Whether you are growing your own green medication or you are purchasing readily-available dry marijuana flowers, you need to know how to preserve the aroma of your cannabis.
It might be surprising to find out that preserving the distinct, unique aroma profile of different cannabis strains is actually intricately related with preserving both the potency, as well as the quality you get upon consumption.
With this in mind, it doesn’t matter if you are a recreational or medical marijuana user – you want to preserve the beautiful aroma of cannabis because of far more important reasons than the mere joy of inhaling the gorgeous fragrance.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can keep cannabis aroma intact without much of a fuss – and we will share all the best practices on that matter below.
1. “Let There be more THC and more Aroma in your Cannabis”
According to the Bible, when God created the world, He commanded “Let there be light” – and there was light (Genesis 1:3).
Now, we say to all of you who want to learn why and how to preserve the aroma of cannabis – “Let there be more THC, too!”
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most famous of the many active cannabinoids present in marijuana plants.
The beneficial effects of the active cannabinoids are complexly interconnected with the effects induced by terpenes found in marijuana.
Did you know that the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has officially announced a mind-blowing funding opportunity for researchers who are willing to conduct studies on “minor cannabinoids and terpenes”
NCCIH is planning to award $1.5 million in grants for expert researchers who are dedicated to finding out more about the way active cannabinoids and terpenes work.
Quintessentially, terpenes are invisible molecules that give different marijuana strains their one-of-a-kind aromatic properties.
Apart from being present in marijuana plants, terpenes are also found in various fruits, herbs, and spices.
In the living nature, terpenes work in favor of attracting pollinators while simultaneously staving off some of the nasty pests that would typically love to munch on the delicious cannabis flowers.
But what’s more, terpenes and cannabinoids such as THC, among other cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG, to name a few, are further correlated when it comes to reaping the maximum of the medicinal and recreational properties of the herb.
Air Temperature Control
The active cannabinoids that are in charge of producing the effects one can expect to experience from the green medication, as well as the terpenes that are in charge of the aroma of your cannabis can be negatively affected by improper air temperature.
So there we have the first rule in preserving the aroma of marijuana when storing dry flowers – control the air temperature rates by making sure these are within a suitable range.
The aroma of cannabis will remain intact and THC won’t start to degrade, thus, inevitably reducing some of the benefits of the green medication, as long as the air temperature is kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius) – 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius).
For marijuana growers, the process of preserving the potency, as well as the aroma of their crops start with proper curing and drying of the buds. While both drying and curing do take some time to be fully accomplished, every single minute and effort spent is well worth it.
For those who are purchasing already dried and cured cannabis buds, to make sure to check up for cultivation and storage methods applied.
Not all cannabis companies offer buds of equal quality. So if you come across lower-quality dry marijuana flowers, it might be hard to do anything to preserve the aroma on your own, even if you follow the rest of the best practices we’ll list below.
Video by High Times – Pro Tips for Proper Drying and Curing
2. “Let There be NO Ultraviolet Light”
Okay, let’s say you store your dry cannabis flowers in an environment with perfectly well-controlled air temperature rates – will this be enough to preserve the aroma Definitely not.
Similarly to the way too high or too low air temperatures can lead to the degradation of active cannabinoids and terpenes, the pretty same rule applies to the role that light plays in preserving cannabis aroma.
To be more specific, light emitted by the lighting system in your home shouldn’t be that much of a big deal – although the less light gets in touch with dried cannabis buds, the better.
But when it comes to sunlight, and in particular, ultraviolet light – well, this can spell disaster for marijuana aroma.
In fact, it can also spell disaster for making the most out of the benefits of the green medication – because then again, terpenes are not the only compounds that are negatively impacted by ultraviolet light – the same goes to active cannabinoids.
For best results, you want to store carefully dried and cured cannabis buds in tight-sealed, dark-stained, glass containers.
In fact, there are ultraviolet-proof containers available – and it goes without saying that these make an excellent option.
All the way back to the 1970s, a study conducted by researchers at the University of London confirmed that when placed in suitable containers and kept in dark, suitable air-temperature conditions, cannabis can preserve its potency for anything from one and up to two years!
