Get the most out of your marijuana budget by storing your cannabis to preserve its potency, flavor, and more.
Are you still storing your marijuana in sandwich baggies? Does your dispensary use plastic pop-top bottles when selling you your legal cannabis?
Improperly stored marijuana can quickly dry out, losing potency and flavor – or worse, mold can grow on your cannabis, rendering it dangerous to consume.
If you follow some simple tips for storing your marijuana, it can remain fresh, fragrant, and pleasant to consume for years without losing its potency.
Ideal Conditions for Storing Marijuana
Whether you grow your own marijuana and need to store large amounts for a year or more or are just looking to keep the buds you pick up from your dispensary fresh and flavorful between visits, proper storage can keep your marijuana at its best.
To store your cannabis, you need to control several factors:
Of these, one foundational study discovered it was light that was most responsible for the degradation of marijuana. While direct sunlight is the most degrading to marijuana flower, even indirect light can cause a loss of potency.
You are ideally looking for a cool, dark, and dry place to store your marijuana. The back of a cabinet or closet can work well as a place to keep your jars of marijuana. Heat, light, and even exposure to oxygen in the air can cause marijuana to lose potency through the degradation of THC to CBN, as well as a loss of flavor from degraded terpenes.
To control these critical factors when storing your marijuana, you are aiming for a temperature range of about 60-70 degrees fahrenheit. You will want to keep your marijuana in an airtight jar to minimize air exchange and changes in relative humidity, which should be kept near 62 percent. Many cannabis consumers and growers prefer opaque or dark-colored glass containers to reduce exposure to light.
What to Avoid
There are a couple common mistakes you will want to avoid when storing your marijuana, especially if it will be stored for a significant length of time.
Keep the container air-tight. When cannabis flower is exposed to outside air, it can lead to faster degradation of potency, a drying of the organic material, and a decrease in the quality of the marijuana.
Similarly, if marijuana is stored exposed in a damp environment, you run the risk of mold growth. Moldy marijuana can lead to users getting sick from smoking it. Don’t store your marijuana in the refrigerator. Buds stored in the fridge tend to mold, even when stored in airtight containers, due to the fluctuations of humidity and temperature in the refrigerator.
Just as the cold, damp atmosphere of the fridge can cause mold growth. Temperatures higher than 70 degrees can create an environment conducive mold and bacteria growth within your flowers. Try not to let the temperature vary too much to restrict the growth of these contaminants.
Some people swear by keeping their cannabis in the freezer – a suggestion that is controversial. The extreme temperatures in the freezer cause trichomes to become brittle and snap off, taking away from its potency.
By limiting exposure to the processes that influence degradation and cause the growth of harmful contaminants, you can guarantee your marijuana stays fresh and potent until you are ready to use it.
Airtight Mason Glass Jars
Although a standard across much of the retail cannabis market, plastic pop-top bottles are not recommended for storing marijuana, especially for extended periods of time. Plastic can also leach BPA and may affect the flavor of marijuana. Plastic containers are also less effective at preventing air exchange. Finally, plastic tends to build up static, which can cause valuable trichomes to cling to the side.
Instead, you’ll want to use a material with a neutral charge, like glass. Glass screw top or hinge top jars are ideal for storing marijuana.
When they are airtight, glass jars help maintain potency by protecting buds from moisture and outside air. They will also completely contain smells while preventing buds from getting crushed during handling. Make sure jars are at least 3/4 full to prevent excess air being stored with your marijuana. If you have don’t have enough marijuana flower to mostly fill your container, use smaller glass jars.
Humidifier packs can help you achieve and maintain an appropriate relative humidity level in each jar during storage. For even more control over the air in our jar, consider getting yourself a vacuum sealer designed to be used with wide-mouth mason jars.
Looking to store a small amount marijuana for immediate personal use? Small, hinge-top or screw-top glass jars are effective for the short-term storage of your marijuana flower without losing strength and freshness.
If you have more than one strain to store, separate your strains into separate glass jars to maintain their individual flavor profiles.
Some companies make specially-designed containers with long- and short-term storing of cannabis in mind.
Besides being developed to protect your marijuana’s freshness and quality, these commercially available storage solutions are also incredibly stylish. Glass, stainless steel, and certain woods have become the materials of choice for higher end cannabis storage containers, which often have some form of built in humidor function to keep cannabis fresh.
It is recommended that you avoid using a tobacco humidor. Most tobacco humidors use cedar wood, which has oils that transfer and can influence the flavors of your cannabis. They also tend to use propylene glycol to regulate humidity, which can oversaturate your cannabis. Instead, opt for a humidor that was designed specifically for use with marijuana to protect your valuable cannabis buds.
Review of What to Know about Marijuana Storage
Keep these important tips in mind when storing your cannabis flower.
- Store out of direct sunlight.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
- Store in an airtight glass container.
- Use humidifier packs with approximately 62 percent humidity.
- Keep away from heat sources, including some electronics and appliances.
- Don’t store in the refrigerator.
- Don’t store in plastic containers or baggies.
You can learn more about topics like how to properly cure your marijuana, what side effects to expect when consuming cannabis, and choosing between marijuana strains on our Cannabis 101 page, or stay up to date with developments from the booming cannabis industry here.