December 06, 2014
Storing Marijuana and Seasonality
As the seasons change, it’s important to remember that temperature and humidity fluctuate, not only outside, but within your home, so take these factors into consideration when storing marijuana. In the northeastern region of the US, the summers in some areas can be 80-90 degrees with the humidity hovering between 60-80% RH, while the winters can go from below zero to 30 degrees and the humidity can fluctuate between 10-30% RH. These swings are huge, so it’s important to take these patterns into consideration when storing marijuana. It’s also important to note, however, that the humidity outside could be very different from the relative humidity inside your home, even more so in specific areas of the house. For example, the outside humidity on a rainy day in Seattle could be 90% RH, but inside your home office by the fireplace, the humidity could be around 40% RH. Relative humidity is the ratio of water vapor in the air, so naturally, places like your attic, family room, and basement, all have different water vapor ratios. This doesn’t mean much if you’re storing marijuana in a jar and plan on using it within a few days, but if you’re the type that likes to have marijuana around for more than a week, it’s important to recognize that there are external factors that will affect your marijuana’s consistency.
We talk a lot about evaporative loss with respect to the trichomes on marijuana buds because this is the primary mechanism that transmits taste, smell, and aroma. Consequently, if the oily trichome glands dry out, then the taste, smell, and aroma will be affected. These trichome glands can swell if they are introduced to water vapor and will subsequently contract when the water vapor ratio is low. This is why it is important to create the perfect environment when storing marijuana that is stable and consistent with respect to humidity.
The graph above illustrates the changes in temperature and relative humidity over a given year, and as you can see, these changes closely follow a pattern. This pattern repeats itself every year, with minor variances from the norm. This is why we highly recommend you control the environment of your marijuana storage. The best thing you can do is maintain relative humidity (RH) so it remains constant. Storing marijuana at the right RH will ensure that you do not compromise the integrity of the trichomes and ultimately the terpenes. This is, after all, why you pay premium for certain strains. We discuss more about storing marijuana and relative humidity here.