Like any other organic herbal products, cannabis buds cannot last forever. Over time, the buds and trichomes dry out and lose their original potency, aroma and flavor. THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, degrades into CBN which is only mildly intoxicating and therefore has no recreational value. Proper storage is the key to ensure longer life of your cannabis stash. In this post, we share a few tips and tricks on how to extend the life of cannabis. Let’s take a look.
How to extend life of cannabis –factors responsible for its degradation
Before we share the tips on how to extend life of cannabis, you need to understand what causes its degradation. According to experts, there are many environmental factors that affect the freshness and potency of your marijuana buds. Researchers have found that the shelf life of cannabis flowers can extend up to two years if they are properly stored. Otherwise, exposure to extreme heat, air, light, and humidity can degrade the cannabinoids and the terpenes in marijuana.
Heat and light dry up these essential oils in cannabis very fast. They also convert the THC content into CBN making marijuana less psychoactive. While oxygen is useful for the buds to remain fresh, too much of oxygen can also harm the potency of the cannabis. Therefore, while storing your cannabis you need to minimize its exposure to airflow. Another biggest enemy of marijuana flowers is humidity. Experts say that an RH (relative humidity) level of 59-63% is best for storing cannabis. This will protect your weed from any mildew or mold contaminations that happen in high humidity environments. As many experts claim, storing marijuana in such a humidity-controlled environment will not only maintain its potency, color, aroma or flavor, but also improve them.
Anything below the said humidity level is also harmful for the buds as the essential oils will get dried up too fast in such an environment. While storing your cannabis supply, you need to consider all these factors and carefully regulate them. Here are a few useful hacks for storing cannabis which will ensure a longer shelf life of your weed stash.
How to extend the life of cannabis – 10 smart hacks
Store your cannabis in a dark place
According to experts, direct exposure to light is the biggest factor in the fast degradation of cannabis. Long exposure to direct light dries out the cannabinoids and the terpenes, as a result, the flowers lose their potency and aroma. UV rays are especially harmful in this respect. Therefore storing your cannabis away from direct light is extremely crucial if you want to keep it fresh. Opaque glass jars can be very useful for this.
Keep it away from heat
Store your cannabis in a place that has below 70°F temperature. A low cupboard or shelf in a cool room or the basement of your house can be an ideal place to keep your stash. Never put it on or around the electric/electronic appliances which generate heat.
Never store your cannabis in a refrigerator
Contrary to popular belief, storing cannabis in a refrigerator or a freezer is a bad idea. The fluctuating humidity level will cause the moisture to ruin the buds. Freezing the buds will make the trichomes brittle. There is also the risk of microbial contamination.
Use glass jars
Glass jars or Mason jars are an economical and effective method of storing your cannabis. They provide airtight storage and therefore protect the buds from undue moisture and oxygen exposure. Too much oxygen can speed up the degradation of the useful cannabinoids in the marijuana buds. Moreover, the glass Mason jars have a neutral charge, so there is no risk of any static ruining the potency of your cannabis. If you manage to find any dark-colored or opaque glass jar, it is even better. It will prevent direct exposure to light.
Avoid the vacuum-sealed plastic containers/bags
Many people keep their marijuana stash in vacuum-sealed containers or bags to protect it from humidity and air. Though they are quite effective that way, there are many experts who claim that any exposure to polymers can degrade the cannabinoids. Unlike glass, plastic often comes with a static charge which can damage the trichomes. If you have to use plastic for storing your precious weed, use high quality, bisphenol free plastic bags or containers only. Stay away from the cheap plastic bags and containers!
Empty prescription pill bottles
Keeping your cannabis in empty medicine bottles is a useful hack. They are usually dark-tinted which minimizes the exposure to light. Make sure that they are airtight and properly sanitized before using them. However, the prescription pills bottles are usually small in size, so you won’t be able to store a large supply in them.
One of the best ways to keep your cannabis stash fresh is by storing it in Boveda packs. These humidity control packs have salt and water-absorbent beads. By absorbing the excess moisture they keep the RH level in control.
Though expensive, titanium containers are very useful for storing marijuana buds. These containers allow the right amount of air inside minimizing the exposure to oxygen. Therefore the aroma and the flavor profile of the buds remain unaffected.
Those who can afford it, a cannabis humidor is the best storage container for your favorite herbs. These wooden boxes are opaque, airtight, and maintain a 59-63% humidity level which is ideal for keeping your cannabis fresh and true to its original cannabinoid-terpene profile.
Do not mix the strains
Whichever container you use to store your cannabis, never mix up different strains. Keeping various strains in the same jar will ruin their individual aromatic and flavor profiles. Use separate containers for different strains. Label them accordingly so that there is no further confusion. While storing your cannabis stash, follow these tips. We guarantee that the shelf life of your marijuana will be extended.