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How to Store Your Cannabis

Did you know how you store your cannabis can affect your consumption experience? Proper storage helps preserve freshness, maintain aroma and flavor, and guarantees a more potent product. Leaving your cannabis out in the open can diminish these qualities, chipping away at its potency and expediting its expiration date. Don’t waste a quality product by storing it improperly! This guide gives you tips on how to properly store your cannabis products once you bring them home from the dispensary.

What impacts cannabis freshness?

There are four major factors that impact cannabis freshness, and they begin to affect the plant as soon as it is harvested. These factors include light, oxygen, heat, and humidity. 

  • Light: Exposure to UV light can cause the degradation of certain cannabinoids and terpenes, including delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This means the more UV light cannabis is exposed to after harvest, the less potent it becomes. Cannabis should be stored in a dark environment for this reason.
  • Oxygen: Exposure to air, too, will result in the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. Much of the THC found in cannabis, for example, degrades to the far less potent Cannabinol (CBN) over time. This process is expedited at higher temperatures. Airtight containers are a must for cannabis products.
  • Temperature: For cannabis, warmer temperatures are the enemy. If kept in warm temperatures for a long time, terpenes and some cannabinoids will begin to degrade. Cannabis should be stored at temperatures below 70°F.
  • Humidity: High levels of humidity could allow molds and mildews to flourish, so it is critical that cannabis be kept at relatively low humidity. However, not enough humidity could degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes, prompting loss of potency. Store your cannabis between 59% and 63% humidity for optimal results. 

Storing your cannabis properly

Most cannabis products will have dates listed on the package. Depending on the product, you might see when the product was harvested and a “best buy” date. Whether the product expires next month or in one year, proper storage methods are key to ensuring the product stays potent and fresh. Here’s a look at how to store cannabis products at home.

How to store flower

Cannabis flower is one of the most sensitive types of cannabis products. As unrefined, harvested flower, it’s important to store it properly to preserve its longevity. Under the right conditions, cannabis flower can last for up to one year after it’s been purchased.

Store flower in an airtight container that blocks light. You could purchase containers made specifically for cannabis or use a tinted glass jar. Once your flower is in its container, store it in a cool, dry place that won’t exceed 70°F or 63% humidity. To help control moisture levels, it’s a good idea to place a “freshness pack” inside the jar, such as those available from Boveda.

How to store concentrates

Concentrates should also be stored in an airtight, dark container. Like flower, concentrates begin to degrade if exposed to UV light and oxygen for extended time periods. Concentrates can stay fresh for several months when stored properly.

Concentrates also tend to be extremely sticky, so it is best to use glass or silicone containers to store them. Otherwise, it might be difficult to remove all the concentrate from its container, wasting the cannabis stuck inside. 

Finally, you should store your concentrates on a flat surface, especially the more viscous concentrates. This will prevent them from pooling or leaking out of their containers. 

How to store vape cartridges

When storing vaporizer cartridges, the most important rule is to store them upright. Allowing cartridges to rest on their side when not in use can clog the mouthpiece and potentially waste the concentrate inside. Like other concentrates, vape cartridges can stay potent for a few months when stored properly.

When you are not using a vape cartridge, remove it from the battery and replace the protective cap that covers the connectors. This ensures your cartridge’s delicate connecting parts will not be dented or damaged when not in use.

Finally, avoid tossing your cartridges into a bag or alongside items that could crush or damage them. If a cartridge shatters, the sticky and viscous cannabis oil inside will leak out, creates a difficult mess to clean, and wastes your cannabis.

How to store edibles

Cannabis-infused edibles should always be wrapped, covered, or sealed. Like any other food product, edibles must also be refrigerated if necessary. Be sure that the expiration date has not yet passed before eating or drinking. The expiration date on edibles may vary, so consult the package when determining the freshness of your product.

In addition, cannabis edibles should not be heated. Warming an edible could lead to degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes, leading to diminished consumption experience.

How to store topicals

Cannabis topicals are unique in that they aren’t ingested, but they still should be carefully stored to protect the phytocannabinoid and terpene content inside. Store topicals in a cool, dry place, and always replace the lid when not in use. Keep cannabis topicals in their original container. When kept in proper storage, topicals can stay fresh for up to one year.

Tips for storing cannabis

Regardless of the product type you take home, these rules apply universally to all cannabis products:

  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Take note when you bought the product.
  • Opt for cannabis specific containers when possible. If in a pinch, any dark airtight container will do.
  • Keep products in dispensary packaging  (this may even be a legal requirement depending on where you live).
  • Consider smell proof cases or containers for discretion.

Proper cannabis storage means longer lasting products

Treat your cannabis with care. By following the best practices above when storing your cannabis products, you will be able to preserve the freshness and potency of your cannabis for much longer. Proper storage is rewarded with a more flavorful and effective experience, so don’t leave your cannabis out in the open.

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