How Does Humidity Affect Your Cannabis?
There are many elements to consider when properly curing and storing your cannabis. One of the most crucial considerations is managing the relative humidity (RH) of the plant while it’s stored in an airtight container. Having too much moisture will increase the risk of contamination by mold or mildew. Having too little moisture will cause the trichomes to dry out. They will become brittle, harsh, and less effective as the essential oils that carry the cannabinoids and terpenes slowly degrade.
Luckily, there’s a solution that avoids the balancing act of monitoring your ambient humidity and maintaining the ideal RH. As well as giving you a powerful tool to give your cannabis the best cure possible.
What is Ambient Humidity?
Ambient humidity is what’s happening outside your container of cannabis. It could be your bedroom, the trunk of your car, or the outdoors. For air conditioned homes, the humidity is usually 20-30% because the AC scrubs moisture out of the air. Inside a heated home, the humidity will often be even lower as the furnace scrubs much of the ambient humidity.
In the time it takes to open and prepare cannabis for consumption, the flower can lose a detectable amount of moisture. Without a proper way to monitor and adjust humidity in your container, the cannabis will dry over time.
Using cannabis humidity packs like Boveda 62 in the container allows you to quickly replace the lost moisture both in the air and in the plant. The cannabis is then the same original quality every time. Some would even make the case it gets better with age, like wine or cigars.
The RH “Sweet Spot”
Humidity control packs can monitor ambient humidity and add or remove moisture to deliver a precise RH. This gives your cannabis the optimal moisture content and keeping it true to its original form. For example, the Boveda 62, developed after repeated requests from cannabis aficionados to create a pack that held a lower RH. This Boveda pack keeps your buds at the perfect 62% RH level.
To determine the best RH for cannabis, we hired a third party laboratory to do a moisture sorption isotherm on a single strain of cannabis. A moisture sorption isotherm test applies a wide range of humidity levels to an item. It also determines an RH range in which the properties of the item doesn’t change. For the strain of cannabis the lab tested, 59-63% RH showed to be ideal.
In the same way nature has gifted the world cannabis, it gifts us the natural salts that provide the key to balancing RH levels. Different salt compounds hold a varying range of moisture. Making it crucial to source a salt that stabilizes moisture content at an ideal 62%.
Many who prefer vaporizing their cannabis are finding they favor even lower humidity levels, such as the 54%. Personal preference can also dictate your ideal RH “sweet spot,” with elements like plant density and personal taste being the deciding factors.
How Does RH Affect the Curing, Drying, and Storage of Cannabis?
If you want the best possible cure, you need to store cannabis in an environment with stable RH within the ideal range. The ambient humidity isn’t much of a concern. Boveda cannabis humidity packs respond to conditions inside the container, absorbing or releasing moisture to maintain the ideal 62% inside.
From there, your major concerns are temperature and light. Boveda adjusts the humidity based on temperature changes, but cannabis should always be kept away from high temperatures to avoid decarboxylation or activating the precious cannabinoids. And as widely recommended throughout the cannabis industry, always store you cannabis in a cool dark place.
While Boveda is effective at removing excess moisture, growers should still dry cannabis using their traditional methods. When the branches feel close to their target moisture content, put the buds in containers with Boveda to help adjust the RH to the proper range for cannabis.
Written and Posted by Leafly
Click here to find a Store Near You or Order now!Humidity plays a huge role in the quality of cannabis. Maintain superior quality with cannabis humidity packs from Boveda.
Pro Tips: Curing Cannabis
Learn how terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids mature while pros cure cannabis with humidity packs and after curing, why a terpene shield is essential to prevent terpene and water weight loss while cannabis is in storage, in transport and on the shelf.
More and more cannabis enthusiasts are educating themselves on what fantastic finished product looks and smells like. The true indicator of superior cannabis is in the curing of it. Cannabis connoisseurs know this.
With an increase of legal cultivators flooding into new markets, these growers must produce exceptional product to appeal to the most discerning tastes.
Curing is more than a step in cultivation–it’s an art form.
