If you care about the quality of your cannabis, you need to start focussing on proper storage methods for your concentrates and edibles. It's easy and essential to keep your stash fresh.
You’ve found a particular strain of cannabis that you like. It works for you and you need it in your life—so much so that you’ve gone ahead and bought more than enough concentrates or edibles to last you months—just in case. In hindsight, you might have been a bit hasty.
Now that you’re back at home with your proud purchase, you turn to the refrigerator. Then the cupboard. And the shelf. You look at your collection of lunch boxes. Where are you supposed to store your surplus goods? All of a sudden, life seems complicated. But it doesn’t have to be! Here’s everything you need to know about storing cannabis concentrates and edibles.
RISKS OF NOT STORING YOUR CANNABIS
You’re not just storing cannabis to hide it away from eager friends. Storing cannabis concentrates and edibles is essential for keeping them fresh. Here are some of the risk factors that could affect the beautiful taste or quality of your concentrates when not stored properly:
- Moisture and humidity
- Direct light and excessive sun exposure
- Sources of heat
- Mildew or mould
Cannabis that is left outside can go bad within a few days!
This will differ largely from person-to-person, and there are literally hundreds of opinions on how to best store your cannabis in whatever form it may be. We’ve rounded up the most popular methods that seem to be tried and true. Cannabis can be stored somewhat indefinitely under the right conditions, although the appropriate amount of time will depend mostly on your chosen storage method and the type of product that you are storing.
- Silicone containers: This method is ideal for short-term storage. Try to choose a container that is close in size to the quantity of concentrate that you will be storing. This minimises the risk of moisture buildup.
- Airtight containers: For storing concentrates for up to a month, wrap small quantities in parchment paper and then seal these individually wrapped pieces inside a ziplock food bag. Place this into an airtight container.
- Glass jars: Small glass jars, mason jars, and other glass containers are equally ideal, depending on what you intend to store. Products that don’t stick to glass will work well in vacuum-sealed jars that can be placed in a dry storage area or fridge. If you’re storing shatter that is a bit sticky, wrap it well in parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.
- Freezing: With freezing, you could probably keep concentrates up to one year without significant loss of flavour or quality. However, this will require some caution when preparing the concentrate to be frozen as excess air should be removed to prevent moisture if temperature changes occur. When you remove the concentrate from the freezer, try to defrost it slowly as sudden temperature changes could affect the taste or even ruin your concentrate.
STORAGE OPTIONS FOR EDIBLES
Cannabis edibles tend to store better in the fridge, especially if they are made with components such as oil, sugar, and flour. Edibles are prone to mould and go bad very quickly when left at room temperature, especially since most cannabis edibles don’t contain a lot of preservatives.
If you’re purchasing a commercial cannabis edible product, check the “best before” date and labelling to give you a good idea of what storage will work best. Where possible, try to wrap edibles in wax paper or aluminium foil, as plastic might affect the taste. Place these wrapped edibles in an airtight container and put in the fridge.
Cannabutter can be stored in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container or glass jar. Cannabis-infused cooking oils should be kept in the refrigerator. Make sure not to put cannabis oils in the microwave and always use a low heat for cooking. Following regular food-storage protocol is a good idea with edibles.
- Where possible, avoid transparent containers as cannabis is easily affected by light.
- Avoid plastic bags because, as far as sealing out moisture and air goes, plastic is not the best option. Glass and silicone containers are better.
- Never store cannabis—whether concentrates or edibles—in direct light.
- If you’re wrapping concentrates in parchment paper for storage, make sure to wear gloves to avoid transferring oils and bacteria from your hands.
- The refrigerator is a great place to store edibles, cooking oils, balms, and tinctures. Make sure to keep them out of reach of children!
- Do you open the refrigerator often? Maybe it’s time to invest in a small bar fridge to keep your refrigerated cannabis and edibles stored well and without temperature fluctuations.
- Write the date of packaging on cannabis concentrates and edibles to keep track of how long they have been stored.
- Always buy products from reputable sellers and dispensaries. If they’re handing over the cannabis in a plastic bag or it’s not pre-packaged, be wary of the freshness level.
SIGNS THAT CANNABIS HAS GONE BAD
In case you’re not sure if your cannabis has been stored properly, make sure to check for the following signs that cannabis has gone bad—a phenomenon often referred to as “bunk herb”:
- Condensation droplets in the container
- Signs of mildew and mould
- Cannabis that has lost its smell
- Products that feels brittle, rough, and dry
Storage is a big deal when it comes to cannabis. You want to keep your weed fresh and tasty, whether its edibles, concentrates, or any other form of bud. Stick to the basics of handling your cannabis carefully and follow proper storage guidelines (cool, dry, and dark!), and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Here’s to fresh cannabis!