What Is the Best Way to Store Cannabis?

What Is the Best Way to Store Cannabis?

Updated: 03/07/2024

Think of your cannabis like a fine wine — its potency, aroma, and flavor deserve to be savored with care. The secret? It starts with the right storage. Glass, often considered the gold standard for preserving quality, plays a pivotal role, but there’s more to discover.

Here at Windy City Cannabis, we’re your trusted dispensary partners, and we know the key to unlocking the best bud lies not just in the grow, but in the jar. So, ditch the ziplock and plastic bags, because, in this guide, we’re cracking open the vault on cannabis storage. We’ll delve into the science behind terpene preservation, humidity control, and light-shielding secrets, revealing the ultimate stash-hacks to keep your cannabis fresh, flavorful, and potent.

What’s the Best Way to Store Marijuana?

What’s the Best Way to Store Marijuana?

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the freshness, potency, and flavor of cannabis. Just like any perishable product, cannabis is susceptible to degradation when exposed to various environmental factors, including light, air, temperature, and humidity. By understanding these factors and implementing effective storage practices, you can ensure that your cannabis remains at its peak for an extended period.

1. Store in a Dark Place

Sunlight, particularly its ultraviolet (UV) rays, poses a significant threat to the delicate compounds in cannabis. UV exposure can break down cannabinoids and terpenes, the aromatic compounds responsible for the plant’s distinct smell and flavor. As a result, cannabis exposed to excessive sunlight loses its potency, flavor, and overall quality.

To safeguard your cannabis from the detrimental effects of sunlight, it’s essential to store it in dark, UV-protected containers. Glass jars and opaque containers are ideal choices, as they effectively block harmful UV rays from reaching the precious buds. Additionally, avoid storing cannabis in areas directly exposed to sunlight, such as windowsills or countertops.

2. Seal Tight to Avoid Air Exposure

Excessive air exposure can accelerate the degradation of cannabis. Oxygen, while essential for the plant’s respiration, can also promote oxidation, a process that breaks down the chemical compounds that give cannabis its effects. As a result, cannabis stored in open containers or poorly sealed bags will gradually lose its potency and flavor.

To minimize air exposure and protect the integrity of your cannabis, it’s crucial to use airtight containers. Glass jars, mason jars, or specialized cannabis storage containers with airtight lids are ideal choices. These containers create an oxygen-free environment that slows down the degradation process, allowing your cannabis to retain its freshness and potency for longer.

3. Keep at a Cool Temperature

Cannabis is sensitive to temperature fluctuations, both hot and cold. Extreme heat can accelerate the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes, leading to a loss of potency and flavor. On the other hand, excessively cold temperatures can cause the trichomes, the tiny glands that produce these compounds, to become brittle and fall off.

To strike a balance, aim to store your cannabis at a temperature between 50°F and 65°F (10°C to 18°C). This range provides a stable environment that minimizes degradation while preserving the natural characteristics of the cannabis. Avoid storing cannabis in direct sunlight or near sources of heat, such as ovens or furnaces.

4. Store in Dry Places

Humidity also plays a critical role in cannabis storage. Too much moisture can promote mold growth, while excessive dryness can cause the trichomes to dry out and lose their potency. The ideal storage humidity level for cannabis is between 59% and 63%. This range provides a balance that prevents mold growth while keeping the trichomes hydrated.

How to Store Different Cannabis Products

How to Store Different Cannabis Products

1. How to Store Cannabis Flower

Cannabis flower is a delicate product that requires proper storage to maintain its freshness, potency, and flavor. Here’s how to ensure your flower remains at its peak:

  • Opt for airtight glass jars with tight-fitting lids (just make sure to label different strains so you don’t mix them up).
  • Avoid plastic containers, as they can allow harmful gases to leach into the flower.
  • Store the jars in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or excessive heat.

2. How to Store Concentrates

Concentrates, extracted from cannabis flowers, are more delicate and require specialized storage to maintain their quality. Here’s how to ensure your concentrates retain their peak potency:

Storage Method:

  • Short-Term Storage: For everyday use, opt for non-stick silicone containers. Silicone’s non-stick surface makes it easy to handle concentrates without sticking or hardening.
  • Long-Term Storage: For extended preservation, transfer concentrates to glass or stainless steel containers. These materials offer better protection against environmental factors that can degrade the concentrates’ potency.

3. How to Store Edibles

For storing cannabis-infused edibles, the most effective method is to keep them in their original packaging or airtight containers. This approach is essential to maintain the freshness and potency of the edibles. If the original packaging isn’t available:

  • Use Refrigeration for Extended Shelf Life: For edibles with high moisture content, consider refrigerating them to slow down the degradation process. However, it’s important to note that not all edibles require refrigeration, and doing so when unnecessary might alter their texture or flavor.

4. How to Store Tinctures

How to Store Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures, concentrated extracts of the plant’s beneficial compounds, offer a convenient and versatile way to enjoy the therapeutic effects of cannabis.

