How to Properly Store Cannabis Flower So That It Lasts
Whether you are an occasional toker or a seasoned grower, chances are you have wondered if you were storing your cannabis correctly. When it comes to storing cannabis, there are many things that you need to consider, and it’s essential to know what factors make a difference. Let’s take a look at these aspects in more detail, starting with the importance of why you should store your medical marijuana properly, as well as elements that can wreak havoc on your stash.
Don’t Overlook Properly Storing Your Cannabis
So you know that you need to store your cannabis flower correctly, but why? If not stored properly, your stash will be exposed to elements such as high or low humidity, extreme temperatures, light, or air; all of which can cause the quality, potency, and flavor of your flower to deplete over time.
While there isn’t per se an expiration date on marijuana flower, it will decrease in quality if not stored properly. If stored correctly, flower can remain stable for long periods of time. How long does cannabis flower last? Research published in 1976 in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology shows that cannabinoids can remain stable with a shelf life of up to 2 years if the cannabis is properly cured for at least four weeks and kept in an optimal storage environment. Too hot or too cold of temperatures as well as humidity can also cause issues during storage, such as mold and mildew.
Best Way to Store Cannabis
The golden rule is to always store cannabis in a cool, dark, and dry place. However, how dry, how dark, and how cool is key to success. Let’s take a look at the sweet spots when it comes to elements that most affect your marijuana buds and nugs—humidity, temperature, air, and light.
Proper Temperature to Keep Cannabis Fresh
Storing flower at high temperatures can cause your terpenes to diminish and your buds to dry out. This can create a very unpleasant flavor as well as a harsh consumption experience. Alternately, storing your stash at too low of a temperature can also cause degradation of terpenes and cannabinoid content.
It is recommended to store marijuana at temperatures below 74 degrees as mold and mildew thrive at temperatures that surpass that threshold. The ideal temperature is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit but no less than 55 degrees.
Minimize Light Exposure
While cannabis plants thrive on light during the various growth stages, UV rays can degrade your flower after harvesting quicker than anything. To avoid losing valuable terpene and cannabinoid content during storage, it is recommended to keep your stash away from a direct light source. If you are unable to store your container in a dark environment, it is recommended to use opaque containers or to cover any areas on the container where light may enter with stickers or tape.
Reduce Exposure to Air
High levels of oxygen can accelerate the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. A common question that many consumers and patients have is, “Does cannabis lose potency if it dries out?” The answer is yes. When bud is exposed to air, it begins to dry out and oxygen begins to degrade the terpenes, cannabinoids, and other phytonutrients that are present in the plant material. To protect your stash from excessive amounts of air, keep it in an airtight container. Exposure to air and light results in THCA slowing converting into THC and then into CBN, which is known for helping with sleep.
Reduce the Humidity
Maintaining the proper humidity levels when storing cannabis is vital. High humidity can become breeding grounds for mold and mildew, and lower humidity can result in your bud drying out and degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. When it comes to relative humidity, it is recommended to maintain an RH between 54 and 63%. This is easier than ever with products on the market like Boveda humidity packs that can be placed directly inside your chosen storage container.
How Do You Know if Cannabis Has Gone Bad?
Different patients and consumers may have drastically different ideas about what “gone bad” looks like when it comes to marijuana flower. For some, it has technically “gone bad” as soon as it starts to degrade in quality and lose terpene and cannabinoid potency. For others, it hasn’t “gone bad” until it is moldy.
In general though, it is easy to tell when your stash has bit the dust. This can typically be seen in the look of the bud as well as the feel, smell, taste, and potency. If it is dry and dusty, shows signs of mold or mildew, or has been in storage for several years in a non-airtight container or plastic bag, chances are your stash has gone bad. Now that you know how to tell when your bud has gone bad, let’s look at different storage options.
Best Containers to Store Cannabis and Keep It Fresh
While there is no such thing as the perfect storage container for cannabis, there are some that are more optimal than others. Some of these options are meant to be for temporary storage, while others can accommodate both long-term and short-term storage. Some of these options also offer the bonus of being smell-proof! Let’s take a closer look at the best containers for storing cannabis.
