Does Light Degrade Cannabis?

At the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the initial Star-Spangled Banner — the American flag which flew over Baltimore Harbor throughout the War of 1812, and which motivated Francis Scott Key to compose the words to the nationwide anthem — hangs on screen in a darkened space, where no flash photography is permitted. But why shouldn’t a nationwide treasure of such magnitude be showed in complete light, or permit visitors to take clear photos nextto it? The response is light deterioration, or the procedure by which light damages natural product over time. The two-hundred-year-old flag is made of cotton which, like all natural material, is vulnerable to light deterioration. In this regard, cotton and marijuana are no various. So will light damage your weed? In brief, yes, light will start to breakdown marijuana as quickly as it is cut from the plant.

This post evaluates the science behind light deterioration, how light impacts weed, and how to appropriately shop your marijuana to minimize THC deterioration.

Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

To comprehend how light deteriorates THC, let’s initially evaluation specifically what light is. Light is energy, particularly electro-magnetic radiation. In truth, all color we view represents a little noticeable piece of the entire electro-magnetic (EM) spectrum which consistsof safe radio waves all the method up to unsafe gamma radiation. At low frequencies, like radio waves, this energy is safe, and passes through natural product with verylittle result.

image showing the frequencies from a radio wave in pink and purple

Radio waves are an example of electro-magnetic radiation that we are exposed to every day. image credit

But at greater frequencies, this energy starts to strip electrons from the atoms and particles it passes through in a procedure called “ionization.” This ionizing radiation damages natural product at the atomic level by damaging natural substances, consistingof DNA.

Thankfully, not all electro-magnetic radiation is ionized, which is why a hundred radio stations can broadcast harmlessly through us every day. The limit for ionization is in the ultraviolet variety of the EM spectrum, which is usually divided inbetween greater and lower energy ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Higher energy UV routinely triggers radiation burns in people that we call sunburns. During a sunburn, the rest of the complex human organism is fairly untouched, however the outer layer of our skin suffers an attack of ionizing radiation, killing numerous of the skin cells impacted, and the makingitthrough cells danger endingupbeing malignant. This is likewise the verysame procedure that turns yard brown and fades unattended wood. One can envision, then, what this light does to the delicate resin on the surfacearea of a marijuana flower.

Light and THC Degradation

THC is not a extremely steady substance to start with. Though it establishes in big quantities while the plant blossoms, as quickly as those flowers are cut THC deteriorates into CBN with directexposure to light, as well as air and heat.

Even when left uncut, THC ultimately establishes into CBD (a procedure some growers permit to change the ratio of CBD in their harvest). For growers intending to makethemostof THC, or for customers hoping to maintain as much THC in their item as possible, light destruction is a severe hazard.

a flowering green marijuana plant

THC will establish when the plant is in the blooming phase, however you have to be cautious when the buds are gathered in order to minimize light deterioration. picture credit

UV light in specific is a more severe danger than the soft watts burning from filament bulbs. However, the fluorescent lights of most retail stores emit little quantities of UV light, as well as the energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs which are endingupbeing more typical in houses. To be clear, quick durations underneath UV lights, like seeing, grinding, or smokingcigarettes marijuana, will have little result on the customer’s experience. But if that marijuana hasactually been saved long-lasting, specifically for days or weeks underneath the fluorescent lights of the dispensary or your own fluorescent bulbs at house, then it will undoubtedly lose strength.

One researchstudy in 1976 evaluated THC destruction over 2 years of numerous storage techniques and concluded that directexposure to light was “the biggest single element in loss of cannabinoids particularly in options,” and another more current researchstudy discovered that marijuana can lose up to 16% of its THC over the veryfirst year of storage. Other factors to this destruction consistof temperaturelevel and oxygen.

