Drying, curing, and storing cannabis are the three final steps before buds are sent to dispensaries, or flower is sent to processors. All three steps overlap and you can read more about drying and curing in our previous articles.
Towards the end of the drying phase, aerobic bacteria begin breaking down plant material, kicking off the curing phase. After your buds are cured, they are ready to be stored and shipped to cannabis manufacturers and dispensaries. In fact, depending on your method, your buds can finish curing inside the same container they are stored in during shipping.
Why Does the Way You Store Cannabis Matter?
Perfectly cured buds can last months, if not longer when packaged and stored properly. And it’s easy to overlook the threat of quality degradation once you’ve prepared your flower to be sold. After a cannabis cultivator trims, dries, and cures their buds, the flower is packaged and stored for two primary purposes:
- Storing large quantities of flower in preparation for transport to a cannabis processing and manufacturing facility.
- The aromatic buds need to be weighed and packaged in dispensary-compliant packaging to be stored until being sold and shipped for retail or medical use.
The last thing a cannabis farmer wants is for their product to arrive at its destination under-weight and with less aroma due to a loss of terpenes. And both are very common issues. The packaging used to store your cannabis in can help mitigate both of these revenue-reducing effects.
Maintaining Weight and Aroma
Choosing the best curing and storage bags preserves the potency and aroma of your buds by preventing the loss of valuable terpenes and moisture weight. For businesses that handle large amounts of flower Grove Bags’ tote liners provide a scalable transport solution.
The loss of any water under the cured 10% RH will reduce the sell-weight of your buds. This will cut directly into your bottom line, so choosing the best supplies to store your cannabis is paramount.
Use Case: Let’s Make Some Gummies
Let’s say you bought 1 oz of cannabis that tested at 17% THC content for about $100. We know prices vary significantly, so we’re just going to use a round number for the sake of easing the math.
One ounce of flower equates to 28.35 grams. Multiply by 1,000 and you have 28,350 milligrams of cannabis. Multiply again by 17% (THC content), and your 1 oz of flower contains 4,820 mg. of THC.
For perspective, that’s enough THC for about 12, half-gram vape cartridges at 80% THC concentration. Or enough THC for 480 gummies at 10 mg. per dose. Let’s take a look at the maths again:
- 1oz = 28.35g
- 28.35g = 28,350mg
- 28,350mg x .17 (17% THC) = 4,820mg of THC
- 4,820mg / 10mg per gummy = 480 gummies at 10mg THC each
- 480 gummies / 10 gummies per pack = 48 packages of gummies
- If each pack retails at $20, that’s about $960 in revenue
Subtracting the cost of the flower, that’s $860 in revenue not counting your other business and operating expenses. Not bad! And as you can see, the two biggest contributing factors are weight and THC concentration. Lost weight = loss profits.
Evaporating Profits: A Common Dilemma
Next, let’s say you purchase another ounce of flower from a different cultivator. And perhaps they are not storing cannabis in packaging designed to maintain moisture content within the trichomes. The ounce of cannabis could easily lose 10% of its weight due to over-drying and evaporation.
The 28.35 grams weighed with an NTEP scale at the time of sale becomes 25.5 grams during storage and transport – a loss of 2.85 grams. In the gummy use case above, that equates to nearly 5 packs of gummies, or $100 in lost revenue. In an industry where every gram counts, the loss in profits due to evaporation add up quickly and affect every step in the supply chain:
- Cultivators lose money when improperly stored buds lose weight to evaporation.
- Manufacturers who purchase bulk flower in poor storage containers will experience terpene burn-off, cannabinoid degradation, and a reduction in inventory due to moisture loss.
- In our gummy example, the cannabis processor will either have to make fewer gummies or decrease the THC mg. per dose. Either option will result in a loss in revenue.
As you can see, it’s important to take precautions so you don’t allow revenue to evaporate into thin air – literally. Let’s take a look at common cannabis storage methods used both historically, as well as in today’s modernized cannabis industry.
