Hello, all you stargazers and curious minds! Ready to take a deep-dive into the great unknown? Buckle up, as we’re about to embark on a cosmic journey exploring some astonishing facts about our universe. We guarantee this is an adventure that’s going to be truly out-of-this-world!
The Whispering Cosmos: Space’s Sound of Silence
Wouldn’t you love a break from the constant buzz of everyday life? Space offers just that!
Space is Silent:
The complete silence of space is an astounding concept, as it’s quite different from our noise-filled environment on Earth. This is primarily due to the absence of a medium, such as air, in the vacuum of space through which sound waves can travel. Sound, as we understand it, is created by the vibration of particles in a medium. In space, there are exceedingly few particles, and they are spread far apart, so sound waves cannot travel. Even in the event of a colossal cosmic explosion, there would be no sound to hear. The images we see from space telescopes are therefore silent, which is a thought-provoking contrast to the chaotic events we’re witnessing.
The Sun: Earth’s Mighty, Oversized Neighbor in Space
The Sun is over 300,000 times bigger than the Earth:
When we say the Sun is bigger than the Earth, we’re talking about its volume, which is a measure of how much space it occupies. The Sun is so large that you could fit over 1 million Earths inside it. That’s because its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, and volume increases with the cube of the diameter. Furthermore, the Sun’s mass is about 300,000 times that of Earth, contributing significantly to its powerful gravitational force, which keeps the planets of our solar system, including Earth, in their respective orbits. The Sun’s immense size and mass enable it to hold a vast amount of fuel, allowing it to shine brilliantly and support life on Earth.
Halley’s Comet: The Celestial Nomad with a 75-Year Itinerary
Halley’s Comet, perhaps the most famous of all comets, is notable for its relatively short orbital period of around 75 to 76 years. This means that it returns to the inner parts of our solar system (where Earth is located) approximately every 75 years. Halley’s Comet has been documented for over 2000 years and its repeated returns have allowed scientists to study it in detail. Its last appearance was in 1986, and it’s expected to return in 2061. Every time Halley’s Comet swings by, it puts on a dazzling show, leaving a trail of debris that often results in meteor showers on Earth.
The Moon: The First Cosmic Pit-Stop for Humanity in Space
The Moon holds a significant place in human history as it was the first celestial body humans visited outside of Earth. This historic event took place on July 20, 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission by NASA. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made a safe landing on the Moon’s surface, marking a significant milestone in human exploration. Armstrong’s first step onto the lunar surface and his famous statement, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” symbolized this incredible achievement. The moon landings represented the culmination of the space race and have fueled our interest in space exploration ever since.
Neutron Stars: The Galactic Whirling Dervishes
Neutron stars are remnants of massive stars that have undergone a supernova explosion. Once the outer layers of the star are blown away, the core collapses under gravity, resulting in a highly compact object primarily composed of neutrons. These neutron stars can spin incredibly rapidly due to the conservation of angular momentum. Before the explosion, the original star was spinning slowly, but as it shrinks in size during the supernova explosion, the rotation speed increases significantly, similar to a figure skater who spins faster when they pull in their arms. This can result in a neutron star spinning multiple times per second, becoming a pulsar if its magnetic poles emit beams of radiation that sweep past Earth.
Mercury and Venus: The ‘Moonless’ Duo of Our Solar System in Space
In the planetary lineup of our solar system, Mercury and Venus are the only ones without moons.
One leading hypothesis for this is their proximity to the Sun. The gravitational pull of the Sun could prevent these planets from acquiring and holding onto moons of their own. For a moon to orbit a planet, the planet’s gravity needs to be the dominant influence on the moon. But since Mercury and Venus are so close to the Sun, the Sun’s much stronger gravity would likely disrupt any moon’s potential orbit around these planets. In the case of Venus, another possibility is that it might have had a moon in its early history, which could have collided with another body or been destroyed by tidal forces. Despite extensive exploration of both planets, no evidence of current or past moons has been found to date.
Space- Endless Fascination:
So, there you have it! Our cosmic neighborhood is as captivating and diverse as it gets. Each silent corner, colossal star, punctual comet, human footprint, spinning neutron star, and moonless planet tell us a tale about the universe’s grandeur. As we marvel at the night sky, remember that we’re part of an ongoing cosmic saga, forever exploring, learning, and reaching for the stars. And remember, in this vast cosmic theatre, we’ve only seen the opening act! Join us again as we journey further into the mysteries of the cosmos.
Eccentricity: Unusual Hobbies Across the Globe
Embark on a whimsical journey through the realm of quirky and eccentric hobbies with “Eccentricity: Unusual Hobbies Across the Globe!” Explore the thrilling landscapes with Extreme Ironing enthusiasts, sculpt transient beauty with soap, roll down hills chasing cheese, create pixelated masterpieces with spreadsheets, float in serenity with Indoor Skydiving Yoga, groom vibrant visions on furry friends, and join the quacking challenges of Competitive Duck Herding! Celebrate the diversity and creativity of the human spirit as we uncover the stories, communities, and cultural impacts of these extraordinary pastimes!
