Tribal governments get to determine for themselves whether cannabis should be legal within their territory, but while more and more indigenous lands are seeing legalization efforts, not many natives have convenient access to legal weed. Even those who qualify for medical marijuana programs in their states must travel to dispensaries off the reservation, even so far as a dispensary in downtown Denver, which can mean hours of effort to get the products they want and need.
Thus, it is critical for every cannabis purchase to live up to its full potential — which means native users should strive to keep their weed as fresh as possible. Here are some tips for preserving pot and preventing premature aging to maximize the cannabis experience.
Stash Weed Away in the Dark
There’s a good reason to hide one’s stash in a dark place, and it isn’t to keep one’s cannabis consumption habit a secret. Light is devastating to dank nugs, radically speeding up the deterioration of cannabinoids and leading to much older, much less potent weed. The reason is ultraviolet radiation, which causes the molecules within cannabis to shift and change. THCA becomes THC, and THC becomes CBN, which is only a fraction as intoxicating.
The easiest solution is to keep cannabis in a space that never sees the light of day. A bedroom closet or kitchen cupboard are excellent options. Users might also consider using an opaque or UV-blocking container instead of clear glass or plastic.
Use an Airtight Container to Thwart Oxidation
Speaking of cannabis containers, users should be sure theirs is airtight. Next to light, air is the second-most damaging force. Oxygen has the same effect as UV rays: It causes cannabinoid molecules to rearrange, which ultimately means a loss in potency. What’s more, oxygen has a deleterious effect on terpenes, which are the molecules responsible for giving cannabis its bouquet of aromas. When oxidated, terpenes fade, and weed starts to smell unpleasantly grassy and hay-like.
Fortunately, there are ways to test whether a container is airtight. Perhaps the easiest is to place a lit match in a container and seal the lid. If the match continues burning, it is getting oxygen — which means weed will, too. One could also submerge the sealed container in water; if moisture ends up inside, the seal isn’t good enough to keep out air.
Establish the Right Temperature
Weed doesn’t do well in high temperatures. Cannabis plants originally come from the Eurasian Steppe, which is high in altitude, dry and quite chilly. Though more than 12,000 years have passed since the plant was first domesticated, most cannabis crops still prefer lower temps, and the same is true of dried flower. High temperatures cause weed to dry out, which evaporates terpenes and has a negative impact on the entourage effect. Plus, high temperatures in conjunction with high humidity can cause mold and mildew to proliferate. Moldy cannabis should be discarded immediately, so it is important to keep weed at the right temperature to prevent this needless waste.
The ideal temp for cannabis is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but in most places, room temperature will work just fine. If one is already stashing their bud in a dark place without much airflow, like a closet or cabinet, it shouldn’t be difficult to maintain this temperature. However, there are spendy temperature-controlled cannabis containers for those eager to optimize their nugs.
Maintain the Right Humidity
Just as herfs rig specially ventilated spaces to keep their tobacco cigars in tip-top shape, so should stoners be concerned about how humidity could be affecting the quality of their bud. Both too-dry and too-wet environments are dangerous for weed, which as stated before, can either lose potency or grow mold depending on the circumstance.
The easy solution might seem to be using a humidor for cigarettes or cigars, but the truth is that weed products need a much drier space than tobacco. Stoners can purchase the right humidity sachets for their substance of choice, or they can work to maintain their living space at the right humidity level, between 59 and 63 percent.
It isn’t easy to acquire cannabis products when you live so far from a legal dispensary, so it is critical to make every nug stretch. These tips should keep every reservation dweller in dank nugs for weeks after a single dispensary run.