How to Store Cannabis Oil, Edibles, and Other Products
Here’s a fun fact for you: a properly made, well stored cannabis tincture has a practically indefinite shelf life. If left undisturbed in an ideal environment, a tincture can last years with little to no degradation whatsoever. On the other hand, even the most expertly crafted cannabis-infused brownie stored under ideal conditions is going to render itself inedible in much less time.
Cannabis-infused products can have vastly differing shelf lives depending on their preparation methods, ingredients used, intended uses, and storage conditions. Where all cannabinoids withstand degradation under similar conditions, many times, infusions involve more volatile and, in some cases, perishable ingredients that can be much more sensitive to compromising elements.
When it comes to storing infusions, there are a few helpful pearls of wisdom that will apply to most scenarios which can greatly improve the longevity of your favorite cannabis creations.
The Best Way to Store Cannabis-Infused Products
Whether it be a tincture, salve, balm, cooking oil, or edible, all cannabinoids will degrade under similarly extreme conditions involving prolonged exposure to heat, light, or oxygen. The first step to storing any infused product is to ensure that all three of these elements are well-controlled.
Cool, dark, and sealed are the three virtues to storing any infusion. When it comes to temperature control, refrigerators are a universal solution for infused products (not for flower, as that can degrade cannabinoids). Virtually any cannabis infusion will experience improved conditions and an elongated shelf life when stored in a refrigerator.
To avoid exposure to light and oxygen, always air seal your infusions in opaque storage containers that let as little light in as possible. If you purchased an infusion from a dispensary or retailer, many times the containers they’re packaged in are adequate for storage. Try to keep all infused products in their original containers, and if you must transfer them, make sure your products are well labeled. Always opt to store your products in glass when storing long-term, as plastic containers or bags may compromise your infusions over time.
The Nuances of Storing Cannabis Oil and Edibles
Proper storage can all but eliminate the degradation of cannabinoids over time. However, not all infusions are created equal, and in almost every scenario, there are other ingredients involved in a product that will play a larger contribution to its expiration date.
Take edibles, for example. Perishability can vary greatly in edible infusions. Breads, pastries, and other baked goods will almost certainly expire sooner than a chocolate or hard candy. Conversely, some cooking oils can last months, or even years if stored properly.
If you’re purchasing an infused product from a dispensary or retailer, always check to see if there is a “best by” date. These typically take into consideration the varying perishability of the ingredients used. Never hesitate to ask your budtender if there’s any other information available pertaining to the storage and shelf life of a product offered. If you’re preparing infusions at home, always keep in mind the perishability of the individual ingredients being used, and take that into consideration when determining a shelf life and storage preference.
Storing Cannabis-Infused Products Long-Term
Aside from refrigerators, freezers can also be a great option when it comes to storing perishable infusions. Not all edible products benefit from the freezer, though with butters, cooking oils, and many other prepared infusions, you can greatly extend the shelf life by freezing and storing them for a longer term.
A great way to store infused cooking oils is to pair them with herbs and freeze them into ice cube trays. Cannabis butters can also be portioned and frozen for long-term storage this way. Even breads and baked goods that would otherwise degrade rapidly under room temperature will last longer if frozen.
Tinctures are high on the list of the longest-lasting orally consumable cannabis-infused products. If stored properly, a well-made tincture can last indefinitely according to author, grower, and cannabis expert Ed Rosenthal in his book “Beyond Buds.” Rosenthal says that amber or blue Boston Round dripper bottles are ideal for storing tinctures, and refrigerators or freezers will vastly reduce any minute degradation that may occur.
It’s important to keep in mind that tinctures prepared with glycerins will degrade and expire much sooner than pure alcohol distillations. An undisturbed, well-stored alcohol infusion can last years or even decades before degrading significantly in any way.
At the end of the day, keeping your cannabis-infused products away from excess light, heat, and air will help to maintain their potency and freshness for longer. Keeping your infusions sealed in a refrigerator or freezer will almost always guarantee a longer shelf life as well.
Not all products are meant to last indefinitely and the perishability of your infusion will almost always depend on other ingredients. Therefore, it’s important always to look for “best by” dates on your purchased products and to store your home creations per their recipe’s recommended conditions.
Ready to bake some infused goodies? Check out all of our infused recipes here!
Discover some ways that can greatly improve the longevity of your favorite cannabis-infused products including edibles, oils, and more.
The Best Ways To Store Cannabis Concentrates And Edibles
If you care about the quality of your cannabis, you need to start focussing on proper storage methods for your concentrates and edibles. It’s easy and essential to keep your stash fresh.
