Some people think that – because cannabis contains psychoactive compounds rarely found in other flowering plants – it’s somehow exempt from the laws of nature. That it should behave more like a pill than a plant. But that’s not the case.
Cannabis, like every other organic botanical and plant, is susceptible to the elements. It’s vulnerable to the sunshine’s UV rays and the decomposing effects of bacteria and pathogens. And just like every other plant, it’s also subject to humidity.
What is humidity, and how does it interact with cannabis? What are the impacts of unideal humidity on your stash? And how can you control moisture in your cannabis storage to ensure a good experience? In this post, we tackle the big questions about humidity and cannabis. Let’s fire up!
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What Is Humidity, Exactly?
This may be common knowledge, but it can’t hurt to take a refresher course. Put simply, humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in the air. Often, humidity is expressed as relative humidity (RH): a percentage of the total amount of possible water vapor at a given temperature.
If it helps, consider real environments. For example, deserts are notoriously low in humidity (it’s one reason we have some perfectly preserved mummies from Ancient Egypt). By contrast, jungles are notoriously high in humidity (hence the lush undergrowth and canopy).
Humidity and Cannabis
Humidity affects cannabis from inception right the way through to your consumption. Growers dial into varying RHs throughout the growing process (clone, vegetative and flowering stages) to nurture the plant’s growth. They then “cure” the cannabis at an RH between 50% and 60% to dry it slightly, thus inhibiting pathogen growth and concentrating flavors.
During shipment and logistics, cannabis should be kept at an ideal RH – but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Finally, as the end consumer, it’s your job to maintain a suitable RH; doing so ensures that your cannabis stays fresh, aromatic, tasty and potent for longer. To do this, you can add or absorb moisture with a two-way moisture control pack and tight-fitting container (more on that in a moment).
Not Too Dry, Not Too Moist – Just Right
The perfect RH depends on your ambient environment, but most experts agree it’s between 58% and 62% (some allow leeway by recommending 55% to 65%).
Why the strict humidity recommendations? Let’s consider what happens when you deviate from this RH range. If your cannabis is too dry, the trichomes (those “hairs” covering the surface) fall off, taking much of the flavorful terpenes with them. You may also lose potency. And if the cannabis is too moist (i.e., high RH), you risk mold spoilage, rendering your stash un-smokeable.
How to Control Moisture for the Perfect Bud
Thankfully, dialing in a specific RH isn’t as challenging as it sounds. Grab a container with a tight-fitting lid, ideally opaque, to block sunshine. You want something air-tight here to shield your stash from outside climate fluctuations. Next, pop a Boveda two-way moisture pack into the container alongside the bud. These packs conveniently come in 58% and 62% RH options. If the environment inside the container becomes too humid, the pack will absorb moisture; likewise, the pack emits moisture if the container becomes too dry. Ultimately, the pack ensures that the RH remains at a consistent, favorable percentage.
Hopefully, this article saves your next stash from drying out or spoiling. If you’re a grower, read more about perfecting RH from seed to flower at this link.