Welcome to a journey through the quirkiest corners of human creativity, where Eccentricity explores Unusual Hobbies Across the Globe! This venture uncovers the extraordinary realms where ironing meets adventure, soap turns into ephemeral art, wheels of cheese become racing stars, spreadsheets morph into canvases, yoga takes flight, dogs transform into vibrant masterpieces, and ducks quack their way through competitive herding. Unravel the fascinating stories, diverse communities, and cultural richness that lie beneath these unconventional pastimes, and celebrate the boundless imagination that makes our world a truly colorful tapestry!
Extreme Ironing – Pressing On in the Wilderness
The Origin Story
Our journey into the eccentric begins with the peculiar yet intriguing Extreme Ironing. Tracing its roots to Leicester, England, we find Phil Shaw, an ordinary man with an extraordinary vision, turning a mundane chore into an adrenaline-fueled adventure. This unconventional combination of ironing and extreme environments sparked curiosity, leading to a worldwide community of thrill-seekers eager to flatten creases on mountaintops, underwater, or even mid-air!
The Rise of a Global Community
Fueled by the Internet and social media, Extreme Ironing enthusiasts from different corners of the globe connected, sharing stories of their daring exploits and plans for the next adventure. The community’s growth peaked with the organization of the Extreme Ironing World Championships in 2002, which saw competitors from around ten countries showcase their ironing prowess in challenging environments.
A Closer Look: Extreme Ironing World Championships
The Championships brought together a diverse group of ironists, each eager to outdo the other in creativity and skill. The competition had various categories, including urban, water, forest, and freestyle, allowing participants to push the boundaries of the sport. The event garnered media attention, further propelling Extreme Ironing into the global spotlight.
Did you know that Ben Gibbons set a world record for the highest altitude Extreme Ironing on Mount Everest at an altitude of 5,440 meters? Talk about taking your chores to new heights!
Soap Sculpting – Delicate Designs in Transience
Delving into the fragrant world of soap sculpting, we discover a delicate dance between impermanence and beauty. Originating in Thailand, this ephemeral art form started as a means to create decorative floats for the Loy Krathong festival. The intricate designs, primarily floral, are a testament to the artist’s skill and the transient nature of the medium.
Worldwide Recognition and Artistic Exchange
As soap sculpting gained international recognition, artists from different countries participated in exhibitions, showcasing their unique interpretations and techniques. The global platform allowed for cultural and artistic exchange, contributing to the evolution of this delicate craft. Workshops and institutions offering courses in soap sculpting have further nurtured aspiring artists, ensuring the art form’s continued growth.
A Closer Look: International Soap Sculpting Competitions
These competitions serve as a convergence point for artists worldwide, fostering a sense of community and mutual appreciation for the craft. The events highlight the diversity of designs and the innovative use of a medium that is both tactile and fragrant. Artists compete for accolades, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with a bar of soap.
The intricacy of soap sculpting has led to the creation of designs that can take up to several days to complete, only to dissolve gradually when used!
Cheese Rolling – Chasing Wheels of Fortune
Cheese rolling involves chasing wheels of cheese down dangerously steep hills in England. Dating back over 200 years, it began as a celebratory tradition but evolved into a risky spectacle. Competitors tumble down the slope, risking major injury in hopes of catching the cheese.
Community, Camaraderie and Controversy
While official events got cancelled due to hazards, enthusiasts still come together to uphold the tradition. The atmosphere combines danger with communal festivity. However, cheese rolling draws criticism from safety advocates concerned about injuries. Thrill seekers argue traditions evolve naturally.
In 1997, a cheese reached a top speed of 70 mph due to the steepness of the slope! Faster than many cars accelerate!
Spreadsheet Art – Beauty in Numbers
Spreadsheet art uses the grids of Excel or other spreadsheet software to create digital artwork pixel-by-pixel. Artists build complex images by coloring spreadsheet cells and relying on natural gradients. Detail emerges as viewers zoom out on thousands of tiny cells.
Online Galleries and Algorithmic Artwork
Spreadsheet artists share their artwork online and enthuse about the creative possibilities within mundane software. Some artists program spreadsheet formulas to algorithmically generate parts of their images. The hobby sits at the intersection of mathematics, digital art, and computer programming. As a digital artist- this is something that is going on my list of things to try!
Microsoft even hosted an art competition to showcase Excel’s hidden artistic potential, attracting over 1,000 submissions!
Indoor Skydiving Yoga – Zen in the Wind
Elevating Traditional Practice
Indoor Skydiving Yoga offers a harmonious blend of serenity and exhilaration. This innovative practice challenges the traditional norms of yoga, introducing an element of dynamism through the use of vertical wind tunnels. Practitioners experience heightened concentration, balance, and body awareness as they strike yoga poses while floating mid-air.
The Formation of Dedicated Communities
The uniqueness of Indoor Skydiving Yoga has given rise to dedicated communities that explore and promote the benefits of this unconventional practice. Participants often describe a sense of liberation and heightened self-awareness, attributing these benefits to the combination of aerial movement and meditative focus.
A Closer Look: Benefits of Indoor Skydiving Yoga
This practice offers both physical and mental benefits, including improved muscle strength, enhanced focus, and stress relief. The challenge of maintaining yoga poses while suspended in air adds a new dimension to the practice, encouraging participants to explore their limits and develop a deeper connection with their bodies.
