At Honest Marijuana, we are guided by a philosophy that permeates everything we do. This philosophy isn’t just about providing the best marijuana products on the market today. That is a big part of what we do, but it’s not the only thing.
We also work hard to deliver a repeatable consumer experience. To do this, we leverage the best practices from other industries and always strive to create a new quality benchmark for the marijuana industry.
A big piece of that quality depends on a few factor that few people pay much attention to…or even know exists: preservation and perishability. Most consumers are only concerned with the short-term experience—they’re only concerned with the next few days. But what about the long-term experience? What about the next few weeks? What about the next few months?
It’s those questions of long-term quality that make perishability and preservation such important issues…and a big piece of the Honest Marijuana philosophy. We feel that preservation is as important as flower quality. We work hard to preserve and share the complete medical and recreational quality of the whole cannabis plant. We also work hard to raise the level of quality inherent in the industry, both in terms of flower quality and preservation.
But what exactly is perishability? Why is perishability important to smokers? And why does preservation have such a big impact on marijuana quality? This article will address those questions.
What Is Perishability?
Marijuana, like most plant and animal matter, is perishable. That means that it is likely to decay, go bad quickly, or lose inherent properties that are important to the product. To put that in perspective, think about a 2-liter bottle of pop (or soda). When you first open the bottle, if the product is good, the carbonation (the little bubbles) is still a big part of the experience. The soda is fizzy and that’s fun.
But now think about that 2-liter of soda two days later. No matter how tightly you turned the cap, the carbonation has escaped and the drink is no longer fizzy. The soda has gone flat. Though it’s still safe to drink, an inherent property that is important to the product—and the experience—has disappeared. That’s perishability.
Before we touch on how perishability affects marijuana, let’s examine the factors that cause it to “go bad”.
According to Mark Granfar, president of Promolux Lighting, Inc., “Lighting can not only increase the physical temperature of [food] products, but it also acts as an accelerator in the process of oxidation, discoloration, and chemical breakdown of almost all [food] products.” Marijuana is no exception. Whether it’s from the sun or from bulbs, light emits radiation—from visible (light) to ultraviolet (UV) to infrared (IR)—that can speed the breakdown of the inherent properties (e.g., THC and CBD) that make marijuana what it is.
This essential element has a profound effect on the perishability of marijuana products. It can provide just the right conditions for microorganism and enzyme growth, and cause the breakdown of fatty acids within the plant. Micro-organism, enzyme growth, and the breakdown of fatty acids can drastically affect the flavor and aroma of your weed for the worse. This is an extreme example, but the same processes at work on your weed cause milk to go bad. Imagine your nugs as a glass of milk that’s gone sour. Do you still want to smoke them?
Humidity is defined as atmospheric moisture. So, basically, humidity is water. Water (or moisture) provides the right conditions for microorganisms like bacteria, yeast, and mold to thrive. Moisture also makes it possible for certain degenerative chemical reactions to take place within the plant itself. These degenerative chemical reactions decrease the potency of your favorite strain. They decrease it to the point that you don’t receive the same benefits you would with a fresh batch.
Temperature also has a significant effect on the perishability of marijuana. Heat can increase natural food enzyme reactions and cause the premature breakdown of plant matter. In addition, basic components like emulsions and vitamins, can begin to break down with excessive heat. Other factors like moisture content, color, flavor, and odor can be adversely affected by temperature.
Now let’s turn our attention from what makes good marijuana go bad to why this is an important issue for cannabis consumers.
Why Is Perishability Important To Smokers?
If marijuana is stored in less-than-ideal conditions, the quality, experience, taste, high, and effect decrease over time. In order to maintain the medical value, recreational value, and unique properties of the marijuana plant in the long term, Honest Marijuana focuses on preserving what is known as the ‘entourage effect’.
The ‘Entourage Effect’
The ‘entourage effect’ is defined as the interaction of various cannabis compounds (e.g., THC, CBD, terpenes, etc.) to produce a certain physical effect or effects. The ‘entourage effect’ is so important, that certain physical effects (or treatments) are impossible without it.
