How Long Does Cannabis Stay Fresh?
Every once in a while you might go through a pocket or a closet and discover some lost weed hidden in there. Oddly the potency seems to have vanished or it just doesn’t hit the way you are used to. Even more so, when you are harvesting and need to keep it fresh for some time, what could be done to secure freshness for the longest possible period? These are all questions that seem not necessary to ask, but we all know investing in cannabis doesn’t come cheap.
Everyone knows dried out weeddoesn’t really provide a nice hit. In fact it would rather burn the throat and when it hits the back of the throat you can almost certainly expect to cough. Light, moisture and air are things your weed doesn’t want. It could dramatically change your glorious aromatic flower into a pile of dried out dust.
Something to really understand is the cannabis is perishable. The fact is the moment the plant is harvested, degradation steps in. Freshness is limited after the plant is cut as it is no longer alive and not attached to nutrients in the soil. The cannabinoid biosynthetic pathways have also been disrupted. Cannabinoids and Terpenes can be synthesized into other compounds as too much heat or light are exposed to it.
For Home growers there are some valuable tips. It is important to dry and cure the plant well after harvesting to ensure freshness. The cannabis plant consists of most 70% water and needs to be dried to evaporate most of the water so it can burn evenly. In the fresh plant the cannabinoids are mostly in acid form and decarboxylation happens during the drying process. Decarboxylation is completed when you smoke a joint. Notice though, that decarboxylation is necessary when you want to use your weed in recipes as the heat converts the cannabinoids to the psychoactive form. There are several methods of curing your bud and it is advisable to study up on that.
Once the plant has been dried and cured, staying fresh has a limited time. Various elements have to be taken in account.
Temperature can affect degradation in several ways. Ideally cannabis should be stored in temperatures not higher than 70 Degrees F or 21 Degrees C. Higher temperatures can provoke bacterial or mold growth. Cannabinoids degrade when exposed to long periods of heat and THCA will degrade first to THC and eventually degrade to CBD when exposed to excess heat.
Humidity or too much of it can degrade cannabis by forcing high levels of moisture back into the flower. The best range of humidity for cannabis to be stored at is between 59 – 63 %. Too much humidity could cause mold and too little could leave the plant brittle and very fragile.
Be aware of UV light exposure and oxygen as these two can cause the fastest and highest rate of degradation in the shortest time. UV rays break down organic matter superfast. Too much oxygen also degrade cannabinoids very fast and high exposure of oxygen will convert THC also very fast to CBD.
How do we Store our Cannabis then?
Store out of directs sunlight in a cool and dry place preferably in containers with neutral charge. A good example is glass jars. A good idea is to use hydrometers to control and monitor RH levels. Vacuum seal the jars to control oxygen levels. If you have more than one strain it is also good to store them separately.
Airtight metal containers are also good to store weed in. Plastic bags, even those sealing tightly, are not the best place to keep cannabis fresh, as they are sensitive to temperature changes.
If you are serious about your weed it might be not a bad idea to invest in a humidor. Dried bud prefers humidity between 50 to 63%. Anything higher will lead to molding. There are cannabis humidors like the Cannador available, which maintains the perfect humidity for your weed.
How do we Not Store Weed?
The refrigerator is Not the best place to keep your weed fresh as the temperature and humidity actually fluctuates too much and can cause mold and mildew. Freezing is also not good as it can cause fragile trichomes to brittle down and break. Plastic containers or plastic bags as it is too volatile to temperature changes and will only have a harmful effect on your precious cannabis stash.
Try not to store it around electric or heat appliances as the heat will have a damaging effect. It is rather better to store it lower to the ground like in a lower part of the cupboard or even the basement of your house. In a way weed should be treated like wine. Don’t use a tobacco humidor as it is made from wood that is oiled and that would influence the flavors of your cannabis strains.
At any rate it is a good idea to study up as much you can to keep your weed as fresh as possible for the longest time.
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Published at Sun, 05 Mar 2017 06:00:00 +0000