It used to be hard to find different varieties of cannabis in larger quantities. With dispensaries popping up all over the place, it’s easier to buy more cannabis strains than you’d need for the immediate future.
There’s only one issue. Cannabis is perishable. If you don’t have a strategy to keep your cannabis fresh, it’s going to wither up and lose potency before you have an opportunity to use it. A plastic bag or a shoebox isn’t going to do much to protect your cannabis.
Cannabis has very specific needs, and when those needs are met, you may be surprised to learn just how long your cannabis can last.
Why Is Long-Term Cannabis Storage Important?
When most people purchase cannabis, they aren’t thinking about it as a long-term product. They’re thinking about their immediate plans to use it, and they may purchase it in smaller quantities.
If your cannabis is going to be hanging out for a little while, long-term storage is crucial for keeping it fresh.
For Occasional Cannabis Users
Some people prefer to save their cannabis for special occasions, only rolling up a joint once or twice a month for a relaxing weekend, a great meditation session, or a little creative inspiration.
A joint is anywhere between 0.3 grams and 0.5 grams. If you buy 7 grams of cannabis, you need to keep it fresh enough to use at a slow pace. If you don’t, your cannabis will be stale before you’re halfway through the package.
For Cannabis Bulk Shoppers
Bulk shopping for your favorite strains is both easier and less expensive. You’ll make fewer trips to the dispensary, and you’ll save money per gram as the weight of the purchased quantity goes up. These savings can be substantial.
Cannabis that’s $12 a gram in lower quantities may go as low as $9 a gram when you purchase it an ounce at a time. When you’re saving $84 by picking up the largest size of your favorite strain, it’s hard not to resist that deal.
But how long is it going to take you to use up that ounce of cannabis? If you smoke half a gram every day, it’s going to take you two months. Your cannabis won’t survive two months of improper storage. More than half of it will go to waste.
How Long Does Cannabis Stay Fresh?
In ideal storage conditions, cannabis can stay fresh for up to 14 months. It will naturally lose some of its cannabinoids and terpenes over that period of time, but it won’t lose all of its effects. It will simply produce a gentler high.
Depending on the storage conditions, improperly stored cannabis can dry up or go bad in as little as a few days. Plastic bags will only keep your cannabis fresh for a few days to two weeks before it’s no longer enjoyable to use.
What Degrades the Quality of Cannabis?
It’s easy to forget what cannabis is. It’s a flower that’s been harvested and dried into a fragile state of delicate preservation. It’s vulnerable to a lot of threats. Think about what happens to a bouquet of flowers you’ve left in a vase for a few days. They lose their scent, shrivel up, and dry if they don’t get too moist and begin to rot first.
The exact same thing will happen to your cannabis is if it’s exposed to the same environmental factors those flowers were exposed to.
Light and Heat Degrade Cannabinoids
When your cannabis is alive, it uses sunlight and heat to grow. As it grows, it produces and converts the cannabinoids it needs to maintain balance. After your cannabis has been harvested, it’s no longer capable of replenishing cannabinoids and restoring its balance.
Light and heat will cause the cannabinoids to degrade or convert into less beneficial or non-psychoactive cannabinoids, and once that happens, their potency can’t be restored.
Cannabis naturally contains more than 150 terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give each strain its unique aroma and flavor. When you find a strain you like, it’s the balance of that strain’s cannabinoids and its unique terpene profile that make it so appealing to you.
Terpenes are extremely finicky. These oils evaporate very quickly, leaving the resulting cannabis bland and changing its smell. If air is circulating around your cannabis, it’s slowly pulling the terpenes away.
Your cannabis arrives in a perfect state. It’s dried but not crispy. It’s a little moist, but it isn’t wet. It’s a very delicate balance that growers work hard to dial in perfectly.
Too much humidity will make your cannabis wet. When it gets wet, mold and bacteria will begin to grow inside the flower, causing decay from the inside out. If this happens, you need to dispose of your cannabis immediately. It isn’t safe to use, and you can’t “pick off the moldy parts” because most mold is difficult to see. Spores may still exist in areas of the flower that don’t have moldy patches.
If one flower in the container of cannabis has developed mold, all the other flowers will have some degree of decay. Don’t try to pick and salvage.
A lack of humidity will dry your cannabis out. It may take on a rough, crunchy texture. The flowers can turn dark brown, dull army green, or brown. They’ll shrink in size and may begin to fall apart. A large container of dried-out cannabis might look like a big hunk of fried tree moss.
What Your Cannabis Needs to Stay Fresh
Growers and dispensaries take great care to keep your cannabis in peak condition before you take it home. It’s difficult to fully appreciate the wealth of work that goes into the process until you understand how delicate the flower actually is.
Your cannabis arrived fresh, and keeping it fresh involves following the same procedures the grower used when they dried and cured the flower. They already did all the hard work. All you need to do is maintain the cannabis in its perfect state.
Choose an Airtight Container That Blocks Out Light
Air and light are the two biggest enemies of cannabis. Your cannabis will dry out, your terpenes will leave, and your cannabinoids will become utterly useless.
It’s a guarantee that a plastic bag will ruin your cannabis, and a glass jar only does marginally better. If you can see your cannabis in the jar, that means that light is getting in.
The problem with opaque glass and ceramic containers is their weight and fragility. You can’t travel with these kinds of containers. If they break, you’re never going to get the tiny shards of glass out of your cannabis.
Plastic containers are never a good idea. Plastic collects static electricity, and the little charges zap the fragile trichomes on the outside of your cannabis.
Food grade aluminum is durable, lightweight, easy to travel with, and absolutely shatterproof. It also doesn’t collect static. That’s why Stori makes our pods and tubes out of aluminum.
Our lids are also air-tight and child-resistant to keep your cannabis safe. They’re color-coded, and you can write strain information and purchase dates on them to keep your cannabis organized.
You’ll also remember when you bought a particular strain. You’ll know its age just by looking at the lid.
Manage the Temperature and Humidity
This part sounds like the most challenging part, but it’s actually the easiest thing to do. Cannabis can’t be too hot or too cold. It does best around 70 degrees or room temperature.
Don’t leave cannabis in your car, don’t put it in your freezer or refrigerator, and keep it away from window sills or heaters. If you’re comfortable sitting in a room, your cannabis will be comfortable sitting in that room.
The center of your living room, on top of your dresser, on a bookcase, or your bedside table are perfect places to put your cannabis containers.
Humidity management requires virtually no work when you store your cannabis with a Boveda pack. All you need to do is pop the pack in with your cannabis. The pack lays down a very thin layer of purified water to keep the terpenes from evaporating, and it continuously manages an ideal relative humidity.
Over time, the pack will become dry. When it feels hard and crispy, it’s time to toss it out and replace the pack. Managing your humidity packs only takes a few minutes a year. It’s that quick and simple.
Stori Made It Easy for You
Stori already thought of this. We designed a cannabis storage case designed for perfect long-term cannabis storage. The Stori case comes with six aluminum pods and six aluminum tubes with color-coded, child-resistant lids.
Inside of each lid is a place to insert a size 1 Boveda humidity pack. When you use a Stori case, you don’t have to worry about stale cannabis. Store your cannabis like you store your fine wine. It’s just as precious.