Importance of Retaining Aroma in Sticky Cannabis

Cannabis growers and enthusiasts put in a lot of effort to cultivate high-quality crop that provides the full flavor and sensory experience consumers seek. However, preserving those sought-after qualities requires diligent handling and storage practices post-harvest. This article delves into the importance of retaining desirable aromatic properties in sticky cannabis buds and offers tips growers and consumers can employ.

Few parts of the cannabis experience are as alluring and memorable as its complex scent. Terpene and terpenoid molecules give unique herbal, citrus, floral and other aromas to different strains. These aromatic compounds contribute significantly to cannabis' medical benefits and desired psychoactive effects as well. Their presence attracts consumers and enhances enjoyment of the plant. Considering aroma's importance, strategies must protect it through the handling and storage process.

Proper Drying and Curing

Slowly drying sticky cannabis buds at optimal humidity levels post-harvest helps “lock in” desirable smells through curing. If dried too quickly, aromatic compounds can degrade or oxidize, resulting in a less enticing smell profile. During curing, regular burping of sealed containers allows ethylene gases released by the plant to dissipate while letting moisture evaporate gradually over weeks. This process stabilizes and enhances scent.

Drying

The rapid drying of fresh buds can damage delicate aromatic substances. 1 will cover:

  • Drying at Low Temperatures - Drying cannabis too fast at high temperatures causes aromatic compounds to degrade more quickly than slower drying at 60-70°F.
  • Proper Humidity Levels - Maintaining relative humidity around 55-65% during drying helps prevent buds from drying out too fast while not causing mold issues.

Curing

Curing stabilizes scent through a natural aging process. We will explore:

  • Importance of Burping - Opening sealed containers regularly during the curing process allows gases like ethylene and carbon dioxide to escape, while maintain optimal humidity levels to preserve aromas.
  • Extended Curing Benefits - Continuing curing for 4+ weeks after initial drying helps blend and mature aromatic elements, leading to a more complex, nuanced scent profile.

Packaging for Aroma Retention

Once properly cured, sticky cannabis must be packed thoughtfully to maintain its fragrance qualities long-term. Containers that are non-porous, air-tight and limit light exposure best retain volatile organic compounds responsible for distinctive smells.

Aroma-Protective Packaging

This examines packaging options for long-term aroma retention, including:

  • Air-Tight Glass Jars - Glass jars are non-porous, block UV light exposure that degrades terpenes, and allow for burping to release gases over time for extended curing.
  • Mylar Bags - Metallized plastic mylar film is an effective barrier to light, oxygen and moisture, protecting aromatic elements for a year or more when sealed properly.

Packaging Pitfalls

We'll also look at packaging materials to avoid, and why, such as:

  • Plastic Baggies - Typical plastic is porous and allows terpenes and aromas to permeate out or degrade from exposure to heat and light over weeks/months.
  • Cardboard Boxes - Though usable for transporting larger quantities, cardboard is porous and lacks necessary barrier properties for long-term storage.

Storage Environment Factors

Even with ideal packaging, certain storage conditions can negatively impact cannabis' fragrance over time. This explores key environmental criteria for preserving stick aromas long-term.

Temperature

This explores optimal temperature ranges and why excess heat/cold degrades aromatic qualities, including:

  • Cool, Dark Place - Storing cannabis products between 58-68°F in a dark cabinet or closet best maintains aromatic terpene stability for 1 year or longer.
  • Refrigeration Pitfalls - Though refrigeration prolongs shelf life, very low temperatures can cause terpenes to coagulate and alter scent profiles.

Humidity

We'll discuss appropriate humidity levels and how deviations impact aroma, such as:

  • Preferred Humidity Range - Maintaining 55-65% relative humidity slows the oxidation process of aromatic compounds without risking mold growth.
  • Dangers of Excess Moisture - Higher humidity speeds chemical reactions that degrade delicate terpenes and phenols, muting desirable scents over time.

Accessories for Improved Storage

Certain additives and containers can give an extra boost to preserving fragrance qualities when used along with optimal conditions.

Humidity Control

This covers humidity regulation tools:

  • Boveda Humidity Packs - Two-way humidity control sachets maintain 55-62% RH, slowing terpene degradation processes in packaging.
  • Hygrometers - Used to monitor storage environment conditions and alert when deviation from the ideal range occurs.

Oxygen Absorbers

We'll look at the benefits of oxygen absorbers for extending shelf life:

  • Eliminating Oxidation Risks - Oxygen accelerates terpene breakdown, so absorbers scavenge air in sealed containers to halt this process for 12+ months.

Display and Presentation

Lastly, how cannabis products are presented after opening can impact the impression of their aromatic qualities. This discusses tasteful display methods.

Out of Direct Light

Proper display when in use preserves appealing characteristics:

  • Away from Bright Windows - Intense natural light or indoor bulbs will accelerate UV degradation of volatile aromatic compounds over days/weeks.
  • Not in High-Traffic Areas - Heavy foot traffic stirs up particles that can impart unwanted smells onto buds over time.

Sachets for Sample Smells

Functional and discreet containers let others enjoy fragrances safely:

  • Small Glass Vials - Ideally sized to contain a sample bud or two for discreetly sniffing aromas on the go.
  • Airtight Tins - Displaying a portion inside an airtight container with a Boveda pack preserves its scent longer term.

 

Related Article: Tips for Storing Sticky Cannabis

 

The Fruit of Diligent Aroma Protection

The meticulous journey of preserving the aromatic essence of cannabis begins right from the moment of its harvest. Each step in the process, from the initial drying and curing phases to the final packaging and storage, is critical in ensuring that the plant's fragrant terpenes and terpenoids are maintained at their peak. These compounds are not only responsible for the plant's distinctive aromas but also contribute to its medical benefits and psychoactive properties. By adhering to strict guidelines regarding temperature, humidity, and protection against environmental factors, it's possible to safeguard these volatile molecules. This careful attention to detail ensures that the cannabis retains its full-spectrum sensory experience, allowing consumers to enjoy the plant's natural potency and aromatic richness for months on end.

Continued commitment to preserving the stability of aromatic terpenes throughout the post-harvest chain is essential for capturing the essence of the cannabis experience. The process involves more than just controlling environmental conditions; it requires a deep understanding of how each step, from drying and curing to packaging and presenting, influences the final product's quality. By prioritizing the retention of a cultivar's signature scent through thoughtful protocols, producers can significantly enhance the consumer experience. This approach not only showcases the complex fragrances of cannabis but also underlines the importance of preserving the integrity of its medicinal and psychoactive components.

The rewards of such diligent aroma protection are manifold. Connoisseurs and casual consumers alike are drawn to cannabis products that consistently deliver on the promise of a rich, immersive sensory experience. By ensuring that the unique fragrances of each strain are preserved, producers can foster enthusiastic consumer loyalty and encourage repeat business. In a market that values authenticity and quality, the ability to maintain the freshness and potency of cannabis through meticulous aroma protection sets apart those who truly understand and respect the plant's intricate nature. This dedication to excellence in every aspect of the post-harvest process not only elevates the consumer experience but also contributes to a deeper appreciation of cannabis as a complex and beneficial botanical.



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