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Grow Hack: Curing and Storage Changes Potency

Cannabis grown in the Rif Valley in Morocco for hash-making gets dried on rooftops under the hot African sun, and their hash always has a more narcotic feeling with less head-high. Some could say this effect is because of the strain—and the strain’s natural cannabinoid and terpene profile probably plays a major part—but no one denies the heat of the sun plays a significant part, as well.

Much has been said about proper curing. A good, slow drying of cannabis flowers ripens the flavor and, according to some, also ripens the potency. Since most people don’t smoke fresh flowers, it’s hard to tell how potency changes during curing, but now that many extract artists use fresh plants, maybe this curing effect should be considered.

Connoisseurs maintain that more heat and storage gives their pot a stonier feel, but it’s only through years of experience that we know this. Research shows that THC actually decomposes to CBN under these conditions and is responsible for the different effect.

Tests done on lab animals showed that cannabinol, or CBN, makes a THC high more stony. The reason we know curing and heat are the culprit for CBN formation is because CBN does not form naturally in the plant. Cannabis literally doesn’t have the biosynthetic tools to make CBN; cannabinol only exists through the action of light, heat and time on THC, which degrade it to CBN.

This adds another dimension to making flower extracts. Not only will drying buds affect flavor by altering the terpene profile, but it will also affect the cannabinoid profile as well, depending on the conditions. Higher temperatures speed up the THC/CBN degradation, but it always happens to some degree at room temperature. If you want to store you buds for a long time, vacuum-sealed in a freezer is your best option for preserving THC. Light will also speed up the degradation process.

As we continue to delve further and further into every aspect of this amazing plant, connoisseurs will be able to design increasingly unique and specified products for medical applications, enhancement, and, of course, enjoyment.

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