Your guide to storing cannabis flower, concentrates, edibles, vaporizers, and cartridges.
Consider this (and your budtender, of course) your go-to resource for properly storing your cannabis, Fire Fam! In this article, we’ll cover how to store, things to keep in mind, expected product shelf lives, and effective and stylish options for storage.
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Disclaimer: The Fire Station is not responsible for an individual’s misuse or misunderstanding of the instructions to store THC products. This information is not proprietary to TFS, and results may vary depending on the individual’s product and storage choices.
Storing Cannabis Flower
Whether you are an occasional smoker or a seasoned grower, chances are you have wondered if you are 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.
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 an expiration date on marijuana flower per se, it will decrease in quality if not stored properly. If stored correctly, flower can remain stable for long periods of time.*
When it comes to short term storage, it’s generally fine to keep your flower in the container it came in for up to a week. To store it any longer, avoid plastic bags and opt for an opaque glass air-tight container. Plastic bags create a static charge that attracts trichomes away from your flower.
“Does cannabis lose its potency if it dries out?” The short answer is, yes.
How do you know if your cannabis has gone bad? For some, flower has gone bad as soon as it starts to degrade in quality and starts to lose cannabinoid and terpene potency. For others, it hasn’t gone bad until the flower gets moldy.*
Things to keep in mind
Minimize light exposure
UV rays can degrade your flower faster than anything else. UV light is capable of degrading cannabis at the atomic level by stripping electrons from the organic molecules, damaging THC and reducing potency. To avoid losing valuable cannabinoid and terpene content, it is recommended to keep your stash away from a direct light source and in a dark environment, or dark/ opaque container.
Reduce exposure to air
High levels of oxygen can accelerate the degradation of terpenes and cannabinoids. When buds are exposed to air, they begin to dry out and oxygen begins to degrade the overall value and beneficial properties of the buds. To protect your flower from excessive amounts of oxygen, keep it in an airtight container.
High humidity can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Low humidity can result in your bud drying out, meaning degradation of terpenes and cannabinoids. When it comes to relative humidity, maintaining between 54% and 63% is recommended. To truly track humidity, you can purchase a mini hygrometer thermometer and place it in your storage container. There are many on the market under $10 and will ensure the longevity of your product. These can be found online, or in stores like Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, or hydroponic stores. There are also humidity packs on the market such as Boveda, which can also be placed directly inside your storage container to help maintain humidity.
Storing Cannabis Concentrates
The ideal environmental conditions for storage are the same for all consistencies of concentrate. It is always best to store concentrates in a cool, dry place that stays at room temperature, with little direct sunlight.
The best method for storing your cannabis concentrate will depend on how long you intend to store it for, and the consistency of the concentrate.
For short term storage of products that you intend to use within a couple of weeks, a cool dry place like a drawer or cabinet is perfect. If you are not planning to use your concentrates for an extended period of time, storing them in an airtight container or using a vacuum sealer is the best route to take to ensure your concentrates retain their potency and flavor. A sealed-off extract container will be safe in a consistently cool and dry place for months.
Cannabis concentrates themselves can’t be stored in just any container. Some consistencies of concentrate are not meant to be stored in glass containers, such as shatter, which will become stuck to the glass and difficult to get out. Other consistencies, like live resin, sauce, or budder, are easier to scoop out of small glass containers.*
Silicone containers are some of the most versatile for storing cannabis concentrates. You can easily get any consistency of concentrate out of a silicone container. A medical grade silicone will ensure your concentrates remain sanitary and uncontaminated. Silicone is best for short-term storage.
Parchment paper is ideal to use for the short to medium-term storage of concentrates with consistencies like shatter. Simply cut a small square of parchment to fit a little more than the amount of concentrate you have, place the concentrate on one half, and fold the other half over the concentrate. Fold over the excess edges to keep the concentrate from sliding out, and you will create a little envelope. For longer term storage, make sure the parchment is sealed in something safe from outside air, moisture, and light.
Fridge or freezer
A refrigerator or freezer can be used for long-term concentrate storage. You’ll need your extracts to be stored in a glass jar or in parchment. Vacuum sealing your containers will ensure an additional level of protection from humidity and oxygen. When you decide to use any concentrates that have been stored in a freezer, you will need to let them reach room temperature before cutting the seal and using the product. Cutting a seal or opening an airtight container immediately can let some of the moisture condensing off the container into the concentrate.*
Depending on how much extract you have, a glass jar can mean anything from a small glass jar with a plastic twist off cap, to a mason jar. It is best to use the smallest container possible so there is no extra space for air. Glass jars are perfect for budder, crumble, sauce, sugars, THCa crystals, and other less sticky concentrates. For long term storage, these containers can be vacuum sealed and stored in a cool, dry place.
The basic storage rule still applies here: store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Chocolates, gummies, hard candies, and wafers are best stored in a refrigerator. This prevents melting and will allow you to store these edibles for several days up to a couple of months. If desired, once opened, edibles can be put in a new jar or container and stored in the same way.
Most, if not all edibles are already stored in resealable containers. There is no issue with keeping your edibles in their original containers. If you don’t plan on eating your edibles right away or want to save a portion, it is best to store them in a freezer or refrigerator. Freezers work best for long term storage, while refrigerators are best for short to medium term storage. If you freeze your edibles, it is best to wait until they reach room temperature before opening them, to avoid excess moisture entering the container.
Storing Vaporizers and Cartridges
Say it with us one more time, store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
Cartridges and vaporizers should be stored upright. Storing them horizontally or upside down can cause the device to leak product. This can also cause the concentrate inside the cartridge or vaporizer to migrate away from the bottom of the device, where the holes are that lead to the coil, which is responsible for heating up the product and delivering vapor.
It is NOT recommended to store vaporizers and cartridges in the refrigerator, as that can create moisture issues, separation of the product, clogs, and overall malfunction.
Product Self Life
When stored properly, cannabis flower can keep anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. Over time however, it naturally loses some aroma and potency. Cannabis flower loses roughly: 16% of its THC after 1 year, 26% after 2 years, and 34% after 3 years.*
If kept in an airtight container away from heat, concentrates will last up to 6 months and retain potency.
Edibles will retain their potency for 4-8 months after they are made, if unopened and stored properly. After that, the food products themselves may start to become stale or degrade.
Edibles are usually labeled with an expiration date. It is best to consume your edibles by this date to avoid eating expired food products.
Expiration dates on carts are usually one year from the date of manufacturing. If kept in a cool and dry place, an unopened and unused cart/vape can be stored until their expiration date.
If a cart/vape has been used one or two times then set aside, the THC oil may begin breaking down and separating.* Since it has already been exposed to heat and pressure during vaporization, the breakdown of product is faster than if the device wasn’t used at all.
It is recommended to either store an unopened and unused cartridge/vaporizer, or use the full contents of a cart/vape, instead of using it once or twice and saving the remainder of the product for a later date.
Effective & Stylish Options for Storage
There are many alternatives for keeping your cannabis products safe. Whether you want a locking bag, a stylish humidor, a smell proof bag, matching jars, or the ability to vacuum seal, there is an option for everyone.
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