In movies, marijuana growers and distributors are often shown keeping and passing flower stored in simple plastic bags. While that may be a good idea in the movies, it isn’t the best way to store flower in real life.
Humidity and other factors can affect your marijuana. You can protect your bud with proper storage techniques until you are ready to light up. Meanwhile, improperly storing flower can cause it to degrade—leaving users with a lower-quality cannabis product.
What Is Humidity?
When you turn on the weather report, it’s not uncommon to hear meteorologists discussing the amount of humidity a place is experiencing. Humidity can impact the “feels like” temperature in a place. But, what exactly is it?
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air. The more water vapor in the air, the higher the humidity. This can cause the air outside to feel wet or thick. The less humidity, the dryer the air.
Relative humidity (RH) is most often what weather reports refer to and even what cannabis experts will refer to when discussing the role of humidity and marijuana. RH is the amount of water vapor actually in the air. This is often expressed as a percentage.
What Impact Does Humidity Have on Flower?
Humidity can impact everything from the way our hair behaves to how hot it feels outside. But, many people don’t realize the impact humidity can have on their flower stash.
Too much humidity (and moisture) can cause your buds to grow mold and mildew.
But that’s not to say that your flower should not be exposed to any humidity. In fact, not enough moisture and humidity can cause your marijuana flowers to degrade. Their trichomes will dry out, leaving the bud brittle while also potentially impacting the flower’s potency and aroma.
The Dangers of Mold on Marijuana
Even though too little humidity can leave you with dried-out buds, too much humidity can actually be dangerous to your health.
For healthy people, smoking moldy flower may not cause many poor effects. But, it can cause coughing, nausea, and even vomiting.
But, for those who are allergic to mold or have underlying health conditions, moldy flower can cause more serious issues. Those with a mold allergy may experience:
- Sinus pain
- Asthma attack
Smokers with compromised immune systems or lung conditions should not smoke moldy flower as it can cause infections and further aggravate these conditions, leaving users sick.
Aspergillus is a common fungus that moldy marijuana can bring into the body. This fungus can cause lung infections, which can leave those with compromised immune systems in peril.
There are ways to dry out flower that has too much humidity. One popular option is placing the bud in a paper bag until it dries out.
Finding the Perfect Balance
Before diving into the role moisture and humidity play in keeping cannabis fresh, it’s important to know how marijuana buds go from the plant to a joint.
Before marijuana can be sold to consumers, it has to go through a process called curing. This method is used to age and dry marijuana buds, making them suitable for consumption by flower users. While each grower will have their own unique curing process, the end goal is the same.
When correctly done, the curing process ensures the moisture trapped inside cannabis buds slowly dissipates from the flower without changing the cannabinoids (the compounds that determine the strain’s effects) or losing terpenes (which impact the bud’s aroma).
Flower curators hope to bring the moisture content between 6 percent and 9 percent. Once the cannabis bud reaches this moisture content, the buds can be safely packaged for sale at a dispensary or online flower store.
Although the grower takes excellent care to get the bud to a safe moisture amount, it’s the purchaser’s job to maintain that balance. While dispensaries will take precautions to keep the flower in good condition, users will need to store it properly at home to prevent too much or too little moisture from affecting the flower.
The goal is to keep the RH level where you store your flower between 59 percent and 63 percent.
How to Manage Humidity Levels When Storing Marijuana
Thankfully, flower users aren’t alone in their fight to keep humidity at the perfect level while storing marijuana. There are tools available to help maintain humidity and keep it at a proper level, including:
- Cannabis humidity packs. These packs or pouches are usually made with a mix of water and salts. Users place these packs in their flower storage containers to help maintain this perfect balance of moisture. These packs work to both remove and release humidity based on the humidity levels in the container and the flower it holds, keeping buds in good condition until they are ready to be smoked.
- Cannabis humidor boxes. This can be a pricier option but a good option for those who keep large amounts of flower on hand. Often referred to as statement pieces, a humidor box can store a large amount of flower and accessories. Boxes contain humidity systems designed to maintain the ideal humidity for marijuana.
- Humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Many marijuana growers and flower users can use humidifiers and dehumidifiers to regulate moisture in the air around where they grow or store cannabis. A humidifier will put more moisture into the air, while a dehumidifier removes it. If you choose to go this route, you will still need equipment to help you measure the air’s humidity, so you can better regulate it.
