Water activity is widely recognized for the safety it provides to food because of its control of microbial growth and it is considered a critical control point for preventing microbial contamination. Water activity provides this same determination of safety in cannabis and consequently is already a part of cannabis regulations in Canada and many parts of the world. CONSULT NOW
However, at this point, it remains primarily associated with edibles, linking it back to food safety. While water activity is important for the safety of cannabis edibles, it is also very important for storage stability of harvested buds / flowers. If cannabis buds/ flowers are not dried to water activity levels below 0.65 aw, they can support mold growth during storage and transport, leading to the subsequent potential for inhalation of mold spores or mycotoxins. In addition, water activity controls the rate of decarboxylation that can lead to the breakdown of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Finally, water activity is correlated to additional critical product quality attributes that are associated with shelf life. In fact, it is possible to predict shelf life based on water activity and to establish an ideal water activity specification for any cannabis or hemp-based products.
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