For example, THC is a great treatment for appetite loss while CBD helps to lessen anxiety. You can’t substitute CBD for THC and expect to get your appetite back. The two are not interchangeable and by themselves, they each have a unique effect. That said, neither will help lessen the pain of nausea or mitigate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
But put them together and suddenly you have a wide variety of treatments and effects available. From depression and OCD to arthritis and migraines—the combination of THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds makes these treatments possible. Their combination produces what is technically known as synergy.
Synergy is defined as the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. The example above is but one illustration of marijuana’s synergistic effects in action. Isolate one component—like CBD, or push one component too high—like THC—at the expense of the other components, and the beneficial effects quickly decrease.
Each Strain Is Unique
Marijuana comes in thousands of different strains. Each strain has a different chemical profile—a different combination of terpenes, ketones, esters, alcohols, and fatty acids—that gives the strain its own unique effects. This is why one strain of marijuana can make you feel calm while another strain can make you feel anxious. The chemical composition and the ‘entourage effect’ play a big part in the experience you have.
The ‘Entourage Effect’ Is Not Permanent
As we discussed, marijuana is perishable. It does “go bad”. The light, oxygen, humidity, and temperature to which it is subjected can cause components within the marijuana to breakdown. In one instance, the ketones may begin to break down before the esters reducing the ‘entourage effect’ in the process. In another instance, the alcohols may begin to break down before the terpenes, again reducing the ‘entourage effect’.
So your experience immediately after buying a strain of marijuana may be completely different a week or two weeks later because of the breakdown of components within the plant matter. This is why preservation is so important. This is why Honest Marijuana works hard to preserve the ‘entourage effect’ of each strain.
How Preservation Prevents Perishability
To maintain the essence and integrity of the plant, proper storage is critical. And we’re not just talking about what you do with your weed when you get home. Preservation is directly tied to the quality of the entire growing process. From the soil, to the care of the plants, to the harvesting, to the packaging—it’s all tied together.
Honest Marijuana takes pride in the marijuana they produce and works hard to ensure the highest quality standards throughout the growing process. We use the finest soils and all-natural fertilizers; we regulate the light, oxygen, humidity, and temperature; and we choose the best storage options for the end product.
All of Honest Marijuana’s efforts contribute to preservation and prevent perishability by ensuring that only the highest quality marijuana products reach you, the consumer. That quality helps to provide you with exactly the effects you’re looking for. And it gives you the comfort of knowing that the marijuana you buy won’t “go bad” the day after you take it home. In addition, our preservation efforts and the quality of our product ensures that the strain that relieved your anxiety will do so the next time you buy.
The Invisible Problem
Perishability has always been an issue. But often times, it is an invisible problem because consumers don’t think it can be prevented. Yes, decay and chemical breakdown is a natural process that can’t be stopped completely. But with proper preservation, it can be slowed down so that the life, and the effectiveness, of the product can be extended. But one preservation method by itself isn’t enough. Like the synergistic interaction between THC, CBD, and other cannabis compounds, preservation involves the entire growing process.
It goes beyond just placing the bud in a baggie and setting it on a shelf for sale. It goes beyond getting the light exposure just right or the oxygen content of the room at optimal levels. It goes beyond using only natural soils and fertilizers. Preservation is a state of mind. It’s the philosophy that guides all the choices we make at Honest Marijuana. It’s the reason we produce the highest quality marijuana that doesn’t lose it effectiveness the moment you take it “off the lot”.
Marijuana is important to you. Marijuana is important to us. We want only the best product possible…and you should too. Don’t let the inherent perishability of marijuana limit what it can do for you. Get the best possible effects by demanding high-quality and long-lasting strains. Get the best possible effects by demanding that every effort be taken to ensure preservation and lessen perishability. Honest Marijuana can show you what those effects, and that type of product looks like.