By its very nature, medical marijuana is defined by its moisture content. This moisture content changes rapidly depending on the climate where it is kept. While this is one of the most important aspects when considering how to store cannabis, it is not the only factor to consider.
Think of other consumables such as food or wine that have parameters to adhere to in order to keep a consistent quality and freshness. With this in mind, the following are four tips to consider when deciding how to store your medicine in a safe and practical manner.
Marijuana should be kept at an ideal temperature to keep mold from growing. Mold thrives in temperatures above 77˚F, so keep cannabis at a cooler temperature. Too much heat can also dry out cannabis and damage it, lessening its efficacy. Careful to keep the temperature above freezing (32˚F) as this can also be damaging to the bud structure, resulting in less potent cannabis. Do not store marijuana in the fridge; fluctuations in temperature and humidity (taking it out of the fridge and putting it back over and over again) make it prone to mold mildew.
As stated previously, moisture content is very important when considering where and how to store your cannabis. Too much moisture can make it susceptible to mold, and too little moisture will dry out and weaken the bud structure. Humidity is expressed in percentages of relative humidity (RH), and cannabis has a Goldilocks zone of 59% – 63% RH.
Keep marijuana out of direct sunlight, the darker the better. UV rays degrade marijuana, and studies have shown it to be the leading factor in cannabinoid deterioration. This is similar to grass or leaves that begin to turn brown after a particularly sunny day.
Due to marijuana’s predisposition to requiring particular temperature and humidity levels, the best way to ensure these levels are kept is by storing it in airtight containers. The less cannabis is exposed to oxygen, the longer it will take to degrade over time. If you do not expect to use the marijuana for a longer period of time, a vacuum sealer can be used to maximize the longevity of the marijuana. A sealer is not necessary for storage, however. While there are many products marketed for storing cannabis, many connoisseurs prefer to utilize traditional mason jars. They come in a variety of sizes and are an affordable option.
There is no exact amount of time that marijuana can be kept without spoiling. As long as the previous tips are followed, cannabis can last upwards of two years; although, this is not to say it will be the same bud as when it was freshly cured. Cannabis will degrade over time no matter what. Terpenes and essential oils dry out over time, and THC degrades into the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBN. If you do plan on storing cannabis for more than a short period of time, the best way to monitor and control the environment is through measurement and balance. A hydrometer will tell you the RH percentage so you know whether the cannabis needs more or less moisture. If you want to invest and take the guess work out of it, there are products that adjust humidity such as the moisture packs Boveda produces.
When considering how to properly store your medical marijuana, just remember the acronym CHAD:
If you’re in the Ann Arbor area and interested in learning more about medical marijuana and its many uses, contact Arbors Wellness today to learn more.