Decarboxylating your cannabis flower is an essential step in making various cannabis-infused products, such as edibles, tinctures, and oils. Often called simply “decarbing,” the process involves heating the plant material at a low temperature to activate the cannabinoids and make them more bioavailable for consumption.
Cannabis is typically best stored as a dried, “raw” flower. This herb has undergone enough drying to prevent mold growth, but is still fresh enough that it can last a year or more and still taste fresh. This is very different from decarbed cannabis, which has been heated to have all of the cannabinoids activated.
Assuming you’re not using the whole batch right away but only want to go through the process of decarbing once, the next step is storing your decarbed weed properly to preserve its potency and flavor. And while these tips are similar to storing fresh herb, there are a few differences since freshness is less of a concern. Here are some tips on how to store decarbed weed.
How to store decarbed weed: 6 essential steps
1. Keep it away from heat, light, and air
Heat, light, and air are the enemies of decarbed weed. Exposure to any of these elements can cause the cannabinoids to degrade and lose their potency more quickly. Therefore, you should store your decarbed flower in an airtight container away from direct sunlight and any other heat sources, as this will only hasten cannabinoid breakdown.
Consider using a mason jar for storage, and avoid that resealable plastic bag you’ve gotten used to. Using an opaque container to prevent extra light from getting in may also extend the freshness of decarbed herb.
2. Avoid the fridge
Temperature and humidity also play a crucial role in the storage of decarbed weed. Ideally, you should store it in a cool, dry place with a temperature between 60°F and 70°F.
Avoid storing your decarbed weed in the refrigerator or freezer as the changes in temperature can lead to moisture inside the container, which can introduce moisture or microbes into the cannabis.
3. Use a humidity control pack
If you live in an area with high humidity, consider using a humidity control pack to regulate the moisture level inside the container. A humidity pack can help to prevent mold and mildew growth and maintain the ideal moisture level for your decarbed weed.
You can purchase a humidity pack online or at your local dispensary. Choose a pack with a relative humidity level of 62% to 65%, which is ideal for cannabis storage. Place the pack inside the container with your decarbed weed and replace it every few months or as needed.
Keep in mind – these are formulated for regular, dried cannabis flower – not decarbed weed. But you can give it a go anyway.
4. Label the container
Use a permanent marker or label maker to note the strain name, date of decarbing, and THC/CBD percentage to help you keep track of your decarbed weed. This information is also helpful when making infused products as you can calculate the dosage accurately. This step may seem trivial, but it can save you from confusion and guesswork in the future.
5. Don’t grind the flower until ready to use
Grinding the decarbed cannabis before storing it can expose more surface area to oxygen, accelerating the degradation process and hastening terpene loss. Therefore, it is best to keep the flowers whole until you are ready to use them.
When you are ready to use the decarbed weed, grind it gently with a hand grinder or a food processor. Avoid using a coffee grinder as this can produce too fine a grind, resulting in a harsh taste,reduced potency, and cannabis grit-filled edible.
To avoid these issues, some people recommend skipping the grinder all together and simply breaking the cannabis in smaller, evenly-sized buds by hand.
6. Check for signs of degradation
Over time, even properly stored decarbed weed can degrade and lose its potency. Therefore, it is important to check for signs of degradation, such as a change in color, aroma, or flavor.
If your decarbed weed smells musty or moldy, has a strange taste, or appears brown or discolored, it may be time to dispose of it. Consuming degraded cannabis can have negative effects on your health and may not provide the desired therapeutic or recreational effects.
To dispose of degraded decarbed weed, you can simply discard it in the trash. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact, you can mix it with soil or compost to enrich the nutrients and promote healthy plant growth.
Bottom line on storing decarbed weed
In conclusion, storing decarbed weed is crucial to maintain its freshness, potency, and quality. By keeping it away from heat, light, and air, storing it in a cool, dry place, using a humidity control pack, labeling the container, avoiding grinding until ready to use, and checking for signs of degradation, you can ensure that your decarbed weed remains potent and flavorful for an extended period.
It’s also essential to purchase high-quality cannabis and decarb it correctly to achieve the desired effects. Decarbing is not only about activating the cannabinoids but also about preserving the delicate terpenes that give cannabis its unique aroma and flavor.
By following the tips above, you can store your decarbed weed correctly and make the most out of your cannabis experience.
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