4 Things to Consider When Storing Cannabis
If you grow cannabis at home, it is necessary to learn the proper method of storing it. Sometimes cannabis grown at home is a lot for a year. Many times you cannot use it in a year, so it stays on the shelves for up to two years.
Since the cannabis industry is at its peak, more and more people are learning to grow it at home. Learning to store the grown cannabis is equally important; otherwise, all your hard work will go in vain.
In order to maintain the quality and potency of cannabis even after years, there are certain criteria that you should consider. But before you take the cannabis flowers for storing, you should first cure them for at least four weeks. The dried cannabis is then ready to be stored for a long time. Here's what you should consider when storing cannabis.
During the growth of cannabis, special care is taken to ensure the cannabis gets maximum exposure to oxygen. This is done to get the maximum plant growth. In the case of storage, you need to do the opposite. Protect the cannabis flowers from oxygen exposure to help them last longer.
Exposing the cannabis buds to air leads to degradation, which ultimately changes the taste and aroma of the bud. In order to prevent this, people use air-tight glass jars or use mylar bags, and vacuum seal them. Plastic containers and bags both are a big NO for storing cannabis. Even if you seal the plastic bags with a vacuum sealer, they will still let the air in after some time. This will result in the degradation of cannabis flowers.
Exposure to high temperatures can cause two major issues. Firstly, heat can degrade the chemicals present in cannabis. The terpenes and other cannabinoids present in cannabis will eventually dry out. Secondly, high temperatures, especially between 77 to 85 degree Fahrenheit is ideal for mold growth. If the humidity level is high along with the temperature, the results can be even worse.
Apart from that, low temperatures are also bad for cannabis. At low temperatures, the process of decarboxylation slows down and degrades THC to CBN. THC degradation ultimately affects the potency. This will not cause an intense high when smoked.
An ideal temperature for cannabis storage is 60 to 68 degrees. Closely observe the temperature of the surrounding area when cannabis is stored. Fluctuation in temperature can be bad for the stored buds.
A lot of moisture and a lot less moisture can be harmful to cannabis. During the curing process, cannabis is dried. Later on, it should be stored in a 59% to 64% humid environment. As soon as the humidity exceeds 64%, it will allow the growth of molds.
If the humidity drops below this point, the trichomes may become dry and thus fall off. But if the humidity reaches 75%, the risk of mold growth will be more.
63% is just the ideal humidity in which the flavors, aroma, and potency of cannabis are maintained. You can get a humidity pack to maintain constant humidity throughout. However, it needs to be changed after a few months.
Terpenes are responsible for giving characteristic aroma and flavor to every cannabis strain. In order to protect the smell and taste of a cannabis plant, it is necessary to protect the terpenes. As light damages them, we should keep the light exposure to a minimum.
Light is so important for the growth of cannabis plants. But as soon as you harvest the plant, it should be kept away from light. UV rays from the sunlight prove to be really harmful to the bud. They promote the degradation of cannabinoids.
Thus, it is better to keep the buds stored in a dark place away from all sorts of lights. If the container you are using is transparent, you can cover it completely with a piece of cloth. You can also place the cannabis container in a cupboard where direct light cannot reach.
How to Store Cannabis Perfectly?
Apart from the above-mentioned things, there are some other small tips that you must take into consideration for storing cannabis for a long time. Let us see them one by one.
Instead of keeping it in a plastic container, go for glass. Plastic containers are usually not
air-tight, and the bags don't stay vacuum sealed for a long time. They let the oxygen in after some time. It is better to pick a glass container or a mylar bag instead of plastic.
Get a Hygrometer
If you want to keep the cannabis flowers stored at room temperature, it is recommended to purchase a hygrometer. Check the humidity level with it on and off to ensure that the cannabis is doing fine. You will instantly know when the humidity level will rise. This will save you from a big loss.
Keep the Temperature and Humidity Accurate
Carefully watch the temperature and humidity in the surrounding. If you observe any fluctuations, get them treated right away. Temperature and humidity might not have their effects instantly, but if they are kept the same way for a long time, the cannabis will start degrading.
Once placed in the ideal environment, don't try to move the cannabis container. This will create friction, which can result in the downfall of trichomes. Keep it in the same place until you have to use it.
Don't place Cannabis in a Very Large Container
Using a large container unnecessarily can also result in damage. Air can move easily inside the container if there is a lot of space inside. Since we know oxygen is the enemy of cannabis, we can't risk getting it destroyed due to our negligence.
Always put cannabis in a suitable container. Don't leave a lot of spare space. At the same time, avoid overfilling the container.
Avoid these Things when Storing Cannabis
Here is what you should avoid while storing cannabis for a long time.
