With the recent slate of cannabis legalizations across North America, more people are dipping their toes into the practice. Some do it for recreation, others as a medical treatment. But virtually every cannabis user – recreational, medical, newbie or long-time user – wants a quality product.
And while several factors affect the overall quality of cannabis flower, one of the most noticeable factors is humidity. How does humidity affect cannabis? Why does controlling humidity achieve better results? And how do you dial in on the correct RH (relative humidity)? Here’s everything you need to know about
What is Humidity?
Let’s start with the fundamentals. At its most basic, humidity is the amount or concentration of water vapor present in the air. Three primary humidity measurements exist. But for our purposes, the one we’re focused on is “Relative Humidity,” expressed as a percentage of atmospheric moisture relative to the amount needed for total saturation.
How Does Humidity Affect Cannabis?
Humidity affects nearly all materials, cannabis included. A helpful case study is to consider a house. When your house has high humidity, you run the risk of mold and mildew growth, as well as the softening of organic materials (like wood) to the point of structural instability. Conversely, if your home is dry as a bone, you risk materials desiccating to the point of brittleness and cracking.
Cannabis is the same. You risk mould growth if your growth or storage environment is too humid. If the RH is too low, you’ll be left with a dusty, compromised product with lower potency, higher combustibility (i.e., fast burning) and a dull, muted flavor.
To overcome these obstacles, some cultivators try various options like a hygrometer to measure the humidity level, humidifiers to keep the air humidified, fan for air circulation, and so on. GrowStar Systems hydro solution takes a comprehensive approach, aiming to align with the natural needs of cannabis plants and create an environment that supports healthy growth.
Why Control the Humidity of Your Cannabis
For growers, managing humidity is a fundamental part of the process. You can’t get a plant off the ground without micromanaging your RH.
But this article is geared more toward the casual user who wants to store their cannabis properly. While some residents in high-humidity environments need to worry about oversaturating their flower, most people have the opposite problem – keeping your cannabis from drying out. Therefore, for users, the reasons for humidity control are the ones outlined above: flavor, potency, and even burning.
In a perfect world, legally sanctioned cannabis stores would sell a fresh product. But unfortunately, for several logistical reasons, that isn’t always the case. It’s common to leave a dispensary with cannabis that has languished in a bag for months, dry as a summer leaf. This cannabis needs resuscitation; it needs moisture to deliver that bright, even-burning and potent experience.
How to Zero in on the Right Humidity
The experts over at Boveda recommend storing cannabis in relative humidity between 55% and 65%. No one’s arguing with them. They have an entire innovation arm that rigorously tests these things, and a product that helps users zero in on exactly that humidity.
Boveda’s humidity control packets are the gold standard among regular cannabis users. You just pop one in an airtight container along with your cannabis (look for a packet around 62% RH) and wait for the flower to spring back to life. When it’s sticky to the touch, you can be reasonably sure it’s hit its ideal moisture level. But as always, preferences vary, so feel free to fiddle with the timing and RH to find a combination that suits your tastes.
Hopefully, this article clears the air on cannabis humidity. If you’re relatively new to cannabis, or you’ve never considered the effects of moisture on your experience, consider taking precautions to control, manage and revive your flower.