Glass Mason Jars
Glass jars are some of the most popular containers for storing dried flower for a few different reasons. Mason jars are made of glass and have a metal lid that offers a complete seal, making them airtight. Seeing how mason jars are made of glass and are clear, there is the risk of light degradation; so when storing flower in glass jars, it is advised to ensure that you do so within a dark place. Storing in glass is also more optimal for maintaining humidity and temperatures during storage.
Tight Sealing Plastic Bags (Temporary Storage)
Let’s face it, sometimes all you have is a tight-sealing plastic bag. While this is not optimal in any way, shape, or form, it is much better than simply leaving your stash completely exposed to the elements. If you must temporarily store your cannabis in baggies, ensure that the seal is tight and that you do not agitate the content of the bag as much as possible to lessen the risk of static electricity wreaking havoc on your buds. Some choose to vacuum seal their plastic bags, but be sure that the plastic is safe and does not contain BPA. Also, try to store the bag in a dark, cool environment and not in your pocket, and most importantly, change storage mediums as soon as possible for long-term storage!
If you have a little cash to spend on storing your stash, you may also consider purchasing a cannabis humidor. A humidor is a humidity-controlled box utilized for storing cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, or in this case, dried marijuana. Only use humidors specifically designed for cannabis; otherwise, the wood they are made with can jeopardize the flavor of your flower. The Cannador is a humidor that is designed to preserve and store small amounts of up to 4 different cannabis strains.
As a general rule, many consumers stay away from metal containers, especially for long-term storage. This is because metals can drastically change the taste of cannabis flower over time. For those that are not fans of glass containers, though, and are looking for containers that minimize light exposure, titanium jars are the next best choice. Titanium, unlike other metals such as aluminum or steel, will not alter the flavor of your flower while still protecting your stash.
Avoid the Freezer and Refrigerator
The refrigerator and freezer should be avoided for dried flower storage for various reasons. The extreme freezing temperatures and increased humidity will cause your bud to freeze and become brittle. In the meantime, while this is slowly happening, the precious trichomes that cover the cannabis buds also begin to freeze and break off, resulting in less potent, less flavorful, and less effective medicine.
Storing Cannabis Products
At this point, we hope that you are confident in how to properly store dried flower. But, have you ever stopped to wonder if a joint can go bad? Or if you should store edibles and tinctures in the refrigerator? These are great questions as well, and the proper storage of these products is just as essential as storing flower properly. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best practices for storing other cannabis products.
So, can a joint go bad? The answer is yes. Just like dried flower in storage can degrade in quality, flavor, and potency when exposed to elements like light, extreme temperatures, high humidity, and air, so can a rolled joint. This goes for both joints you roll at home, as well as pre-roll options available at many dispensaries today.
While most of us don’t roll up until we are ready to light up, sometimes we are proactive and decide to get prepared for the day by twisting up a few joints. In cases like this, it is crucial to store your joint in a container like a “doob tube” or another container like a PotPocket. Optimal storage for joints is very aligned with the proper storage recommendations for dried cannabis flower.
Cannabis-Infused Foods and Beverages
When it comes to infused foods and beverages, if it came refrigerated, keep it refrigerated. If it contains eggs, dairy, or other perishable ingredients, store it in the refrigerator. For edibles like gummies, you are typically safe storing them in their original container for short periods of time. However, to retain the most quality and flavor of cannabis edibles, it is recommended to store them in a cool environment within an airtight container. In the case of edibles, an airtight Tupperware container is more than sufficient for preserving quality and flavor.
Tinctures are one of the most shelf-stable cannabis products available on the market today. Many tinctures can be simply stored in a cool, dark environment within their original airtight containers without risk of degradation. Even when stored at room temperature and exposed to light, these products lose potency much slower than other products and can typically last several months without the storage environment being taken into consideration.
It is recommended to store cannabis concentrates in a glass container with an airtight seal. When not in use, it is also recommended by many to store your concentrates in the refrigerator to preserve flavor, potency, and consistency. A study published in 2019 found that THC in concentrated forms was better preserved when stored in the freezer. If you are unable to keep concentrates refrigerated, the next best option is to keep them in a dark, cool environment in an airtight glass container.
