So, you go out to your local cannabis shop and pick up some goodies. Maybe you’ve picked up some of that new Woody Nelson you’ve been wanting to try. You get home, weed is great, snacks are amazing, and you fall asleep watching old episodes of Clone Wars like a champ. But you forgot to put the lid back on the jar and now the rest of your buds are a little crispy. No bueno.
Weed that hasn’t been stored properly can dry out, degrading a lot of what we enjoy about the plant. The first few years of legalization saw an abundance of this, leading to the popularity of Boveda and Boost humidity packs. Our polls show that consumers strongly prefer humidity with their cannabis, but more recently, folks have been telling us that we might be better without.
It’s a hot topic so, we wanted to explore it with Tai, one of our head growers. We also asked the community what they thought when it came to humidity packs and heard some interesting feedback worth mentioning here.
When it comes to storing cannabis, there are a few key things to consider: humidity, light, and temperature. We’ll be chatting about each of these things, and a few more, below.
The two main humidity packs available right now are Boveda and Boost, and while they both work in their own way, they both manage the humidity levels in your flower. Bodveda uses salt and water while Boost uses water, gelatin, and glycerin for a similar effect.
When we asked the community about humidity packs, it turns out people have a lot to say. While most people voted that humidity packs are super necessary, in general, most commenters said that humidity and cannabis storage is more about the quality of the cannabis and packaging than humidity packs. Some folks even expressed a good amount of concern that humidity packs (especially those including salt) do damage to the plant’s terpenes.
It’s something we’re looking into. As Tai, one of our head growers recounts:
“Keeping cannabis fresh after the dry/cure is all about keeping the temps and humidity in the right spot 15C/58-62% RH and in a sealed container. Humidity packs are controversial as some believe they rob the flower over time of the terpenes. I think there’s some truth in that. I think ideally we wouldn’t use humidity packs with our product if we have a fast enough sell through. Terpenes aside, they serve a purpose especially in a smaller package of say 3.5 g from too much moisture loss. A good airtight container can help with this but if left too long before consumption the flower can dry out. Add the lack of control of how it is stored once it leaves Woody Nelson and there is a case to make for using them. I think with our recent sell through success has us considering not using the humidity packs and we are going to try a side-by-side comparison to get a better understanding of what the consumer would experience with or without.”
Not only does light (or exposure to air) have impact on the temperature and humidity of your cannabis, but UV rays can degrade cannabis over time. In fact, this study found that light was the biggest factor when it came to cannabinoid degradation over time. THC is also known to change into CBN when exposed to light, air, and heat. Either way, keep your stash out of direct sunlight.
Anything too hot or cold and the terpenes and cannabinoids in your cannabis will be impacted. We’ve heard it reported that anywhere between 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius) and freezing seems to be the sweet spot when it comes to temperature. That said, if you’re expecting a good smoke after tossing your cannabis in the freezer for a while, you’ll probably end up disappointed. Fridges are also too unreliable and have a tendency to be too humid, adding to moisture and increasing your risk of mold.
Glass seems to be the best bet when it comes to cannabis storage. Not only can you easily get something airtight (mason jars), but plastics and metal can impact taste, aroma, and the plant’s trichomes. Wood containers can also impact humidity, absorb moisture, or impact the oils already present in the cannabis.
Got Some Old Cannabis Kicking Around?
Check if it’s still good by checking the following things:
- Your cannabis shouldn’t smell musty, moldy, or like hay. It should still have a nose.
- Trichomes should be visible and your cannabis should be nerfy – not brown, dry, or brittle.
- Fuzzy or white powdery spots could indicate mold.
- If you’re not getting the effects you were expecting from the THC, it may have lost some potency over time.
- If your cannabis is either too crumbly or spongy, you know your humidity is off.
Conversation and debate about humidity packs aside, when it comes to storing cannabis longer term, your best bet is to store your cannabis in a cool, airtight, humidity-balanced place that doesn’t get much sunlight. With these factors in mind, next time you reach for that cannabis you’ve been saving for a special occasion, you should hopefully find it just as good of a smoke as you did when you first got it.