There was certainly a time not long ago, where some folks used medicine bottles and plastic baggies to store and transport their cannabis. These are obviously crude tools not used in a commercial environment for several reasons:
- Medicine bottles allow flower to leech medications into the buds, which can be dangerous to end-users.
- Plastic baggies and garbage bags generate high levels of static electricity, stripping trichomes off your buds, reducing potency.
- Generic plastic bags also provide little environmental stability, causing buds to become overly dry or overly damp – both presenting huge issues for large-scale cannabis cultivators.
We only mention these crude storage methods to track how far the cannabis industry has traveled over a short time. And we strongly discourage the use of non-food grade plastics or used medical bottles. The risk of contamination is high, and their ability to preserve your bud’s cannabinoids and terpenes are very low.
As commercial cannabis cultivation grew, the industry began assimilating equipment and supplies from established commercial businesses. Mylar was invented in the 1950s, and became very popular in the foodservice industry. Storing food in Mylar (or bopet) bags greatly extended the storage of dehydrated or dried food products because Mylar was:
- Non-porous (locked air out)
- Puncture resistant, durable, and;
- Moldable enough to adapt to the various sizes of food products.
As the cannabis market expanded, so did the need for commercial, food, and lab-grade solutions. Mylar made the pivot from foodservice to cannabis fairly easily. This provided cannabis cultivators a safe and effective bag to store fully cured bud and flower.
That said, although Mylar barrier bags are quite common, companies such as Grove Bags have developed an even more advanced option to maintain yields while storing and transporting cannabis.
Why do people hold tight to their methods of storing cannabis? Simple. We get married to our processes. The phrase “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” often slows progress and innovation. The fact is, traditional methods of storing cannabis often provide an opportunity for mold growth or terpene burn-off if one is not careful.
Fortunately, there are cannabis storage solutions available to cultivators that are designed for both transport to dispensaries and cannabis extractors. And spoiler alert – if you cured your cannabis inside Grove Bags wicket bags, then you’re in luck. Wicket bags are not only great for curing due to their auto-burping feature, but they also excel in the storage and preservation of your buds and trim.
Storing Cannabis for Shipment to Dispensaries
When packaging your cured buds for sale to a dispensary, it’s important to remember that your profitability is based on two primary components – potency and weight.
Both measurements have a direct impact on the value of your product. Too much moisture and your buds may be contaminated by mold and fungus. Too little moisture and you begin burning off terpenes along with the revenue associated with the weight of your buds.
The TerpLoc® pouches designed by Grove Bags protect the valuable terpenes that distinguish your strains. These advanced storage bags also maintain the weight of your flower by maintaining an ideal environment and RH within each pouch. And of course, TerpLoc® pouches lock-in odor, keeping their contents compliant and discrete.
Grove Bags barrier bags provide the perfect finish to your cured buds, ensuring medical users receive the full medicinal benefits of your flower.
Storing Cannabis for Shipment to Processors
Starting with high-quality flower is important to cannabis processors who manufacture shatter, wax, and vape oil from extracted cannabinoids and terpenes found in the flower and trim. Cannabis stored in liners using TerpLoc® technology provides higher yields ounce for ounce and pound for pound.
Every pillar of the cannabis industry continues to look for new ways to increase product quality while maximizing cannabinoid and terpene outputs. Grove Bags are one of the industry leaders in providing up-stream solutions that provide benefits to customers purchasing buds, extracts, and prerolls.
If you’re still using turkey bags and Mylar to store your cannabis, we recommend checking out the Grove Bags product line. Especially if you’ve ever had your buds sell under-weight or have experienced a loss in terpenes while curing and storing your flower.
Need More Help?
At Omega, we know that how you store and transport your cannabis is important to maintaining cannabinoid quality and aroma. Always remember that properly storing your cannabis will result in higher yields and increased sales. Using the best packaging and tote-liners are essential for long-term storage and terpene preservation. Whether you’ve operated a commercial grow facility for years or are just getting started, we’re here to help.
If you have questions about our selection of cannabis storage pouches and liners, feel free to reach out to our team. We’re happy to help and provide additional resources and answer any other questions you may have.