Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 6, 2023

Every grower’s dream is to get big and dense nugs that are covered in trichomes, rich in cannabinoids, and packed with flavor. Sounds like it’s too much? Well, nowadays it’s not unattainable. The overall quality of weed has improved, so it’s not unusual to want to get dispensary-worthy nugs at home. Unfortunately, sometimes the buds you’ve been eager to harvest turn out to be underwhelming and it’s reflected in how much they weigh.

Big cannabis buds often mean potent cannabis buds, so let’s talk about how you can produce bigger buds that weigh more and how you can restore and rehydrate buds that have become too light due to moisture content loss.

Why Your Cannabis Buds Might Be Weak and Weigh Less

The weight of your stash is a big indicator of whether the buds you’ve spent time cultivating as a grower has reached their full potential. Sometimes you do everything you can and the buds are still weak and don’t weigh as much as they could. 

Let’s see what you could be doing wrong.


First of all, the genetics of the plant is important. Some cannabis strains naturally give denser buds that are covered in trichomes, usually Indicas. However, there can be exceptions, especially with strain-dominant hybrids. Even though Sativas are known to have an airy bud structure, some Sativas can be pretty fruitful. Apart from the genetics of your chosen strain, everything else is up to you.


That being said, making sure you’re meeting all of the essential needs of your plants is crucial. For one, you should provide your plant with the right ratio of nutrients during different stages of its life cycle. For example, the plants need more nitrogen during the veg stage and higher levels of potassium during the flowering stage to help the plants produce bigger nugs.

Lighting Schedule

You should also follow the correct lighting schedule to a T. During the flowering stage, the plants should receive equal hours of light and darkness, with no exceptions. This triggers the flowering hormones to work and produce dense buds.

Temperature and Relative Humidity

Additionally, the temperature and the relative humidity should be on point. Temperature extremes can severely damage the plant and produce underdeveloped buds and fewer bud sites, as well as less cannabinoid content. The correct levels of relative humidity will also save the plant from mold and fungus, and other infestations.

How to Get Dense Buds That Weigh More

Sometimes your cannabis nugs may have a low weight because they have lost their moisture content. But other times it’s because they’re underdeveloped, and it can be annoying. Sure, you can still smoke them, but wouldn’t it be nice if they could be even better?

Let’s go over a few tips that’ll help you produce dense buds that weigh more.

  1. One way to increase bud formation is to reduce the relative humidity levels to below 45% in order to encourage the secretion of resin;
  2. Repot your plants if they have outgrown their current containers to give them enough room to thrive and develop more bud sites;
  3. Drying and curing your buds properly will make a major difference in not only weight, but potency (higher THC and CBD content) and flavor too (see our detailed guide here). It’s basically allowing only the excess moisture to slowly evaporate while all the unnecessary starches and sugars dissolve. This prepares the nugs for long-term storage and makes them denser;
  4. Pruning the weed plants a few weeks before they flower can give you drastic results. Pruning is the removal of all of the dead and yellow leaves or underdeveloped bud sites. If you don’t prune your plants and let them grow wild, they will waste their precious energy on unnecessary parts. The goal is to help the plants focus on developing the bud sites that do get light and nutrients and help them grow big and trichome-rich nugs. This is one of the best ways to prevent popcorn buds.

How to Rehydrate Dry Buds to Make Them Weigh More (and Taste Better!)

Dry buds are a common occurrence for many cannabis users, including growers. Sometimes no matter how much of a fresh stash you have, you’ll still find some forgotten baggie with weed that has gone dry, or if you’re a grower, you may have overdried it during the drying process. Increasing the moisture content of dry buds will not only make them heavier, but also tastier. In fact, just after a few hours, their weight can go up by a few grams.

Let’s see how you can combat the dreaded dryness and revive those buds while increasing their weight.

The Non-Flavor Method

This method will add moisture back into the buds without altering their flavor. You will need an airtight container and one of three things: a slightly damp piece of bread, a damp paper towel, or lettuce leaves, whichever you have on hand. They won’t impart the buds with any type of flavor, they’ll only add some water back into them.

The point is to sandwich the weed between your chosen moisture-adding item for long enough so that the dry buds can absorb the water. Depending on the dryness, this process can last from a few hours to a full day. However, you have to regularly check on the weed to prevent the moisture content from becoming too high, since excessive moisture creates a breeding ground for mold.

Or You May Want to Add Some Flavor

Good buds are flavorful buds, so if you want to add some flavor to the dry buds to improve their taste, you can use either a fruit peel or some fresh herbs. Orange and lemon peel are by far the most commonly used, but apple peel is popular too, and even banana peel. 

As for herbs, you can use mint, thyme, cilantro, or another aromatic herb that’s edible. If you’re feeling like experimenting, you can even put one of each. 

The fruit peels and the herbs are naturally rich in moisture content so they’re a great choice for rehydrating your buds. The process is the same, add the buds and the fruit peel and/or herbs in an airtight container and leave them for a few hours. You can also use a Ziploc bag as long as it seals well.

The Takeaway

The cannabis industry is becoming a competitive place with many growers offering big, high-quality buds that are too tempting to not try. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned and the harvest may be underwhelming. Even though you think you’ve done everything right, it would be best to reassess and go back to the basics to figure out what you can do better next time.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.