Getting your hands on some excellent quality bud is becoming easier all the time as more states legalize marijuana. However, keeping your bud nice and fresh is nothing new, and there are factors you should keep in mind if you want to extend the life of your weed as much as possible. In this article, we will cover the main factors that degrade weed and the best storage practices to counter those.
Image credit: evergreeenorganix.com
Many consumers think that storing weed is just to preserve the shape of buds, but it is much more complicated than that.
Cannabis is an organic substance, so exposure to light, heat, moisture, and air will change over time.
The most extensive changes occur not on the visual level but on the micro-level that can't always be seen with the naked eye.
Like the terpenes and cannabinoids, some of them can significantly affect how the weed affects you, how it tastes and smells, and so much more.
While there are definitely some harsh hitting weed varieties, if you've ever had a bad taste or been hit especially hard, then there is a good chance it was from poor storage choices.
In some cases, weeds may go off, such as when mold begins to grow or something unsanitary is poured onto them, but in most cases, it doesn't go bad in the same sense food does. Instead, beneficial components such as cannabinoids, CBD, THC, terpenes, and flavanoids begin to degrade over a slow process, reducing the quality and potency of cannabis over time. After a certain point, it will just become worthless and not worth the trouble because it won't even get you high.
Image credit: dankr.ca
High temperatures can be just as destructive as any other factor because high heat gets to work quickly, evaporating off many cannabinoids and terpenes. Then you're left with ineffective cannabis that tastes harsher and won't get you high.
To maximize the shelf life of cannabis, you should store it in a cool dark place, a little below room temperature. Around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius.
Lower temperatures are not as problematic as higher temperatures. Some people will swear by keeping their bud chilled in the fridge or freezer. However, lower temperatures make it harder for the tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA ) to decarboxylate into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Lower temperature can also make the weed brittle and delicate, causing it to snap and crumble apart when removed from a cold environment.
The moisture of cannabis plays a big part when it comes to degrading its shelf life.
Cultivators dry their flowers in several different ways, but following this, they will put them through a process called curing. When appropriately cured, the moisture trapped inside the flower is allowed to slowly dissipate without changing the cannabinoids or losing any terpenes. Once the desired moisture content is met (often between 6 and 9%), its placed into a sealed package, which prevents it from drying out any further. Once you open that packaging, it's crucial to maintain the same moisture level to preserve the weed and goodness.
What about humidity? Cannabis connoisseurs should keep in mind that mold can form at 75 percent humidity or higher, which is certainly something to be avoided.
To maximize how long you can store your weed maintain the humidity between 50 and 65 percent. Please note that if you use a cigar box, be sure to change the Settings to 50%. Most cigar humidors hold 70% moisture, be careful, and check the settings before damaging your bud.
Direct sunlight exposure to any cannabis product is not recommended as it can adversely affect the weed in several ways.
The first is from the Ultraviolet (UV) rays, just as they can burn your skin, they can burn your cannabis buds. The second is through heat from the sun's rays. In fact, the greenhouse effect can also have a detrimental impact on your stash.
UV rays can degrade your weed even if it's stored in a sealed glass container. This is why opaque brown glass containers that filter out much of the visible light are more desirable than clear glass jars when storing your cannabis.
Air may seem harmless because it helps you dry the buds before you throw them into storage, but it is a dangerous factor to keep your herb exposed to.
Oxygen will oxidize the essential terpenes and can change the overall flavor and aroma of cannabis.
Too much air in a container can cause it to dry out, producing a harsher and less pleasant taste. While it is impossible to avoid all oxygen exposure, you can minimize the amount of time any container remains open. Also, use a suitably sized airtight container to reduce the excess air inside of it.
A glass container that has an airtight seal is an excellent way to keep oxygen away from your stash.
Another benefit of using glass is that it doesn't transfer any unwanted flavors or chemicals, which can be a problem with some plastic containers.
That makes glass the first choice for many people.
However, there is a downside to using glass containers. While clear glass protects from oxygen, it won't prevent exposure to UV light to heat.
So if you use a clear glass container, be sure to store it in a dark cupboard at a lowish temperature. Alternatively, opt for a brown glass jar; brown glass can prevent much of the UV rays from penetrating and harming your weed. But you should still store this away from any direct UV light.
Size is an important consideration, so make sure the jar's size is appropriate for the quantity of weed you're storing in it. You don't need to leave too much space in the jar because that space traps excess air, and that little exposure is enough to break down the cannabinoids.
Image credit: wheresweed.com
Suppose you don't have glass containers around, or you don't want to use glass containers. In that case, I strongly recommend that you try metal containers.
The best type of metal is titanium because this metal doesn't change the smell of cannabis. Suppose you don't want to compromise with your flavor. In that case, shelling out for a nice titanium cannabis container is a great option.
For the ultimate in weed storage, a cannabis humidor is an investment worth considering. These boxes are crafted to store your cannabis in perfect conditions. As well as keeping out light and air, they will maintain the ideal humidity for your marijuana.
Plastic is one of the least recommended materials because some plastic types allow for easy ventilation and gas accumulation. Most plastics are sensitive to light and can easily be heated, potentially allowing unwanted compounds to seep into your weed. Empty medician bottles are an exception to this as they are designed to keep their contents dry and safe from contamination. But be sure to clean and dry them thoroughly before.
When stored in perfect conditions, you can keep your weed for up to a year before the cannabinoids start to degrade.
After that, your weed will start to lose its potency. So it's best not to keep your stash for so long before smoking it, be that in a bong, vaporizer, or joint.
These are some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to storing marijuana.
· Over filling the container
· Forgot to expel air from the jars
· Add other non-cannabis ingredients
· Use toxic storage containers