Utah is one of 36 states with medical marijuana laws. Those with a doctor’s recommendation can obtain cannabis from licensed dispensaries. However, cultivating marijuana is illegal.
Despite this, recreational marijuana could eventually make its way to Utah. Until then, here are five things you need to know before buying cannabis flowers.
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana has a shelf life like perishable foods. The THC in the flower starts to decay after about a year, losing some of its potency. Consider this before buying cannabis flower in Utah because it also starts to lose flavor and scent, making the buds look dusty and brittle.
Keeping your bud in an airtight container is the best way to extend its lifespan and keep it fresh. Storing it in a plastic or silicone container can reduce its terpene and cannabinoid levels, so only use these containers for short-term storage.
The best way to check if your cannabis is ready for curing is to give it a gentle squish. It needs more time to dry out if it feels wet or sticky. You can also listen to the sound of your bud. Fresh flowers will snap apart when you break them up, while stale buds will crackle. It indicates that they are past their prime.
In Utah, the only way to buy marijuana is with a prescription from your doctor. To qualify for a cure, your doctor must be registered with the state to recommend medical cannabis (UDOH calls them “QMPs”) and must meet with you in person to review your medical history. Qualifying conditions range from PTSD to severe pain, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, seizures, and terminal illnesses.
But it can still be challenging to get ahold of what you need.
But lawmakers have made several improvements since 2020, improving employment protections for cannabis workers and requiring clear labeling. And pharmacies are expected to offer home delivery to rural areas this year.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. A hygrometer measures it and is typically expressed in terms of relative humidity (RH). Optimal moisture levels are vital for cannabis cultivation and storage because they prevent mildew or mold growth and allow the trichomes to dry up properly.
The ideal RH for vegetative-stage cannabis is 40-55%. During this phase, cannabis plants use the soil to gain moisture and power their development. As the plant transitions into the flowering stage, it requires less water. Therefore, lowering the RH by 5% each week is crucial. It helps to depress the vapor pressure deficit (VPD), improving yield and bud flavor.
A specialized humidor is often used to store marijuana and other botanicals. These are typically made of cedar and keep the product at the optimal humidity level. Some even have a hygrometer inside of them.
You’ll also need a suitable container to keep your flower at its best. Some people use a regular mason jar, but looking for something with an airtight seal is recommended. That way, you can lock out moisture and UV rays that degrade the flower over time.
Other options include vacuum-sealed bags and more elaborate UV-proof containers. Some cases can even contain compartments for different tools or strains, which is a fun option. Ultimately, your storage should be dark and cool and ideally not in direct sunlight.
Eventually, your flower will go wrong; you must decide when that happens. It can be difficult to tell, but you’ll probably notice a decrease in terpene and cannabinoid potency. In addition, your bud may become dry and crumbly. If that happens, try storing your flower with Boveda humidity packs to rehydrate it. These packs are relatively inexpensive, and they’re effective at preserving weed. You can also use a humidifier in the refrigerator. It could be better, but it will help a little.
Cannabis can lose flavor, aroma, and potency over time. Proper storage is vital for maintaining the quality of your marijuana. Storing the flowers in a clean and dry area is recommended to achieve optimal results while avoiding direct sunlight exposure. Ideally, you should keep your cannabis in an airtight, UV-protected container. Glass containers are ideal, but titanium jars can also help minimize light exposure. Avoid storing your flower in metal containers, as the metal will change the taste of the weed over time.
An excellent way to determine how fresh your bud is is by asking the budtender when it was harvested. They should be able to provide you with a date and answer any other questions.
The medical cannabis program in Utah is still relatively new. However, the state has been making progress on many fronts. Its cultivators have ramped production, more pharmacies are open, and lawmakers are strengthening the state’s cannabis laws in 2021. However, several areas need improvement before the program can reach its full potential. For one, the price of cannabis remains too high compared to other legal states.