Bonify’s Guide to Proper Cannabis Storage

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Like any consumable product we buy, we tend to ask ourselves, ‘how long will this last?’ Maybe you have recently found some older cannabis in the back of your pantry or had misplaced a package a few months ago. Just as expired food can make us very ill, cannabis can also negatively affect us if it has been tampered with or incorrectly stored.

Luckily, cannabis has a long shelf life when stored in a cool, dark place. To make your cannabis last, try these storage tips:

  • Store in glass airtight, smell proof containers in a cool, dark place
    • Do not use plastic bags to avoid your cannabis buds being crushed.
  • Freeze your cannabis as a long-term storage option
    • When you’re ready to use your cannabis, make sure you allow the cannabis to warm up to room temperature before handling to mitigate trichomes loss.
    • Avoid refrigeration, as fluctuations in temperature can increase the chance of mould and mildew.

No matter which way you choose to store your cannabis, ensure you are aware of how the following factors can greatly affect the potency:

Colour: Properly stored cannabis should still be green with few orange hairs. Sometimes you can see pinks or purple fibers as well. If your cannabis looks quite brown, discoloured, and crumbly you should dispose of it and not consume it as it may be a sign of mould.

Exposure to sunlight: If you find cannabis that has had significant exposure to sunlight or heat ranging 25ºC – 30ºC, this significantly increases the chance of moulds and mildew forming. Heat can also dry out the cannabinoids and terpenes, making your cannabis less effective. Ensure you store your cannabis in a dark and cool place to increase its product longevity.

Humidity: It’s essential to control the humidity surrounding your cannabis storage. High humidity promotes mould growth so best to keep your cannabis in an environment where the humidity does not range too much. The best relative humidity (RH) sits between 59-63% for your cannabis product. Keep in mind if your RH becomes too low, you risk your trichomes becoming brittle and drying out the essential oils.

Exposure to air:  To further increase the shelf life of your cannabis, store it in an air-tight container. Containers with a neutral charge like glass or mason jars are often the easiest incubators to work with as they mitigate oxygen exposure.

Most importantly, keep your cannabis away from minors. As of October 17, 2018, the age of legal consumption differs in each province or territory. Alberta and Quebec have established the legal age at 18+, whereas British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon have established the legal age at 19+. Minors may not understand how cannabis can affect the body and mind, and may not know how to safely administer it. A 2017 study from The Canadian Paediatric Society suggested that cannabis use my minors is much more likely to lead to dependency than by adults who use it.

The easiest way to keep your kids safe is to have an open conversation with them. Parents should clearly and consistently relay a clear message to their children that they should not touch, smoke or ingest cannabis. Follow these simple tips to promote cannabis safety with youth:

  • Teach and practice skills to refuse drug offers from others
    • Act out situations where your child would be offered cannabis or other drugs.
  • Set clear guidelines
    • Establish clear and set rules that cannabis is off-limits.
  • Keep lines of communication open
    • Let your child know what they can come to you with more questions on cannabis and its use.
  • Set an example
    • Ensure you are acting as a role model for your child. Avoid heavy cannabis use around them. If you are using cannabis medically, communicate its purpose and educate them on your appropriate use.

As cannabis is a drug, the utmost care should be taken when using it, storing it, and ensuring it does not reach the hands of minors. For more questions about the best storage tips contact us here.

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