Indoor Skydiving Yoga practitioners often use visualization techniques to enhance their experience, imagining themselves floating above clouds or hovering over scenic landscapes!
Competitive Dog Grooming – Vibrant Visions in Fur
Unleashing Creativity on Four Legs
In the world of Competitive Dog Grooming, groomers and their canine companions collaborate to bring vibrant visions to life. Utilizing safe dyes and expert grooming techniques, groomers create elaborate designs, ranging from pop culture references to fantastical creatures, all showcased on the dogs’ fur.
A Platform for Artistic Expression and Animal Welfare
The competitions provide a stage for groomers to exhibit their talents while adhering to guidelines that prioritize the well-being of the participating dogs. These events celebrate the unique bond between humans and animals and the limitless possibilities of creative expression, all while ensuring the safety and comfort of the furry models.
A Closer Look: Themes and Designs
Competitive Dog Grooming has seen a plethora of themes and designs, with groomers drawing inspiration from movies, nature, and mythology. The intricate designs require hours of meticulous work, showcasing the groomers’ dedication and the dogs’ patience and trust.
Some dogs seem to enjoy the grooming process and the attention they receive during competitions, adding an extra layer of joy to the events!
Competitive Duck Herding – Quacking Up a Challenge
Setting the Feathers in Motion
Who would have thought that the tranquil and amiable duck could be the center of a hobby as eccentric and delightful as Competitive Duck Herding? Originating from rural traditions where ducks were herded for agricultural purposes, this quirky activity has evolved into a form of competition that has enthusiasts flocking together to showcase their herding prowess.
Duck Herding Communities – A Quack Pack of Hobbies
Bridging the gap between rural traditions and modern-day amusement, Competitive Duck Herding has hatched communities worldwide. Participants, affectionately known as “duck herders,” gather in open spaces, armed with enthusiasm and herding sticks, guiding ducks through obstacle courses in a race against time. The camaraderie among competitors and the cheerful quacking of ducks create an atmosphere of joy and friendly rivalry.
A Closer Look: Duck Herding Competitions
The world of Competitive Duck Herding is adorned with events that celebrate the unique bond between humans and ducks. The competitions are structured around obstacle courses, with herders guiding a flock of ducks through a series of challenges. The goal? To demonstrate agility, cooperation, and, most importantly, the harmonious connection between the herder and the feathered participants.
Points of Interest: Obstacle Courses
The obstacle courses in these competitions are ingeniously designed, incorporating water features, bridges, and gates, challenging both the ducks and the herders. The courses are a test of strategy, patience, and understanding of duck behavior, with herders vying for the title of the ultimate duck guide.
Ducks used in the competitions are often trained from a young age, and they form a close bond with their herders. Some ducks even display a playful personality, adding an extra layer of entertainment to the competitions!
Impact on Popular Culture
The charm of Competitive Duck Herding has not gone unnoticed in popular culture. The activity has been featured in various television shows and documentaries, highlighting the quirky and endearing nature of herding ducks. These portrayals have contributed to the growing interest in the hobby, inspiring more people to join the “quack pack.”
Eccentric Hobbies All Wrapped Up
From the adrenaline-fueled heights of Extreme Ironing to the delicate, ephemeral art of Soap Sculpting, each hobby unveils a unique facet of human creativity. Dive into the chaotic thrill of Cheese Rolling, marvel at the pixelated masterpieces of Spreadsheet Art, and find Zen amidst the wind with Indoor Skydiving Yoga. Witness the vibrant expressions of Competitive Dog Grooming and join the cheerful quackery of Competitive Duck Herding. These unconventional pastimes, each with its distinct community and cultural impact, are a testament to the boundless imagination and adventurous spirit that define us. Subscribe for more silliness!
Scented Secrets: 5 Terpenes You’ve Met Outside the Cannabis World!
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds responsible for the distinctive smells of cannabis strains. Over 200 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, each contributing to the wide spectrum of flavors, aromas, and effects. By understanding terpene profiles, consumers can select strains intentionally based on desired benefits. Beyond cannabis, these same terpenes that bring nuanced fragrance to bud also exist abundantly across the natural world. For example, the terpene limonene lends a zesty lemon scent when found in citrus fruits or cannabis. Myrcene produces an earthy, musky aroma reminiscent of cloves in both mango and some cannabis strains. Pinene conveys a pine forest scent whether in conifers or in a particular cannabis cultivar. Discovering terpenes both in and out of cannabis offers a deeper appreciation for these fragrant compounds.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found abundantly in nature, especially in plants. These complex hydrocarbons are responsible for the distinctive smells we associate with plants – from the fresh lemon zing of citrus fruits to the soothing lavender fragrance of certain flowers.
In the cannabis plant, terpenes alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD contribute to the wide spectrum of aromas, flavors, and effects found across different strains. Terpene profiles vary widely from strain to strain resulting in unique sensory experiences.
Understanding terpenes allows us to better appreciate the nuanced palate of cannabis. It also enables more targeted consumption by choosing strains with terpene profiles that align with desired effects and benefits.
Beyond the cannabis plant, terpenes play vital roles across the plant kingdom. They help attract pollinators and repel predators in nature. Their practical applications for humans span our food, medicines, cosmetics and more.