The cannabis world is learning quickly that the true secret to fuller, more potent and more enjoyable buds is all in the cure. As legal cannabis cultivation has expanded, curing has advanced scientifically to keep up with demand.
Properly cured cannabis retains its weight, flavor and cannabinoid levels much better than flowers that are handled carelessly.
The curing process begins even before the harvest. For the cultivator who harvests product with care, a solid humidity control strategy is the way to go. Throughout the cultivation process, humidity in the air should be as consistent as possible to produce the highest quality flowers.
Tip 1: Control the Environment
So as a cannabis grower, is the environment really something you can control? Yes, if you’re adaptable.
Choose the best grow operation based on your climate (and local laws, of course), such as:
Many growers prefer a hydroponic system, which lets you easily adjust the humidity levels indoors. Others cultivators like a greenhouse setting—natural light can shine in while moisture levels can still be contained. Either way, it’s a lot of work to regulate an internal environment every day. And the best cultivators strive for perfection in every possible area of grow.
Next time you shop for flower at the dispensary, notice the subtle differences between indoor and outdoor buds. See which ones you like the best. Ask a budtender or in-store cannabis consultant where that cannabis was grown. (And if that flower comes packaged with a humidity control pack that creates a terpene shield.)
Tip 2: Harvest & Dry Promptly
Whether grown indoors or outdoors, professionally grown cannabis will retain its flavors and aromas thanks to modern humidity control. The finished product in your jar has been through a long and painstaking journey!
Several vital steps don’t even take place until after harvest, such as:
- Cutting down and hanging plant limbs to dry
- Trimming old growth off of the flowers
- Curing, which dries and prepares the flower for packaging, retail and eventually consumption
Perhaps the most important and often overlooked part of cultivation is knowing when to harvest the plants. Here’s where things get tricky for cultivators. Harvesting too early could negatively affect the potency of your finished flower. Letting the flowers sit too long on the plant could cause them to prematurely dry out. Knowing the growing cycle by heart and achieving the perfect balance at harvest time are signs of a truly skilled grower.
After harvest, cannabis flower should be dried for three to seven days in a humidity-controlled environment. This allows for natural moisture to evaporate slowly, so the buds don’t become too dry. After this initial drying process, flower should always be cured in special airtight containers with a cannabis humidity pack.
Growers use Boveda to balance out the moisture of curing cannabis at a precise relative humidity (RH) level where the full bouquet of cannabinoids and terpenes can finish developing. Coupling Boveda with specialized equipment, like CVault curing containers, ensures a precise and safe curing experience.
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Tip 3: Always Store Cannabis With a Humidity Pack That Creates A Terpene Shield
Growers of grains and produce go to great lengths to keep their harvests fresh long after they reach their final destination. The same should be true for high-grade cannabis flowers.
Before it’s consumed, most cannabis sits in storage or on the shelf for months. Post-cure it’s important producers store cannabis at the proper relative humidity (RH) level based on ASTM International Standards for cannabis.
Storing flower between 58 and 62% RH keeps cannabis in the safe zone.
Not every cannabis humidity pack can maintain this ideal RH range to create a terpene shield, which keeps flower fresh, prevent moisture damage and eliminate over drying.
Using Boveda, you create a powerful terpene shield made of purified water. This shield protects precious trichomes by preventing evaporation and preserving the terpenes, cannabinoid, and THC.
Much like a thermostat, Boveda dials-in and maintains a container’s humidity levels to 58% or 62%, using nature’s original preserver, salt.
Boveda’s patented product is the only one that can deliver this equilibrium with precision, adding or removing pure water vapor as needed. It’s as easy as slipping Boveda in a storage container along with flower.
Initially when you put Boveda in with flower post-cure, the movement of water vapor out of the membrane is fast. When there is a big difference between the current RH level of flower and where that flower should be, those water molecules move at max speed.
Growers and packagers who use Boveda’s unique, saltwater-based formulations can restore bud to the right level of moisture in 3 days or less—more than twice as fast as any other cannabis humidity pack.The key to superior cannabis is in the curing. Learn why pros store cannabis post-cure with Boveda, the only pack that creates a terpene shield. ]]>