Other Factors of THC Degradation


a woman holds a small open jar of cannabis, examining what's inside

In addition to light, oxygen can breakdown your marijuana too. image credit

Light is the main danger to THC since high-energy light can strip electrons from natural material, damaging its atomic stability. But oxygen can have a comparable result. Oxidizers (oxygen being the most typical) are compounds that cause other substances to lose electrons, or endedupbeing oxidized. Much like light directexposure, oxidation contributes to the procedure that transforms THC to CBN. In reality, some high-end marijuana business haveactually taken to productpackaging in nitrogen to sluggish this procedure while the marijuana is in transit.


Research has likewise discovered that heat plays a function in cannabinoid breakdown. Studies in the 70s figuredout that lower temperaturelevels revealed a slower rate of cannabinoid loss, with temperaturelevels listedbelow freezing displaying the mostaffordable rate of loss. Anything inbetween freezing and about 70° F showed relatively steady, however temperaturelevels above that started to breakdown THC more quickly.

Thankfully, the service to all of this is fairly easy. Cannabis oughtto be kept in a dark, temperate location away from any hot gadgets like computersystems or ovens, and definitely out of sunshine.

How to Properly Store Cannabis

a white opaque container with a black top

Storing your marijuana in an nontransparent container is a fantastic method to avoid light destruction. picture credit

Cannabis must be saved with factortoconsider of all these aspects — light, temperaturelevel, and air. Keep flower in nontransparent containers whenever possible. Glass mason containers stay a excellent choice for saving and treating weed duetothefactthat their rubber seals keep oxygen out, however they will let a lot of light in. Rubber sleeves are offered for most sized containers, however keeping them in a drawer or cabinet works simply as well, as long as those locations puton’t get too warm.

Freezing is feasible for long-lasting storage, especially for flower predestined for edibles or house extraction, however defrosted flower will mostlikely be a bit wilted and hard to smoke. Be sure to usage an air-tight container when freezing marijuana as well. Not just will this block oxygen from getting in, however it will likewise block wetness that might outcome in freezer burn, ruining the flower and THC completely like a deep winterseason frost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Light Affect Dabs?

Yes. Light, specifically ultraviolet (UV) light deteriorates THC over time, so marijuana flower and concentrate must be saved in a cool, dark area.

Does UV Light Affect Cannabis?

Yes. UV light is capable of degrading marijuana at the atomic level by removing electrons from the natural particles, damaging THC and minimizing effectiveness.

How Much Light is Best for Cannabis?

Ideally, marijuana must be kept in the dark. Small quantities of periodic light, like opening a container to eliminate some, or rolling a joint, will not have much result on the end experience. But marijuana saved below light over numerous weeks will start to lose effectiveness.

What Light Do You Use For Cannabis?

Cannabis is most securely managed under low-watt filament bulbs. Cannabis is generally grown below sunshine or LEDs developed to simulate the sunshine of various seasons; nevertheless, after cutting, that verysame sunshine will speedup the deterioration of THC into CBN. Fluorescent bulbs consistingof compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs likewise release little quantities of ultraviolet (UV) light which damages THC as well.

How do you keep your marijuana safe from light destruction? Share in the remarks listedbelow!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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Is Delta 8 federally legal?

Delta-8 is legal federally, and most state laws don't specifically address it. Due to ambiguities in the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp and hemp products, delta-8 is currently not prohibited by federal law.

What are the benefits of Delta 8?

In the human body, Delta-8 binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Because it binds to both receptors simultaneously, users experience a milder cerebral high. When compared to the effects of THC, users describe a more clear-headed, productive, energetic, and upbeat feeling.

Is Delta 8 or CBD better?

Difference Between Delta-8 THC and CBD Delta-8 THC may not be as prominent as Delta-9 THC, but it is still among the predominant cannabinoids with psychoactive properties. However, CBD is NOT a psychotropic cannabinoid. While CBD can have better results in the long run, Delta-8 THC can give you a quick fix.

Can you fly with Delta 8?

Is it Legal to Fly with Delta-8-THC? Often, yes! It is legal to fly with Delta-8 when you are flying to and from areas where Delta-8 is legal, as long as the airline you choose doesn't specifically prohibit Delta-8 products.