What Exactly Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a large, diverse class of aromatic organic compounds produced in plants as well as some insects. The term “terpenes” refers to a broad category of hydrocarbons that contain hydrogen and carbon atoms.
They are synthesized in plant cells from precursor molecules such as pyrophosphates. Terpenes exist as oily liquids and evaporate easily at standard temperature and pressure. Most terpenes share a common molecular formula: C10H16
Terpenes alongside terpenoids (their oxygenated derivatives) comprise the largest group of phytochemicals, accounting for over 50,000 distinct compounds. They are the main constituents of plant essential oils and resins.
Chemically, terpenes consist of repeating isoprene units. The number of isoprene units determines terpene classification:
- Monoterpenes – 2 isoprene units (C10H16)
- Sesquiterpenes – 3 isoprene units (C15H24)
- Diterpenes – 4 isoprene units (C20H32)
- Triterpenes – 6 isoprene units (C30H48)
- Tetraterpenes – 8 isoprene units (C40H64)
The diverse molecular structures of terpenes are responsible for an equally wide spectrum of aromas, flavors, and effects. Subtle differences in their chemical structure can produce noticeably different smells.
For example, limonene and pinene both contain 10 carbon atoms but limonene has a lemon aroma while pinene smells resinous. These distinctive aromatic compounds interact with cell receptors in our nose impacting fragrance perception.
Terpenes in Cannabis: The Entourage Effect
Over 200 different terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant. The mix of terpenes alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD produce the Entourage Effect – a synergistic interaction that shapes the effects and aromas of different cannabis strains.
5 common terpenes found in and outside of the cannabis world:
This is the most predominant terpene in cannabis. Myrcene produces an earthy, musky aroma resembling cloves. It is commonly found in fruits like mango and herbs like hops. Myrcene induces relaxing, sedative effects. It also increases cell permeability allowing other terpenes and cannabinoids to better absorb.
As the name suggests, pinene produces a piney aroma much like a pine forest. It is found in conifers like pine trees and pine needles as well as herbs like rosemary and basil. Pinene acts as a bronchodilator potentially boosting airflow and alertness. It also enhances memory and concentration. Pinene also has various medicinal benefits.
This terpene has a strong citrusy smell evocative of lemon zest. It is naturally abundant in citrus fruits. Limonene quickens metabolism and raises serotonin levels for improved mood. It has anti-anxiety and stress-relieving properties. As a potent antibacterial and antifungal, limonene also promotes immunity.
This is the only terpene that directly interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. It has a spicy, peppery scent and taste. Caryophyllene is also found in spices like black pepper and cloves. It functions as a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever. It also reduces anxiety.
One of the most fragrant terpenes, linalool produces a floral lavender aroma. It is prevalent in lavender as well as mint. Linalool helps induce relaxation and sleep. It works as an anxiolytic agent that calms the nervous system bringing an overall sense of peace. It also boosts immunity.
The diverse terpene structures create an orchestra of flavors and effects in cannabis strains. Some strains will be more abundant in certain terpenes producing targeted benefits. For example, limonene-dominant strains can energize and thwart stress while linalool-rich strains can relax both body and mind.
Understanding terpene profiles allows consumers to identify strains better suited for desired needs whether that’s energy, focus, creativity, sleep or pain relief.
Terpenes in Everyday Life
Beyond the cannabis plant, terpenes play indispensable roles across the plant kingdom. Plants produce these aromatic compounds to attract pollinators like insects and repel predators like herbivores.
The fragrant terpene bouquets advertise nectar rewards to potential pollinators. These scented chemical cues also enable plant communication – signaling danger or summoning beneficial predators when pests are present.
For humans, terpenes have a diverse array of applications in our everyday lives. We may not know it, but terpenes impact much of what we eat, smell and use daily.
Here are some common uses of terpenes:
The perfume industry relies heavily on terpenes to craft distinctive scents and fragrances. Limonene lends a lemon verbena zing while more woodsy terpenes like pine and cedar provide an earthy base. Floral terpenes like linalool and geraniol are used for their rosy aromas.
Companies isolate or synthetize particular terpenes to produce unique proprietary perfumes and colognes. Terpene isolates are also used to create aromatic oils and candles.
Terpenes contribute to the sensorial experience of eating through taste and smell. Limonene brings a citrusy flavor, pinene an herbal quality, and menthol a minty cooling sensation.
The food industry maximizes terpenes to elevate flavors. For example, terpenes called R-carvones provide spearmint flavoring. Menthol cools sensation in gum and candy. Thyme and oregano owe their robustness to terpenes like thymol.
Terpenes are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) additives by the FDA to enhance taste, aroma, and preservation. They Terpene isolates are also used to create aromatic oils and candles
Health and Medicine
Some terpenes exhibit therapeutic properties from anti-inflammatory to antimicrobial. The phytochemical potential of terpenes is now being researched for health applications.
For example, limonene has gastroprotective effects useful in managing acid reflux and heartburn. Pinene helps clear airways – it is even being investigated as a natural bronchodilator. Linalool and caryophyllene have anxiolytic properties that ease stress and anxiety.
Terpenes feature prominently in aromatherapy. Inhaling lavender oil high in linalool targets mood disorders. Terpenes like borneol are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. As more research emerges, terpene therapies may grow in popularity.
