Congratulations! You just made your very first purchase of medical cannabis products. Now what? This article is about the importance of maintaining the freshness and potency of your cannabis products. I also talk about safety precautions for patients, especially those with children and pets.
Proper Storage of Medical Cannabis Products
Preserving the quality and potency of your medical cannabis products requires that you do the following:
Before I continue, I just wanted to define cannabis Trichomes, for those of you new patients who may not be familiar with the anatomy of the cannabis plant. They are the tiny, shiny, sticky crystals that appear on the surface of the cannabis plant. They house a resinous gland head which is the production center for all the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis. They appear on the flowers, the main fan leaves and even the stalks during the late stages of cannabis plant growth. They also protect the cannabis plant from predators, fungal growth and high winds.
1. Minimize Handling cannabis flower so that the fragile trichomes do not fall off. Only handle it when you are preparing it for use.
2. Store It In a Cool Dark Place Avoid exposure of your medical cannabis to heat and moisture. Heat will dry it out while moisture may lead to mold and bacteria growth. There is some disagreement about whether or not to refrigerate your cannabis. A fluctuation in temperature affects the potency and freshness of cannabis flower. By refrigerating your flower, it will be subject to temperature changes when you remove it to medicate and return it to the refrigerator. Refrigeration may also produce unnecessary moisture. Trichomes are also affected by exposure to light which may destroy them.
3. Humidity Is Important Try to maintain the humidity of your storage area to 55% to 62%. This will preserve more of the cannabinoid and terpene contents of you flower.
4. Do Not Freeze Your Cannabis Flower Everyone agrees that cannabis flower must not be kept in the freezer. Freezing the flower will cause the trichomes to freeze, making them more likely to drop off.
5. Keep It In an Airtight Container Exposure to air will dry out your medical cannabis products. The best container for this purpose is an airtight mason jar. The best seal is the one with a wire swing top. Mason jars come in different sizes, so choose one in which your flower takes up the entire container so that there is as little air as possible. If you do not have an airtight mason jar, put it in a brown paper bag and place that inside a plastic bag. Remove as much of the air as possible from both the paper and the plastic bags.
6. More Storage Suggestions You may even choose to set up two types of storage containers; one for your daily supply and one for your long term supply.
Safety Precautions for Medical Patients
These safety precautions are for all medical cannabis patients, but are even more crucial for those who have children and pets. This also applies to those who grant access to their home to babysitters, dog walkers, house cleaners, handymen, contractors, out of town guests and extended family members. Better to be safe than sorry!
1. Never Leave Your Medicine Out in a Common Living Space As soon as you are finished medicating, return your medicine to its storage containers and remove from sight.
2. For Those With Young Children Keep your medical cannabis products out of sight and out of reach. A cardboard box on a top shelf of a closet may suffice unless you have inquisitive climbers who love to investigate shelves in closets. You may need to use a locked drawer or cabinet or even a lock box.
3. For Those With Older Children Older children are much more likely to recognize cannabis products. However, they may be unclear as to why you are using it. It may be time to have that conversation with your children about your medical cannabis usage. Explain why you use it. Ask and answer all questions without being judgmental. Accidental poisonings are a potential problem for children of all ages and for pets.
Talk to the parents of your child’s friends and ask if they use cannabis products. If they do, remind them to keep them out of sight when your children are visiting their house.
4. For Those With Pets Dogs are much more susceptible to cannabis overdosing than are cats. Dogs are particularly attracted to cannabis. They are more sensitive to the effects of THC than are humans. Even second hand smoke may affect your dog. Keep pets away from not only cannabis products and accessories, but also keep roaches and bong water away from them.
While exposure to THC will most likely not be life-threatening to your dog, they may suffer from some very unpleasant side effects which include the following:
- Unsteady on their feet
- Dilated eyes
- Dribbling urine
- Sensitivity to sound and touch
- Slowing of the heart rate
- Decrease in body temperature
Protect Your Cannabis Products From Outsiders
If you have babysitters, dog walkers, housecleaners, landscapers, handymen, contractors, out of town guests and extended family members who frequent your house, you may want to purchase a lock box to protect your cannabis products. It is always wise to err on the side of caution!
massroots.com, What Are Cannabis Trichomes and Why Are They Important? Gooey Rabinski, Aug 17, 2015
inverse.com, 3 Tips To Keep Your Dog From Eating Your Weed
childrenscolorado.org, Marijuana Safety in the Home
ncsm.nl, Best Way To Store Weed and Keep Your Marijuana Fresh