Don't Put Cannabis in the Refrigerator
A refrigerator is the worst place to keep your cannabis. Though the temperature conditions can be fulfilled, the moisture keeps fluctuating there. If the refrigerator is at home, it will open and close a thousand times a day. This doesn't even maintain the temperature. Due to fluctuating moisture and temperature, mold growth will start on cannabis, which ultimately degrades the cannabis.
Though you can freeze cannabis after properly drying it, it is controversial. On freezing, the trichomes of a cannabis flower become brittle and break off very easily even on touching. But with proper care, you can freeze the cannabis if you like. Don't try to touch the cannabis unless it is completely thawed. Even if the trichomes break off, you can collect them from the bottom of the container and use them.
Don't Mix Different Cannabis Strains
Mixing different cannabis strains is not a good idea. If you like the effect of a particular weed strain, you should never store it with another strain. On placing together, the strains mix up, resulting in a mixed taste and aroma that everyone doesn't like.
Don't Store Near Electronic Items
It is rather better to store the cannabis at room temperature by keeping it in a container. However, make sure not to place the container near a stove or other electronic items. Most electronic items like ovens generate a lot of heat. This will increase the temperature in the surrounding area that would affect cannabis in some way.
How Long can Cannabis be Stored?
For the most, cannabis can be stored for two to five years. Even if you keep it in ideal conditions away from moisture, light, air, and at the right temperature, it will still lose some of its freshness.
THC is a cannabinoid present in cannabis plants majorly responsible for causing the high. It is present in different proportions in different cannabis strains. Fluctuations in different factors affect this THC. Resultantly the bud loses its potency over time.
As for the strains that contain more CBD than THC, they also degrade. Oxygen and light have their impact on CBD as well. Consequently, you won't get enough benefits from cannabis.
Cannabis loses its THC components very slowly. After almost a year, a cannabis bud loses approximately 16% of its THC. This degrades to 26% after two years. After a period of four years, only 69% of THC components are left in a cannabis bud. This proves that cannabis will only please you if you use it in the initial years. After two years, it will not be beneficial for you.
What Impact Does Age Have on Cannabis?
If kept in an ideal environment, the weed stays fresh and tastes as good as it does on day one. Fluctuation in the stored conditions lead it to age that results in:
Terpenes present in cannabis are responsible for aroma and flavor, which are different in every strain. Exposure to light dries out terpenes over time. Consequently, the aroma changes or dies out in many cases, along with the change in flavor. The flavor usually becomes harsh, which is displeasing on smoking.
Other than that, the worst effect of aging is on the potency of a cannabis bud. Exposure to things like heat and UV light results in the breakdown of THC. Since THC is majorly responsible for causing the high, its breakdown won't give you the euphoria you desire.
Breakdown of THC results in its conversion to cannabinol (CBN), which is just another cannabinoid. Though it is a psychoactive compound, it doesn't make you euphoric.
In short, the aging of cannabis leads to the degradation of several important compounds that impact the flavor and the high it causes. You won't enjoy old cannabis as much as you enjoyed it when you first got it.
What Causes Weed to Age?
Inappropriate storage conditions and improper curing can affect the weed in various ways. Though considering the above-mentioned conditions will keep your cannabis safe for years, fluctuation in those conditions can degrade it. Here are the elements that cause degradation and weed aging.
Air: Exposure to oxygen causes the conversion of THC into CBD. As a result, the cannabis bud loses its potency. An ideal condition is to maintain the oxygen level to its minimum; this retains the potency.
Light: Any sort of light is dangerous for cannabis flowers. The UV rays coming out of sunlight is a major issue of concern. Therefore you need to protect the cannabis from harmful rays. Light promotes the destabilization and breakdown of THC. Both air and light make the plant lose its potency.
Temperature: Temperature is an important factor that plays a role in maintaining the freshness of cannabis flowers. A high temperature will eventually dry out the buds, resulting in the loss of terpenes. Extreme cold or extremely hot temperatures can be an issue. Therefore, we need to store them in a condition somewhere in between.
Moisture: Moisture doesn't degrade any compound directly. Rather it promotes the growth of mold on cannabis flowers, which ultimately changes their taste and smell. Also, the presence of trichomes on the surface of cannabis flowers makes it difficult to recognize mold. However, you can easily find it by smelling the bud.
Cannabis requires special care and attention for its storage. Humidity, air, temperature, and light are the most important factors that cannot be compromised at any cost. If you do, the result will be stale and moldy cannabis bud that is displeasing to smoke and also bad for your health.
Similar storage rules can be applied to other products of cannabis, like oils and tinctures. These products do age with time and lose their potency and effectiveness after a certain period.
An ideal way of storing weed is to provide the optimum temperature and humidity. At the same time, keep it away from light and air. Place the cannabis container/bag in a cool, dry environment. Keep it away from moisture as it leads to mold development.