lower concentration zones until it has evened out. There are several ways to achieve this—some you can even do regardless of excessive dryness. All these methods are slight variations on one another (except for the super express methods described below), but they do have their nuances. Grab a slice of bread and moisten it (don’t soak it). A damp paper towel can also be used, though beware of excessive water content.
Place it on top of the weed in a thick plastic or Ziplock bag, close it tight, and let it sit for an hour or two.
When the time has elapsed, check your weed and move it around a little. Check the lettuce, bread, or towel for how much drier it is. This is a clear indication of the amount of water retained by the buds. Depending on the size of your stash, you may need to repeat this a couple of times.