Cannabis needs’ are simple, delicate, and can reap a myriad of health benefits when taken good care of. Without some good ole fashioned TLC, cannabis can lose much of its therapeutic properties and experience a much shorter lifespan. So it's a no brainer that we need treat our bud with love and respect if we expect the same from her. This article touches on the good housekeeping tidbits that need prioritizing in your relationship to cannabis.
I didn't realize I was abusing my bud until my boyfriend moved in. All these years I thought stuffing it into my pocket, leaving it in my purse, or tossing it onto the sunny spot of the kitchen counter was normal and non-detrimental. I thought by keeping my bud in a baggie was more than OK as long as it was airtight, right? I even scoffed at my girlfriend/old roommate when she would leave the bag open overnight. Silly woman, you’re ruining your weed. Little did I know there is so much more to caring for your bud.
My oblivious carelessness was attributed to a complete lack of understanding the complex dynamics of bud, and the importance of maintaining it’s botanical integrity. I like to think of cannabis as a delicate pod of effective medicine. We have to treat cannabis like any other herb we hope to keep alive and well for its nutritional and medicinal value.
Just as you may care for basil by trimming its stems and placing it into a water-filled vase, or by storing sage and parsley wrapped in a paper towel in the fridge, you treat and store cannabis in a sensible way to help prolong its “shelf life”. I’ve compiled a list of some mindful habits to practice that help keep the integrity of cannabis in place and have it stay fresh for longer.
Skip the blackmarket plastic baggie and “invest” in a glass jar;
Not only is a glass piece more pleasing to the eye, but choosing a solid glass container over a plastic baggie will protect your bud[s] from sticking to the sides and becoming smushed (my poor past buds). Plastic tends to carry an electric static, which can strip the medicinal components right off the bud.
What medicinal components, you ask?
Cannabis flower is known for its sticky, dank characteristics which we attribute to the trichomes it wears. Trichomes, the hairlike pods or appendages found on a variety of plants and algae, are a main constituent of cannabis and contain the plant’s most concentrated active ingredients (aka its medicinal value). Knowing these sparkly packages are the homes of the plants’ cannabinoid content explains why it is vital to protect them— especially if you use cannabis for medicinal reasons.
Another reason to skip plastic is for flavor's sake. Plastic is super sensitive to temperature and has a subtle ability to leak its components into your bud, even the slightest change in temperature can alter the taste of your bud. Yuck. Glass is tasteless! Ever try water left in a glass container compared to a plastic one? Yeah, there you go.
There are several containers in the market, but nothing you need to buy. Any air-tight glass container will suffice. Just please stay away from plastic, and possibly other materials such as bamboo or leather, as these too will likely strip the trichomes due to friction and take away from the bud's flavor and aroma. Glass not your thing? I hear the next best choice to glass is metal, more specifically titanium, as titanium does not secrete flavor-altering gasses over time.
Air-tight seal, always;
Air is the enemy of bud, and will certainly dry it out. This exposure will allow the moisture of the leaves to evaporate, leaving you with a crispy bud that is too harsh to smoke. Storing your bud in an air-tight glass container will keep air out and preserve your precious, delicious bud. Most of the reason we care for our bud in the way we do is because of those precious trichomes and terpenes. They're pretty much really important and you’re probably going to read a lot about them on this blog.
Store in a cool, dark, dry... and child-proof place;
Not only will a jar of scrumptious flower be uber safe and off limits to unwanted guests in a locked up cabinet (ahem, children), but stored in the right temperature, humidity, and lack of light, your bud not only lasts much longer, but she will actually cure (the process of removing moisture from the flowers under controlled environmental conditions) and become even more medically beneficial. But other than the awesomeness of curing, here are some other reasons:
Coolness is important not just because it's cool (duh), but because a sweaty, locked away jar of cannabis is awful! If the temperature is too high, and your container is airtight, your bud will sweat and begin to mold. Make sure to store away from heated appliances and any direct sunlight. The optimal temperature range is room temp. or somewhere between 68-71° F.
Dark is best for cannabinoids to remain happy and healthy. UV rays breakdown organic material, it is a fact of life. UV rays will certainly degrade your cannabis over time, but this process can be prolonged by simply storing your jars away from light. The downside to a glass container is the light exposure, so an easy fix to this is to place the jar in a dark cabinet, out of the reach of little curious hands. Storing in a dark cabinet will also help you maintain a healthy temperature.
The right humidity is paramount in prolonging the medicinal value of your cannabis, and to keeping mildew out of your bud. Keeping your bud stored in the proper relative humidity (RH) ranges can be a little challenging.When the relative humidity is too low, moisture will squeeze its way out of your bud leaving the trichomes dried out and too harsh to smoke; by keeping your bud at too high of a relative humidity can cause mold. General consensus tell us a great range is between 59 and 63% RH. By staying in this range, your bud will continuously enhance in color, taste, and aroma.
Don’t touch so much;
Do I sound like a mom yet? Yes, it is very fun to touch weed. We all do it and we enjoy the sticky, sweet sensation it can leave on our fingertips. But for the goodness and integrity of the plant, and to allow the sticky aroma last, limit the touching! Each time we come in contact with cannabis, we strip away it’s delicate trichomes and terpenes (hence that yummy smell on your fingertips), which we now understand contain the most concentrated healing properties of the entire plant. So please respect and don’t touch excessively. *hand slap*
Selecting a jar;
This part is fun. You don't have to spend like any money. Just repurpose! Who doesn’t like to keep reusing her jars? Especially the mini ones! I'd say my favorite flower jar is from a repurposed baby food container, which is about 3.5-4oz. I have a ton of these jars, as I rarely throw them out. Okay, maybe I'm hoarding a bit.
Tip in choosing: Use a container that is proportionate to the amount of herb you plan to store. Too big of a jar will trap in unnecessary air, creating a dry and unhealthy environment for your cannabis.
Storing your cannabis in a cool, dark, dry, and child-free environment will allow for your bud to preserve and cure. Which will increase its medicinal value, enriching its aromas and taste, and save you money in the long run. A great container to use can be free and is most likely already in your kitchen.
Happy bud keeping!