Originally published 7/20/22, expanded 5/3/23
When you track down your favorite strains, it’s natural to want to stock up. However, if your weed is not properly stored, your investment can quickly become flavorless and less potent.
There are several factors that affect how long weed stays fresh, but the most important two are temperature and humidity. Let's take a closer look at the ideal humidity and temperature for marijuana storage.
Breaking down the best temperature and humidity for weed storage…
Right to the point, if you don't keep your weed at the proper humidity and temperature, the cannabinoids and terpenes can break down, and mold problems can start to develop. The big question is, what is the best temperature and ideal humidity for marijuana storage?
The best temperature for storing weed is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can get away with temperatures as low as 50. Most people keep the interior of their homes at temperatures close to this range. What one person considers a comfortable interior temperature varies, but the general range for most people is somewhere between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finding a cool spot away from sunlight in the house is always recommended. Pay close attention to the temperature inside your home. You may need to adjust the temperature of your home to stay within the 60-68 degree (F) range for optimum cannabis preservation, or store your stash in an area of the home or property that remains within the proper range.
The best humidity for weed storage is between 55 and 65 percent. For reference, the average acceptable humidity level inside a typical, air-conditioned home is between 30 and 40 percent, which is too dry to keep weed fresh. In the winter, humidity levels can drop even further, especially if you rely on drying types of heat such as forced air. Therefore, most indoor areas do not naturally contain the ideal conditions for weed storage. Flower left out in open air in a typical home will lose its moisture, and terpenes and cannabinoids could deteriorate.
You can protect against this effect by creating the proper storage environment to keep your flower from drying out. Keeping your bud in an airtight container is the first step, and humidity pack solutions like the Evergreen pod can help you achieve this optimal humidity range inside your stash jar for long term storage.
At what temperature does THC degrade?
When THC degrades, it generally converts into CBN (cannabinol), which can drastically affect the potency of your bud. CBN is only mildly intoxicating (possibly 25 percent as potent or less than THC), and is often referred to as the "old weed” cannabinoid. THC can start to degrade to CBN after six minutes at a temperature of 248º F, but initial degradation can start to occur at lower temperatures.
Does light degrade THC?
Sunlight, more specifically UV exposure, can degrade THC significantly. While exactly how long it takes for light to degrade THC is not well established, some independent researchers have offered some insight. For example, one researcher established that UV light degraded THC at a rate of a .5 percent decline of potency for every 60 minutes of UV exposure. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your cannabis bud out of sunlight.
Does THC degrade over time?
THC does degrade over time, even though the process can be slowed under ideal storage conditions. So, how long does THC take to degrade? While the research into the THC degradation process is older, studies have shown that cannabis loses about 16 percent of the present THC after being in storage for a year. After being stored for two years, you may see as much as a 26 percent THC loss. By four years in storage, that loss may be as high as 41 percent. Of course, these changes could vary depending on the strain and could be mitigated or exacerbated by storage conditions.
Why do humidity and temperature matter when storing weed?
When cannabis is harvested, growers go through a painstaking process to cure the buds to retain optimal quality and longevity. For example, some growers use a process where buds are kept at about 64 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity levels between 45 and 55 percent for a few weeks. This encourages moisture levels in the plant to drop to about 5 to 10 percent by the time the cannabis is tucked into a package for sale.
Temperature and humidity play key roles in the curing process, so they naturally play a role in keeping the cannabis fresh after being cured. High temperatures can cause decarboxylation of cannabinoids, which means the cannabinoids present turn into something else. Low temperatures can cause damage to the trichomes, which is one reason storing weed in a freezer is a bad idea.
High humidity can contribute to mold on your weed, which can alter the quality of the flower and even pose health concerns when smoked. By contrast, low humidity causes the terpenes and cannabinoids to evaporate, and the flower to become brittle and not as effective or enjoyable to smoke.
Protect Your Cannabis Supply with Evergreen
Evergreen offers a full collection of weed storage supplies designed to help with these issues, including top-of-the-line stash jars and humidity control pods to keep moisture levels in check. Be sure to check out our collection and pick up what you need to protect your cannabis supply during storage.