Plus, storing your cannabis away from direct sunlight in “well-filled, well-closed” containers will also help you keep air temperature within the desired rates easier: double win-win!
3. “Let There be Controlled Humidity Levels”
From a scientific point of view, temperature and humidity are intertwined.
For example, high temperatures inevitably lead to higher water evaporation rates which make the humidity levels rise. Differences in abundance vs. lack of light can also lead to changes in temperature and humidity.
But before this starts sounding like getting you back in biology class in college, here’s what you want to know when it comes to preserving the aroma of your cannabis and humidity levels.
àKeep the humidity levels at 58% and up to 63% if you enjoy traditional methods of respiratory cannabis consumption (aka smoking your weed).
àKeep the humidity levels at about 53% – 55% if you enjoy the healthier alternative of vaping dry cannabis buds.
You can take advantage of various inexpensive and easy-peasy devices to monitor and further adjust humidity levels if needed – such as humidity control packs or hygrometers, among others.
As a rule of thumb, as long as you keep your cannabis in suitable containers away from excess light or too low/too high air temperature, your buds should be able to preserve their best potency and aroma within the following month or so without any extra efforts.
4. “Let There be NO Plastic”
Plastic is among the top global issue that are posing severe threats to the biodiversity and well-being of all the living creatures (including mankind), on the little blue plant we call home.
That’s one more solid reason to avoid plastic containers when storing your cannabis.
On the practical side of preserving marijuana aroma intact, plastic containers create a static charge, as opposed to a neutral charge created by glass-made containers.
The static charge literally pulls away some of the trichomes.
Trichomes are an incredible part of marijuana plants’ anatomy.
Quintessentially, trichomes are epidermal outgrowths. You can imagine trichomes much like miniature molecule-releasing factories, or “natural cell factories” as highlighted in a study titled Plant Glandular Trichomes: Natural Cell Factories of High Biotechnological Interestpublishedin 2017.
Plastic containers will fail at keeping the aroma of marijuana as it can easily get in contact with other tiny aromatic molecules in the air. Simply put, plastic is not reliable in being heat-proof, nor water-, light-, mold-, or cold-proof either.
When going for your next dispensary visit, make sure to bring your high-quality, tight-sealing, glass-made containers instead of placing your fresh cannabis supply in zip-lock plastic bags (or whatever type of plastic containers). This way, you’ll do the aroma of your cannabis a small but crucial favor, and you will also help our beautiful planet Earth in getting rid of plastic pollution.
5. “Let There be Separation and High Hygiene”
Whether it comes to storing different strains or storing and maintaining your smoking equipment – practicing separation and high hygiene is of utmost importance for preserving the aroma of cannabis.
If you store various strains in a single container, then the subtle hues that make up the unique aroma and flavor profile of each cannabis variety will mix up.
When you are about to enjoy a beautiful, dense nugget, use a herb grinder to unlock all the subtle nuances in the aroma and flavor – don’t just place a whole bud into a bowl.
Meanwhile, the foul-smelling resin can spell disaster when it comes to preserving and enjoying the delicious aroma of cannabis through your favorite methods of respiratory consumption.
Much like you wouldn’t like to drink water from a dirty glass, the same goes to consuming marijuana from a poorly maintained bong/pipe/dab ring, etc. This simply ruins the flavorsome fun of reaping the benefits of the green medication!
Establishing a healthy habit of keeping high hygiene as part of your marijuana journey can truly make a huge difference in many other unexpected aspects of life.
6. Top Tips for Preserving Cannabis Aroma for Growers
So far, we already discussed the best methods of preserving the aroma of your cannabis when it comes to storage and consumption.
Now, let’s take a look at the best practices in preserving cannabis aroma when you are the one who is growing his/her own outdoor or indoor marijuana garden.
#1 –Don’t lose trichomes.
There are many tiny mistakes that you might be committing when it comes to trichomes’ damage.
As a rule of thumb, the less you touch marijuana flowers – whether these are still fresh or already in the process of drying and curing – the better.
Being naturally sticky, trichomes will easily get attached to your fingertips, poor-quality scissors, etc.
Interestingly, trichomes are actually protecting the terpenes – and that’s why you can notice how strong does fresh cannabis smell as you touch the flowers with bare hands.