Cleaning and Cosmetics
Citrus-scented cleaners leverage limonene for its clean, freshening aroma and antimicrobial potency. Linalool and eucalyptol (minty terpene) are used in hygiene products for their pleasant scents and germ-fighting abilities.
Some terpenes even dissolve grease and oil. D-limonene (citrus peel extract) is often listed as an active ingredient in all-purpose cleaners and degreasers. It breaks up grime and grease naturally without synthetic chemicals.
Cosmetics also capitalize on terpenes. Linalool offers a delicate floral scent to lotions. Limonene and pinene infuse an uplifting aroma to products. Menthol provides cooling sensation. Cosmetics leverage the fragrance, flavor and bioactive properties of terpenes.
Given their natural bioactivity, terpenes have a long history of use as insecticides and pest repellents. Citronella oil high in citronellol wards off mosquitoes. Other terpenes work as natural solutions against fleas, moths, roaches and plant diseases.
With increased pest resistance to synthetic pesticides, terpene-based insecticides and repellents offer safer and eco-friendly alternatives. They biodegrade rapidly avoiding environmental accumulation.
Industrial Applications Some terpenes work as green solvents for their ability to dissolve substances. D-limonene safely dissolves oils, waxes, greases and resins. It replaces harsh solvents like toluene as an ecologically-friendly option.
The adhesive industry uses terpene derivatives in formulas for pressure-sensitive tapes, labels, laminates and more. Terpenes can also wet surfaces helping adhesive spread and penetrate better.
This is just a sampling of the many practical uses and applications of terpenes in our everyday lives. Their multi-sensory properties coupled with ecological advantages make terpenes highly versatile across many industries from food to medicine and beyond.
The Abundance of Terpenes in Nature
Terpenes represent the largest and most widespread class of phytochemicals in the plant kingdom. They are produced profusely as main constituents of essential oils and resins.
Beyond aroma and flavor, terpenes play vital ecological roles for plant survival. As potent biochemicals, terpenes help plants:
- Attract pollinators
- Deter herbivores
- Repel or kill pests/pathogens
- Mediate symbiotic relationships.
Plants utilize terpenes as chemical messengers in communication, defense and reproduction. Some terpenes are toxic to competing plants inhibiting growth (allelopathy). Others alter soil chemistry to gain a competitive edge.
Given their ecological importance, terpenes are ubiquitous across the plant kingdom. They are found in abundance in:
Fruits – Most fruits contain high concentrations of terpenes that give them distinct aromas, flavors and colors. Citrus fruits are abundant in limonene while muskmelon has characteristic muscone (musk terpene). Mangoes brim with myrcene conveying lush, fruity notes. Even the characteristic flavors of apples (pinene) and grapes (linalool) arise from terpenes.
Herbs and Spices – Pungent herbs and spices owe their fragrance and taste to terpenes. Black pepper teems with caryophyllene while eucalyptol brings the cool sensation of mint. Thyme and oregano get their robust herbal quality from thymol and carvacrol terpenes. Ginger gets its zing from shogaols and zingerone. The piquant aroma of cloves comes from eugenol.
Flowers and Plants – Flowers across various species produce terpenes to attract pollinators. Lavender contains bountiful linalool bringing its soothing floral aroma. Similarly, geraniol and nerol terpenes impart the sweet rose fragrance to roses. Conifers are loaded with pinene giving forests their pine scent. Even cannabis showcases over 140 different terpenes.
Insects and Animals – Terpenes are not exclusive to the plant kingdom. Insects like swallowtail butterflies biosynthesize terpenes for defense. Their caterpillars absorb terpenes from host plants making themselves toxic or distasteful to predators. Some terpenoids found in truffles and cannabis may originate from microbial production.
In short, terpenes are integral natural compounds found across the biological world. Their production spans the plant, insect and microbial domains. Next time you catch a whiff of pine, lavender or cloves, that’s the sensory power of terpenes!
The Entourage Effect: How Terpenes Interact with Other Compounds
In nature, terpenes rarely exist in isolation. More often, a mix of terpenes alongside other phytochemicals creates synergistic interactions that shape plant characteristics.
This biochemical “entourage effect” underlies the aroma, taste, color and medicinal benefits of plants.
Some key entourage effects of terpenes include:
Terpenes + Flavonoids
Flavonoids are color pigments in plants. Their interaction with terpenes influences flower color. Blue flowers owe their hue to anthocyanin flavonoids. Coexisting terpenes stabilize and modify the anthocyanin molecules producing variegated shades.
Terpenes + Cannabinoids
In cannabis, limonene amplifies absorption of THC and CBD through the blood-brain barrier. Myrcene also increases cell permeability allowing more cannabinoids to reach receptors. The terpene caryophyllene even binds to CB2 receptors directly making it psychoactive.
Terpenes + Curcuminoids
Curcumin, the main bioactive in turmeric, is fat soluble. Terpenes like d-limonene help curcumin dissolve and become more bioavailable to the body. This synergy enhances the anti-inflammatory benefits.
As these examples show, terpenes modulate bioactivity of other plant molecules from pigments to cannabinoids. The overall effect is amplified and balanced. Isolating single molecules misses these entourage benefits.
