Does marijuana go bad? Here’s a guide to proper marijuana storage
Is the plastic bag a proper method to store cannabis? Or should you use a jar for that? Like other consumable items, such as food or wine, marijuana needs to be stored correctly, and you must know why it’s important before we move on to the right methods to store it.
Why is it necessary to store marijuana properly?
Cannabis breaks down easily. Proper storage of your cannabis will help improve the shelf life of your herbs. After harvesting cannabis, it’s important to preserve the flavor of your dried and cured cannabis by storing it properly. Factors like extreme temperatures, high or low humidity, and moisture affect it and degrade its freshness over time.
Marijuana exposed to oxygen, heat, or extreme sunlight becomes dry and harsh, making it unfit to consume. Improper storage methods can also lead to the development of mold and mildew. If such marijuana is consumed, it may make one feel tired, causing severe health issues like headaches, vomiting, nausea, and coughing rather than giving an enjoyable experience. Inhaling bacteria or fungi from mold may affect people whose immune systems are weak.
Marijuana storage: How long can you keep cannabis fresh?
The marijuana flower technically has no expiration date. If not stored properly, the quality will degrade. But it can last for a very long time if stored properly. Depending on how frequently you expose marijuana to air, it can last six months to a year. Cannabis flower, when properly cured and preserved, should be consumed six to eight months after it is harvested and pre-rolled three months after that.
In 1976, research was done on cannabis and published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. As per that study, cannabis should be properly cured for at least four weeks, and if it is preserved correctly, its cannabinoids can last up to two years. Another study was done in 1999, whose result showed that its THC content decreased by around 16% in the first year and 26% after two years. After the third year, it lost 26%; after the fourth year, it lost 41%.
Well, it may not be unsafe to consume degraded marijuana, but people will not get that high after consuming it, and it may end up causing health issues.
Now, look through the factors you need to consider about storing marijuana.
Say goodbye to plastic storage bags or metal containers
Plastic is a lousy material that has a static charge. This charge scorches the strands in marijuana called trichomes. So immediately remove your cannabis from that plastic bag if you want to store it for a long time. For long-term storage, metal containers are also not good, as the taste of marijuana drastically decreases over time.
Chill, but not your marijuana: why you shouldn’t refrigerate your herbs
You shouldn’t put your marijuana in the refrigerator or freezer. The temperature and humidity of the refrigerator fluctuate too often, as you will be taking your cannabis out of the fridge and then putting it back in over and over again. Due to being moist, it will make cannabis prone to mold and mildew. If cannabis is kept in the freezer without a properly sealed bag, moisture may enter the bag, increasing the chance of decay. Also, keeping it in the freezer will cause the trichomes to become brittle and fall off at the first touch.
The freezing temperature must be above 32˚F as this will also damage your cannabis, reducing its potency. When defrosting cannabis, keeping moisture out is beneficial, as you don’t want water to leak out of the buds. It is generally advisable to avoid freezing cannabis unless you can vacuum seal it.
Avoid keeping cannabis on electronic appliances or near water sources
Do not keep your cannabis near electronic devices or heat-emitting sources like ovens or microwaves. Also, avoid keeping it near any water source from which it can retain moisture, leading it to develop mold.
Primary factors that to keep marijuana fresh
It is important to understand that edibles that have cannabis infused in them come with certain specific storage instructions, which are usually mentioned in their packaging.
The temperature for optimal storage
The ideal temperature required to store your cannabis is 70˚F. Any extreme temperature, be it hot or cold, can deplete the terpenes and cannabinoids of these herbs.
Balancing humidity for cannabis storage success
Storing your marijuana in a cool environment is essential for maintaining the color, scent, and flavor of marijuana. A humidity pack can help you monitor and regulate humidity levels. When marijuana is exposed to moisture, the chances of developing mold are high. Again, getting exposed to arid conditions can make it brittle and harsher.
Managing air and light to store marijuana
Marijuana can eventually deteriorate due to the effects of ultraviolet rays if exposed to direct sunlight.
Best practices to keep your marijuana fresh
Storing them properly involves considering many factors like oxygen, temperature, humidity, and light. Each of these factors can affect the potency, flavor, and overall aroma of cannabis.
Let’s go over storage methods that you should follow.
Choose the right container to store your marijuana
When sealing your marijuana in a container that will keep it fresh, a glass or ceramic container is ideal because you can easily open and close it. An air-tight mason jar helps limit oxygen exposure, won’t affect the taste like metal containers tend to do, and also doesn’t have a static charge like plastic. It significantly lessens the smell of cannabis, keeping it fresh for as long as possible.
Sifting your flower to smaller containers as you utilize cannabis helps keep your bud from becoming excessively dry. It lengthens the time it stays cured, thus preserving the trichomes and flavor. But it would help if you remembered that a transparent glass container would be ineffective unless wrapped in a towel or stored in a dark environment. This is because light speeds up the degradation of THC into CBN, leaving you with marijuana that will not be so effective. This brings us to the next point we must consider while storing marijuana.
Store marijuana in cool, dark and dry areas
It’s important to keep marijuana in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight so that it doesn’t break down due to UV rays, which degrade cannabinoids and terpenes. Keeping it in a dark place will preserve the potency and flavor of marijuana much longer. Too much heat and light will cause marijuana to hold moisture, making it susceptible to mold. Keep your dry marijuana in low cabinets, shelves and basements that are not susceptible to flooding.
Maintain the right temperature and humidity
Proper temperature and humidity control are essential for marijuana storage. The ideal temperature range should be between 60°F and 70°F or 15°C to 21°C. The humidity should be between 55% and 62%. Lower than this may lead marijuana to dry out, and higher than this will lead mold to develop as it will trap moisture. To regulate humidity levels, you may consider using a hygrometer. It is easily available at most hardware stores. You can also try to store marijuana in a humidor, which is specifically made for storing cannabis and controls humidity levels.
Clean your marijuana before storing it
To ensure it’s free from excess trapped moisture, clean your marijuana properly before storing it. If you see mold in it, discard it immediately, as consuming it will be harmful.
There are a lot of factors to consider when it’s time for marijuana storage, but mastering these fundamentals will help you store marijuana in effective ways, allowing you to retain its properties and keep your customers happy.
This will also reduce waste and save you money. By storing your marijuana in one of the ways above, you will get the most out of it.
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