As you have learned, there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to storing flower and other cannabis products properly. Let’s recap. When it comes to flower, it is always recommended that whatever your cannabis storage medium is, that it is stored in a cool, dark environment. When it comes to the specific storage medium, glass containers with an airtight seal are highly recommended.
By storing cannabis in an airtight, glass container in a cool, dark environment, you drastically lower the risk of degradation to your cannabinoids and terpenes as you are avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures, air, light, and humidity. All of these aspects, as we have learned, can wreak havoc on the potency and flavor of cannabis. So next time you get ready to store your stash, remember these tips and be sure to share them with others!
The Best Way to Store Weed: A Beginner's Guide
Today, I’m going to show you the best way to store weed.
It can be all too easy to waste all your hard work by spoiling your cannabis with bad storage.
Imagine spending all those weeks and months with your plants—tending to them, keeping them healthy, drying and curing to perfection—only to ruin it all with a rookie storage mistake.
I won’t let this happen to you.
This guide will show you exactly how to store your cannabis, keeping it fresh and smokeable for years.
But I won’t stop there.
As a special bonus, I’ll show you how to store joints, gummies and candy, too.
Table of Contents:
- Why is it important to store weed correctly?
- The best way to store weed
- The best way to store joints
- Is it better to store weed in glass or plastic?
- Should you freeze weed to keep it fresh?
- The best way to store gummies/candy
- Keeping cannabis fresh, potent and tasty
Why it’s important to store weed correctly:
Your cured cannabis is, literally, a delicate flower that needs protecting.
It’s important to make sure you’re protecting your cannabis from adverse temperature and humidity, protecting from too much light, too much air, and from too much messing around.
All of these elements can negatively impact the quality, flavor, and potency of your buds.
By following the correct practices, you can store your cannabis for up to two years without it degrading.
And, like a fine wine, it will often taste even better over time.
The best way to store weed:
Storing cannabis is all about cleanliness and control.
I don’t like dipping in and out of my jars all the time, and I certainly don’t want a bunch of different people sticking their fingers into my buds.
That doesn’t mean I don’t like sharing!
I like to keep the jars in a controlled, private environment. Ideally, I aim to store my jars somewhere I can leave them with as little stress as possible—for me AND for the buds.
These are the MAJOR things to consider when storing marijuana mid to long term:
While you don’t necessarily have to use a military-grade, airtight container, you should use something that seals well.
Mason jars, or any sort of sealable glass jars, are perfect for storing cannabis.
You can even buy jars with a UV-proof finish! This can prevent your bud from falling victim to the perils of potentially harmful UV rays.
Try to avoid ‘sweaty’ plastic tubs or bags, loose-lidded tins or anything you can’t clean properly.
Whether hot or cold, extreme temperatures can play havoc with your stored buds.
You should keep the temperature around 70°F for short term storage, but mid to long term needs to be cooler, around 55°F.
Avoid drastic swings in temperature. The surest way to degrade weed (even weed that’s stored properly) is big temperature swings.
Excessive humidity can provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.
If your flower is provided with too little humidity, your buds could dry out.
The ideal humidity level for storing weed is 59 – 63%; a hygrometer will help you keep this in check.
UV light can be as damaging to your cannabis as it is to humans.
Like a t-shirt fading in the sun, it can break down the terpenes and cannabinoids in your nugs.
To avoid these possible setbacks, remember to always store your cannabis in the dark!
Dirty storage containers can contain hidden germs that could contaminate your cannabis.
This can have worse results than ruined cannabis, it can also affect your health.
Make sure your containers are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized before you use them.
Keep the storage area clean as well.
A mix of flavors may work well with food, but it’s not something you should aim for with your cannabis.
In order to keep the taste and effects intact for each of your strains, ensure that you’re keeping each cured cultivar in a separate container.
The same goes for when you’re replenishing your jars.
Say you’ve just finished your tasty stash of Durban Poison. You’ll need to clean the jar thoroughly to remove the licorice aroma.
Then later on, when you’re adding your fruity Jack Herer, you won’t drown the lemon and orange in aniseed from the Durban.
Is it better to store weed in glass or plastic?
While plastic and metal containers are okay for short-term storage, they’ll impact the aroma and taste of your buds when used for longer periods.
