Make some room in the crisper.
If you tend to consume your cannabis products in a matter of days, not weeks, good for you: Time is not kind to marijuana, in any of its forms. In a matter of months, flower dries out, edibles go rancid, and even concentrates lose their potency.
But a 2019 study suggests that refrigerating or freezing may slow the degradation of THC – at least in concentrated forms, which inherently have a longer shelf life than cannabis flower or edibles.
Conducted in Italy and published last week in Forensic Science International, the study measured the level of THC in “herbal and resin materials” at 100-day intervals, and under different conditions, over a four-year period.
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At room temperature, whether in darkness or light, the materials suffered 100% degradation of delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), with around 10% of that eroding in the first 100 days. Over time, THC converts to CBN, which doesn’t get you “high,” but can have sedative properties.
Refrigerated cannabis, however, showed some decline in THC and increase in CBN, but the change wasn’t nearly as profound as the room-temp samples.
And in frozen samples, THC levels didn’t hardly change at all. Keeping the samples below -20 °C preserved nearly all the cannabis compounds in their original states.
The authors put it plainly: “Freezing is the best storage condition to avoid the reduction of the cannabinoids content over time.”
Let it go. Don’t hold back anymore.
Unfortunately, this research only really applies to a handful of types of concentrates and hash. Other studies on storage best-practices have included flower – but not the element of freezing or refrigeration.
For now, it’s not a stretch to conclude that cooler conditions are more ideal for THC preservation over time, no matter the type of product or material. And this much seems clear: chilling or freezing your cannabis certainly can’t hurt it.
Anyway, shouldn’t those late-night trips to the fridge give you all the options?