Wednesday April 8, 2020
By Andrew Ward
The COVID-19 virus has affected every facet of life for many around the world. As of April 3, 2020, all but nine U.S. states have statewide stay-at-home orders in effect. In that time, many dispensaries became "essential" in the United States. In turn, dispensary sales skyrocketed as orders came in. It turns out that not too far behind the demand for toilet paper is marijuana. In both cases, consumers hoarded stockpiles of whatever they could get their hands on.
The cannabis market would go quiet soon after. Activity declined early and often in the aftermath of the mass purchasing. Stockpiles satisfied most consumer needs for weeks, if not months. From a business perspective, it’s uncertain to gauge how long the status quo could remain in effect. What is known is that for the customers, many now have heaps of pot. Keeping purchases fresh for the most prolonged period is always wise. With the current situation in effect, it is that much more recommended. Consider the tried and true options, as well as some useful possibilities that may come from the current ordeal.
The Basics to Keeping Cannabis Stockpiles Fresh
With stockpiles topping the usual haul for most consumers, now more than ever is the time to practice proper storage methods. To begin, a quick recap of the basics are in order:
Avoid Sunlight, Humidity and Oxygen
Spring is in the air. And with hope, the public will be able to enjoy the most of it. No matter the case, your pot should avoid the trappings of spring whenever possible. To be specific, keep its exposure to nature as minimal as possible. Doing so will keep the flower fresh. Accurately, it keeps cannabinoid degradation at a minimum. The longer the cannabinoid stays in the plant, the longer consumers get to experience the plant's effects.
Dark is Good, Damp is Bad
Avoiding sunlight is always wise. What isn’t is keeping cannabis products in a damp space. Areas with any moisture run a risk of producing mold, and thus, potentially harming the flower.
Be sure to avoid moist flowers when picking up as well. While consumers should seek a flower with a bit of moisture and stickiness, an excess is problematic.
Too much humidity in the cannabis flower affects a variety of integral plant factors, from creating a more delicate texture to affecting its potency. In either case, seek a dash of dampness in your flower, but not much more. And always store that flower in a dry, cool and dark place.
Keep It Cool
“Cool” is a subjective term for temperature. Just remember any open office layout before COVID-19, and it’s likely to conjure an image of thermostat battle between several colleagues over a thermostat reading between 65°F and 70°F. And in some cases, there are the outliers that go beyond those temperatures.
To avoid any of that confusion for the sake of the reading public’s cannabis stockpile, aim for a temperature of 70°F. There will always be arguments between perfect temperatures, but 70°F always seems to find its way in as the ideal “cool.”
Additional Suggestions for Preserving Your Quarantine Stash
With the foundational rules in mind, preserving marijuana products that much longer could be essential for many consumers in this scenario. The following tips have been known to help maintain the integrity of flower and other products.
Humidity packs help keep marijuana at optimal humidity levels. They do so by either taking in or releasing moisture into the area it is placed in. Cigar stores offer packs that tend to last around one month. The most common option used in cannabis, Boveda, is known to last around three months. Just be sure to pick up the herbal products, not tobacco.
Use an Airtight Container
Keeping your supply stored in a dry, cool and dark place is well and good. If those efforts are coupled with an inadequate storage option, the flower may metaphorically go up in smoke long before it touches a flame.
Airtight containers are essential in keeping cannabis fresh. Many swear by mason jars, as they are a cost-efficient, easy to source, airtight option. Consumers benefit from glass containers but still need to consider UV light. Whether glass or otherwise, choose an airtight container that is capable of keeping air away from the product.
Don’t Freeze Your Weed, Refrigerate it in a Pinch
A popular tip for years has been cooling or freezing flower. While not perfect, the idea isn’t entirely unfounded. Live rosin producers often use a fresh frozen flower that is only taken out when ready to begin its extraction process.
That very tip doesn’t apply to other pot products as much. Doing so is likely to alter a nug's texture. Namely, making it brittle to the touch and harming components like its terpenes and trichomes. A loss in terpenes will degrade the potency, aroma and flavor of the flower. Thus, eliminating any good in putting marijuana in the freezer.
Some concerns have been voiced for refrigerating cannabis as well. Far from ideal, it can serve a purpose in a pinch. If there are no cool, dark places to store your stash, a refrigerator may do the job. In that case, use an airtight container and store it inside.
Avoid Cannabis Consumption Monotony
Boredom is a concern for many today. If that’s the case with consuming cannabis, consider a few options. Consider a variety of strains when picking up. A sativa for the day and indica for the evening is always recommended. As is grabbing a few types of each when getting a more abundant supply. If open to variety, consider a Green Crack instead of getting two bags of Blue Dream.
Buy a mix of items, from flower to concentrates. If that isn’t an option, repurposing flower into an edible, tincture or other methods of consumption can do the trick. As can switching consumption methods. Instead of a joint, try a bowl or a dab, depending on your stockpile. And above all else, stay safe. Health and happiness to all in these trying times.
Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your stash well-preserved under quarantine? Share your thoughts and experiences with others in the comments below.