Best Practices for Cannabis Storage Featuring Haley Poole
As CEO of Cannador, I work closely with engineers to create uniquely designed cannabis storage products and accessories that allow you to maintain the freshness, taste and quality of cannabis. Along the way, we’ve discovered a great deal about storing cured flower, and we’ve since developed a number of cannabis storage best practices. Cannabis exposed to high moisture levels increases the risk of mold or mildew contamination, while low moisture levels cause trichomes to become dry and brittle, and ultimately less effective. This translates to the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. Over the years, plenty of misinformation has circulated on the topic of how to store cannabis, so I assembled these insights to help you best care for your medicine and investment.
Cannabis Storage Tips
Don’t store cannabis in the freezer, it results in brittle trichomes. It’s ok to keep your buds in a cool place like the refrigerator.
- Avoid sandwich bags and plastic food containers. Plastic creates static electricity that pulls cannabinoid containing trichomes off the buds. Non-static polymer bags are becoming commercially available and are being used for cannabis packaging in certain states.
- Use glass jars to store cannabis. Glass is inert and will not absorb or emit smell.
- Skip adding fruit peels or vegetables to your storage jar. Since fruit contains volatile aromatic compounds, it will taint the taste of cannabis. Plus, fruit and vegetables contain too much moisture, which encourages mold growth.
- Block out UV light to maintain the integrity of your cannabis.
Today, there are more solutions for home curing and storing than there were 30 years ago, yet the simple mason jar is still the most economic solution for small amounts. If you’re on a tight budget, a wide-mouth mason jar and one 67 gram 62 percent RH Boveda pack will be sufficient to ensure optimal relative humidity (RH). The optimal range of RH for cannabis is between 55 percent and 62 percent. When you buy cannabis, although the buds may appear crispy and dry on the outside, there’s still plenty of moisture on the inside which will continue to evaporate from the inside out. By adding water vapor to the environment through Boveda packs, you slow down this evaporation process allowing the buds to retain their terpenes. Boveda conducted a study proving that maintaining the appropriate amount of moisture during storage retains up to 15 percent more terpenes.
People are beginning to understand the benefits of humidors for cannabis storage. In addition to aesthetically complementing home decor, humidors fulfill the requirements of cured-leaf storage. This particular method requires some maintenance, yet can be more financially sustainable over the long-run. The interior wood of your humidor must be a neutral wood like mahogany that won’t taint the taste of bud. Don’t use a humidor lined with cedar like a tobacco humidor because cedar imparts oils that are specifically meant to enhance the flavor of tobacco, not cannabis.
Use a 50 percent RH bead system and hydrate the beads with reverse osmosis (RO) or bottled water. The humidity beads we use at Cannador are measured specifically for the volume of the humidor size. When the beads are saturated they will maintain the appropriate relative humidity between 55 percent to 62 percent RH. The beads act as both a desiccant and a humidifier because the beads will wick off moisture after submerging in water, yet they’re engineered to maintain a relative humidity of 50 percent so the beads will want to stabilize back to 50 percent RH. This requires re-hydrating with water every one to two weeks depending upon how arid or humid your environment is. You should only use humidity beads in a humidor and not in a jar.
Monitoring Relative Humidity
There are great monitoring products available to ensure you are maintaining the appropriate relative humidity used by both consumers and industrial growers. One such product is the Blustream hygrometer, which we assisted in its development with Blustream Corporation. This sensor will sync with your smartphone and alert you when the RH is too high or too low. It also has safety features like impact and motion detection, which benefits those who have children. Standard analog and digital hygrometers can still be found and utilized as well.
Commercial Cannabis Storage
Working with my friends at Hifi Farms has led to incredible insights on commercial cannabis storage. Hifi’s Research and Development Manager Haley Poole supports that properly cured cannabis in a commercial setting should also be away from excess heat, light and air, which are all factors that degrade the terpene content and eventually the cannabinoid content from THCA to THC to CBN. She adds that it’s a good practice to vacuum seal product in one pound batches or larger and then store in a cool, dark place, noting blacklight-proof vacuum seal bags are available as well. Poole also considers refrigeration and adding nitrogen into storage containers to displace oxygen. Decreasing the oxygen, whether by vacuum sealing or adding nitrogen not only decreases compound degradation but also microbial contamination.
Learn more about Cannador and cannabis storage here.
(Courtesy of The Weed Blog)