It may have never even crossed your mind, but cannabis can become moldy if it isn’t stored properly. If you’re somewhat of a cannabis pro, you may have your tried and true secret stash receptacle that you’ve always used, even if it wasn’t the best or most secure.
There are now hundreds of products available designed specifically to keep cannabis safe from mold and humidity, and you may want to think about making the switch. It turns out that these storage receptacles are helping shield cannabis flowers from all types of growths, mainly mold and yeast. Since the legalization of cannabis in individual states, dozens of recalls relating to moldy products have been issued and products pulled out from shelves.
Mold is potentially dangerous to your health. It can also cause a whole host of other issues with your cannabis, which could change the experience when it comes time to use the product.
Effects of Mold on Marijuana
Mold is all around us, more specifically in the air around us. Mold can be entirely harmless for one person and extremely dangerous for someone else, making it difficult for them to breathe. That is why it’s never a good idea to consume marijuana after it grows mold because the consequences could be severe.
Aside from the potential dangers of ingesting mold, if it starts growing on your marijuana, it will not taste, smell, or feel as it would before it developed the mold spores.
Another thing you may notice pretty quickly about moldy cannabis is its potency level. Almost immediately after mold spores form, cannabis begins to lose its potency, and there may be a reasonable explanation as to why.
Cannabis consists of hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes, and the mold will cause those compounds to begin breaking down right away. When that happens, your cannabis flower or the bud’s chemical makeup starts to change, and the compounds begin interacting differently from before.
Destroying the terpenes may leave you with a terrible-tasting bud that may almost seem sour. Terpenes are the compounds responsible for producing the aromas and flavors in each cannabis flower. Once they’re gone, the flavor and any trace of pleasant aroma are gone.
So, where do we even begin, and what type of storage container do I need? Let’s dive into the myriad of options available.
Tricks of the Trade
When it comes to storing cannabis, your goal should be to avoid moisture of any kind near the area in which it is stored. You want to avoid heat, air, and moisture above all else. Moisture will ruin the flower the fastest, and heat can break down even more of the bud’s compounds than humidity. Before loading your cannabis flower into its new home, make sure the container is completely dry. Even the tiniest amount of moisture can harm dry cannabis products.
You want to choose your storage container based on your habits. If you keep one to two weeks’ worth of cannabis or concentrate on hand and you’re looking to keep it safe for that amount of time, here are a few good options.
Push and turn vials are basically child-proof medication bottles, and they’re small enough to take with you. Pop-top bottles are another solid choice, although not all of these vials and bottles are child-proof, even if they are difficult to pop open. Both of these options protect from moisture and air, but they are not the best choice for larger amounts of cannabis flower or concentrate. These two options are best if you don’t have little ones running around and don’t plan to take your product on too many trips out of the house. You may notice many dispensaries choose pop-top bottles when you buy a bud or two, and that’s about the amount you can keep in one of these receptacles.
One of the best options for all uses, habits, purposes, and products are exit bags. These small, flexible packages are highly versatile. These small packages are usually about the size of a men’s wallet but thinner. Some exit bags are certified child-proof, giving you added peace of mind if you have little ones around the house. These bags are also air-tight and leak-proof, which helps keep that cannabis scent inside where it belongs. Exit bags are the best choice for keeping average amounts of cannabis with you on-the-go without smelling like you just smoked.
If you are looking for long-term storage, you’ll want to choose either a glass jar or wooden box with an air-tight seal. Glass jars are among the most convenient and inexpensive storage options, and they will seal out most of the heat, air, and moisture and protect your product.
Testing for Mold
One of the many unfortunate side effects of states having control over cannabis regulations and not the fed government is that each one must draft and implement their own rules. In Missouri, they just realized one rule they forgot to include.
Just weeks after marijuana was legalized in Missouri, a large batch of flowers had to be recalled due to mold issues. That incident sparked immediate discussion about how to regulate products for things such as mold and yeast growths. The problem is that state regulators do not require mold testing on a wide-scale basis yet.
In Colorado, cultivators must adhere to strict regulations and meet specific standards for mold and other bacteria according to TYMC requirements, which are the same guidelines that food, makeup, and other household products must adhere to according to the federal government.
If you want to check to see if your cannabis flower is growing mold, look at the bud closely, and if you notice any white or black spores growing, it’s probably too late.
No one wants mold growing on their cannabis flower, but there may be an even better reason to up your storage game. If you have little ones around the house, child-proof containers are a fantastic idea. These won’t just keep your cannabis safe; they’ll keep the kiddos safe, too.