How Are Terpenes Created in Plants?
Terpenes are biosynthesized from basic molecular building blocks within plant cells. The primary precursor molecules for terpene synthesis include:
Acetyl Co-A – Derived from glycolysis, this coenzyme donates 2-carbon units
IPP (Isopentenyl pyrophosphate) – Formed from acetyl Co-A, IPP is a 5-carbon precursor
DMAPP (Dimethylallyl pyrophosphate) – Rearranged from IPP, DMAPP contains 5 carbons
IPP and DMAPP combine in a head-to-tail configuration to form monoterpenes, the C10 precursors to all terpenes.
This basic reaction is catalyzed by terpene synthase enzymes. Through alkylation, cyclization and oxidation steps, IPP and DMAPP are converted into the vast diversity of terpene structures.
For example, limonene synthase rearranges the geranyl pyrophosphate precursor into limonene. Further enzymatic steps add functional groups producing terpenoid derivatives.
The genes encoding these terpene synthesis enzymes have been widely studied and engineered in microbes for enhanced terpene production.
Certain growing conditions can also boost terpene content. Slow-dried cannabis often has higher terpene levels than rapidly dried cannabis. Stressors like high UV light and low nutrients may also stimulate terpene production.
Health Benefits of Key Terpenes
While research is still emerging, some terpenes appear to offer therapeutic properties and health benefits. Here are a few well-studied terpenes with promising bioactivity:
This abundant terpene has well-researched anticancer effects. It induces cancer cell death and restricts tumor growth. Limonene’s antioxidant action also promotes heart health. As a potent antibacterial and antifungal, limonene boosts immunity and battles pathogens. It relieves heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux when taken orally.
Used medicinally since ancient times, pinene exhibits potent antimicrobial effects against a broad range of bacteria, fungi and viruses. It acts as an expectorant to help clear airways. Pinene’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier also makes it neuroprotective.
This is the only terpene known to directly activate endocannabinoid receptors. It selectively binds to CB2 receptors producing anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects similar to cannabinoids. Caryophyllene holds promise for pain relief and autoimmune conditions.
With its calming floral aroma, linalool is a proven anxiolytic that alleviates anxiety, stress and depression. It acts on GABA receptors and serotonin pathways bringing relaxation and improved mood. Linalool also completely inhibits growth of certain fungi and bacteria.
Clearly, terpenes are more than just aromatic compounds. From anxiety to pain, infection to inflammation, targeted terpenes may offer therapeutic benefits in the future. However, more rigorous research in humans is still needed.
Let’s Wrap it Up!
Terpenes constitute the largest class of phytochemicals performing vital roles across the plant kingdom. They contribute to plant communication, defense and reproduction. For humans, terpenes impart tantalizing aromas and flavors that make foods more palatable and even bioactive.
In cannabis, terpenes alongside cannabinoids create the Entourage Effect that shapes strain-specific characteristics. Analyzing terpene profiles enables more intentional consumption based on desired effects and benefits.
Beyond cannabis, terpenes have diverse applications across our everyday lives. They are ubiquitous in cleaning and cosmetic products, food and beverage, medicine and more. Nature’s biochemical factory has crafted over 50,000 terpene structures contributing sensory richness and ecological intimacy to the world.
Does Weed Go Bad? A Complete Guide to Storing Cannabis Properly
Properly storing cannabis is essential for preserving its potency and quality over time. With the right storage methods like airtight containers in cool, dark spaces, weed can stay fresh for up to a year or longer.
Cannabis, also known as weed or marijuana, is a popular recreational and medicinal drug derived from the cannabis plant. Like any other herb or agricultural product, cannabis does degrade over time if not stored properly. However, with the right storage methods, weed can maintain its potency and quality for extended periods.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about proper cannabis storage and signs of weed going bad. Read on to become an expert on keeping your bud fresh and avoiding degraded, ineffective marijuana.
How Long Does Weed Last? Cannabis Shelf Life and Expiration
First, let’s go over the basics on weed’s shelf life. With optimal storage conditions, most strains of cured cannabis buds can last around:
- 6-12 months – when kept in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. Refrigeration extends life up to 18 months.
- 1-2 years – when vacuum sealed and frozen. Up to 2-3 years if no oxygen and stored below 0°F (-18°C).
- 4+ years – with long term deep freezing using commercial equipment.
Exact shelf life depends on specific storage methods and the quality/dryness of buds before storage. Fresher weed stored optimally can potentially last longer.
Weed doesn’t necessarily “expire” but it will slowly lose potency and degrade in quality over time. This happens faster with exposure to air, heat, light, or moisture.
For best results, use your cannabis within 1 year of purchase/harvest. Smoke older weed first before tapping into your freshest supply. Check buds for signs of degradation periodically.
Now let’s look at the science behind cannabis longevity and what factors speed up deterioration.
Why Weed Goes Bad: Causes of Cannabis Degradation
Cannabis plants produce hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The concentrations and balance of these chemicals determine weed’s potency, effects, aroma, and flavor.
Unfortunately, many of these compounds are delicate and break down when exposed to:
Oxygen and Moisture
Exposure to oxygen (oxidation) degrades THC, terpenes, and other chemicals over time. Moisture encourages growth of mold and bacteria. Both oxygen and moisture are enemy #1 when it comes to preserving your bud.