You’ve found a particular strain of cannabis that you like. It works for you and you need it in your life—so much so that you’ve gone ahead and bought more than enough concentrates or edibles to last you months—just in case. In hindsight, you might have been a bit hasty.
Now that you’re back at home with your proud purchase, you turn to the refrigerator. Then the cupboard. And the shelf. You look at your collection of lunch boxes. Where are you supposed to store your surplus goods? All of a sudden, life seems complicated. But it doesn’t have to be! Here’s everything you need to know about storing cannabis concentrates and edibles.
RISKS OF NOT STORING YOUR CANNABIS
You’re not just storing cannabis to hide it away from eager friends. Storing cannabis concentrates and edibles is essential for keeping them fresh. Here are some of the risk factors that could affect the beautiful taste or quality of your concentrates when not stored properly:
- Moisture and humidity
- Direct light and excessive sun exposure
- Sources of heat
- Mildew or mould
Cannabis that is left outside can go bad within a few days!
This will differ largely from person-to-person, and there are literally hundreds of opinions on how to best store your cannabis in whatever form it may be. We’ve rounded up the most popular methods that seem to be tried and true. Cannabis can be stored somewhat indefinitely under the right conditions, although the appropriate amount of time will depend mostly on your chosen storage method and the type of product that you are storing.
- Silicone containers: This method is ideal for short-term storage. Try to choose a container that is close in size to the quantity of concentrate that you will be storing. This minimises the risk of moisture buildup.
- Airtight containers: For storing concentrates for up to a month, wrap small quantities in parchment paper and then seal these individually wrapped pieces inside a ziplock food bag. Place this into an airtight container.
- Glass jars: Small glass jars, mason jars, and other glass containers are equally ideal, depending on what you intend to store. Products that don’t stick to glass will work well in vacuum-sealed jars that can be placed in a dry storage area or fridge. If you’re storing shatter that is a bit sticky, wrap it well in parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.
- Freezing: With freezing, you could probably keep concentrates up to one year without significant loss of flavour or quality. However, this will require some caution when preparing the concentrate to be frozen as excess air should be removed to prevent moisture if temperature changes occur. When you remove the concentrate from the freezer, try to defrost it slowly as sudden temperature changes could affect the taste or even ruin your concentrate.
STORAGE OPTIONS FOR EDIBLES
Cannabis edibles tend to store better in the fridge, especially if they are made with components such as oil, sugar, and flour. Edibles are prone to mould and go bad very quickly when left at room temperature, especially since most cannabis edibles don’t contain a lot of preservatives.
If you’re purchasing a commercial cannabis edible product, check the “best before” date and labelling to give you a good idea of what storage will work best. Where possible, try to wrap edibles in wax paper or aluminium foil, as plastic might affect the taste. Place these wrapped edibles in an airtight container and put in the fridge.
Cannabutter can be stored in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container or glass jar. Cannabis-infused cooking oils should be kept in the refrigerator. Make sure not to put cannabis oils in the microwave and always use a low heat for cooking. Following regular food-storage protocol is a good idea with edibles.
- Where possible, avoid transparent containers as cannabis is easily affected by light.
- Avoid plastic bags because, as far as sealing out moisture and air goes, plastic is not the best option. Glass and silicone containers are better.
- Never store cannabis—whether concentrates or edibles—in direct light.
- If you’re wrapping concentrates in parchment paper for storage, make sure to wear gloves to avoid transferring oils and bacteria from your hands.
- The refrigerator is a great place to store edibles, cooking oils, balms, and tinctures. Make sure to keep them out of reach of children!
- Do you open the refrigerator often? Maybe it’s time to invest in a small bar fridge to keep your refrigerated cannabis and edibles stored well and without temperature fluctuations.
- Write the date of packaging on cannabis concentrates and edibles to keep track of how long they have been stored.
- Always buy products from reputable sellers and dispensaries. If they’re handing over the cannabis in a plastic bag or it’s not pre-packaged, be wary of the freshness level.
SIGNS THAT CANNABIS HAS GONE BAD
In case you’re not sure if your cannabis has been stored properly, make sure to check for the following signs that cannabis has gone bad—a phenomenon often referred to as “bunk herb”:
- Condensation droplets in the container
- Signs of mildew and mould
- Cannabis that has lost its smell
- Products that feels brittle, rough, and dry
Storage is a big deal when it comes to cannabis. You want to keep your weed fresh and tasty, whether its edibles, concentrates, or any other form of bud. Stick to the basics of handling your cannabis carefully and follow proper storage guidelines (cool, dry, and dark!), and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Here’s to fresh cannabis!
When it comes to storing cannabis, there’s a right way and a wrong way. Here’s everything you need to know about storing edibles and concentrates.