What are the optimal storage conditions to maintain a consistent cannabinoid concentration?

“The rapid degradation of cannabinoids is a common concern for pharmaceutical companies that must maximize shelf life. The ideal storage conditions for cannabis flower are dependent on its intended use, with the flower either being sold as a finished product or sold to manufacturers for further processing.” A recent two-year study aimed to discover the optimal storage conditions to maintain a consistent cannabinoid concentration.

The concentration of various cannabinoids was monitored over a two-year period to observe the effects of storage temperature and UV light on the degradation of cannabinoids. “The results showed that both CBDA and CBD were more stable than THCA and THC, respectively, under both room temperature and refrigerated conditions, and room temperature storage is recommended for CBD dominant strains of cannabis intended for sale as a finished product. For CBD dominant cannabis flower intended for further manufacture, refrigerated storage is recommended because of the degradation of CBDA at room temperature.”

According to the study, exposure to UV at room temperature resulted in rapid degradation of both acidic and neutral cannabinoids. “However, when flower was exposed to UV light under refrigerated conditions, the CBN that was produced via degradation of neutral cannabinoids was stable for 60 days, compared to the immediate degradation of CBN observed at room temperature. Hence, storing cannabis flower in a refrigerator under UV light may be beneficial for manufacturing cannabis products containing CBN in regions where synthetic manufacture of cannabis products is prohibited. Flower samples stored in the freezer and exposed to UV light showed unique degradation characteristics where acidic cannabinoids did not degrade via the typical decarboxylation pathway observed for all other conditions. Furthermore, 8-THC was produced (maximum concentration of 20 mg g−1) and remained stable for the duration of the study when flower was stored in a freezer under UV light. These novel observations for samples stored in the freezer exposed to UV light provides a good starting point for future research on the stability of cannabinoids exposed to UV light.”

To read the complete study, go to www.researchgate.net

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