Proper storage is extremely important in maintaining the quality and potency of your medicinal marijuana products. There are many different methods and tips out there, some much more effective than others, and some even borderline dangerous. In the interest of helping keep your medicine as fresh as possible, we have compiled this guide to help you store both flowers and edibles.
When storing flowers, the first things that you should consider is the environment you are going to keep them in. Make sure that your storage space is dry enough. That means that you need a space that is below 60% humidity. Humidity encourages mold growth. You can spot mold by keeping an eye out for a grey / white hue, black spots or uncharacteristically dark green spots on your flowers. Never smoke mold. Mold is a serious health hazard, as it sometimes contains aspergillus which can cause severe allergic reactions, respiratory / breathing problems and flu-like symptoms such as coughing, headaches, diarrhea and vomiting. These health effects can be much more severe in patients with serious health conditions and / or poor immune systems.
Your second consideration when picking your storage space is to make sure that your flowers will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will slowly vaporize the THC and CBD from your flowers. Glass storage in sunlight will amplify the effects similar to that of shining light through a magnifying glass. Given enough time, sunlight will render your flowers dry and brittle, causing it to break easily and turn into shake, which tends to be a harsh and unpleasant smoke.
Last but not least, you will want to make sure that your flowers are not stored anywhere near any strong smells or harsh odors. Marijuana is like a magnet for smells. Chances are, you want to enjoy the unique flavors of your favorite strains. You will have a much better chance of maintaining the quality of your smoke if you don’t expose it to surroundings that will change its flavor.
Now that you have picked your storage space, we recommend that you make sure that your flowers are dry enough to be stored. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the stems of your flowers are dry enough to snap in half. This will help prevent moisture from causing mold within your storage container, which you want to avoid for the reasons outlined above. You will also want to leave your flowers as large as possible. Do not break them down for storage. The larger size of your flowers will help maintain the flavor, smell and potency as well as prevent them from breaking down into shake during long-term storage.
Most often, your medicine will be provided in plastic baggies. These plastic baggies are not great for long-term storage and we recommend moving them to another container as soon as possible. Due to static cling, bags can be like magnets to your THC crystals, pulling them away from your flowers. Airtight ceramic or glass containers are excellent for storing your flowers for short to mid-term time ranges. Containers that use a cork stopper lid also work well because the cork tends to slowly draw both air and moisture out of the container, helping to prevent mold. Mason jars are often used for storing perishables and are very popular for storing large amounts of marijuana. If storing multiple jars, placing the jars into a cardboard box is an effective way to add an extra layer of defense against unwanted light. If you are planning on storing for an extended period of time, you may want to consider purchasing a bio-photonic glass jar. The bio-photonic glass protects against / filters out harmful UV rays that affect the quality of your flowers. There are also pump-vacuum sealing glass jars available on the market that create a perfect air tight seal, actually extracting the air from inside the jar, creating a perfect vacuum.
It is not recommended that you store your flowers in a plastic container. Plastic will change the smell and taste. If left in sunlight, the plastic can also transfer cancer-causing agents, similar to that of leaving a bottle of water in the sun or a hot car for days. Metal tins, while one popular storage method, are not advisable for long periods of time unless they are airtight and protect against the elements. Sespe’s preferred method of storage for our loose flowers before we package them for patients is in C-vaults, which are food-grade, airtight, stainless steel containers that coffer two-way humidity control via a shelf for a Boveda humidipaks stored directly in the lid.
When storing your edibles, you must be sure that you keep them as fresh as possible. If your edibles are homemade and did not come in individual wrappers, it is recommended that you wrap each item individually in kitchen foil. Your wrapped edible should then be placed inside of an airtight Tupperware (or similar) container. Refrigerating your edibles should maintain freshness and potency for approximately one week. Freezing your edibles will maintain freshness and potency for approximately two or three months.