When it comes to the proper storage of cannabis there are a few main factors that will determine how well you preserve the flavor, aroma, texture and potency of your marijuana. Those factors are temperature, relative humidity, exposure to light and exposure to contaminates. Now let’s look at bad, better, good and best methods for properly storing your marijuana.
- Bad: Leaving it in a rolling tray or out on the table. This exposes the cannabis to direct fluctuations in humidity and temperature as well as degradation from exposure to light. This also opens up for environmental contamination from dust and particles in the air as well as accidental spills. Ashes, crumbs and all sorts of nasty things can contaminate your cannabis and thereby also contaminate your body.
- Better: You can improve the storing method by rolling your cannabis up inside a plastic sandwich bag, in a zip-lock storage bag or inside flip top medical or other plastic storage containers. Doing this will be an improvement over leaving it exposed to the air but there are still a lot of issues with this method. Stems can punch through and make holes and rip. There is little protection from light or even air exposure as most of these methods are hardly airtight. Baggies and plastic also have static that can attract and greedily cling to your precious trichomes. Also baggies are tough on the buds, breaking them into shake and knocking off the big potent trichome heads. And flip-top plastic med jars, although often provided by dispensaries, are flimsy and not airtight. Most also let through light. So baggies and plastic containers are better than using nothing to store your cannabis you can do much better.
- Good: Airtight sealed glass or non-porous, non-static surfaced containers such as canning jars or glass med jars are a good and very inexpensive option. These will keep the majority of air out and the contaminants at bay. So as long as you store the container in a location out of the light and in a good temperature range of 60 – 70 ° F you are going to go a long way in preserving the quality of your smoke. That is unless you drop the jar when taking it out of the cupboard and send your cannabis mixed with shattered glass scattering across the floor. So although the 1 Quart Mason jar may be the standard for storing cannabis there are even better options still.
- Best: Wouldn’t it be great if someone made vacuum sealed, static free, opaque containers that will not shatter? Well of course they do and those are the very best options for storing your cannabis, especially for long periods of time. Vacuum sealing removes even more of the air and some, such as the amazing Mighty Safe vault, are made of polished food grade steel so you don’t need to worry about shattering. More so they protect the cannabis from degradation due to UV ray and the heat from light exposure. So all you need to worry about is the temperature of the storage environment specially if used in conjunction with humidity packs. These packs can be used to help maintain ideal relative humidity of 60% – 65%. Now one small drawback could be that because when there is less air the vacuum sealed container, so there is also less drying, so you could run a higher risk of developing mold if you try to store cannabis that has not been properly cured.
And that brings us to some basic things to avoid when storing cannabis the main one of which is not to store cannabis that has not properly cured. With any of these methods because you will likely get a mold growing on your marijuana if it’s not dried to the correct moisture level in the first place. Because heat, cold and even rapid fluctuations in temperature can damage your marijuana, you should avoid storing your container in cabinets near or above heat sources like ovens.
Also, using a freezer or refrigerator is considered by many to be a bad option for storing cannabis because of the damage that can be done by freezing the trichomes. This can make them break off at the delicate stem or even freeze, exploding the trichome head containing the abundance of the essential oils and cannabinoids. Others however do use the freezer for both storing and processing cannabis products such hash oils and tinctures, so this should be done at your discretion.
So in a nutshell, the proper way to store your cannabis is in a strong, airtight container with a comfortable temperature range of 60 – 70 ° F and moderate humidity of 60% – 65% and also out of direct exposure to light. There are a few containers that are good for this such as med jars for small quantities and mason jars for larger quantities. And although a bit more expensive there are also containers that are great for doing that, such as the Mighty Safe Vacuum vault. And when it comes to maintaining the quality and integrity of your cannabis it’s worth the effort and cost to do it right.
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