If you're a cannabis connoisseur, it’s important to know the ins and outs of storing marijuana. It’s simply not sustainable to use every single flower or weed-infused product in your possession all at once (and likely not safe, either), so it's critical to both preserve cannabis and prevent waste – saving time and money along the way.
And, since marijuana is inheritably diverse – beyond flower, there's also things like oils, topicals, and edibles – the methods of storing cannabis also vary.
The consequences of storing weed improperly range from petty to pretty serious. One of the leading spoils is mold, which is a serious and toxic health detriment, especially when accidentally ingested. Other scares include mites and spiders, which are bad news and can appear when marijuana is not properly stored. Weed can also dry up, rendering it un-useable. On a basic level, taste and potency can take a hit as well.
Make sure to implement the proper marijuana storage methods, based on your cannabis product.
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Regardless of what kind of cannabis you’re planning to consume and store, there are some universal rules.
The most important rule of thumb to note is that there are three elements that are a detriment to all cannabis products: heat, light, and oxygen.
Also keep an eye out for best-by dates on all products purchased from either a dispensary or retailer. These are there for a reason, and are a helpful clue to keep tabs on how long a product is meant to last and thus, how long it can be stored. If you're unsure about that three-year-old cannabutter, ask a trusted budtender for advice.
Cannabis Product: Flower
When it comes to preserving the power of your flower, airtight glass jars are a go-to option. Glass is preferred to plastic, since plastic can make the bud sweat and dry out. This method is also cost-effective, especially when using mason jars. Once packed into the jar, air-seal that sucker and keep it in a place that isn't heated and doesn't have much light exposure. Ultraviolet glass jars are available for purchase, which offer an extra layer of protection.
There are products on the market that help to elongate storage times, like vacuumed sealed bags and humidity packs. Keep in mind: the target relative humidity for marijuana storage is between 55 and 62 percent, which keeps away mold while still ensuring the quality and integrity of the flower for months at a time.
Cannabis Products: Infusions
Cannabis-infused products take many different shapes, sizes, and forms. From topical salves and balms to edibles and oils and butters that use marijuana as a main ingredient, there is one thing they have in common: oxygen, heat, and light will kill off the cannabinoids inside. Cannabinoids, which are responsible for taste, aroma, and potency, will degrade with prolonged exposure to these no-no elements.
Proper marijuana storage, then, controls these factors. For infused foods and products, the best bet for a prolonged shelf life is to stick with the three virtues: dark, cool, and sealed. There is one clear and easy answer for many cannabis lovers: the fridge.
Yup, you can go ahead and stick your brownies and serums in the fridge, which takes care of the temperature factor easily, and also protects perishable items. When it comes to light, aim for an opaque storage container that will dim the brightness of the refrigerator. Oxygen-wise, aim for air sealed containers.
Pro-tip: do not store flower in the fridge, since it will deplete cannabinoids and separate the trichomes.
It’s also good to be aware of previous packaging. If you bought your cannabis products at a retailer or dispensary, there is a pretty good chance that the product came in packaging that works for storage. Check to see if they are resealable and labeled. Also, glass is preferable to plastic for long-term storage, since plastic can affect the infused products over time.
When to Use the Freezer
All infused products can be stored in the fridge, but not all can go into the freezer. It's like in math, where all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Specifically, canna-oils and butters will benefit most from freezer storage, while many other edibles will not.
To store cannabis cooking oils and butters in the freezer, one solid method is to mix the cannabis product with herbs and freeze into ice cube trays. This way, it’s super easy to portion out serving sizes, and still maintain the potency and flavor of the infusion. Freezer storage can extend the life of these products significantly to preserve the cannabis.
Cannabis Product: Tinctures
When it comes to tinctures, it's good to know that they are one of the longest lasting of the orally ingested infused cannabis products. (Try saying that thrice!) Tinctures, when stored properly, can last for years.
The best method of storage involves amber or blue dripper bottles that can handle living in either refrigerators or freezers. Also note that how the tinctures are made also matter; those made with glycerins will probably go bad a lot sooner than those that were distilled with pure alcohol, which can last for either years or decades in an air-tight bottle, away from harsh light and warm temps.
Before you're able to preserve your cannabis, you've got to buy it. Consult Leafbuyer for all of your marijuana purchasing needs.