Buying large amounts of marijuana at one time can save you a significant amount of time and money. If you’re a recreational user, it can be convenient to have a large stock on hand. If you’re a medical user recovering from an injury, it’s helpful to be able to avoid frequently leaving the house for a resupply.
However, bulk purchasing introduces a new challenge to your routine: You must make sure that it stored properly in order to last for weeks or even months. In this guide, you’re going to learn how to store each type of weed, and what tools you’ll need for the job.
You’ll learn how you can preserve the best taste and experience for all of the following forms, including:
Before we get to the methods and tools that you need to store each type of weed, you may find it helpful to understand the stakes. There are very good reasons to store your weed properly, and costly downsides to not following the care instructions carefully.
Why it’s Important to Store Your Weed Properly
Weed that hasn’t been stored properly starts to look and behave differently very quickly. You’ll notice a change in the way it burns, a new bitterness in the way it tastes and several other unpleasant side effects. Taking the time and expense to store weed properly offers you all of the following benefits.
It Improves the Experience
Almost every form of marijuana, including flowers, oils, and edibles, will offer a better experience when cared for properly. It starts with the taste. A dusty, unpleasant taste will quickly take over when weed is exposed to the open air and humidity for too long. Oils will start to change color and taste bitter. Edibles can go bad like any other type of food.
However, you have more to worry about than just a pleasant taste. Weed that has been exposed also quickly loses its potency. If you depend on a certain potency for the right dosage, you must store your weed properly in order to protect it.
It Protects You from Harmful Molds
Marijuana flowers, like most plants, are susceptible to mold once they’ve been cut. Almost any organic matter that is exposed to the open air can be colonized by molds. Once a single spot of mold has taken hold on a bud, it can quickly spread to an entire container.
Any marijuana that has developed mold should be thrown away immediately. It is no longer safe for human consumption. The presence of mold is not always visible to the naked eye. If you have found mold on one flower, it may be necessary to throw out any that were kept in the same container.
Even high temperatures won’t make the weed safe to consume once it has been colonized by molds, because even dead mold spores pose health risks to your lungs.
It Saves You Money
Proper storage can save you a significant amount of money. The more weed you’ve purchased at one time, the more important it is to protect the entire amount with proper storage. Any of the problems listed above, from the loss of potency to the colonization of mold, may require you to replace everything.
Proper storage isn’t just an expense, it’s a means of protecting your investment.
Flowers—weed buds that are in their unprocessed state—require the most protection because they are closest out of all the options to raw plant matter. Flowers are the most likely to either lose potency by drying out or become colonized by mold because of too much moisture. Care must be taken to protect the buds from both risks.
Fortunately, that’s not too difficult if you know what you’re doing. Here are some of the precautions that you can take to ensure that your flowers remain flavorful, potent and safe for consumption.
How to Store Flowers Properly
Use glass jars for storage: You will find many different types of storage solutions on the market, but all you really need to properly store flowers is an old-fashioned glass jar. Glass is a superior option to wood because most woods contain oils that can be transferred to cannabis. The charge carried by metal containers can also negatively affect the taste of weed.
Seal containers tightly and soon after use: Move purchased marijuana to glass containers soon after its original package is opened. When you are removing marijuana for consumption, leave the jar open for as little time as possible. When closing, make sure that the lid is on tightly to prevent leaking air.
Keep storage containers out of sunlight: Your flower storage containers should be kept out of sunlight whenever possible. A dry cabinet or pantry is perfect for storing the jars, and they should be returned there as soon you’ve removed the weed that you’re going to use.
Sort different strains or large amounts into different jars: Don’t keep too much weed in a single container. Different strains should always be kept separate from one another to prevent the possibility of cross-contamination in the event that one has unseen mold/mildew problems. If possible, keep no more than 1⁄2oz of any type of weed in the same jar.
The Tools for the Job
It doesn’t take any expensive or hard to find tools to keep flowers safe. The items below can be sourced from most general hardware or garden stores.
Glass mason jars: Old-fashioned mason jars have been designed for centuries to keep out unwanted moisture. You can find them almost anywhere that carries canning supplies, and you can buy them in large packs for a reasonable price.
Humidity Monitors: If you want to get a little high-tech with your storage, you can invest in a humidity monitor. These devices will tell you the relative humidity (RH) level of your storage containers or storage areas. You can find humidity readers for under $30, but the ones with professional features can run more than $300.
If you do decide to invest in a reader, the humidity that you want to aim for is between 59% and 63%.
Storing Vape Oils
While vape oils and sealed cartridges don’t face the same risks as flowers, it’s a mistake to assume that they don’t require any additional care. Oils can lose their potency and even become unsafe for consumption if they don’t receive the proper care.
Fortunately, the care instructions for vapes are not difficult, and it’s usually not necessary to buy any additional products in order to keep them safe. Here are the steps you should take to make sure that your vape oil always tastes and feels smooth.
