How To Preserve & Store Your HerbTeam Chameleon
Why is preservation and storage of your herb necessary and important?
With the increasing popularity and usage of Cannabis around the world, more people are becoming aware of the benefits of our favorite weed. Still, not everyone has proper knowledge of how to preserve or how to store their herbs. Preservation is as important as selecting the right herb. Yet, how many of my friends still pull bags out of their pockets at the sesh! Preservation is the only way to make sure your smoke remains safe and effective for as long as you need it to be.
Here are a few tips on how to preserve and store your Herb.
Warmth and heat are bad for your stash for a variety of reasons. Not only are warm temperatures conducive to the growth of mildew and molds, but heat can cause the essential oils to evaporate and really dry out your herb. When your weed is too dry, it burns hot, with harsher smoke. Cool is good, but not too cold. Room temperature out of the sun is dandy. A refrigerator is ok, but must be inside a humidity controlled container, your refrigerator dehumidifies automatically, but can still add moisture to your herb if not stored properly. I don’t recommend a freezer because your herb can become brittle and weak. Freezing your Cannabis causes the moisture to split the cell structure of the leaf which knocks your trichomes off the leaf.
Nix the Plastic
There are several problems with storage in a plastic bag or other plastic containers. Phthalates and BPA are chemicals common to plastic containers and can leach into your herb. Do your own research, but Phthalates affect hormones and your endocrine system while BPA (Bisphenol A) affects Brain tissue. Obviously, we prefer glass containers, but, they can be bulky, so if you have to use plastic, make sure the containers are BPA and Phthalate free like Med-Tainer. Bags. Really? Ok, there are bags specifically made for Cannabis storage like Smelly Proof, but, bulk storage is not the pocket of your jeans. Storing your Cannabis in a bag in your pocket not only warms your herb up to body temperature (see above) it also compresses your nugs and rubs the trichomes off the leaf and onto the bag, where they stick and stay!
So what is Humidity? Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air, or in your herbs. Humidity is the main factor in learning how to store fresh herbs. Part of the reason you need to store your herb in a humidity controlled environment is that it helps to ensure the efficacy, aroma, consistency, and flavor of your Cannabis. Keep your herb in a container that maintains proven humidity levels or a container with a humidity control mechanism. Too little humidity and your herb dries out while also losing efficacy to evaporation of water soluble components. Too wet and you get nasty mildew and mold (throw away). The average humidity you want to keep your weed around is 6-10%, to prevent mold and keep the herb at an optimal smoking level.
Ultra Violet light rays cause your herb to degrade more quickly, so its something to avoid while storing your herbs. When properly stored out of direct light, your weed can retain its potency, and flavor for as long as two years. Have you noticed that most Beer is in colored glass bottles? Brewers use colored glass for the same reason, the colored glass filters out the damaging UV light to ensure proper taste on delivery. When you keep your herb out of the light, you’re also able to better control the temperature of your stash.
Store it Air-tight
Air-tight storage bottles are a great way to keep your Cannabis fresh and flavorful. Fresh is an interesting word. When you define it for Agri-products like Cannabis, Fresh means un-oxidized. Oxidization is a chemical reaction where an oxygen molecule binds to a free electron thereby altering the chemical make-up of the plant. Not a problem while the plant is alive, but definitely a problem to avoid once your herb is dried and cured by your grower. Right size your container to make sure that you don’t have too much room for air in your container because oxygen is reintroduced every time you open your container. New oxygen will speed up the degradation process. You can also vacuum seal your jars. Since I used to sling on the side, I have a Food Saver and now use it with vacuum jars for my bulk.
Avoid an uncontrolled Humidor
It might seem like a great idea to use a tobacco humidor for storing your herb, but the propylene glycol in most commercially available tobacco humidors will oversaturate your herb and lead to mold and mildew. I lost an entire qp of NYC Diesel to a tobacco humidor. Never, Again! Tobacco humidors are often made with Cedar wood. Cedar oils are great for keeping moths out of your clothes storage, but can dramatically affect the flavor of your weed.
Keep Out of Reach of Children
It probably goes without saying, but you should keep your stash out of the easy reach of children. This point is particularly important if you have unexpected young visitors or relatives. When you keep your weed in a cool, dry, and dark place, make sure the location is also not readily accessible or is under lock and key. Without casting judgment, I have to admit I was introduced to Cannabis at a very young age while ransacking my uncles Playboy collection. In the middle of the stack, there were 10 issues bound together. Upon further review, it was an unlocked stash safe with a grip of weed inside. The rest is history folks. If you have ankle biters, check out storage like a Kindtray Signature to store your herbs.
Ya gotta keep ‘em separated! No matter which handmade pipe, grinder, or other paraphernalia you have, never store them with your herb. Any storage area or container with pipes and other paraphernalia will take on the scorched smell of ash or whatever the products are made of (yes, silicone, wood and metal pipe users, I’m talking to you). Beyond just separating your weed from your equipment, you must keep the strains in different containers to maintain consistency, aroma, and flavor for each one. Many of my friends keep their stash in a cabinet with a deodorizer. Careful, your stash might end up smelling and tasting like Febreze. You have been warned.
How Long Can You Store Marijuana?
So you may be wondering, how long can you store marijuana to keep it fresh and smokeable?
Even when properly stored in an airtight container of relative size to the amount you’re storing, and kept in a cool, UV and humidity controlled environment, it still won’t last forever! The longer you store your herbs the more degradation is likely to occur. Following all of these suggestions will help you store your herb for a long time, potentially as long as up to a year or two, especially when packaged airtight in a vacuum sealed container or jar. If you are storing your herb for a longer period of time, you will want to minimize the amount that it is open and closed, as this will introduce new oxygen into the product, leading to faster oxidation.
Given this information, plan accordingly if you are trying to keep a particular strain or batch for a long period of time, the best effect and taste will always be had when its fresh from curing. But with proper steps you can retain much of its quality for months, maybe even years!
Taking the time to properly preserve and store your herb pays off big-time. A time is coming where Cannabis will be regarded and stored like fine wine to maintain flavor, aroma, potency and value. So get ahead of the game and learn the best way to store your marijuana now!