Cannabis products need to be stored properly in order to maintain their potency. THC is reasonably stable, but it does break down over time; if stored properly, it will maintain its full potency for three to six months. If stored improperly, it will break down much faster. CBD is more stable than THC, with a shelf life of around a year, but if stored improperly, it will not retain its potency that long. Another concern with cannabis storage is safety. You do not want your dog, your toddler, or your teenager ingesting your cannabis products.
How to keep cannabis fresh
If you are planning to consume your fresh buds within the next few days, don’t just toss the package in a dresser drawer. Take a few minutes to store it properly so it will be as fresh as possible. Although traditionally, buds are sold in plastic bags, and many modern dispensaries sell buds in plastic child-proof containers, plastic is not your best choice as a marijuana storage container. It often develops a static charge that can damage the delicate trichomes of the flowers. Don’t put fresh buds in the freezer, either; the cold will damage the trichomes. The refrigerator is generally too humid for bud storage. The easiest way to keep buds fresh for a few days is to carefully wrap them in aluminum foil and then put them in a cool, dry place out of reach of pets and toddlers.
Cannabis storage safety
Dogs are much more sensitive to THC than people are. They don’t just “get high” if they manage to eat your marijuana edibles; they get poisoned. A dog suffering from THC poisoning will act uncoordinated and have dilated pupils, a very slow heart rate, appear to be barely breathing, and may have seizures or go into a coma. Children who consume cannabis edibles may vomit and act uncoordinated and confused. Children under the age of five often need to be admitted to the hospital for respiratory support since THC depresses their breathing.
Thus, treat your cannabis products like any other potentially toxic compound, such as prescription medications and bleach. Make sure your products are well-labeled, including the date of purchase, so there is no guessing about what is in there. Child locks on cabinets and drawers will keep dogs and toddlers out. Your best bet, however, is to keep your products securely locked up in a safe, cabinet, or lock box. If you have teenagers, don’t leave the key lying around, either.
How to store cannabis long term
When storing cannabis buds for more than a few days, there are three basic principles to follow:
- Controlled humidity
- Cool, but not too cold
Exposure to light will damage your products and hasten their demise. They should be placed inside a light-proof container, and then that container should be placed inside a light-proof child- and pet-proof outer container. If you don’t use a double light barrier, every time you open the main outer container to access one of your products, all of your products will be exposed to light.
Cannabis buds need to be strictly kept between 59% and 63% humidity. Above 65%, they tend to get moldy. Below 59%, they dry out and start to disintegrate into dust. You can and should buy special humidity packets to put into your bud containers. If the container is airtight, these packets will maintain the product precisely at 62% humidity.
If cannabis buds get too hot, their chemicals start to break down. If they freeze, the structure of the buds will start to break apart; thus, they should be kept between 32 and 68 degrees. The ideal temperature for long-term cannabis storage is around 40 to 45 degrees. A small wine storage cabinet with precise digital control of the temperature and a locking door is the best place to store your containers of cannabis buds long-term.
Best cannabis storage containers
As we mentioned above, plastic containers should be avoided. In addition to damaging buds, cannabis products stored in plastic tend to develop unpleasant off-flavors. Products stored in metal containers tend to develop off-flavors as well. Silicone and ceramic containers are fine. However, glass containers, particularly if they are light-proof and have an airtight closure, are the best option for storing cannabis products. The classic Mason jar will work, but you’ll have to wrap it in something like duct tape in order to make it light-proof. Glass food storage containers that have an airtight silicone seal and clamps that lock the lid on tightly also work well if rendered light-proof.
How to store edibles
In general, foods that contain marijuana should be stored just like any other food of that type. For example, if you buy baked goods you intend to consume within a few days, place them in an airtight food storage container, label it well, and put it in the refrigerator. For longer-term storage of baked goods, place them in a freezer-safe, light-proof, airtight food storage container, label it well, and put it in the freezer. Very obvious, clear labels are vital. You do not want your babysitter to give your child weed brownies accidentally. In fact, if you share your home with children, you should consider purchasing a lock box, such as a small fire safe, that can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer for storing your edibles safely.
How to store cannabis tinctures and oils
Cannabis tinctures and oils should be stored just like fresh marijuana buds: in airtight glass containers kept cool and dark. However, since these products are processed, the humidity is no longer a concern. Tinctures and oils can stay potent for a long time if they are protected from light and heat.
How to store cannabutter
The best way to store cannabutter is to put it in a silicone or ceramic butter crock or dish and keep it in the refrigerator. Properly labeled, of course, and inaccessible to children. Cannabis-infused butter and similar products will keep for three weeks in the refrigerator. For long-term storage of cannabutter and other infused solid fats, like coconut oil, consider freezing the product in silicone ice cube trays. Place the ice cube trays in a light-proof, airtight freezer-proof container, and just pop a cube or two out of the ice cube tray when you want to use it. Keep in mind that fats generally go rancid after a few months, even if stored in the freezer.
How to store cannabis gummies
Cannabis gummies are usually shelf-stable for at least a year. Keep them in an airtight dark container inside a child- and pet-proof cabinet. Tight control of the humidity and temperature is generally not required, but it is best to keep gummies in a cooler location, not in a cabinet right next to the stove.
In summary, follow these guidelines for proper, safe storage of all of the fine marijuana products you obtain from our dispensary:
- Protect from light
- Protect from heat
- Airtight non plastic container
- Label it very clearly
- Place the container in a child- and pet-safe location