Heat and Light
THC and other cannabinoids are degraded by heat and light. Ideal storage temperature is 60-70°F (15-21°C). Higher heats accelerate chemical breakdown. UV light also rapidly destroys weed’s potency and quality.
Improper handling can crush delicate trichomes (where cannabinoids are produced) and rupture cells containing flavor/aroma compounds. Grinding weed exposes more surface area to damaging oxygen and moisture.
By storing cannabis in cool, dark environments with minimal air exposure, you allow it to stay fresher longer.
Next, let’s go over some visual signs that your pot has gone past its prime.
How to Tell If Weed Has Gone Bad: 7 Signs of Degraded Cannabis
Over time, weed will slowly lose its vivid colors, alluring smells, and crystal trichome coverage. By regularly checking stored cannabis (every 1-2 months), you can catch signs of degradation early.
Here’s what to look for to know if your pot has spoiled:
Loss of Green Color and Fading
Fresh cannabis has vivid and bright green colors. As chlorophyll breaks down over time, the greens become olive/brown and fade.
Browning and Drying Out
Oxidation causes browning and drying of the buds. They lose moisture and become brittle and crispy over time.
Exposure to moisture can result in fuzzy white, grey, or green mold growing on buds. Moldy weed has usually gone too far past its prime to salvage.
Aroma is one of the first things to go as terpenes oxidize. Older buds lose their fruity/citrus smells and take on stale, rotten, decomposing odors.
Loss of Trichomes/Crystals
THC is produced in trichomes – the shiny, glue-like resin glands coating buds. As trichomes oxidize and break down, weed loses its “frosty” appearance.
Harsh Smoke and Bad Taste
Smoke from degraded buds tastes harsh and unpleasant. The smoke may be rough on the throat and lungs.
Weak, Non-Existent High
The ultimate sign your pot has gone bad is if it fails to get you high. The THC and other cannabinoids that cause weed’s effects degrade over time.
The more signs are present, the more cannabis quality has declined. Now let’s go over proper storage to keep your flower fresh.
How to Store Cannabis Correctly: 4 Key Tips
Here are 4 essential rules to follow for preserving your pot potency and shelf life:
Use Airtight Glass or Plastic Containers
Air exposure accelerates weed’s decline. Store in sealed airtight containers, like mason jars or plastic bags. Glass protects against light better than plastic. For very long term storage, use rigid airtight plastic or metal containers.
Keep Buds in Cool, Dark Places
Ideal storage temperature is 60-70°F (15-21°C), so avoid hot areas like garages or attics. Protect against light by storing in darkened rooms or opaque containers. Use amber colored jars to filter light.
Control Humidity with Boveda/Integra Packs
Too much moisture invites mold, while too little dries out trichomes. Use humidifier packs to maintain ideal humidity around 60%. Popular options are Boveda and Integra Boost packs.
Freeze for Extended Storage
Freezing pot locks in freshness for 1-2+ years. Use air-tight, freezer-grade bags or containers. Double wrap to prevent freezer burn. Thaw fully before opening to prevent condensation.
Let’s explore these cannabis storage tips more in depth so you can make your weed last.
Best Ways to Store Weed: In-Depth Storage Methods
Here are some best practices for storing cannabis using various containers and strategies.
Glass mason jars block light and form an airtight seal, making them a top choice for cannabis storage. Keep away from direct light. A small Boveda 62% pack can add two-way humidity control. Open periodically to “burp” and replace oxygen.
Plastic bags are cheap, disposable, and air-tight. Look for thick, high quality plastic for durability. Freezer bags work well. Squeeze out excess air before sealing and place in a cool dark spot. Not ideal for long term storage as plastic is porous.
Plastic containers keep out light, moisture, and air when sealed. Look for rigid, food-grade polyethylene plastic suited for freezing. Ensure a tight seal and open to air out regularly. Can also contain Boveda packs.
Vacuum Sealer Bags
Vacuum sealing pumps out oxygen for extended shelf life. It reduces aroma but retains potency. Use special vacuum sealer bags and double wrap for protection. Keep sealed bags frozen for 1-2 years of freshness.
Your refrigerator provides cool, dark storage around 40°F (4°C). Use airtight glass or plastic containers. Avoid storing weed near foods, especially produce, which can absorb smells. Don’t freeze weed in your refrigerator.
Freezers below 0°F (-18°C) give the longest shelf life of 2 years or more when vacuum sealed. Use special rigid plastic freezer containers or high quality bags to prevent freezer burn. Double wrap bags and squeeze out excess air before sealing.
Humidors with Boveda packs can store and cure cannabis at the same time. Keep humidors around 60-65% relative humidity and out of the light. Slow curing over 6+ months in a humidor can enhance weed’s aroma, flavor, and smoothness.
How Long Does Weed Last in Different Situations?
