The Freshness Factor

When it comes to harnessing the full potential of cannabis, freshness is key. Often, the consumer’s focus is on the strain, the source, or the method of consumption, but an equally important aspect is how fresh the cannabis or cannabis product is. Just like any other natural product, cannabis and cannabis extracts need to be properly stored to maintain their quality. This is because the plant’s beneficial compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids, are delicate and can deteriorate or evaporate over time.

Cannabis contains a complex array of compounds that contribute to its effects and benefits. Among these, terpenes and flavonoids are particularly noteworthy. Terpenes, flavonoids, and other volatile compounds are responsible for the aroma and some therapeutic effects, while cannabinoids, such as THC, are known for their medicinal properties after the product is consumed. Terpenes and the other compounds that make up the smell are volatile and can evaporate extremely fast if not stored correctly. Research suggests that significant loss of these compounds can occur in as little as two weeks if the cannabis is not properly stored. You are left with a bland cannabis that smells like, as we in the industry put it, “schwag”.

To preserve the integrity of these compounds, cannabis and cannabis extracts should ideally be kept in a fridge or freezer. This helps in maintaining the natural ratios of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Poor storage practices, such as leaving cannabis in a warm or dry environment, can accelerate the evaporation of terpenes and other essential compounds. This not only diminishes the therapeutic quality but also affects the overall experience.

As cannabis ages, its chemical composition changes. Over a year or more, regardless of storage conditions, cannabis will invariably lose some of its mono terpenes and flavonoids. Additionally, cannabinoids like THC can convert into other cannabinoids, such as CBN (Cannabinol), altering the effects completely. While aged cannabis might not necessarily be harmful, it certainly won’t deliver the same experience or benefits as fresh cannabis.

Awareness and education are crucial for consumers. Paying attention to the “produced on” dates on cannabis packaging can make a significant difference. Consumers should be wary of purchasing products that are over a year old. The closer the purchase is to the production date, the better the quality and experience are likely to be. Cannabis IS a perishable item and needs to be treated more like a vegetable. Molds and mildews begin to grow on cannabis as early as two weeks if the cannabis is stored in warm humid environments. Always be conscious of how your herb is stored, not only at home but from the dispensary you buy it from. The cannabis industry is still so new that most people working within the industry just don’t know the consequences of improper storage.

In conclusion, the freshness of cannabis is not just a matter of your health but a crucial factor in its effectiveness and enjoyment. Proper storage in cool, controlled environments is essential to preserve its beneficial compounds and avoid spoilage. As consumers, being mindful of the production dates and storage conditions can enhance your cannabis experience, ensuring that the plant’s amazing benefits are enjoyed to their fullest. Remember, when it comes to cannabis, fresher is better!

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