The Do’s and Don’ts of Marijuana Storage in the Summer
As warmer weather approaches, we must remember that our medicine can feel the changes as well. There are certain do’s and don’ts of marijuana storage and overall tips and tricks for keeping your medical marijuana as fresh as possible.
Temperature, light, and moisture can change the composition of your medical marijuana, which will result in degraded plant matter. Degraded cannabis will not only have a weaker aroma and flavor, but it may be less effective or result in an effect you weren’t planning. For instance, incorrect marijuana storage will cause THC, the main psychoactive molecule in cannabis, to convert to cannabinol, or CBN. CBN can be very helpful for sleep, but not if that strain is a Sativa and you intended on being energized.
Additionally, the various forms available in the Pennsylvania market require different medical marijuana storage conditions. To ensure that you get the most out of your medicine, the Solevo Wellness team has compiled some helpful marijuana storage tips. These will be especially beneficial during the summer but can be applied year-round.
How to tell your medicine has degraded:
- Product has lost its aroma
- Mold or mildew
- Product composition has changed – especially with concentrates and cartridges
- Moisture or condensation in the container
- Product feels crunchy, dry, brittle, rough
- Product has unusual color or discoloration
Medical Marijuana Storage Guidelines:
- Dry leaf: Store your dry leaf in room temperature or slightly cooler than room temperature. Storing dry leaf in the cold can cause the trichomes to fall off, while storing it in the heat can dry it out. According to growers, you should never store your medicine in less than 40 degrees or more than 77 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can’t get an exact temperature, an environment like a basement or wine cellar would allow your dry leaf to age at a slower pace, as aging is inevitable.
- Humidity Packs: Growers such as Cresco Yeltrah, Terrapin, and Prime Wellness have been caring for patients by including humidity packs in your flower. You can reuse those packets to hydrate your dry leaf from other growers. If they dry out or you can’t afford humidity packs, don’t worry. A spinach leaf works wonders to encourage moisture in your medicine, and it doesn’t impart any flavor like a lemon peel would! However, don’t leave any of these in for too long because too much moisture can lead to mold.
- Airtight Glass Jars: The plastic containers used to hold dry leaf can sometimes cause the flower to sweat out its moisture, and the static can snatch our trichomes. It is only useful for short term marijuana storage. Transferring your dry leaf to a glass mason jar or blacked out UV-ray jar would extend its life by preventing oxidization. If you do use a clear glass jar, make sure to store it in a cool, dark area. This is because light and heat will degrade the quality of your medicine.
- Cartridges and Disposable Pens: Have you ever seen some oils coagulate in cartridges and wonder why you can’t get them to move? It’s because it’s been sitting in the heat or cold. Store them upright in a dark, cool or room temperature area. The cold is fine but be aware that some oils might become thick. Storing it upright will prevent clogging and leaking.
- Concentrates: Be careful with leaving your concentrates in the car after purchasing. Your concentrates can change composition if they are stored incorrectly, especially in the heat. What was once a shatter might become a crystallized pull n’ snap if left in the car on a hot summer day. Like other marijuana products, do not leave them exposed to air. A silicone container could be useful for short term storage. This is not only because it keeps your concentrate cool, but it also blocks out light.
You can store your concentrates on parchment paper in a glass jar for long-term marijuana storage. If the consistency changes, it can be helpful to put it in the refrigerator or freezer to improve its composition. However, refrigerators and freezers are not recommended for long term storage. They can expose your medicine to varying temperatures from constant opening and closing. If you open your refrigerator a lot, utilize the temperature control drawers.
- Tinctures: All tinctures, whether oil or alcohol based, on the PA market come in UV ray protected glass or plastic jars. Therefore, they only need to be stored in a cool, dark place. The refrigerator would also be acceptable. Like concentrates, utilize temperature control drawers if your refrigerator is in constant use.
- Topicals: Topicals can be stored with similar items in a medicine cabinet or on a dresser because they are made with shelf stable ingredients.
In sum, here are some key marijuana storage takeaways:
- Do – store out of direct sunlight in a cool, dark, dry place
- Do – use containers with a neutral charge such as a glass mason jar
- Do – use humidity packets or natural methods for hydrating your leaf
- Do – store pens upright
- Don’t – store in the refrigerator. The changes in humidity and temperature can increase moisture, which leads to mildew and mold.
- Don’t – store in the freezer. The temperature can freeze off trichomes, thus degrading your medicine.
- Don’t – use plastic for long term storage, only short term. Glass and silicone are better for long term because they seal out air and moisture better than plastic does.
If anything is stored for too long, it will degrade over time. Therefore, use your medicine in a timely fashion so you can get all the benefits. We know there is a lot to consider about medical marijuana storage. If you have additional questions about how to store medical marijuana, speak with a Patient Care Consultant (PCC) at one of our PA medical marijuana dispensaries to learn more.