Did you know that sugar leaves are also covered with a spectacular number of trichomes
With this in mind, even though it might be tempting to touch your green ladies – avoid this as much as possible and limit messing up with the sticky, sparkling trichomes only in cases when dealing with severe issues such as plants’ diseases or pests attacks.
Video by Reggaeville – Lutan Fyah – Sweet Trichomes [Official Video 2016]
#2 –Flushing matters.
Flushing out cannabis plants refers to the process of limiting the addition of any nutrients about a week or so before harvesting.
Organic, as well as non-organic fertilizers both affect the aroma of cannabis – even though in a subtle, moderate way, unflushed weed is easily detectable for experienced cannabis connoisseurs.
The reason why unflushed cannabis ends up with a harsher, cough-inducing taste and less of or less complex aroma profile is that excess nutrients tend to build up in time.
As a result of this build-up, both flavor and aroma have a hard time cutting through – so these get partially lost, damaged, and/or less long-lasting.
For those who are planning to grow cannabis organically using no-till soil and no extra nutrients, flushing about 5 days before harvest is necessary.
For those who grow in soil and add extra nutrients, flush out your cannabis plants with pure water 2 weeks prior to harvesting.
For hydroponic growers, flushing out should take place about a week before harvesting.
#3 – Go for Wet Trimming.
There are both pros and cons to wet trimming vs. dry trimming.
But the fact that wet trimming tends to preserve much more of the cannabis aroma intact is undisputable.
The reason behind this is pretty simple – with dry trimming, you stand a higher chance of losing the precious trichomes since they can easily fall off.
When you choose to trim your marijuana plants straight after harvesting (the process of wet trimming), trichomes are still very sticky. Thus, with some careful handling and patience, you can save much of the trichomes from easily falling off as with dry trimming.
#4 – Dry.And. Cure.Your. Buds. Properly.Seriously.Period.
Drying cannabis can take anything from 3 and up to 14 days – it really depends on the unique drying environment in your region.
As a rule of thumb, the drying environment should be a cool, dark space. Humidity levels should be kept at about 50%. Temperature rates should be kept at 59 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit (15 – 22 Celsius).
Curing is no less important than drying cannabis, even though this step is often neglected.
Curing takes more time and patience because you need to store the dried buds in mason jars that are “burped off” from time to time in order to ensure moisture leaves the buds gradually without harming the aromatic terpenes or active cannabinoids.
But in the end, both drying and curing cannabis carefully do truly make a HUGE difference in the flavor, aroma, and potency of the green medication.
How to Preserve the Aroma of your Cannabis: DO’s and DON’ts – The Wrap-Up
Store your cannabis in a cool, dry placeaway from direct sunlight.
Store your cannabis in containers made out of glass.
Store your cannabis is tightly-sealed containers to minimize oxygen exposure.
Store your cannabis carefully by controllinghumidity levels.
Store different cannabis strains in separate containers to preserve the unique aroma profile of each strain.
Flush out before harvest.
Always dry and cure cannabis with utmost attention and precision.
Always clean your smoking equipment (bongs, pipes, etc.) properly.
Dab at lower temperatures.
Don’t store your cannabis in plastic containers
Don’t use tobacco humidors (most tobacco humidors make use of propylene glycol sponges that can affect the aroma of cannabis; many tobacco humidors are made from cedar wood. Natural oils present in cedar wood can also affect the aroma of your cannabis).
Don’t touch marijuana flowers with bare hands – use gloves and/or scissors and/or grinders accordingly.
Don’tstore your cannabis in a refrigerator or a freezer (storing cannabis in the freezer and preserving its aroma is only possible through the use of top-grade vacuum sealing equipment).
Don’tstore your cannabis close to heat-emitting devices.
Don’t use odor-trapping neutralizers in your grow room.
To wrap things up, we want to encourage you that knowing how to preserve the aroma of your cannabis isn’t deprived of the benefits of living in the 21st century. Modern-day technologies and the growing cannabis industry have teamed up in the production of cut-edge devices and the introduction of best cannabis aroma preservation practices – so always stay on the watch for exciting news! You can do so by subscribing to our newsletter.