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Cannabis enthusiasts know that proper storage is crucial to maintaining the quality, flavor, and potency of their precious flower. Whether you're a casual user or a seasoned connoisseur, ensuring your cannabis stays in optimal condition is a must. With various methods and products available, let's explore some effective ways to store cannabis and keep it at its best.
You've probably heard these familiar terms tossed around in discussions about the ideal storage conditions for olive oil, wine, and even vinegar: cool, dark, and dry. The same principles apply to cannabis buds and other related products.
Shield them from light, warmth, and humidity, all of which can contribute to a shorter shelf life.
It's crucial to ensure that the temperature and humidity in your storage space remain stable; drastic fluctuations can adversely affect bud quality.
According to Cannavine, a dispensary based in California, UV light can break down the cannabinoids and terpenes in your cannabis, similar to how it fades colors or causes sunburn.
Excessive humidity can even prompt mold growth, given that cannabis is, at its core, a plant.
Avoid storing cannabis in the refrigerator or freezer, instead opting for a drawer or cabinet away from your other food items.
To be precise, a consistent threat to your herb's quality is ultraviolet (UV) light. While sunlight is crucial for most plants, cannabis products must be stored carefully to avoid direct sunlight exposure. UV rays can degrade organic materials, evident in the browning of lush landscapes. This process parallels the dehydration caused by prolonged sunlight exposure on cannabis.
Similar to the practices of cannabis processing experts at area 52, products are often packaged in opaque containers to shield them from sunlight's deteriorating effects. Transparent packaging, though visually appealing, exposes the product to more sunlight, diminishing smoke quality. Thus, cannabis should always be stored away from direct sunlight, especially if using clear packaging. This safeguarding approach also aids in temperature control.
The connection between water and temperature is known as humidity, a crucial factor. While cannabis experts continue to explore the science behind moisture and mold growth, it's certain that humidity levels exceeding 65% within cannabis packaging significantly raise the mold risk.
Achieving optimal humidity for cannabis storage often involves trial and error. Research generally recommends maintaining cannabis at 59% to 63% relative humidity (RH) to preserve terpenes and cannabinoids. Popular moisture control options include, Boveda's humidity packs and various other brands. For consistent results, investing in a cannabis humidor box is advisable. This specially designed container ensures the ideal humidity level, safeguarding your cannabis stash.
Maintaining your cannabis products at approximately room temperature, around 72 degrees Fahrenheit, is vital. Deviations from this range, whether higher or lower, can detrimentally impact your cannabis. Elevated temperatures, in particular, can jeopardize your health.
While lower temperatures don't pose health risks, they can diminish the potency of your cannabis, including its derived products and supplements. Storing cannabis below 72 degrees can cause trichomes to become fragile and detach from the buds. Since terpenes and trichomes house the THC content, it's crucial to avoid their loss. Thus, to safeguard the quality of your cannabis, ensure it's stored at room temperature.
Similar to light and temperature, excessive exposure to oxygen can impact the essential compounds in cannabis. This alteration can lead to an unfavorable change in the herb's aroma, rendering it grassy and unappealing. Conversely, inadequate airflow can also yield negative effects, notably if buds aren't properly dried before packaging, leading to elevated humidity levels.
Managing oxygen and regulating airflow is straightforward. To minimize oxygen exposure, store cannabis in airtight containers rather than open jars, and ensure products are tightly sealed to prevent oxygen interference. Avoid storing small amounts of herbs in large containers, which allows excessive air circulation. Additionally, be mindful of leaving jar lids off for extended periods.
Storing cannabis and its derivatives need not be overly complex. While maintaining its quality and potency requires attention, adopting simple practices like those mentioned can preserve freshness and potency over time.
When it comes to storage, airtight jars or bags take the lead, with bonus points for those featuring vacuum seals. Khalid Al-Naser, Head of Product at Raw Garden, explains that a glass jar is an excellent choice.
One common storage mistake is leaving excessive headspace in the jar. Ideally, you want minimal space between the lid and the product. To this end, a securely sealing Ball mason jar, especially one with an amber hue, is recommended to prevent moisture and light from penetrating.
Veriheal, a healthcare technology company dedicated to improving access to medicinal cannabis, advises against using certain metals like aluminum for long-term storage, as they may influence the cannabis flavor. Opt for neutral materials like titanium or food-safe stainless steel, which won't alter or degrade the weed's taste over time. Al-Naser notes that some types of low-grade aluminum might leave an undesirable aftertaste. And forget the Altoids tin – its weak metal construction won't provide an effective seal.
Al-Naser underscores that using a Ball mason jar allows you to store cannabis alongside other food items without concerns about cross-flavoring. A plastic Ziploc bag, on the other hand, won't retain the aroma as effectively and could compromise the taste of other items nearby. So, while your brunch guests might not appreciate a THC-infused French toast surprise, they'll certainly appreciate weed-free bread.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, keep all cannabis products well out of reach from children and pets. Safety first!
Ziplock Bags for Portability: Ziplock bags are a convenient option for storing small amounts of cannabis, especially when you're on the go. While they might not provide the best long-term protection against air and moisture, they can be practical for short-term storage. If using a ziplock bag, consider using multiple layers to prevent exposing all the cannabis to air every time the bag is opened.
Glass Mason Jars: Glass mason jars are a classic choice for storing cannabis. They offer an airtight seal that helps prevent exposure to air and moisture, which can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes. Look for jars that are opaque or tinted to block out UV light, which can also degrade cannabinoids over time. Add a humidity control pack, such as Boveda or Integra Boost, to help maintain the ideal moisture level and prevent your buds from drying out.
Grove Bags for Curing and Storage: Grove Bags have gained popularity in the cannabis community for their claims of preserving freshness and terpenes. These bags use advanced technology to regulate humidity and oxygen levels inside the bag, creating an environment that can enhance and maintain the quality of your cannabis. They are particularly useful for curing and preserving freshly harvested flower.
Vacuum Sealing for Long-Term Storage: Vacuum sealing is an effective method for long-term storage. By removing air from the packaging, you reduce the risk of oxidation and moisture exposure. Use a vacuum sealer to create airtight packages, and consider placing these packages in a cool, dark place, away from temperature fluctuations and direct light.
Mason Jars and Humidity Packs: Using glass mason jars in combination with humidity packs can provide an excellent solution for cannabis storage. These packs release or absorb moisture as needed to maintain a consistent humidity level inside the jar. This helps prevent the buds from drying out or becoming overly moist, which can lead to mold growth.
Avoid Freezing Your Cannabis: While some might suggest freezing cannabis for long-term storage, it's generally not recommended. Freezing and thawing can cause moisture in the buds to expand and contract, potentially damaging the delicate trichomes and degrading the overall quality of the flower. Instead, focus on methods that maintain a stable environment without extreme temperature changes.
Be Mindful of Exposing Seeds to Light and Heat: If you're storing cannabis seeds, it's crucial to keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place. Exposure to light, heat, and temperature changes can cause seeds to deteriorate prematurely by using up their stored nutrients. Store seeds in their original packaging and consider using airtight containers to protect them from the elements.
When it comes to storing cannabis, your goal is to preserve its quality, flavor, and potency for as long as possible. Choose a storage method that aligns with your needs and preferences, whether you're looking for short-term convenience or long-term preservation. Ultimately, proper storage practices will help you enjoy your cannabis to the fullest and make the most of your investment.