How long will my cannabis last?
It’s a common question among occasional and seasoned cannabis-users alike. Naturally, searching for the answer to that question leads you down a road toward learning how to properly store your cannabis to reduce the chances of mildew and mold, and to help it hold its potency for as long as possible.
A study published by the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that cannabinoids remain stable for up to two full years if the cannabis is properly stored.
Of course, proper storage requires a bit more thought than throwing your cannabis in a ziplock bag and stashing it in a dresser drawer. There are a few key elements that affect your cannabis during storage and must be taken into consideration to maximize shelf-life. These include:
- Air Exposure
With these in mind, let’s break down how best to store your cannabis.
Cannabis Storage Tip #1: Keep It Cool
One of the most common problems with long-term cannabis storage is the forming of mildew and other molds. It’s an issue whenever you store organic matter long-term. You don’t want to open up your container in a few months to find that your stash has been ruined.
Cannabis molds typically don’t grow in cold environments. In fact, most molds won’t grow in conditions below 70℉ with most molds thriving in conditions between 77 to 86℉.
If you live in a hot climate, this might be more of a concern. However, storing cannabis in a dark drawer, garage, or basement can be a great way to keep the temperature down.
Freezing is also a popular tip for long-term storage, and some research has backed that suggestion. A four-year study published in Forensic Science International found that refrigerated cannabis degraded more slowly than samples stored at room temperature, with cannabis that was stored in the freezer showing no noticeable signs of degradation.
Cannabis Storage Tip #2: Store in a Dry Place
The next important consideration for long-term cannabis storage is humidity. High humidity levels lead to mildew and mold growth. Research has indicated that the ideal relative humidity levels (RH) for long-term cannabis storage fall between 50% and 63% RH.
In other words — don’t store your cannabis in the same room that you shower in. Don’t store it outside either, where sunlight can cause condensation which can create moisture within your container. Keep it in a dark, dry place.
Cannabis Storage Tip #3: Keep Out of Direct Light
Ultraviolet light breaks down organic materials and keeping your stash out of the light plays a critical role in effective long-term cannabis storage. In fact, a study from the University of London in 1976 found that light exposure was the single biggest factor in the degradation of cannabinoids.
Keep your cannabis somewhere dark. A closet. A drawer. A cupboard in your garage. Anywhere where it won’t receive direct sunlight.
Cannabis Storage Tip #4: Use an Air-Tight Container
Finally, you want to make sure that your cannabis is stored in an air-tight container. Being exposed to oxygen will speed up the degradation process, which is why you might find that your weed dries out and loses potency when you keep it in a sandwich bag over a period of time.
However, you want to make sure that you give your buds room to breath. Too little air in the container can affect your humidity levels, especially if the buds are not completely dry when placed into storage. Even a little leftover moisture can cause big problems.
This is partially why mason jars are the popular container of choice for storing cannabis. They are air-tight and come in sizes large enough to give it a little breathing room. Vacuum sealed jars are even better.
Now you know how to store cannabis!