Top shelf storage tips to keep weed fresh
Ever wonder about the best methods to keep weed fresh? Most of us have since improperly storing cannabis can alter its appearance, it’s also a drag to smoke since hits get harsher and less flavorful. Of course, there are best practices, but keeping cannabis flower fresh is only one part of the equation–there are also extracts and edibles to consider.
Cannabis flower has been cured to an optimal point by a processor before being packaged and stocked on dispensary shelves. Improper storage can subject plant matter to oxygen, light, and moisture leading to less potent weed and, worse, possible health hazards like mold.
Extracts are sensitive to light, air, moisture, and heat. Incorrectly storing cannabis products can end in lower THC content alongside changes in color, consistency, and experience.
These tips can help increase the shelf life of your infused edibles, cannabis flower, or extracts.
Storing cannabis edibles
Edible storage methods can depend on the type of food you have. Labels sometimes include an expiry date, so don’t stock up before checking how long you’ll have to consume before the infused products turn.
Also, be wary of buying baked goods in bulk from the dispensary, as these items can go stale quickly, especially when packaged incorrectly. If you want to purchase cannabis baked goods in bulk, consider a vacuum sealer to keep them fresh depending on how long you’d like to store them. Some also suggest freezing brownies and cookies for up to three months to prolong shelf life.
Freezing is a viable storage method for most edibles, but remember to take measures with certain products. For example, putting layers of parchment between gummies, chocolates, and candies can keep them from freezing together. However, drinks may not freeze safely depending on their packaging as the liquid will expand in the freezer, breaking glass and other rigid containers.
Freezing can extend the shelf life of infused foods, but remember that they turn in the same amount of time as traditional fare. For example, non-infused brownies go bad in about two days when stored in an air-tight container on the counter, one week in the fridge, and up to three months in the freezer. These same rules can apply to infused brownies.
Keeping cannabis flower fresh
Maintaining the artful cure of cannabis flower requires a couple of things. First, you need the correct container. The best cannabis container will be glass, air-tight, and block UV light. There are metal and plastic options, but metal can alter the taste of flower, and plastic is static, which pulls kief from the bud to the container. Glass stores flower best without changing the product. If air-tight, the jar will keep cannabinoid content-altering oxygen away from the product.
Orange Photonics researched the effects of UV light on cannabis flower and found a 20% cannabinoid loss after 40 hours of irradiation– so either keep cannabis in an opaque jar or store clear jars in a dark place. That location should also be a stable, neutral temperature.
There are a lot of different takes on the precise temperature for storing bud, but it’s safe to say that a range of 55-70℉ is best. If it’s too cold, the trichomes will freeze, making them brittle and easy to break. But too hot and cannabinoids will begin to evolve–changing the expected effects of the product.
As a final touch, add a humidity packet to the jar, which maintains an ideal humidity for smokable plants. If flower has gotten dry, resulting in lost terpenes and harsh smoke, add humidity packs to the jar to reintroduce moisture for a smoother experience. Humidity packs are commonly used for cigars as well to simulate a humidor. This reminds me: an air-tight humidor is another suitable option for keeping containers of cannabis flower fresh.
Best practices for storing cannabis extracts
With the proper protocols, extracts can remain stable for up to two years, a much longer shelf-life than flower. There are many types of cannabis extracts, but a few storage rules apply to most of them.
The biggest thing to avoid when storing cannabis extracts is heat exposure. Heat can change extract flavor, potency, and shelf-life, so concentrate enthusiasts often keep small fridges for extract storage.
Oxygen exposure can also degrade extracts, so while silicone containers can be ideal for a sticky product, they don’t provide necessary air-tight features. Many dabbers opt to keep flavors in glass jars with PTFE-lined lids. Keep your products safe from oxygen and moisture by storing individual flavors in an air and water-tight case like this Pelican Micro Case.
Whether you just stocked up or want to keep your stash in tip-top shape–you should maximize your cannabis storage methods. The best rule of thumb for scoping out storage options is that they are air-tight, water-tight, and UV-protected. These three components can lower the risk of contamination and maintain the original potency of the product.