The static charges in plastic containers pull the trichomes to the sides, away from the buds, reducing the potency.
With this in mind, glass is always the best option when storing your cannabis buds for extended periods. Glass is also just a generally sturdier and more reliable material than plastic.
Should you refrigerate or freeze weed to keep it fresh?
This is an oddly common question but one I have a definite answer to: Never!
While many believe the refrigerator or freezer meets the “dark and cool” requirements, they will soon destroy your cannabis.
The condensation in a refrigerator is very bad for marijuana, encouraging mold and mildew.
Likewise, storing it in a freezer will damage the structural integrity of your cannabis, turning it to mush.
You should never store your cannabis in the refrigerator or freezer. End of story.
The best way to store joints:
Rolling a few joints ahead of time is a fantastic approach to saving time and effort, especially when you want a hit but aren’t in the mood to do anything.
So how do you keep your joints fresh when you pre-roll them? Use whatever receptacles you already have lying around the house! Reusing is much better for the environment than recycling, and it saves a few bucks too.
Empty pill bottles:
These little treasures are designed to keep medication safe from moisture and damage. Why wouldn’t this apply to your homegrown meds, too?
Shorter tubs aren’t big enough to store a full-sized joint, but they’re perfect for half-smoked or single-skin doobs.
Not just for cigars:
Cigar tubes do a great job at keeping cigars fresh, why not let them do the same for your joints?
The length allows you to store a full-sized joint, keeping it safe from potential damage and humidity.
The best part is that they’re great for transporting your doobies without squishing them in your pocket. Cigar tubes are far and away the most convenient storage container for your joints. If you don’t have any lying around, you can always pick them up online or at your local dispensary.
When looking for an affordable way to store your joints, you could opt for a common kitchen staple: the Zip-Lock bag.
As opposed to some of the other options on this list, there is something you have to watch out for with baggies. Remember to properly snuff your half-smoked doobie before placing it in your Zip-Lock, as it’d melt the bag otherwise.
We know you’d typically associate a mason jar with storing dry buds, but they can keep your pre-rolled joints safe, too—especially if you’re rolling a large amount.
If you’re worried about moisture, slip in a few moisture-absorbing packs for extra protection.
The best way to store gummies and candy:
Your cannabis sweet treats can last years, but they’ll still degrade under adverse conditions.
Here are some essential tips for maintaining the quality, flavor, and potency of your cannabis gummies and candies:
Maintain a steady, cool temperature:
As with cannabis buds, light, air, and moisture can dramatically impact the quality of your gummies or candies—causing rapid degradation.
Unlike weed, however, the best place to store these sweet treats is in the refrigerator.
Extreme heat can result in your candies or gummies melting or breaking down the desired compounds.
By storing your candies in the refrigerator, you can significantly extend their shelf-life.
Controlled light exposure:
The most significant elements involved in degrading cannabinoids are air, light, and heat.
The worst thing you could do for your gummies is to store them out on your countertops.
If you can’t use a refrigerator, use a cool, dark cupboard.
Keep pests away:
As you’d expect with any sweet products, you should also take measures to protect your treats from household pests like ants and flies.
Your best plan of action is using a container that seals well, stored in a clean area with no trace of insects.
Monitor humidity and moisture levels:
As with your buds and almost any other cannabis product, you should be vigilant about the humidity levels when storing.
Higher moisture levels often result in mold and mildew forming on your gummies or candies.
Taking these factors into account, the best method for storing your gummies or candies is in an airtight container in the fridge.
The next best option is a cabinet that provides a cool, clean and dark environment.
Keeping cannabis fresh, potent and tasty:
When you’re ready to store your weed, remember these key components: use a well-sealed container and keep the storage space clean, dry, and dark. It’s all about cleanliness and control!
Remember that good storage practices mean that you’ll have long-lasting, quality cannabis and get your money’s worth.
Another crucial step in prolonging your buds’ shelf-life is to ensure that you follow the correct curing process. For expert advice on curing and how to get the most from your harvest, check out my Beginner’s Guides. You’ll find additional tips for every stage of cultivation, from seed to curing.
To improve your skills, collect vital data and learn from other growers, you can also start a Homegrown Diary. It’s a completely free platform open to everyone—I can’t wait to see you sign up.