Whether you’re a new or frequent consumer, knowing how to properly store medical marijuana is essential for maintaining the quality of your products. In this guide, we will first examine the question of why proper storage is essential, and then cover the best storage methods for maintaining potency and quality of your medical marijuana products.
First and foremost, failing to store your medical marijuana correctly could affect the product’s quality, weakening its potency. Adhering to proper storage methods will help maintain the quality and lifespan of your flower and other medical marijuana products.
Another factor to consider when storing medical marijuana is its odor. To many, medical marijuana gives off a pleasant, even alluring scent. However, to some, this can be overwhelming, specifically as quantities increase. Proper storage methods can help maintain discretion, if you prefer your home not smell like marijuana.
Containing The Odor Of Medical Marijuana
Provided you want to contain the scent of your medical marijuana, the solution is simple: Airtight containers. Airtight storage methods will also help maintain the quality and potency of your medical marijuana.
Should You Use Glass Or Plastic For Medical Marijuana Storage?
In this section, we’ll settle the glass vs. plastic debate to begin our discussion on how to store medical marijuana.
Ditch the Plastic Containers
One advantage of plastic containers is their availability in bulk. You probably have dozens of tupperware options stuffed in your cupboards.
You’re far better off ensuring you only use plastic containers to store yesterday’s chicken salad, not medical marijuana. Plastic and medical marijuana do not mix well since such containers decrease potency.
Trichomes (hair-like plant matter that grows on vegetation skin) are attracted to the static electricity created by plastic containers. The trichomes are what store a good percentage of the THC and other cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Plastic will cause the trichomes to cling to the container, therefore stripping the plant of its potency.
The Importance Of Glass Container Size
When it comes to storage containers, glass is the preferred choice for storing medical marijuana. Glass does not generate static electricity, which will help keep the trichomes safely in-tact. Specifically, mason jars have glass lids and rubber seals, offering a solid storage vessel while also providing the airtight effect you need to keep your medical marijuana products as fresh as possible.
When it comes to glass jars, you’ll want as airtight a storage method as possible. Thus, your best approach is to stuff as much flower as possible into a glass container to decrease air volume.
Since your medical marijuana can vary in volume and humidity, you might need to eyeball it. Still, these guidelines may be helpful:
- 3.5g (an eighth) requires a 2oz jar
- 7g (a quarter) requires a 4oz jar
- 0.5oz (a half ounce) requires an 8oz jar
- 1oz (a full ounce) requires a 16oz jar
Avoid Mixing Your Strains
Mixing your medical marijuana strains in the same container isn’t a huge mistake, but it can impact factors such as flavor.
Additionally, storing multiple strains of medical marijuana in one glass jar makes it difficult to know which you’re consuming at any given time. Every strain has different potencies and effects that may be used for specific conditions and at certain times during the day and night. Thus, mixing strains could hinder your ability to medicate properly, based on your needs.
Where Should (And Shouldn’t) You Store Your Medical Marijuana?
When finding the optimal storage location for your medical marijuana, keep these three factors in mind:
- Avoid humidity
- Prevent trichome loss
- Don’t let your flower dry out
Do not store medical marijuana above a stove, next to a furnace, or near any heat sources. Refrigerators and freezers are also poor storage places for your flower, due to excess humidity. Instead, store your medical marijuana in a cool, dry area without light exposure (or in a dark jar that can protect the flower from light).
As we explained above, your ideal choice is to store your medical marijuana in a glass jar, preferably inside a cabinet, cupboard, drawer, or closet. These locations are typically closed, dry, and dark, making them the most viable options.
Offsetting Light Deterioration
Do you want to store your medical marijuana for a long time? If so, know that light exposure will age your flower drastically, highlighted by a 1976 study.
The study in question proved that UV light deteriorates cannabinoids which, in ideal storage circumstances, should remain stable for one to two years.
While mason jars are a time-tested storage method, an opaque glass container (or a stash box with a humidor) could be more effective. You can also store your medical marijuana in a transparent brown container to filter out visible UV rays.
Protecting Your Medical Marijuana From Dryness And Humidity
While excessive moisture is detrimental to your medical marijuana, too little moisture can have a similar impact. Leaving your flower exposed in an arid location can cause the plant matter to dry out.
These factors are challenging to control. Yes, you want to find the most suitable environment for your medical marijuana to settle, but it depends on what tools are available.
With those challenges in mind, we’ll break down what you can do to combat the negative impact of humidity on your medical marijuana below.
(Disclaimer: don’t worry too much about storage if you’re just holding onto your medical marijuana for a few weeks. An airtight mason jar is acceptable in this instance)
Use Humidity Packs
People living in dry, humid climates might struggle to maintain their medical marijuana’s quality and potency.
The first line of defense is using home appliances to control humidity. However, you’ll preserve the quality and potency of your medical marijuana by using humidity packs, specifically Boveda packs.
Boveda packs balance and adjust the humidity in surrounding material automatically. They are small packages containing a water-salt solution, so they can regulate humidity using a process called “reverse osmosis.” The packs have a membrane that only exchanges water vapor between the device and the surrounding storage environment.
There are pre-set relative humidity levels in a Boveda pack. Thus, reading the percentage written on the package is crucial before purchasing. The ideal relative humidity for your medical marijuana is between 55% and 62%.
Consider Marijuana-Specific Humidor Stash Boxes
Typically, cigar humidors use cedarwood for lining because the oils in the wood enhance the cigar’s taste. Yet, those oils will be detrimental to your medical marijuana.
Cigar humidors also use propylene glycol or sponges to reach humidity levels suitable for tobacco but not for your medical marijuana.
Fortunately, there are humidor boxes that exist to meet the needs of your medical marijuana storage, designed to reach optimal humidity for the plant. Multiple models are currently available on the market.
Do Orange Peels Help Control Humidity?
One medical marijuana storage practice involves placing the buds in an airtight glass container along with a few orange peels and sealing them. Any medical marijuana that’s dried out will rehydrate within about four hours.
While there is merit to this approach, it can also work against you if you’re not careful. Orange peels also carry mold, which introduces a whole host of different problems.
If you want to use the orange-peel method to store your medical marijuana, be mindful of signs of decay, mold, or other adverse results. When marijuana develops mold, there are potential dangers involved.
Why Should You Be Mindful Of Mold?
Moist environments are breeding grounds for mold. Locked-in moisture provides mold with an environment to thrive.
Once you suspect medical marijuana has sprouted mold, toss it away. It is not worth the risk. Consuming moldy medical marijuana can lead to nausea, vomiting, or sinus and lung inflammation.
As a medical marijuana patient, you may have a weakened immune system or a lung problem. In these instances, medical marijuana containing fungi like Cryptococcus, Mucor, or Aspergillus can cause deadly lung, central nervous system, or brain infections.
Resolving The Fridge And Freezer Controversy
Fridge and freezer storage isn’t the worst approach for your medical marijuana compared to an overly hot and humid space.
Still, there’s a proabable chance of losing potency and freshness in these frigid temperatures. Trichomes can become brittle in the cold and break away from the flower.
So, if long-term storage is your goal, stick with a relatively cool spot that absorbs minimal sunlight. Avoid the refrigerator and freezer.
Want to learn more about how to get the most from your medical marijuana products? Contact Restore Dispensaries today with any questions you have.