Curious how to make your cannabis flower last? Learn about the many factors that promote longevity and what to avoid when you store your cannabis flower. How to dry marijuana, what is the difference between the drying and curing process, how does it affect our buds.
How to Properly Store Cannabis Flower So That It Lasts
Whether you are an occasional toker or a seasoned grower, chances are you have wondered if you were storing your cannabis correctly. When it comes to storing cannabis, there are many things that you need to consider, and it’s essential to know what factors make a difference. Let’s take a look at these aspects in more detail, starting with the importance of why you should store your medical marijuana properly, as well as elements that can wreak havoc on your stash.
Don’t Overlook Properly Storing Your Cannabis
So you know that you need to store your cannabis flower correctly, but why? If not stored properly, your stash will be exposed to elements such as high or low humidity, extreme temperatures, light, or air; all of which can cause the quality, potency, and flavor of your flower to deplete over time.
While there isn’t per se an expiration date on marijuana flower, it will decrease in quality if not stored properly. If stored correctly, flower can remain stable for long periods of time. How long does cannabis flower last? Research published in 1976 in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology shows that cannabinoids can remain stable with a shelf life of up to 2 years if the cannabis is properly cured for at least four weeks and kept in an optimal storage environment. Too hot or too cold of temperatures as well as humidity can also cause issues during storage, such as mold and mildew.
Best Way to Store Cannabis
The golden rule is to always store cannabis in a cool, dark, and dry place. However, how dry, how dark, and how cool is key to success. Let’s take a look at the sweet spots when it comes to elements that most affect your marijuana buds and nugs—humidity, temperature, air, and light.
Proper Temperature to Keep Cannabis Fresh
Storing flower at high temperatures can cause your terpenes to diminish and your buds to dry out. This can create a very unpleasant flavor as well as a harsh consumption experience. Alternately, storing your stash at too low of a temperature can also cause degradation of terpenes and cannabinoid content.
It is recommended to store marijuana at temperatures below 74 degrees as mold and mildew thrive at temperatures that surpass that threshold. The ideal temperature is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit but no less than 55 degrees.
Minimize Light Exposure
While cannabis plants thrive on light during the various growth stages, UV rays can degrade your flower after harvesting quicker than anything. To avoid losing valuable terpene and cannabinoid content during storage, it is recommended to keep your stash away from a direct light source. If you are unable to store your container in a dark environment, it is recommended to use opaque containers or to cover any areas on the container where light may enter with stickers or tape.
Reduce Exposure to Air
High levels of oxygen can accelerate the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. A common question that many consumers and patients have is, “Does cannabis lose potency if it dries out?” The answer is yes. When bud is exposed to air, it begins to dry out and oxygen begins to degrade the terpenes, cannabinoids, and other phytonutrients that are present in the plant material. To protect your stash from excessive amounts of air, keep it in an airtight container. Exposure to air and light results in THCA slowing converting into THC and then into CBN, which is known for helping with sleep.
Reduce the Humidity
Maintaining the proper humidity levels when storing cannabis is vital. High humidity can become breeding grounds for mold and mildew, and lower humidity can result in your bud drying out and degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. When it comes to relative humidity, it is recommended to maintain an RH between 54 and 63%. This is easier than ever with products on the market like Boveda humidity packs that can be placed directly inside your chosen storage container.
How Do You Know if Cannabis Has Gone Bad?
Different patients and consumers may have drastically different ideas about what “gone bad” looks like when it comes to marijuana flower. For some, it has technically “gone bad” as soon as it starts to degrade in quality and lose terpene and cannabinoid potency. For others, it hasn’t “gone bad” until it is moldy.
In general though, it is easy to tell when your stash has bit the dust. This can typically be seen in the look of the bud as well as the feel, smell, taste, and potency. If it is dry and dusty, shows signs of mold or mildew, or has been in storage for several years in a non-airtight container or plastic bag, chances are your stash has gone bad. Now that you know how to tell when your bud has gone bad, let’s look at different storage options.
Best Containers to Store Cannabis and Keep It Fresh
While there is no such thing as the perfect storage container for cannabis, there are some that are more optimal than others. Some of these options are meant to be for temporary storage, while others can accommodate both long-term and short-term storage. Some of these options also offer the bonus of being smell-proof! Let’s take a closer look at the best containers for storing cannabis.
Glass Mason Jars
Glass jars are some of the most popular containers for storing dried flower for a few different reasons. Mason jars are made of glass and have a metal lid that offers a complete seal, making them airtight. Seeing how mason jars are made of glass and are clear, there is the risk of light degradation; so when storing flower in glass jars, it is advised to ensure that you do so within a dark place. Storing in glass is also more optimal for maintaining humidity and temperatures during storage.
