By Abby Hutmacher |
Elements That Will Degrade Your Weed
To understand how to store your weed for the long run, it’s important to understand just what it is that will kill your bud’s buzz in the first place.
Though proper curing is the first step for long-term cannabis storage, there are a few other factors to consider, too. Here are the most common things that can degrade your weed along with what to do to stop it.
There are many factors that can lead to the degradation of cannabis flower, but the biggest factor that will degrade your cannabinoids is light.
In the same way harsh UV rays will make the paint color on your car look dull or add highlights to your summertime hair, so too will it burn up the most valuable compounds in your cannabis plant, cannabinoids and terpenes. To avoid an untimely loss of these important chemicals, keep your cannabis in opaque containers away from a direct light source.
Another big factor in long-term cannabis storage is oxygen level. Too much oxygen can speed the degradation process whereas too little can alter humidity levels which can cause mold or mildew. Though the best way to protect your cannabis from long-term oxygen exposure is to vacuum seal it, it’s not always an option for those of us who don’t keep vacuum sealers lying around the house.
When choosing an airtight storage container, be sure to choose the right size. Even if there is no air flowing into the jar, excess oxygen that becomes trapped in the jar can still degrade the product. We suggest using containers that can hold your cannabis easily without much room to spare and without crowding the buds to help prevent humidity from becoming trapped in the container.
Mold loves moisture, so to prevent it, you have to keep your bud dry. But quality bud can’t get too dry without causing terpenes and cannabinoids to degrade. Hence the importance of maintaining proper humidity levels for long-term cannabis storage, ideally between 59 and 63 RH (relative humidity or the amount of moisture in the air relative to what it can hold). The best (and cheapest) way to do this is with the use of humidity control packets like Boveda or Interga Boost products.
High temperatures can cause buds to dry out and terpenes to evaporate, resulting in harsh smoke and an unpleasant flavor. Because mold and mildew thrive at temperatures between 78 and 86 degrees, the ideal storage temperature for cannabis must be below this threshold. Though most people recommend simply storing cannabis in a “cool, dark location,” choosing the right environment to meet these criteria is a bit more complex.
For example, a cool, dark location could be a refrigerator to some, while others advise against it due to its increased moisture content. Likewise, while some people store cannabis in the freezer (to either store for the long-haul or in preparation to make a little bubble hash), the freezing temperatures can cause the delicate trichomes to burst and lose potency. Therefore, the best place to store cannabis may simply be a closet in a basement or dark corner.
Other Important Things to Keep in Mind When Storing Cannabis
So you think you’ve created the perfect environment for long-term cannabis storage, eh? Not so fast. Even if you’ve adjusted for the typical elements that can degrade weed, there are a few other things to consider, as well.
The storage container matters:
Plastic jars can encourage sweating; if vacuum sealing isn’t an option, use glass (i.e. Mason jars) or ceramic containers with air-tight seals to keep your bud fresher longer.
Use appropriate materials for moisture control:
Some have suggested tossing fruit rinds into cannabis jars to rehydrate the bud and improve flavor, but doing so can cause too much moisture to absorb into your cannabis resulting in moldy, unsmokable weed.
Store flower separate from other cannabis products:
When storing weed long-term, it’s important to keep only the cannabis flower in your storage container. Keeping lighters, pipes or other paraphernalia could cause the stench to absorb into your weed resulting in a less-than-favorable experience.
Do not use a tobacco humidor:
Though it may sound like a good idea in theory, tobacco humidors are typically made out of cedar wood. The oil from the wood can absorb into the flower which can affect the flavor of the bud and take away from its valuable terpene profile.
Whether you’re an infrequent smoker or just want to hang on to some of the tasty bud you picked up from the dispensary, proper cannabis storage will ensure your stash lasts for many months to come.