You have harvested your cannabis, dried, and cured it. What next? Use it of course. Using your CBD rich strain straight from curing has great advantages. It is fresh. The cannabinoid is alive and active. It will be smooth and enjoyable to use not to mention effective. However, chances are that you will have more than you can use immediately. The next step therefore is to figure out how to store the stuff while maintaining the maximum level of freshness.
What Happens If Not Properly Stored?
If not properly stored, you will find a strange bunch of buds where your herb used to be. The first thing you will see is fluffy white growth on the marijuana. This is mold. It tells you that you left a little too much moisture in there and now it is unusable. Mold can be very harmful when consumed by human beings so throw that stuff away. Another thing is the sound. What do you hear when you touch the buds? Is it a crackle? Then the marijuana is too dry and will be harsh when smoked. Is there no sound at all? Too much moisture, you should look out for mold. Keep away from that. Next is the smell. If properly stored, marijuana can maintain the quality and freshness for up to three years and even more. Therefore, the smell should be the same as when it was first stored. If it is different say like burnt paper or some musty pungent smell then get rid of it.
Away from Plastic
Before going any further, please do not use plastic sandwich baggies. These will release BPA into the weed when cooled or heated too quickly. They are thin and very permeable. The cannabis will have a plastic flavor to it. The taste and aroma will be altered significantly and ruin the experience. It will not hurt but it will not be a lot of fun. Do not use paper or aluminum foil either. Paper is akin to just leaving it lying around.
Factors for Maintenance of Fresh Cannabis during Storage
There are factors when maintained at the proper levels will ensure freshness all throughout the storage period. The first being light. A study by the University of London revealed that light was the biggest factor contributing to degradation of cannabis. The UV rays breaks down organic and synthetic material therefore making the CBD below par. To curb this problem, ensure the storage location is devoid of light. To go a step further, you can get opaque materials to store in.
The next factor is temperature. If the temperature is too high, the cannabis will sweat. Sweating in a situation where there is no airflow will encourage occurrence of mold. Mold is not something you want in your weed at all. At 77-86° F mold will thrive. It is important to keep the temperature below this point to slow down decarboxylation. This is the process by which cannabinoid acids activate to become the simple structured cannabinoids humans can make use of. Then again, do not go too low as the trichomes will grow brittle and break off.
Humidity is the amount of moisture in the storage facility. This is required to keep the trichomes sufficiently intact. Not too dry that they break off and not too moist that mold invades. The humidity should be kept at 59-63%. The level can flip flop between these numbers but never go over either. It is okay to use a measuring implement just to be sure. Allowing humidity to get out of hand will make the other efforts to keep cool and dark counterproductive.
Oxygen is paramount to growth of a plant. However, after the plant has been harvested it dies therefore needing no more oxygen. Allowing oxygen in abundance for a strain in storage is ensuring it degrades quickly and effectively. The storage implement should not allow air from the outside. Air from the outside is flavored with all sorts of things and will compromise the flavor of the cannabis.
Another thing is handling. You have your temperature right and your light. Basically, you have done everything right but then time comes to use the stored cannabis and you pick it up by hand. This is a faux pax. Find some chop sticks or some form of wooden tong. Picking out by hand transfers the sticky trichomes from the bud on to the fingers. You do want this to happen, as the trichomes will leave with the CBD in them. You need the trichomes to stay on the buds as it keeps CBD in place until it is consumed.
This is nothing special. Just the good old glass jar that can be found at your local store with the screw on cap. Some swear that rubber or silicone seal is better with the glass jar but that might be the case.
This is cost effective and simple not to mention very available. Glass is impermeable which, means that the smells and scents in the air will not affect the weed unless jar is left open. Ensure to get the right size jar. Getting a jar too large will allow space for too much air at the top. Getting a jar too small will break off the buds as you try to cram them all inside. The harvest should fit into the jar effortlessly without leaving too much space at the top.
There is an option or dark jar in this case. It is not to say that dark jar is better but it ensures protection from light inflicted degradation. However, if your storage location is assured of darkness the dark jar will be unnecessary. In addition, a clear jar will allow inspection without unscrewing the top.
This option uses plastic. However, there is an option for BPA free plastic. That stuff should not be allowed to mingle with CBD. The machine sucks out all the air from the container keeping it free from possible mold.
This allows for two options. The BPA free sealer plastics and jars with vacuum pumps. The plastic allows one to seal each lump of marijuana individually. This way when the time for consumption comes, you will not expose all the marijuana to air. You just pick out one package and leave the rest in storage.
The cannabis enthusiasts have come up with novel ways to store cannabis without struggling too much. The humidor or example is a wooden mahogany container that maintains all the right conditions. However, one must ensure to get the cannabis humidor and not the one meant for tobacco. Tobacco requires different levels of the factors to remain freshness.
Boveda packs use salt and water absorbent packs. They regulate the humidity conditions. Moisture is sucked or brought in according to the humidity inside the packaging. They maintain relative humidity at the specifications on the label. He down side of these is that after a while they harden or wilt requiring replacement.
CVault is an implement made from food grade stainless steel. It is airtight and comes with humidity packs. The packs maintain 62%H but will only run for 60 days. This is light and smell proof making it perfect for cannabis storage.
Jar Above All Others
Vacuum is best for short-term storage as the film is thin and will be easily bent to the temperature. For long-term storage, one will have to go in search of a thicker sealer bag. The humidor and those other modern cannabis storage solutions are expensive. These are only financially sensible to the connoisseurs and veterans. People who would like to show off their cool. They do not make sense for a one off kind of situation. Above these two alternatives stands the good old trusty glass jar. It is cheap and available. It is also resilient and reusable. It solves the problems of the other alternatives well.
Little Tid Bits
Hot air rises and you should therefore ensure to store the CBD rich cannabis strain as close to the ground as possible. Ensure to keep it away from damp corners. In the cabinet directly above the cooker is probably the most unsuitable place. Keep the same strains together to maintain integrity of flavor and aroma. Also, ensure to keep the buds as they were at harvest. Grinding them breaks off the trichomes and you start to lose the CBD potency.
The Refrigeration Discussion
This has been subject of most online cannabis threads. Is it okay to keep excess cannabis in the fridge. Well, here are some facts to answer that question. The freezer is dark and cold which is good. However, it is also moist which is very bad. The solution to this would be to use a glass jar with a vacuum pump. Ensure all the air is sucked out before popping into the freezer.
The next problem would be that the trichomes would be brittle and break off due to the extremely low temperatures. Loss of trichomes is the worst possible scenario as it renders the weed useless. It has also been hypothesized that the extremely cold storage would deter decarboxylation completely. This means that the CBDA would be unable to break down into CBD. With that in mind, the decision to keep the excess CBD rich cannabis strain in the freezer is entirely up to you.
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