HOW TO: Store Your Marijuana


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Here’s where you shouldn’t keep marijuana:

  • A glove compartment: too many variations in temperature.
  • An underwear drawer: too accessible to children.
  • A spice rack: too confusing.
  • A humidor: too easily contaminated.

For the best results, a cool, dark place that can be sealed and locked is the best option for maintaining quality and safety. Keeping marijuana in this type of environment ensures that marijuana stays moist and that the chemicals that produce the high don’t deteriorate. What’s more, locks defend against accidental consumption by children — and pets.


Maintenance and safety have become increasingly important issues as more states loosen their restrictions on medical and recreational usage. Here’s how consumers can ensure a safe, positive experience.

One option, is a company that sells Cannadors, hermetically sealed wooden boxes that control odor and humidity. The cost of a Cannador ranges from $129 to $219, depending on the number of storage compartments. Cannador also sells cannisters for $59 and $89.

Cool, Dry and Dark

Store marijuana in a cool, dark, dry place. “We know the cannabinoids break down in heat, so in order to keep a product at its best, where it’s less likely to grow mold, is a cool dry place,” says Heather Despres, laboratory director of CannLabs, a leading cannabis testing company in the country.

Contrary to popular hippie-lore, the refrigerator is not a good choice. Lower temperatures slow the process of decarboxylation of the cannabinoids, a process that converts THC-A to psychoactive THC, and oxidizes it to a lesser potency. The freezer should also be out of the question.

Temperatures over 77 degrees Fahrenheit can dry out the cannabinoids, resulting in a harsh smoke.

Most cannabis professionals agree that temperatures between 59-63 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal, though a smidge lower or higher probably won’t hurt your product.

Storing cannabis out of direct light is also important. We know that direct light is the single biggest factor in the breakdown of the cannabinoids. A 1976 study in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that flowers and buds are reasonably stable for 1 to 2 years if stored in the dark at room temperature.

Despres says that based on her scientific background, a few ounces of marijuana do not necessarily carry an expiration date but that consumers who fail to ensure proper light and temperature may have a lesser experience. “We do know quality decreases over time, so people probably don’t want to buy a quarter pound and then be upset when it’s dried out,” she said, adding, “CannLabs offers shelf life and stability testing for our clients so they can determine what the actual best storage and shelf life of their products should be.”

Figure on using your purchase within a year or so for the best effect.

Beware of Oils and Static

You should handle marijuana as little as possible so oils from your hands don’t break down the product. Keep your marijuana out of plastic bags since the static charge of the plastic can leach trichomes, tiny hairs along the plant, away from the bud. Glass canning jars and Tupperware or similar, sealed containers are optimal.

As for location, the basement or a wine cellar is textbook. Barring that, a dark, cool cabinet or closet — not in the bathroom — is best. Keep paraphernalia like pipes and grinders out of your storage location. Burnt resin can contaminate the flavor and taste of cannabis. Plus, store each cannabis strain separately so you’re not mingling different products’ taste and flavor.

Experts do not recommend cigar humidors. Cedar wood contains oils that can contaminate the cannabis’ flavor.

The Shelf-Life of Edibles?

For edible cannabis products, follow package directions. For example, Despres says a brownie is going to have a different storage requirement than a cookie. The packaging should clearly indicate how and where to store, and if there’s an expiration date.

Keep edibles out of reach of children. You might consider a locked container, or keep your cannabis in a place that is inaccessible to children and pets. This is no different than the common sense approach families use to store medicines, liquor and toxic household cleaners.

If a child or pet accidentally consumes cannabis, seek immediate medical or veterinary attention. In recent years, E.R. docs have seen an influx of accidental cannabis ingestions in kids. The symptoms are lethargy, anxiety and/or respiratory issues. Pets may become sick, lethargic or slow and need supportive vet care until an episode passes.

“There is a level of personal responsibility that once you get your products home, you need to make sure they are being used safely and appropriately and stored safely inside your house,” Despres said.

Via The Cannabist

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