Tight Sealing Plastic Bags (Temporary Storage)
Let’s face it, sometimes all you have is a tight-sealing plastic bag. While this is not optimal in any way, shape, or form, it is much better than simply leaving your stash completely exposed to the elements. If you must temporarily store your cannabis in baggies, ensure that the seal is tight and that you do not agitate the content of the bag as much as possible to lessen the risk of static electricity wreaking havoc on your buds. Some choose to vacuum seal their plastic bags, but be sure that the plastic is safe and does not contain BPA. Also, try to store the bag in a dark, cool environment and not in your pocket, and most importantly, change storage mediums as soon as possible for long-term storage!
If you have a little cash to spend on storing your stash, you may also consider purchasing a cannabis humidor. A humidor is a humidity-controlled box utilized for storing cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, or in this case, dried marijuana. Only use humidors specifically designed for cannabis; otherwise, the wood they are made with can jeopardize the flavor of your flower. The Cannador is a humidor that is designed to preserve and store small amounts of up to 4 different cannabis strains.
As a general rule, many consumers stay away from metal containers, especially for long-term storage. This is because metals can drastically change the taste of cannabis flower over time. For those that are not fans of glass containers, though, and are looking for containers that minimize light exposure, titanium jars are the next best choice. Titanium, unlike other metals such as aluminum or steel, will not alter the flavor of your flower while still protecting your stash.
Avoid the Freezer and Refrigerator
The refrigerator and freezer should be avoided for dried flower storage for various reasons. The extreme freezing temperatures and increased humidity will cause your bud to freeze and become brittle. In the meantime, while this is slowly happening, the precious trichomes that cover the cannabis buds also begin to freeze and break off, resulting in less potent, less flavorful, and less effective medicine.
Storing Cannabis Products
At this point, we hope that you are confident in how to properly store dried flower. But, have you ever stopped to wonder if a joint can go bad? Or if you should store edibles and tinctures in the refrigerator? These are great questions as well, and the proper storage of these products is just as essential as storing flower properly. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best practices for storing other cannabis products.
So, can a joint go bad? The answer is yes. Just like dried flower in storage can degrade in quality, flavor, and potency when exposed to elements like light, extreme temperatures, high humidity, and air, so can a rolled joint. This goes for both joints you roll at home, as well as pre-roll options available at many dispensaries today.
While most of us don’t roll up until we are ready to light up, sometimes we are proactive and decide to get prepared for the day by twisting up a few joints. In cases like this, it is crucial to store your joint in a container like a “doob tube” or another container like a PotPocket. Optimal storage for joints is very aligned with the proper storage recommendations for dried cannabis flower.
Cannabis-Infused Foods and Beverages
When it comes to infused foods and beverages, if it came refrigerated, keep it refrigerated. If it contains eggs, dairy, or other perishable ingredients, store it in the refrigerator. For edibles like gummies, you are typically safe storing them in their original container for short periods of time. However, to retain the most quality and flavor of cannabis edibles, it is recommended to store them in a cool environment within an airtight container. In the case of edibles, an airtight Tupperware container is more than sufficient for preserving quality and flavor.
Tinctures are one of the most shelf-stable cannabis products available on the market today. Many tinctures can be simply stored in a cool, dark environment within their original airtight containers without risk of degradation. Even when stored at room temperature and exposed to light, these products lose potency much slower than other products and can typically last several months without the storage environment being taken into consideration.
It is recommended to store cannabis concentrates in a glass container with an airtight seal. When not in use, it is also recommended by many to store your concentrates in the refrigerator to preserve flavor, potency, and consistency. A study published in 2019 found that THC in concentrated forms was better preserved when stored in the freezer. If you are unable to keep concentrates refrigerated, the next best option is to keep them in a dark, cool environment in an airtight glass container.
As you have learned, there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to storing flower and other cannabis products properly. Let’s recap. When it comes to flower, it is always recommended that whatever your cannabis storage medium is, that it is stored in a cool, dark environment. When it comes to the specific storage medium, glass containers with an airtight seal are highly recommended.
By storing cannabis in an airtight, glass container in a cool, dark environment, you drastically lower the risk of degradation to your cannabinoids and terpenes as you are avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures, air, light, and humidity. All of these aspects, as we have learned, can wreak havoc on the potency and flavor of cannabis. So next time you get ready to store your stash, remember these tips and be sure to share them with others!
How to dry and cure marijuana
How to dry marijuana, what is the difference between the drying and curing process, how does it affect our buds to perform these processes incorrectly. We are in a sea of doubts, but only for the moment.
We immediately start to answer all these questions, but without having answered any of them, we can already draw the first conclusion: The cultivation process does not end once we have harvested, after this moment there is still a lot at stake.