How to Store Vape Oils Properly
Store bottles or cartridges in a dark, cool place: Heat and light are the biggest pollutants for vaping oil. Excessive light can cause the color of oils to change and the flavor to become unpleasant. It’s not necessary to refrigerate oils, though that is safe and some people choose to do that. However, you do want to at least find a dark spot that isn’t exposed to heat or moisture.
Remember, if you do choose to refrigerate your oils, you should make sure you give them a few minutes to warm up again before use. Refrigerated oil becomes thicker and may not vape properly until it’s warm again.
Keep them upright: Vape bottles and cartridges should always be stored upright. With cartridges, the mouthpieces should be positioned downward. This keeps the oil from pooling where the cartridge meets the battery. Leaks are more likely to happen when the oil spends too much time in that position.
Check for leaks before and after use: For your own safety, and to protect the condition of the cartridge, you should make sure that you check for leaks before and after every use. Leaks mean that the oil is exposed to the outside air. This will cause the oil to deteriorate rapidly and possibly introduce contaminants.
You can easily check for leaks by running your finger gently across the cartridge and feeling for any oil that shouldn’t be there. If you feel any, transfer the oil to a different container if that’s possible.
Clean the outside of the cartridge after each use: Gently swab the cartridge with cleaning alcohol and a cotton swab after each use. There shouldn’t be any residue on the cartridge by the time that you’re done. In addition to making your cartridge more hygienic, this practice will make it easy for you to tell if any leaks have developed the next time you use your cartridge.
The Tools for the Job
Even a dark desk drawer is an appropriate storage place for an oil bottle or cartridge. Neither of these will benefit much from expensive storage options. However, there is one way you can improve the longevity of your cartridges with a purchase, and that is by buying a quality vaporizer.
Use a quality vaporizer: A bad vaporizer (or one that isn’t functioning properly) can more quickly degrade the oil of any cartridge that is attached to it. Surges and bad connections will cook the oil that you’re attempting to save for later, making the smoke harsher and the taste unpleasant.
Concentrated marijuana—crumble, wax or shatter—require proper storage like any other kind of marijuana. Cannabis concentrates can easily maintain their quality for several months as long as they have been stored properly.
However, when not stored properly, they are as likely as any other type of marijuana to lose flavor and potency. The rules for properly storing concentrates can change somewhat based on how long you will need to store them. Use the information below to make sure your wax always
How to Store Concentrates Properly
Store concentrates in a cool, dark place: Starting to see a pattern? You’re right. Almost all marijuana products must be stored away from light and heat, and concentrates are no exception. Find a dark pantry or a handy desk drawer that will keep out light, and provide a consistent, cool temperature.
Store concentrates in a non-stick container: The glass containers that are so appropriate for flowers are not likely to be effective here. Intensely sticky concentrates will likely grip onto the glass and be difficult to remove without a lot of scraping and streaking. You’re likely to lose a lot of your concentrates if you try a glass container.
Instead, look for silicone or polished plastic containers that your concentrates cannot stick to so that you can cut small sections as you need them. You can also use standard baking parchment paper that has been tightly folded.
For long-term storage, place the non-stick containers in an airtight container: Non-stick containers are perfect for a few weeks time, but you will need a container for your container if you are planning to keep your concentrates for a few months at a time.
Choose a container that can be sealed airtight. A glass jar will work here as long there is no surface contact with the concentrates.
Freeze concentrates if they will not be used within a few month’s time: If you have concentrates that you will not be using for a few months, it’s safe to freeze them. Make sure that they are tightly packed in parchment paper and in an airtight container before placing them in the freezer.
The Tools for the Job
Medical-grade silicone containers: silicone containers are the best option for short-term storage. They are often difficult to find in standard stores, but you can easily find them in smoking supply stores or online.
Parchment paper: Parchment paper is another great option for short-term storage, and it’s fortunately quite easy to find just about anywhere. Parchment paper is carried in every grocery store in the baking aisle (how appropriate, right?).
Larger airtight containers: Long-term storage will require a sturdy airtight container. You can use mason jars for this purpose once the concentrate has been stored properly in a non-stick container.
Storing edibles properly is simple as long as you already understand standard food safety rules. Marijuana doesn’t act as a preservative, so the standard rules apply. However, there are some basic rules that you can follow for the most common types of edibles.
How to Store Edibles Properly
Consume baked goods within a week of opening: Cookies, brownies, chocolate bars, and other baked goods should always be consumed within one week of the time they’re packaging is opened. Most are sold in airtight packages, so they can be safe if stored for up to a month. Always refer to the expiration date with all baked goods.
Consume candies within a month of opening: Gummies, hard candies, and other sugar-based goodies will typically last longer than baked goods as long as they are stored properly in an airtight container after opening. Once again, it’s wise to check the listed expiration date to be sure.
Store capsules in a cool, dry place: Some edibles are sold in capsule form inside standard pill bottles. These bottles are designed to be airtight and will keep most capsules safe for months at a time. An expiration date will be posted, and you should pay attention to it.
The Tools for the Job
Any standard food storage container: edibles can be safely kept inside any standard food storage container. Place them in the fridge if you want to guarantee freshness for a longer period.