How to Store Cannabis
You’ve toiled hard to cultivate cannabis, and your plants have successfully
reached maturity. And fortunately for you, the season promises a healthy
harvest. But after harvesting your cannabis buds (and probably processing
them), you realize that you have one more hurdle to contend with – finding
how to store your cannabis.
Storing Cannabis – The Basics
Most people shopping for edible products would go with the general
storage guidelines for most products, which recommend storing the
products in a cool and dry place, though the terms “cool and dry” can be
somewhat subjective, especially when dealing with a therapeutic substance
like cannabis. Any slight changes in the environment could affect the taste,
flavor, and above all, potency of your cannabis.
Whether you’re a trader or a consumer, you should familiarize yourself with the ideal environments for storing cannabis and the products available to help store your cannabis correctly. Like most substances, the perfect environment to store your cannabis comes down the humidity and temperature levels.
How Does Humidity Affect Cannabis?
To understand how humidity affects cannabis, you must first familiarize
yourself with the terms Relative Humidity and Ambient Humidity.
Relative humidity (RH) refers to the amount of moisture present in the air,
expressed in terms of the amount of moisture that the air can physically
Ambient humidity (AH) refers to the humidity conditions outside of the
container in which you store the cannabis. Both relative humidity and
ambient humidity affect the quality of your stored marijuana.
Humidity affects both the smoothness of a toke as well as the medicinal
properties of cannabis. To fully understand the scope of those affects,
you’ll need to know the various compounds that makeup cannabis.
The Chemical Makeup of Cannabis
Essentially, cannabis contains compounds known as cannabinoids, which account for the therapeutic properties of cannabis. Examples of cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabis also contains terpenes, also known as terpenoids, which are
fragrant essential oils that carry the flavors, aromas, and tastes of cannabis
products. Terpenes are retained by strong cannabis trichomes. The
trichomes ensure that the terpenes keep their signature tastes and aromas.
How Low Humidity Affects Cannabis
When humidity levels drop below certain levels, these trichomes
break down, thereby watering down the aroma, scent, and taste of cannabis.
While terpenes mostly account for the taste and flavor of
cannabis, they also play a pivotal role in carrying cannabinoids. And some of
them, such as myrcene, also have some medicinal properties. Therefore,
significant drops in the humidity affect not only the taste but also the
therapeutic effects of cannabis.
How High Humidity Affects Cannabis
On the other end of the spectrum, exceedingly high humidity levels also
affect stored cannabis negatively. Humid conditions are known to promote
the growth of mold and mildew, which often come with risks of disease.
The Ideal Humidity for Storing Cannabis
The recommended humidity levels for storing cannabis also referred to as
the RH “sweet spot” ranges from 59% to 63%. Within this range, cannabis
retains most of its physical and chemical properties.
However, some consumers may prefer their cannabis to be of humidity
levels slightly outside the ideal range. For instance, most people who use a vape favor
cannabis with as low as 54% humidity levels.
If you’re a seasoned cannabis user, the chances are that you’ve already
figured out your RH sweet spot. But if you’re a new user, your best bet is to
stick to the recommended humidity range. Also, make sure you order from a
reputable cannabis dispensary offering extended shelf life and quality.
How to Regulate Humidity Levels When Storing Cannabis
1. Use humidity packs
One of the best ways to regulate humidity for your stored cannabis is by
using humidors or humidity packs, which moderate the humidity both inside and outside of the container where you’re keeping your cannabis.
How do humidity packs work?
The interior of a good quality humidity pack is lined with a mixture of specialized salts and water. The salts are selected based on their hygroscopic, effervescence, and deliquescence nature. The packs work by adding or removing moisture to your stored cannabis, depending on the humidity levels.
It’s also worth noting that since these salts and water line the interior of the
packs, they’ll invariably come into contact with your stored marijuana.
Fortunately, you don’t need to fret, as both the salt and water are FDA-
approved as safe for human consumption.
Another great thing to love about these packs is that they’re available in
various strengths, depending on your RH sweet spot. Besides, the packs
come in different sizes, based on the size of the container that you’ll be
using them in. And for improved efficiency, humidity packs also act on other
environmental factors that affect the ambient humidity, such as temperature
and direct sunlight.
However, as they’re mostly designed to regulate humidity, you must take
personal measures to keep your stored cannabis in a cool and dark place.
Extreme temperature and sunlight conditions can escalate the
decarboxylation of cannabis.
2. Use airtight containers to store cannabis
There are no two ways about this; all cannabis must be kept in airtight
containers. A glass mason jar works best here.
Avoid plastic jars as they can cause your cannabis to sweat. Similarly, avoid
metallic containers as they can dehydrate your cannabis when the ambient
temperature is a bit hot.
3. Use a humidifier and dehumidifier
Though they’re not as effective as humidity packs, a humidifier and
dehumidifier can also play a crucial role in regulating relative humidity.
- A humidifier detects when humidity levels fall below predetermined ranges
and add humidity to the ambient environment.
- Dehumidifiers do the exact opposite; they prevent the relative humidity from shooting beyond certain levels.
One thing to love about humidifiers and dehumidifiers is that they regulate
the humidity in the entire house. Plus, most of them are designed to be
whisper-silent. Therefore, you can use them to modulate the relative
humidity in the house even at night.
Humidity Products for Cannabis
The importance of regulating humidity for stored cannabis cannot be
overstated. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective ways to go about it. Learn more about Cigar Star humidity products to ensure your cannabis supply stays fresh.