Storing your cannabis properly can mean the difference between a nice, fresh nug with a robust flavor profile and a dry, moldy one. Proper storage techniques should be applied to any product that is being consumed by a human, and cannabis is no different.
So, how long does cannabis stay fresh enough to consume? Long story short, there is no hard and fast answer here. Dried herbs, like those you cook with and cannabis, have a pretty long shelf life. When stored correctly, cannabis flower can last up to 2 or 3 years, but degradation can happen very fast if stored improperly.
Much like cigars, cannabis is best when stored in an air-sealed container, at the right humidity level, in a cool, dark place. Let’s walk through why each of these characteristics are so important when considering where to store your cannabis.
Ideal Humidity Level For Storing Cannabis
Keeping humidity at the right level will be a huge factor in keeping mildew or other moldy contaminants from growing on your stored cannabis. If you are serious about storing your herb properly, get familiar with the term “relative humidity” or RH.
Ideally, the RH level in whatever jar or container you are using to store your bud in should remain at about 62-65%, bottoming out at 50%. Any moisture beyond 65% will most likely result in mold growth, and no one wants to smoke mold.
Best Temperature For Storing Cannabis
Mold and mildew love a warm, moist environment. Specifically, mold and mildew thrive in temperatures between 70-90 degrees.
In addition to mold and mildew, temperature is an important consideration in keeping terpenes and cannabinoids from quick degradation. Decarboxylation, or the chemical reaction by which THC-A turns into THC in cannabis, happens faster in hotter temperatures. Once THC-A turns into THC, additional heat can cause THC to turn to CBN, a cannabinoid that can make you drowsy.
Keep your cannabis stored somewhere cool, but not a refrigerator or freezer. Keeping cannabis in an environment that is too cold can also affect its potency.
Lighting Factors For Storing Cannabis
Too many UV rays can mean bad news for your stored cannabis. Trichomes, or resin glands in cannabis that contain THC, are degraded by too much light exposure.
To keep those THC filled trichomes happy, you should always store your cannabis in a dark place. Drawers, cabinets, or basement are great places to store your cannabis to keep it away from direct light.
Best Containers For Storing Cannabis
With access to legal cannabis at an all-time high, there are plenty of companies who know you need reliable products for storing your bud.
Take the guesswork out of keeping your cannabis fresh by using products specifically intended for storing cannabis at the optimal temperature, humidity and light level.
If maintaining a specific RH level seems intimidating to you and you are looking for a cost-effective option, use humidity-controlling packets. Try out Boveda packets, which come in a wide range of sizes. Simply throw them in your container and change them every 60 days.
A cost effective way to block UV light from eroding your cannabis is simply buying opaque containers. Infinity Jars, which are made from violet glass, are air-sealed and will block out all light, making them a perfect container for your cannabis. These jars are also a much better alternative to plastic opaque containers you often get from the dispensary. You can buy plain Infinity Jars on Amazon, or spice it up with some fun ones from Van Der Pop.
(Van der Pop photo)
If you are a true cannabis connoisseur, it may be worth investing in a Cannador. You can store up to 6 strains in their largest boxes, which are guaranteed to be smell proof, air sealed, dark, and set to the perfect RH level. Buying a Cannador will truly take the guess work out of storing your cannabis flower.