With the plant becoming more accepted as a medical treatment, people have begun to ask questions about the cultivation and care of marijuana for their own purposes, whether its leisure or for medical use, we’re going to be looking at ways to store cannabis to make it last longer!
The part of the Cannabis plant that people smoke, vaporize or eat is the flower, it alone contains the psychoactive drugs that make people use weed, namely THC and CBD (Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol). THC is what makes you ‘’high’’, whilst CBD is a slightly decayed version of THC that has numerous medicinal properties that are being researched and applied to medical treatments.
Proper storage of weed matters
Whether you grew the plant yourself or bought it, taking care of your produce is key to maintaining both the quality and quantity of the weed.
When stored correctly the flowers can last for longer than 6 months and up to a year before degrading and losing their psycho-active traits.
Humidity is a key concern when storing your plants, too much will cause fungi and bacteria to grow on the plant and destroy it, too little will cause the plant to dry out making the process of smoking a harsh and unhappy one. The consensus from growers is that a humidity of 59 percent to 65 percent is ideal for long-term storage.
Temperature is another concern; it goes hand in hand with humidity control. Molds, Mildew, and Fungi grow on cannabis in temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to preserve the bud, it is important to store the plant in cool and dark conditions, excessive heat destroys the terpenes, CBD and THC molecules of the plant.
Lower temperatures also decrease the rate at which the cannabinoids decay to having no effect.
Temperature and Humidity are not the only concern, the amount of light the storage area gets also effects the time that you can store the weed; harmful UV rays destroy the organic and synthetic molecules of the plant (think how grass turns yellow in the sun). A study in the 70’s found that the amount of light was the largest determining factor in the degradation of cannabis’s psychoactive molecules.
Storing it the right way
The amount of air/the size of the storage container is important too! The plant needs Oxygen to grow, but Oxygen is actually very poisonous, even we only use a fraction of oxygen we breathe in due to its reactive nature.
The reason the amount of airspace in the container matters is because it effects both the temperature and humidity of the storage space, which as seen above are key factors for preserving the plant.
Glass is your friend, but it needs to be airtight as regular air will dry out the buds, this is because the moisture evaporates as air circulates around the plant, hence why the container needs to be sealed. Glass is great as it is inert and impermeable, keeping your buds fresh.
Keep in mind that glass will protect from temperature and humidity but not from light exposure, to this end a dark place is optimal if you are using glass to store cannabis.
Yes, a Cannabis Humidor exists. This contraption has been designed specifically for the storage and preservation of marijuana over time, it regulates both temperature, humidity and light exposure for the optimal conservation of your weed over time.
Similar to the ones you buy for cigars, the only difference between the two is that for cigars you want 70 percent humidity whilst for weed you want slightly less (the early 60’s).
Something important to remember is never ever to use refrigeration or freezing, at cold temperatures the psychoactive molecules ‘’break off’’ the plant, rapidly decreasing the potency of whatever strain you are trying to store.
Plastic is the enemy! Many people will store cannabis in some form of plastic, whether a container or just some lying around, this is a mistake! The plastic is completely permeable, so whilst it will help maintain the quality of the bud for a short time, it is still allowing moisture and light to damage the plant, for these reason plastic is undesirable.
As you can see, the 3 determining factors for marijuana storage is humidity, light, and temperature. Finding a solution that works best for you and for where you live is key to determining the shelf life of your plants.