Here’s how to store your tinctures like a pro:

  • Amber or Blue Glass Dropper Bottles: Invest in amber or blue glass dropper bottles to shield your tinctures from harmful UV rays. These types of glass filter out ultraviolet light, protecting the delicate cannabinoids and terpenes from degradation, resulting in a more flavorful and potent tincture.
  • Cool, Dark Storage: Store the amber or blue glass dropper bottles in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or excessive heat. Extreme temperatures can disrupt the chemical composition of your tincture, leading to a loss of flavor.

5. How to Store Vape Cartridges

Like any delicate product, vape cartridges require proper care and storage to maintain their potency and performance:

  • Upright Position: Store your vape cartridges upright to prevent leakage or spills. This positions the wicks in the cartridge properly, ensuring consistent and efficient airflow.
  • Cool, Dark Storage: Keep your vape cartridges in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or excessive heat. Extreme temperatures can damage the cartridge’s internal components and lead to malfunctions or reduced performance.

6. How to Store Cannabis Oil and Wax

Cannabis oil and wax offer a concentrated and versatile way to experience the effects of cannabis. However, their delicate nature requires proper storage:

  • Airtight Containers: Store both oil and wax in airtight containers to minimize exposure to oxygen, which can cause oxidation and degrade their quality. Glass or stainless steel containers are ideal choices, as they are inert and will not interact with the concentrates.
  • Silicone Containers for Wax: For wax, silicone containers are preferred due to their flexibility, as wax tends to be sticky. The non-stick surface makes it easy to handle and scoop out wax without wasting any.
  • Dark Storage: Store the containers in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or excessive heat. Light and heat can accelerate the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes, reducing the potency and flavor of your concentrates.

7. How to Store Pre-Rolls

Pre-rolls, a traditional and beloved method of cannabis consumption, embody simplicity and pleasure. Yet, their preservation requires thoughtful storage to retain their freshness:

  • Airtight Containers: Store pre-rolls in airtight containers to prevent moisture loss, which can make them dry and harsh, and protect them from physical damage. Glass or metal containers are ideal choices.
  • Cool, Dark Storage: Keep the containers in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or excessive heat. These conditions can degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis, affecting its flavor and potency.

How to Tell If Cannabis Has Gone Bad

How to Tell If Cannabis Has Gone Bad

Improper storage practices can lead to the degradation of your cannabis, resulting in an unpleasant experience. Here are some key indicators that your cannabis may have gone bad:

  • Appearance: One of the most obvious signs of spoiled cannabis is discoloration. If your buds have turned brown, black, or gray, it’s a sign that they have been exposed to excessive heat or light. Additionally, the presence of mold growth, appearing as white or green patches, indicates microbial contamination and should be discarded immediately.
  • Smell: Cannabis should have a distinct and appealing aroma. If your buds have lost their characteristic fragrance or have taken on a musty, earthy, or sour smell, it’s likely due to improper storage or aging. These changes in odor often indicate a loss of potency and may cause unpleasant tastes.
  • Texture: Properly cured cannabis should have a delicate balance of moisture and dryness. If your buds are excessively dry, they may crumble easily and have a harsh, scratchy texture. On the other hand, if your buds are too moist, they may feel sticky or tacky and may mold over time.

If you notice any of these signs, throw it out. Consuming spoiled cannabis can pose health risks and lead to an unpleasant experience.

Don’ts of Storing Cannabis

While proper storage practices can extend the life of your precious cannabis, there are certain pitfalls to avoid that can lead to degradation and spoilage. Here are some key “don’ts” to remember when storing your cannabis:

  • Steer Clear of Heat: Excessive heat accelerates the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes, the compounds responsible for cannabis’s potency and flavor. Avoid storing your cannabis in direct sunlight, near heating vents, or in hot environments.
  • No Tobacco Humidors: Tobacco humidors, while effective for preserving tobacco, are not ideal for cannabis due to their tendency to impart unwanted flavors. Additionally, tobacco humidors may not maintain the precise humidity levels required for cannabis preservation.
  • Ditch Plastic Storage: Plastic containers can interact with cannabis, absorbing its aromatic compounds and potentially affecting its flavor and potency. Opt for airtight glass or ceramic containers instead.
  • Avoid Refrigerators and Freezers: While these may seem like ideal storage options due to their cool temperatures, they can create an environment conducive to mold growth. The rapid temperature fluctuations can also damage the delicate trichomes, the resin glands that contain cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • Separate from Paraphernalia: Never store cannabis directly with grinders, pipes, or other paraphernalia. These items can harbor bacteria or other contaminants that can transfer to your cannabis, potentially affecting its quality and safety.


Now that you have all the right knowledge — you’re a cannabis storage pro! Instead of letting your precious edibles, joints, and concentrates go to waste, you can preserve their function for far longer.

Whether you’re running a little low on your favorites or are just starting out with cannabis, we invite you to visit Windy City Cannabis, where our knowledgeable budtenders are ready and eager to help you. Don’t wait— enjoy the Windy City Cannabis experience today.

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