For all this, we explain you how to dry a cannabis plant and what should be its curing process.
To be able to answer the first question, the first thing we must be clear about is the differences between drying and curing marijuana. What is the distinction?
Differences between drying and curing marijuana
Since we collect the crop, until the buds are ready, we basically have to do two things: evaporate the water from these buds and remove a considerable percentage of chlorophyll.
Surely you have already realized this. If we have two objectives and we are talking about two different processes. right. In drying we are going to remove moisture from the pot bud, while the curing process primarily serves to cause it to lose chlorophyll.
What happens if we don’t dry and cure our buds or we do it incorrectly? Surely you have ever had a sensation that mixes unpleasantness with a flavor that is practically tasteless. If this has happened to you and you have wondered about the cause. you have just discovered it.
Tips for drying marijuana correctly
How to dry marijuana plants? Once it is already cut and you have done the manicuring process, you just have to hang it (facing the ground) on any thread such as a clothesline. Forget about closed spaces, they have to be aerated homogeneously, the more natural, the better. But what are the main keys?
Humidity, temperature and light. These are the three definitive factors in the drying of a marijuana plant.
We explain how to control them:
– The relative humidity of the room where the plant is being dried should be between 55% and 60%. This is the ideal percentage, although if you go out (but minimally) of this spectrum, it can also work.
– The ideal temperature for this process is around 18 degrees. As we have just explained in the previous case, this can change, but anything higher than 24 degrees or less than 15 degrees. It can spoil all the previous work.
– Light must be avoided at all costs. Both in this moment in which we are drying the marijuana and in the later curing the plants have to be in the dark.
– If you let it dry excessively, there is no turning back: We have started the post saying that we dry the marijuana so that it loses the humidity. Yes, but not all of it. When the curing is finished, the humidity has to reach at least 25%, therefore, when we are drying the bud we should leave it approximately a percentage of humidity of 30%, because in the later curation the bud is also going to lose some water.
Just by holding the buds you will know if they have dried too much. You will notice that they are now smaller (up to here everything is normal, the water takes up space). But if you notice that they are cracking, you have overdried it. Yes, fatal mistake, but you can still fix it, at least a little bit.
How? Very simple, give them moisture. For example, with boxes that include a controller to correct excess dryness. Let’s not fool ourselves, the result will never be as good as getting it right the first time. But at least we will get out of trouble.
Surely your question now is: when do I know when the buds are dry enough? Let’s find out.
How long does marijuana take to dry?
No hurry, this is more or less the summary of what you are about to read. First of all, let’s rule out a time of less than ten days. Also, size, in this case, matters. Bigger buds will need more days. But what is the definitive test that tells me that the marijuana has already dried?
If when you grab the stem you are able to bend it without any problems and you see that it makes the slightest crackle, the time has come. Yes, it is as simple as that.
How to cure marijuana buds
We already know that this is the point where we need to extract the chlorophyll from the buds, but there is another key that we haven’t discussed yet that also depends on this process.
Both terpenes and cannabinoids have to mature during the curing process. What does this mean? Well, it means that part of the THC that we currently have in an acid state becomes a purely psychoactive component during the practice that we are going to explain to you right now:
First of all, remember that we have to remain in the dark. Yes, we already said it at the beginning, but just in case. You must keep the buds in jars of a considerable size and with a fairly wide opening. For example, the typical glass jars that we use for preserves.
But if you go for the perfection, try curing your crop in a wooden box. Why this material? Very easy: it absorbs humidity perfectly and creates an ideal climate. Surely, if we talk about flavor, plastic concentrates it better. But to achieve this goal we will store the marijuana in containers of this material once we have finished with this process. All in good time!
In the curing process patience is still the key: most say that this stage takes a month, but if we extend the period up to two months, from Delicious Seeds we assure you that you will notice it.
You have to fill the jar to cover a little more than ¾ parts, close it tightly and open it momentarily as the days go by. During the first week we will open it once or even twice a day, in the second week we will repeat the process three times (in a staggered way), do not open it three times in the same day! And from here on, only once a week.
It is not just a matter of ventilating them, but also of keeping an eye on them. If you see any mildew, remove the bud quickly so that the humidity does not spread.
The main mistake: Using tricks to finish sooner
We don’t really want to hear about the tricks to speed up the processes we just explained, mostly because these have become the most common mistakes. During the drying process, focus on looking for the best place, once you have it, forget about gadgets to remove moisture faster. Neither ventilators, nor dehumidifiers.
In the same way, do not lock the buds before time. The drying of the marijuana must be done in the open air. We can continue with infinite advice, but until we start with the process, we don’t know anything 100%.
And if you have any other questions or need any advice, you know that from Delicious Seeds we are at your disposal.