When choosing the best method to help you manage the humidity in your flower storage space, there are multiple factors to consider. Think about:
- How much flower you are planning to store at a given moment
- The amount of money you want to spend on a humidity-controlling device
- How much effort you want to put into monitoring your flowers environment
Although humidor boxes allow users to store more than just their flower, they do require a bit of an investment upfront.
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can require monitoring of the environment around the flower, making them the right choice for growers or dispensaries, but perhaps not the best choice for people who smoke recreationally and don’t keep large amounts on hand.
Cannabis humidity packs are a simple way to keep humidity levels balanced. However, they are disposable, so look around for deals to buy them to get the most out of your purchase.
How to Store Marijuana
Humidity isn’t the only thing that can affect the shelf life of marijuana. When it comes to properly storing your flower, it is important to:
- Limit its exposure to light
- Use the appropriate storage containers
- Keep it in a cool, dark place
- Think about how long you plan to store it
First, when determining the best storage methods for your flower, think about how long you plan to store it. If you plan to use it within a few days, you won’t need to take the same steps as someone who is planning to store their flower for weeks.
Next, choose an appropriate storage container. Glass jars are a popular option for storing flower. These often offer air-tight seals to help prevent air from destroying your flower. Plastic containers, however, can encourage sweating of your bud, causing humidity and moisture. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, a bag may work for a short time as well.
Finally, find the best place to store your flower. Don’t plan to just toss it on the windowsill and leave it. You will need to find a place that is cool and dark. Consider keeping your flower in a desk drawer or pantry.
When storing flower at home, keeping the product out of the hands of little ones is important. Consider buying child-proof storage equipment and choosing your storage space carefully.
Storing Other Marijuana Products
While marijuana flowers may be the most common flower product on the market, it is not the only one. In fact, as more and more countries legalize cannabis use, more marijuana products find themselves available to consumers.
Marijuana edibles are among the most popular cannabis products out there. Cannabis edibles include:
- Baked items, such as cookies and the legendary “pot brownie”
- Chocolates, including candy pieces
- Marijuana gummies in various shapes and flavors
- Cannabis drink mixes
- Marijuana oils and tinctures
These products require different handling for proper storage and are less affected by changes in humidity. For example, high humidity could cause chocolate to melt, but it would not cause quite a dire impact on marijuana flowers and buds.
Here are some tips for storing various marijuana edibles, helping you maximize their shelf life.
- Chocolate. High humidity can cause chocolate to melt, leaving you with an inedible product. If you have cannabis chocolates you aren’t planning to finish right away, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in an air-tight container. Keep this container in a cool dark place, like the refrigerator.
- Baked goods. Whether it is a cookie, brownie, or even a muffin, the air is not the friend of baked goods (whether filled with cannabis or not). To help preserve the shelf life of your marijuana baked goods, keep them in an air-tight container. They can generally last a few days in this container on the counter, weeks in the fridge, and months in the freezer.
- Cannabis oil can last anywhere from six months to a year when stored properly. Because oils are sensitive to light and heat, be sure to store them in a cool, dark place. If you notice your oil is starting to have a bitter taste, it is reaching the end of its shelf life and should be used quickly.
- Tinctures. This marijuana extract has one of the longest shelf life in any cannabis product. It can last for years when stored properly. All it takes to keep them in good condition is storage in a cool, dark place.
No matter what marijuana product you are storing or for how long, be sure to label it before storing it away. List what it is, the strain, and the date you move it into storage. This will pay off in the long run, allowing you to keep track of what you have on hand and how long you have to use it before it likely starts to go bad.
Marijuana users may choose to buy their buds by the ounce or in bulk. And, no matter how much or how little they buy, they may find they need a place to store their flower until they are ready to use it.
Cannabis is quite sensitive, requiring proper conditions to grow and maintain its freshness and potency. One important factor when it comes to growing or storing flower is humidity.
Too much humidity can cause the buds to grow mold and mildew, which can cause health issues in some users. But, keeping your flower bone dry is not always the best option either, as dry flower can become brittle and lose its potency. This is why keeping your flower in a place with the perfect amount of humidity is so important.
Humidity-balancing tools are available to help users keep their flower fresh. Whether it’s a pouch, box, or equipment, users can find an option that best fits their needs.
For some, the thought of storing buds can be overwhelming. After all, there is a lot to manage. Other cannabis products such as marijuana edibles may be a good solution. Although these products have storage needs of their own, some flower users may find them easier to manage in storage than a bud.
Whatever you plan to store, whether it be a bud or another product, humidity controls matter. If you have any questions or need suggestions on how best to store your marijuana products, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or your online dispensary.
By Safer Products & Grow Cargo