Storing cannabis flowers – Introduction
Properly storing your cannabis flowers – how to do it correctly? With the increased popularity of CBD flowers, as well as the growth of medical marihuana patents, more questions arise concerning the proper way to store cannabis flowers. Because of the shortages of medical marihuana shipments to polish pharmacies, doctors often prescribe a couple of boxes on one prescription. Patients also often need different strains for different symptoms or times of day for consumption. It is also frequent, that people buy bigger amounts of CBD flowers – in order to cut down on its cost per gram. Because of all this, people are often left with a bigger supply of cannabis flowers that they will consume in the nearest future. This begs the question – how do you store cannabis flowers, so they can keep their freshness and properties?
Why is it important to properly store cannabis flowers?
Properly storing your cannabis flowers is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, due to the process of oxidation, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) transforms into a cannabinoid called CBN. CBN is way less active, it is estimated that it interacts with human receptors at around 10% – compared to THC. Its mostly found in higher concentrations in older flowers, that have been stored for some time. Apart from the flowers losing it’s “powers”, proper storage also affects their freshness and looks. Flowers that have been dried up too much crumble under the touch, and don’t have much of their stickiness or smell left. While smoking, overly dried flowers burn very quickly and lose some of their flavor profile. Lastly, too much humidity or UV light can also negatively affect cannabis flowers.
Most important elements
Luckily, in order to prevent (or at least prolong) problems listed above, there are a couple of rules to follow. Thanks to them, we can extend the shelf life of our cannabis flowers. It will keep its flavor, stickiness, and most of its active compounds even after a longer period of storage.
The list should be started with the right temperature and place of storage. Extreme temperatures should be avoided on both sides (heat and cold). For example, leaving your flowers in a hot car during the summer, apart from drying them completely, can even trigger the decarboxylation process. It’s also not a good thing to subject flowers to very low temperatures. This may cause trichomes and other plant elements to freeze, and break down during the unfreezing process. This will lower the properties of cannabis. Ideally, cannabis flowers should be stored at around 13-20 degrees. This bracket minimalizes the chance of bacterial development, while still not being too low. The temperature should also be as stable as possible. Frequent changes (for example putting flowers in and out of the refrigerator) also facilitate bacterial growth.
Away from light
Flowers should also be kept away from frequent light sources. UV light affects cannabinoids and other plant elements in a negative way – lowering the active elements in the plant. A good example of this is the packaging of flowers in the United States. Its often sold in colored, not see-thru jars (similar to glass often found with cough syrup). This acts as an additional barrier, protecting the packaged flowers from too much light. Keeping your jars in a drawer or closed cabinet also works fine – extending the longevity of your dried cannabis.
The safest material to store your bud in a glass jar with a tight, sealed lid. The glass won’t interact with the flowers in any way. The sealed lid will ensure that excess humidity won’t accumulate in the jar. It will also ensure that the flowers won’t dry out too much. It’s also a big mistake to keep your cannabis in plastic containers, bags, or silicone jars. These materials won’t seal off your cannabis properly, and in extreme cases, the material can interact with the cannabis product inside. This can be encountered while storing cannabis extracts in small silicone jars. The extract can interact with the silicone, ruining the whole product.
Boveda packs are a handy accessory, allowing you to extend the shelf life of your cannabis products. It is a small pack, ensuring that the humidity is kept at a level of 62%. The pack prevents buds from drying out, and also from being too moist. Thanks to this, terpenes, cannabinoids, and other plant matter are kept in good condition longer. This transfers to the smell, stickiness, and flavor being better for a longer time. A similar thing is used while storing cigars. Cigars are stored in special cases called humidors, which keep a stable level of humidity. Boveda packs can be thrown directly into the jar or glued/taped to the lid. They are also found right away in many jars, offered directly from their producers. It’s a nice bonus, suggesting that the producer is attentive to details and is interested in prolonging the shelf life of his products.