Properly storing and caring for your cannabinoid products is important for maintaining their potency and keeping them fresh. The keys to properly storing cannabinoids isn’t complex, but you do need to protect your products from exposure to elements like humidity, heat, extreme cold, and light.
Cannabinoid products have vastly different shelf lives, depending on the type of product and storing conditions. Whether you’re caring for cannabis flower, a tincture, salve, concentrates, edibles or CBD oil, cannabinoids will eventually degrade when exposed to certain elements. Cannabis can last months when stored the right way, and properly cared for tinctures and cannabis oil can last years with little to no degradation if they’re left in an ideal environment. If you’re unsure what types of medical cannabis and CBD products are available, we detailed the different types of products here.
There are three important rules that you should follow to maintain your medical cannabis and CBD’s freshness and potency:
1. Store your cannabinoids products in an airtight container.
The most important step you can take to maintain the quality of your cannabis products is to always keep it in an airtight container. Exposure to the air will degrade the cannabinoids, and in the case of dried cannabis, will cause the flower to lose its scent and flavor and dry out. Cannabis that’s left out will completely dry out within a week’s time.
The ideal container for cannabis flower and concentrates is a glass mason jar with a good seal. They’re available at most hardware or container stores. Try to find one with a wire swing top, which provides a greater seal. While you have likely seen people store their dried cannabis flower in plastic sandwich bags, they leave the cannabis susceptible to being crushed and its flowers broken apart. Also, static from the plastic bags can attract and pull off the resin glands from the flowers.
Cannabis oils will likely come in their own airtight container. CBD oil, for example, is typically packaged in a syringe or dropper bottle, which will be designed to help preserve its natural CBD content.
Edibles should be kept in airtight Tupperware. You don’t need to worry about damaging trichomes with edibles, so it’s also okay to keep them in sealed plastic bags. Keep in mind that perishability is something to consider with edibles. Breads and other baked goods will expire faster than cannabis candy. Check if there’s a “best by” date.
2. Always keep your cannabinoid and CBD products in a place that is dark, cool and dry.
Keep your cannabinoids products in a cool, dark place like a basement or cellar. Light degrades trichomes, so keep your products away from any direct light. Some cannabis oils come in dark bottles to help offer further protection from light damage.
Heat and humidity can degrade your cannabis and cause your cannabis flower to become moldy, which could be dangerous to consume. Avoid storing your medical cannabis or CBD in cabinets that are near appliances that produce heat.
A common mistake is to store cannabis buds in the freezer. Doing so causes the trichomes to become stiff and brittle and makes them extremely susceptible to breaking off once they’re handled. The freezer can also suck out the moisture of your flower, rupturing resin glands. The extreme cold isn’t ideal for concentrates or cannabis oil either, but storing them in a refrigerator is fine. With edibles, follow regular food-storage protocol.
3. Avoid touching or jostling your cannabinoid products more than you need to.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid touching your cannabinoid products except when you’re using them. Every time you handle dried cannabis flower, you will likely degrade the flower’s trichomes. Trichomes are sticky, so each time you touch the bud, trichomes will likely peel off and stick to your hands. Try to avoid transporting the products when unnecessary and prevent any constant movement, even if just handling the jar you’re using to store the cannabis, because the cannabis can be jarred, breaking off trichomes.