How to Extend the Shelf Life of Cannabis
How to Extend the Shelf Life of Cannabis:
Cultivating cannabis in itself is an endeavor that will challenge one’s patience and perseverance. It is similar to looking after any other type of living entity. The plants go through crucial stages, and some might not be able to withstand natural elements. As such, thorough care is essential in each phase.
Excitement can be felt during the germination stage. Anticipation builds up as flowers blossom. Agitation stabilizes when the harvest time comes. The best part of the whole process is yet to come, and that is enjoying the fruits of the entire cultivation.
After harvesting, some actions have to be accomplished to ensure a longer lifespan, satisfying smell, great taste and cogency of the cannabis crop. The same is true for stocks bought from dispensaries.
One thing that users must realize is the difference between dubious or reputable dispensaries. Ignoring the fact that many are selling fake cannabis strains, there is also the matter of curing. From the moment the buds were harvested, that already is the start of the process to extend its shelf life. Unfortunately, some commercial producers exchange quality in favor of putting the products in stores without going through the proper process.
In essence, keeping the shelf life of cannabis starts from harvest up until storing time. It typically involves two stages – drying and curing. Once done, only then are the buds stored to protect it from heat, dust, and mold.
From Harvesting to Drying Cannabis
Newly harvested cannabis is made up of three-quarters of water. As such, it is necessary to trim and remove excess leaves. Doing so prepares the cannabis for slow drying in a conducive environment using the right tools.
The amount of water, obviously, has an impact on drying time. Furthermore, it can also affect the overall flavor and other qualities of the strain. Worse, improperly dried buds are difficult to combust and that results in a less than ideal experience.
Typically, the drying stage lasts for about 10 to 15 days. Here are the things required:
- Drying stand or hanging Line
- Electric or Ventilation Fan
- Suitable Space
How to Dry Cannabis
1. Prepare a well-ventilated area with proper temperature (18 to 24 degrees Celsius) and humidity (45 to 55 rH). If it is too hot, the drying process will be too fast leaving some parts dry while others are moist. It could also degrade the THC content. And, if the humidity level is too high, it could lead to the formation of molds.
2. Growers can hang the crop using a clothesline or lay it on a drying rack. Either way works well.
3. Throughout the drying stage, monitor the condition of the crop. It is natural for the branches to bend but if it is brittle, then that is a cue to adjust the environmental state of the drying space.
From Drying to Curing Cannabis
Chlorophyll contains magnesium, an essential mineral during the growth stage. However, when burnt, it gives off a punitive smell and bitter taste. A solution is to cure the crop. Simply, it is a process of removing the mineral. Moreover, the curing stage boosts the natural attributes of Marijuana.
The curing process itself is not complicated. However, if not done properly, there are consequences.
To begin the curing stage which can run from two weeks to four months, prepare the following:
- Glass jars or airtight containers
- Brown paper bag
- Suitable Space
How to Cure Cannabis
1. The curing area should have a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius and humidity level of 60.
2. Put the buds inside a brown paper bag. Usually, this is done in colder regions to prevent mold and mildew. In a warmer climate, some growers opt to skip this step.
3. Place the buds inside glass jars (or suitable airtight containers). Be sure to fill up to two-thirds or three-quarters of the container.
From Curing to Storing Cannabis
Storage of Marijuana helps retain its potency, aroma, and flavor giving users an excellent experience. Of course, there are different ways of storing to have a longer shelf life.
- Here are the things needed:
- Glass jars or vacuum-sealed bags
- Airtight containers
- Suitable Space
How to Store Cannabis
1. The storage area should be conducive to keeping the jars. Ideally, the temperature should not exceed 24 degrees Celsius. Moreover, this area should be dark.
Additional Measures to Extend Shelf Life
1. Touching the buds will unsettle the trichomes and cause some to fall off. Moreover, through skin contact, there is a potential transfer of skin oil to marijuana buds. To avoid affecting its potency, use a scoop.
2. The quality of marijuana stored in plastic bags tends to diminish over time.
3. Contrary to popular belief, storing in the fridge is not a conducive method of keeping the freshness of marijuana. In fact, it encourages the growth of molds.
Proper Storage Extends Shelf Life
Clearly, extending the shelf life begins from the moment growers cut the flowers. And throughout the process of drying and curing, it has a bearing on the quality of the buds even before storage.
So, when one talks about extending the shelf life, it is not merely a matter of going through the act of doing so. At each stage, there is the intent to ensure that the buds retain its fragrance and flavors, as well as its potency.
For growers, spend time during the drying and curing stage. Impatience can compromise the experience of using it later. And, when it comes to storing it, it is also best to be vigilant in checking up on the stash from time to time to ensure proper seal and that it is free of molds or mildew.