By the time you see a cannabis strain in a dispensary it’s likely been at least a month since it was harvested. The curing process takes up to 6-weeks after cannabis is harvested. One of the benefits of dry cannabis flower is that it is usable for a couple of months after harvest. Flower can get past its prime, but may still be usable. This guide will help you understand how to store, refresh and use dry cannabis flower.
Choice of Storage Container
Dispensaries use a variety of types of packaging. Some use traditional pill bottles, others use opaque plastic bottles with squeeze-open tops and some use a foil pouch with zipper seal. Which option is the best? Let’s start with the worst – the foil pouches with zipper seals. You have a clear plastic side and an opaque side with these.
The downside to the foil pouches is that they are thin and do not do a very good job of protecting the flower. Light comes through the clear side, which aids in drying out the flower even more.
The traditional pill bottles and squeeze-open bottles are a better option. While they don’t keep light completely out, the seals are stronger. The opaque nature of the material keeps some of the sunlight out.
Humidor-like boxes made specifically for cannabis storage (often marketed as a cannador) are the best option. These boxes are designed the same way a cigar humidor is. They are designed to allow just the right amount of humidity while keeping a tight seal around the exterior of the box to keep your cannabis flower a little fresher for a longer period of time.
As dry cannabis flower sits, the cannabinoids within it can change or deteriorate. This changes the characteristics of a strain, so if you should happen to have some old flower sitting around and it makes you sleepier than normal; it’s likely that the THC has converted to cannabinol (CBN), which is common. Cannabinol is a cannabinoid that aids in relaxation/sedation to help you fall asleep, combat pain and several other symptoms.
Adding Moisture to Overly Dry Flower
There is a way to add moisture back into super dry cannabis flower. You know, the kind that turns to dust in your fingers when you try to break it up. Citrus peel is the most ideal option to put a little moisture back into the flower.
The oils in the peels of citrus fruits help moisturize the dry flower. The peels also add a little flavor to the flower. It’s important to just use a couple of 1 to 2-inch size pieces per bag or container of dry cannabis flower. Too much citrus oil can actually cause that flower to mold and become unusable.
There is another benefit to using citrus peel to rehydrate dry cannabis flower – terpenes. All citrus fruits have terpenes, which have known health benefits. The terpenes found in citrus peel include limonene, linalool, and terpineol (lemon peel). These terpenes aid in relieving inflammation, anxiety and help relax the body/reduce stress – to name just a few.
Keeping Light Away from Dry Cannabis Flower
While cannabis plants need light during the growing stages, exposure to light can cause the dry flower to deteriorate faster. It is ideal to keep the flower in a place away from windows, heater vents and other parts of the home where it’s warmer. Dark, opaque packaging will help keep some of the light out.
If the home fluctuates in temperature frequently, it may also disturb the integrity of the flower. While heat may be beneficial for making stickier buds more manageable, when buds are already properly cured, it just depletes the integrity of the flower. Extra dry flower tends to burn faster, which may cause unnecessary waste. The most you could use this for is in a pre-roll or as filler with a less damaged flower.
It is ideal to store your cannabis in a neutral area in the home – somewhere that stays close to room temperature. Keep the storage container/s somewhere that direct sunlight doesn’t deteriorate the flower.
What Not to Do When Storing Dry Cannabis Flower
Do not store your dry cannabis flower in the freezer. Ice crystals form on the buds, and when the package is removed and put back into the freezer (especially when this is done multiple times), the ice crystals can meld, causing mold to form.
It’s also not ideal to store your dry cannabis flower in the refrigerator. Condensation can occur just from opening and closing the door. This can add unnecessary moisture to the flower and may cause mold to grow.
Try not to store your flower in metal containers. Metal conducts heat and most metal storage containers are very thin – providing virtually no protection to the dry flower.
If you choose a glass container, make sure it is airtight and has colored glass. Green, brown or blue glass is ideal because they do help keep some of the sunlight out.
Using Flower that is too Dry
Even when flower becomes dust between your fingers, it’s still usable. It’s ideal to use flower that is this dry for joints/blunts, in a bong or as a coating along with kief for dusted nugs. You may need to combine a little flower from another strain to add to the bulk as cannabis flower dust will burn fast and doesn’t amount to much once its ground up.
Consider using this extra dry flower for cannabutter or a coconut oil infusion. Simply combine equal parts ground cannabis flower and coconut oil in a pan. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Keep the temperature between 200 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow this to cook for three hours, then strain out the dry flower bits. Do not let the temperature of the mixture on the stove go above 245 degrees as this may kill some of the cannabinoids in the strain.
We hope that these tips will help you choose better storage options for your dry cannabis flower. Cannabis flower that is a little too dry may be due to its sitting time between harvest, curing and testing before it gets to the dispensary. Again, it comes to the dispensary/retail store, more than a month after harvest due to the curing process required afterwards. Curing helps dry the buds properly so that mold does not grow at any point once it leaves the cultivator’s possession.