We’ve all been there. Maybe you wanted to stock up to save trips or buy in bulk to save money, or maybe you grow at home and had a great harvest. In any case, now you’ve got more reefer than you can use in a reasonable amount of time and need to store some for a while. What’s the best way to keep all the cannabis goodness intact until it’s time to consume?
Here are some dos and don’ts for storing your cannabis so that your headstash stays heady and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Do: Use an Airtight Container
Lots of cannabis packaging these days is becoming more sophisticated with manufacturers putting serious effort and even research into container design and preserving freshness. Still, not all packaging is created equal, and disposable containers are going to have drawbacks.
Transferring your cannabis products into an airtight container will go a long way to preventing dryness and other degradation. If you’re looking for an affordable airtight option, almost nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned mason jar, which can be found in a variety of sizes.
As a general rule, glass is going to seal out air and moisture better than plastic and won’t affect aroma or taste the way metal has been reported to do.
Don’t: Use Too Large of a Container
The reason an airtight container helps is because it prevents oxidation that changes a cannabis product’s chemical profile. If you use too large of a container, however, all of the space not taken up by your ganja will be taken up by air that can create oxidation issues over time.
“I use all different sizes of mason jars to store flower so I can make sure there’s limited headspace in each,” says MCR Labs Director of Business Development and resident OG cannabis expert, Jon Wani. “I try to have each jar at least two-thirds full so there’s not too much air but no buds are being crushed either.”
Do: Store Cannabis in a Dark Place
Live plants need light to grow, but after cannabis is dried and cured into consumable flower or extracted into a concentrated product, then light becomes an accelerant of chemical breakdown. In other words, cannabinoid and terpene molecules are going to change structure or be destroyed faster the more light your stash is exposed to.
If you can’t find an airtight container that isn’t see-through, then you can use something to cover the container like the silicon sleeves on these Re:stash jars by Mason-re. Or just keep your stash inside a cabinet or drawer.
Don’t: Store Cannabis in the Fridge or Freezer
The most common advice for cannabis storage is “keep it in a cool, dark, and dry place.” The first spot that comes to most people’s minds when they hear this is in the fridge, but issues can arise from extreme or repeated temperature changes.
MCR Labs Director of Scientific Operations Scott Churchill explains, “Going back and forth from a cold fridge to room temperature can create condensation on cannabis products, which can lead to issues with mold due to the excess moisture.”
The key is to aim for cool without tipping into cold. Ideally, a relatively constant temperature between 60-70° Fahrenheit will preserve freshness without altering moisture content. Whether long or short term, it’s not recommended to store cannabis flower in the freezer because freezing and thawing can damage trichomes and affect potency.
SIDENOTE: Cannabis extractions and concentrates can be stored in the freezer long term in glass jars that are vacuum sealed. However, care should be taken to thaw these products fully before opening the containers to avoid condensation and moisture-related issues.
Do: Keep Cannabis Out of Reach for Children or Pets
Even if you don’t have pets or kids yourself, there’s always the possibility that a friend or loved one could visit with their little creatures in tow, and it’s important to take precautions to ensure they don’t accidentally get a hold of anything they shouldn’t. This includes your cannabis, so here are a few ways you can reduce the risk of your stash ending up in the wrong hands.
The easiest way is height. Somewhere up high is automatically out of reach or difficult to access for the small and vulnerable among us. However, elevated storage isn’t always convenient or completely secure, which means it may be necessary to limit access another way.
More and more containers and packaging nowadays are child-resistant or childproof, but any container is always susceptible to damage or tampering. This means the most effective method for keeping your cannabis secure is to store it somewhere that can be locked with a key. Many armoires, cabinets, or other storage areas have this built in, but if not, you can always install a hasp latch that can be secured with a padlock.
Regardless of how fast you may go through your stash, employing these simple dos and don’ts will help to keep effects intact and flavors and aromas strong. And no matter if you use cannabis medicinally, recreationally, or both, keeping your cannabis fresh and secure is critical for enhancing enjoyment and staying safe.