Originally Posted by twrex
The short answer to your question is no, the bud would continue to dry out just slower than at a lower rh. And the humidifying packets will affect this by artificially fixing the rh at a specific point which would precisely limit rate of dehydration and thus aging of the bud.
Now the long version as I understand it:
Crash course in relative humidity, the amount of water that a given volume can hold is dependent upon two things, the temperature and the pressure. Pressure is fairly well constant for most of us so we will disregard that, but temperature is something which fluctuates a bit. So, imagine you have a jar at a given temperature, and it is at 100% rh. Now, we take that same jar and add heat to it and raise the temperature by some amount, now this new hotter air in the jar contains the exact same amount of water vapor, but it is now at a lower rh.
The reason for this has to do with something called vapor pressure, if you can imagine the water vapor in the air is exerting a pressure on the liquid water. When you are at 100% rh there is equilibrium, the pressures are equal so no water evaporates and no vapor condenses. Now, if you add heat you excite the water's molecules making them bump around a bit more and exert more pressure on the atmosphere there will be an imbalance and your rh will no longer be at 100% (because we're now at a higher temperature) and this will cause the water to try and evaporate more. Similarly if you remove heat and lower the temp the pressure in the liquid will reduce and the pressure in the vapor will be greater, if this goes over equilibrium (remember: 100% rh = equilibrium) it will begin to condense. This is why 100% rh is also known as the dew point.
Also worth noting, if you raise the temperature to the point at which the pressure of the water equals the ambient pressure of the room (not just the pressure of the water vapor in the air) then it boils, neat huh?
Now, the rh packets you mention work based on this principle, they have inside of them a semipermeable membrane which augments the 'pressure' of the water, so that it will stabilize at a certain level (70%, 65%, etc). This will mean that if the rh goes above that level the packet will absorb some liquid, and if it goes below it then it will release some.
**the following are my assumptions and not based on anything other than what I feel are reasonable conclusions**
Now, your bud is not made of pure liquid water, and as such it has its own special internal pressures and such which make it want to hold onto water even if the rh is not 100%. From what simon has written it would seem this equilibrium point is somewhere in the 50-70% range depending on the age of the bud and such (I'm assuming this would be due to enzymatic degradation and other changes to the internal structure of the plant as it cures)
So, in my opinion I think that using those cigar packets would be good if you're trying to dial things in and can make sure to get enough fresh airflow to control mold/anaerobic critters until you're satisfied with the level of your cure at which point you should dry it to the point which you find most pleasing to partake and consume or store.
If you're still a little new to all of this I'd imagine it's better to err on the side of safety and dry/cure things a little faster until you feel comfortable with doing it and not getting mold, then you may work on prolonging via these methods.
Disclaimer: I would like to state I'm no expert on these things (although I am a life-long student of the sciences) and what I've said above may not be 100% technically correct, but I'm fairly certain it's pretty darn close. I just hope it can help clear things up a bit for those wanting to know a little more about how this works.