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By: Molly Muhs
Whether you are a chronic smoker who likes to have a variety of strains handy or an infrequent indulger who only breaks out the stash for special occasions, proper cannabis storage is must to preserve your bud’s potency and flavor. Here are some helpful tips in preserving your herb!
The potency of cannabis is determined by the total amount of THC. In a living cannabis plant, THC is found mostly in its acidic, non-psychoactive form (THCa). Over time and in response to heat and light, THCa is converted into THC through a process known as decarboxylation. THC concentrations peaks immediately following the curing process. Similarly to THCa converting to THC over time and in response to external factors, THC will break down into CBN. While CBN is best known for its sedative properties, there is little experimental evidence to back that claim. Until more research is done on the medical benefits of CBN, it’s best to try and preserve as much THC as possible. Light and heat are the 2 main factors that will degrade THC. To preserve potency, store cannabis away from light exposure at room temperature.
Tips for Potency Preservation
1. Do not store cannabis flower in the refrigerator. The humidity and temperature fluctuations will increase the chance of mold forming on your bud.
2. Store cannabis in opaque glass jars. Avoid overfilling the jars; it can lead to crushing. Avoid using too large of jars; allow for too much air exchange and can dry your bud out.
Terpenes are a class of aromatic compounds commonly found in plants. Some plants produce a large amount of one terpene, giving that species a distinct smell, like lavender. Cannabis on the other hand, produces more than 200 different terpenes with around 30 of them being found in significant quantities. Terpenes are inherently volatile meaning they easily evaporate at room temperature. To reduce terpene loss, store your cannabis in an airtight jar.
Tips for Flavor Preservation
1. Do not use plastic drams or bags for long term storage. The plastic can actually hold a static charge strong enough to pull some of the terpenes from the bud.
2. Try to avoid touching bud with your bare hands as much as possible. The oils in your skin can break down terpenes and precious resin filled trichomes.
3. Store strains separately so that your bud does not lose its unique terpene profile.