Here’s a quick reference for cannabis longevity:
- Stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container – Lasts 6-12 months
- Kept at room temperature in a container/bag – Lasts 3-6 months
- Stored in the freezer (-4 to 0°F) – Lasts 1-2 years
- Vacuum sealed and kept in deep freezer (below 0°F) – Lasts 2-3 years
- Kept in a refrigerator (36 to 40°F) – Lasts up to 1 year
- Stored with a Boveda pack – Lasts 6-12+ months depending on temperature
- Placed in an airtight bag/jar with minimal air – Lasts 6-9 months
- Stored on your shelf or in a drawer in a bag – Lasts 3-6 months
- Left out in the open air – Lasts 2-3 months before very degraded
- Ground up into bud – Lasts 1-3 months or less depending on storage
As you can see, cool, minimal air exposure is key for longevity. Now let’s look at frequently asked questions on storing cannabis.
FAQs: Your Common Cannabis Storage Questions Answered
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about proper marijuana storage:
Does putting an orange peel in with weed keep it fresh?
No, adding produce can increase moisture and growth of mold. Orange peels also provide inconsistent humidity levels. Use Boveda packs instead for regulated humidity.
How long does weed stay good for in a plastic baggie?
In an airtight plastic bag kept in a cool, dark space, weed can remain fresh for 3-6 months. Plastic is more porous than glass so not ideal for long term storage. Put baggies inside an opaque container to further protect from air and light.
Can you freeze weed in a plastic bag?
Yes, you can freeze cannabis in a plastic bag if done properly to prevent freezer burn. Use thick, high quality freezer bags. Squeeze out excess air before sealing tightly. Double bag for added protection. Limit freezing time to 1-2 months.
Should you keep weed in the fridge?
Your refrigerator can effectively store cannabis for 6-12 months if kept in an airtight container. Avoid freezing weed in the fridge to prevent moisture condensation when thawed. Keep weed away from fresh produce or foods with strong odors.
What is the best temperature to store cannabis?
Ideal storage temperature for weed is 60-70°F (15-21°C). Temperatures between 40-60°F are also acceptable. Higher temperatures accelerate degradation while freezing below 0°F provides the longest preservation.
Is it better to store weed with stems or without?
Without. Remove stems from cured buds prior to storage, as they can poke holes in bags/containers and introduce excess moisture. Stems also take up unnecessary space and weight.
Can you vacuum seal weed without crushing it?
Yes, you can successfully vacuum seal cannabis without compression by using rigid containers rather than bags. Place cured buds in an airtight plastic container, seal, then use the vacuum sealer to remove air from the container. This avoids squishing.
Does vacuum sealed weed lose potency?
Vacuum sealing extends shelf life but some terpenes and aromas may be diminished over time. However, THC and CBD potency can remain for 1-2 years or longer if frozen, making up for any minor terpene loss.
Following proper storage methods allows you to keep your cannabis fresh for as long as possible.
Reviving Old Weed: Is it Possible to Rehydrate Dry Cannabis?
If stored incorrectly, weed can dry out rapidly. While reviving extremely dried out, crumbling buds is difficult, you can sometimes rehydrate cannabis to regain a little bit of its lost moisture.
Here are two methods to try:
Use Boveda or Integra Boost Packs – Place desiccated buds in an airtight jar with a 62% humidity pack for 1-2 weeks, rotating daily. This slow humidification often improves texture.
Use Orange or Lemon Peels – Add a peel or two to the jar of dry weed for 12-24 hours, rotating periodically. Monitor closely for any condensation or mold growth.
However, rehydrated weed usually won’t return to the exact smoothness, aroma, and potency of originally cured buds. And dried out cannabis is still degraded. For best effects, rehydration is only temporary to restore some moisture before consumption. Old weed generally won’t be revived back to its peak former glory.
What to Do with Bad Weed: What’s the Best Option?
So you checked your stash and discovered your weed has gone bad. Now what? Here are your options:
- Throw it Away
If moldy or severely degraded, the best option is to cut your losses and toss the bad buds in the trash. Mold spores and bacteria can make you sick.
- Use for Edibles and Tinctures
You can mask poor taste and harshness by infusing old weed into edibles or tinctures. The THC will cook into the food or alcohol, though potency has declined.
- Make Canna-Oil
Another way to extract remaining cannabinoids from degraded flower is through canna-oils or butter. Simmering buds in oil will bind to and pull out some of the THC.
- Compost It
If weed has simply dried out but no mold, you can toss it into your compost pile. Break it up thoroughly and mix it deep into the compost so no one picks it out. The nutrients will enrich your soil.
- Use for Joints or Blunts
Harsh, bitter flower can be sandwiched between fresher bud when rolling joints or blunts. This masks some of the poor flavor of the degraded cannabis.
While you can salvage some uses from bad weed, it’s better to not let your marijuana deteriorate to this point in the first place. Follow proper storage from the start.
Key Takeaways: Keep Your Cannabis Fresh
Proper storage preserves weed’s potency and primes for peak enjoyment. Follow these core tips:
- Store buds in airtight glass or plastic containers away from light, heat, and air
- Use Boveda or Integra packs to maintain ideal humidity
- Keep cannabis in cool, dark spaces around 60-70°F if possible
- Freeze for long term storage of 1-2 years
- Check buds and rotate stock to use oldest weed first
- Frequently “burp” containers to refresh stale air
- Watch for signs of degradation like smell, appearance, and texture
With the right storage, your weed will stay fresh and potent for months or even years. Now go enjoy your preserved cannabis at its full potential!
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