Just as each of us is unique in our tastes, so too are the cannabis products we enjoy on the weekly (or daily). Anyone versed in the canna-sphere knows that flower, rosin, shatter, vapes, and edibles – to name just a few – are different in both aesthetic and effect. It likely comes at no surprise that they are also different in longevity.
So, what does that mean when it comes to storing your stash? Unlike other mind-altering substances like alcohol with near indefinite shelf lives, cannabis is finicky; cannabinoids are susceptible to breaking down and losing their potency due to sun and heat exposure, light, and moisture. But have no fear, because we’ve compiled a simple guide for storing each product type to ensure your high stays just as good as it was on day one.
How do I tell if my weed has gone bad?
The short answer is…the same way you’d tell most things. Cannabis consumers wondering how long their latest purchase or at-home creation will last are in good company – it’s a very common question. The long answer is a bit more complicated because it depends on what type of product you have, so if you’re wondering either a) how long will this bud last me or b) is this still safe to smoke or ingest, keep in mind the following:
- If there are any obvious signs of degradation, like mold, foul smells or off-taste, throw it out.
- If it’s overly dry and crumbly or oddly wet and moisture-ridden, it has at least probably lost some potency and at worst is not safe to consume.
- Even if it seems okay, if it’s over a year old, it likely isn’t as effective as it once was due to the cannabinoids breaking down.
Do light, temperature, and moisture really impact cannabis?
Yes. Like we mentioned above, cannabinoids are prone to breaking down and converting to different forms when exposed to light, air, high temps, and moisture. When we’re talking about the psychoactive compounds in our favorite products, like THC, things like air and light can convert it into CBN, which may make you sleepy rather than sufficiently stoned. This is just one example, but overall, you want to keep your products in a cool, dark place (specifically below 77°F) and protect them from UV rays.
If you store your buds right, they can last surprisingly long – between six months and a year. Flower is particularly prone to growing mold or drying out, so keep moisture in check by putting whatever you plan to smoke soon in an air-tight container, like a Mason jar. Want to save a special strain (aka cultivar) for a rainy day? Consider using a vacuum sealer to lock in freshness before storing it somewhere dark and chilly.
Similar to their non-infused counterparts, consider your edibles perishable. For any goodies you purchase from a dispensary or provisioning center, adhere to the expiration date on the package. Gummies like the RAIR Orange Cream and candies will last the longest, but we still recommend keeping them in a cool, dark place out of the sun to ensure they stay delicious.
The more ingredients an edible has – like dairy, eggs, and wheat – the quicker it will spoil. Treat your special cookies and brownies just like the ones that grandma made you by wrapping them with wax paper or keeping them in an air-tight container. (Yes, infused baked goods can also be frozen to last several months longer.)
However, as much as you’ll want to savor RAIR’s Dark Chocolate Cherry, you shouldn’t store it in the refrigerator as temperatures below 70°F can compromise the quality.
Concentrates like rosin, shatter, and wax
When you don’t plan to keep most of your concentrates around for over a week, silicone jars will suffice. Shatter and sauce can hold out for slightly longer when placed on sheets of parchment paper and kept in a plastic container. If that container is air-tight and kept in the dark or even frozen, RAIR’s Sour Banana Sherbet rosin can last several months or longer.
Vacuum sealing glass jars for longer-term storage can also work if you plan to keep your wax and rosin in the freezer or refrigerator.
Tinctures, oils, and distillates
Though also concentrates, liquids like the THC distillate in your average vape pen can have a significantly longer shelf life than other cannabis products. Vape pens should be stored upright at room temperature to prevent leakage or clogging. Keep your oils and tinctures, such as the RAIR Peppermint, in a glass container away from direct sunlight. You can also keep them cool with refrigeration.