One of the main questions that home cannabis growers face is how to keep this herb fresh and with all its qualities. In this process, one of the key points is how to store marijuana.
To answer this question, an article published by Leafly, a portal specializing in cannabis issues, revealed some peculiarities to extend the life of marijuana, preserve its properties and keep the plant away from mold and other dangers.
Storing your marijuana
Before beginning, certain considerations must be made clear. The first addresses that there is no expiration date for cannabis since, if you did cannabis packaging properly, it could last between six months and a year before losing its potency and flavor. It is also important to use suitable storage materials.
Plastic bags or plastic containers are not suitable for storing marijuana. Plastic often has a static charge that can attract trichomes, which is the part of the plant that contains cannabinoids and terpenes. Bags should only be used for short-term storage and in small quantities.
On the other hand, brown glass jars are excellent for keeping the plant in its best condition. For this type of storage, it is necessary to close the bottle with the right amount of air to keep it fresh and with its original flavor. Closing the container with little air can affect the humidity, especially if the buds are not completely dry before storage.
On the other hand, when marijuana is stored with too much air, its degradation process is accelerated since cannabinoids are exposed to oxygen. There are various accessories such as manual and electric vacuum pumps that minimize oxygen exposure to maintain the necessary air levels.
Conserve and store
Regarding the possibility of keeping the pot in the refrigerator, this is improper because the fluctuations in humidity and temperature increase the possibility that forms mold and fungi in the buds, even if the pot is stored in a sealed bag in a vacuum. Cold buds absorb water that is produced by refrigeration, and that ruins their flavor.
The mold and other fungi affect cannabis grown at temperatures between 25 and 29 degrees Celsius, so that excessive heat, dry cannabinoids and terpenes have taken months to develop. When these essential oils become too dry together with the plant material, they result in hot and robust smoke when they are smoked.
When it comes to freezing marijuana, experts say that freezing temperatures cause the trichomes to become brittle and break when handled, which means that the healing properties are lost. Also, a frozen bud absorbs water, which ruins its flavor.
Lower temperatures slow down the decarboxylation process of cannabinoids, a process in which tetrahydrocannabinol ( THCA ) is converted to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Or, in your case, THC eventually breaks down into cannabidiol (CBN), a cannabinoid with different effects and properties.
However, these conditions are not the only ones that affect the properties of marijuana, as other processes influence its storage. Such is the case in the field of action of electronic devices or electrical appliances that emit heat. It is important to keep the buds away from these devices since the heat causes them to decompose. Properly dried and cured marijuana should be kept in a cool, dark place.
Regarding UV rays, it should be noted that they degrade cannabis over time. A study from the University of London, conducted in the 1970s, found that light is an important factor in the degradation of cannabinoids. The study concluded that cannabinoids remain stable for up to two years when stored in the right conditions, although they can remain effective and safe to consume for longer. Storing cannabis away from direct light will help control its temperature.
Also, it is essential to separate the strains for storage to maintain their flavor profiles. Likewise, jars should be labeled with the harvest date and grinders, pipes, or other attachments should be kept away from the buds, as ash and resin from burned cannabis tend to remain in storage containers.
Storing medical marijuana
For medicinal cannabis, the conditions are similar and must be carried out more rigorously to preserve the cannabinoids and their therapeutic properties. Cannabis-infused products, such as edibles and other derivatives, have different storage guidelines.
Cannabis tinctures and concentrates degrade depending on heat, light, humidity and the passage of time. To preserve its properties, it is necessary to hermetically seal the containers in a cool, dark and dry place. While the shelf life of flowers is generally measured in months, extracts and tinctures can stabilize in the refrigerator for several years.