Does Delta 8 help with anxiety?

Contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. Good for chronic pain and anxiety relief. It does not cause paranoia or increased Anxiety.

Is Delta 8 a controlled substance?

Delta-8 is considered a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) because it is known to cause psychoactive impairment to the consumer.

What is the difference between Delta-8 and Delta 9?

Delta-9 THC is a property of cannabis discovered all the way back in 1964. The primary difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC is that Delta-8 is just a bit less psychoactive than Delta-9. This means that products with Delta-8 THC have a more gradual, and therefore more satisfying, effect on the consumer.

Does Delta-8 become 11 hydroxy?

Although in an edible form, Delta-8 THC can metabolize into a natural chemical called 11 Hydroxy tetrahydrocannabinol. Since 11 Hydroxy THC can only be absorbed through the liver, the molecule's possible psychoactive effects can last up to 6 to 8 hours during digestion.

Does Delta 8 make you sleepy?

According to the NCI, Delta-8 uniquely binds twice with cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system that play a role in sleep by calming down processes like breath, heart rate, and mental activity.

Does Delta 8 Flower get u high?

Delta-8 THC is one of the hottest topics in cannabis right now. It's a minor cannabinoid that can get you high like traditional THC, but much less so. Delta-8 found in small amounts in the cannabis plant and is often converted from other compounds like CBD.

How does Delta 8 affect the body?

5 benefits delta 8 could offer you According to the National Cancer Institute, delta-8 THC can bind to the CB1 receptor throughout the body. These receptors are part of our endocannabinoid system, which helps our body regulate and maintain homeostasis.

Does Delta 8 contain CBD?

Delta-8 is yet another compound derived from Cannabis sativa or the hemp plant. As you likely know by now, this is the same natural origin that CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, and CBC come from, too. Though all of these compounds are related to some degree, delta-8 is closest to CBD and delta-9 (also often known plainly as THC).

Does Delta 8 cause euphoria?

Delta-8 may not produce intense euphoria, but it will take effect pretty quickly. Depending on your mode of intake, of course, the time of impact will vary. If you vape it, you will experience the effects within 1 to 6 minutes. If you use a tincture, you will get the first effects after half an hour.

Is Delta 8 legal in all 50 states?

The Short Answer: Yes. Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products, containing less than 0.3% D-9 THC is legal in all 50 states of the USA. But what if the extract contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC?

Can Delta 8 help you lose weight?

A research study from 2004 concluded that delta-8 helps increase appetite while promoting weight loss. This effect is certainly very unique, and scientists will do even more research on this subject. These effects might be due to the potential benefits delta-8 has on metabolism.

Does Delta 8 give you munchies?

Yes, Delta 8 can make you feel hungry. Delta 8 is an appetite-stimulating analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). Of course this depends on the amount you smoke (vapes) or consume (edibles), but Delta 8 has been reported to stimulate your appetite, in some cases, even more than Delta 9 (marijuana).

Does Delta 8 make you laugh?

Whatever makes you laugh, Delta-8 is a great way to start the fun. In fact, we've developed Delta-8 products because we love to see people laugh.

What does Delta 8 convert to eating?

Delta-8 THC actually converts into delta-11 THC when processed through the digestive tract. Since delta-9 THC also converts into delta-11 THC when eaten, there's no special benefit to eating delta-8 THC. In general, research suggests that delta-8 has about two-thirds of the potency of delta-9.

Does Delta 8 affect your liver?

In the present study, we have demonstrated that Δ8-THCV exerted protective effects against liver I/R reperfusion damage by attenuating tissue injury, oxidative stress and inflammatory response.

Does Delta 8 make good edibles?

Our Delta-8-THC Gummies — Best for Beginners They contain 10 mg of delta-8-THC per gummy, which is a great dose to start your journey into edibles with. It will give you a relaxing buzz, and you can easily increase the dosage as needed. Our delta 8 gummies are made from a broad-spectrum hemp extract.

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