The Science of Storage: Maximizing Potency and Flavor in Cannabis Preservation

Ashley Priest

Posted by Ashley Priest on 06/28/2023 in How-Tos

How-To Store Cannabis

Cannabis storage can be simple, as long as you are armed with the right information.

If you are curious about how to store cannabis and cannabis products such as joints, concentrates, and edibles properly, you are in the right place. Choosing the proper storage methods can help you save your green–in more ways than one. 

  1. Best Ways to Store Cannabis
  2. How to Tell if Cannabis Has Gone Bad
  3. Best Storage Containers for Cannabis Flower
  4. Storing Other Cannabis Products
  5. Key Takeaways

Best Ways to Store Cannabis

Cannabis buds or flower can be stored in many different ways, including in bags, jars, smell-proof containers, or stash boxes. Each of these methods has its own pros and cons due to the various factors that affect cannabis while in storage. Take aspects such as light exposure, temperature, moisture, and air into account. 

Proper Temperature

When storing cannabis flower, the best preservation occurs at temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperate range allows for your cured flower to retain the proper moisture needed without it becoming humid enough to grow mold or dry enough to crumble your flower. 

Minimal Light Exposure

Light exposure is another aspect that can make or break your success in storing cannabis properly. UV light has been proven many times to degrade THC content. It is likely that it also leads to the degradation of terpenes and other valuable cannabinoids as well. For this reason, it is advised that cured cannabis be stored in a dark space out of direct exposure to UV lighting. 

Reduce Exposure to Air

It is also vital to keep your stash protected from the air. Like light, exposure to oxygen can also cause the degradation of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds. However, not having enough air can be equally devastating.

Minimize Humidity

When the air is minimal, it can cause your relative humidity to rise, which can lead to things such as mold and mildew. According to ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards, the best relative humidity (RH) range for cannabis is 55%-65%. When the humidity is high due to lack of air, it can cause issues such as mold causing your cannabis to go bad. Luckily, there are many brands on the market today that offer humidity control packs that can be added to your cannabis during storage to help maintain the perfect levels long term. 

How To Tell If Cannabis Has Gone Bad

Another common question people have pertaining to cannabis storage is, does cannabis go bad? The answer to this question is yes. Cannabis can degrade in many ways. If stored properly, cured cannabis flower can be preserved and maintain most of its terpene and cannabinoid profile for a few months. Studies have shown that after just one year, even in proper storage, cannabis can lose up to 16% of its THC content. 

Curious how to tell if your cannabis has gone bad? Typically, you can allow your senses to do the work for you. If your cannabis has a musty, hay, or dry grass-like smell, it has likely degraded significantly in THC and terpene content and could even be tainted with mold. Visually inspecting your stash for signs of mold and mildew is also a great way to determine if your weed has gone bad. If you notice fuzzy white hairs or spiderweb-like growths on your cannabis, it is likely infected with mold. 

Additionally, when weed goes bad or is aged, it will tend to have a dull green, brown, or yellow appearance. If everything smells and looks good, but you happen to taste anything that seems off, it is best to put it out and trash the stash. When breaking up your cannabis, if it is very dry, dusty, or crumbly, it is likely to taste harsh, which are also all signs that weed has gone bad. 

Best Storage Containers for Cannabis Flower

So, what is the best storage container for cannabis? Is a smell-proof container the best option, or is a stash box better for long-term storage? Like cannabis strains, there are many different storage container options for cannabis on the market today, ranging from very simple to extremely elaborate.

Glass Jar with Lid

A classic storage option for cannabis throughout modern times has been glass jars with tight-fitting lids. These are great storage options for cannabis; however, with glass, it is essential that you protect your stash from direct light sources, as many glass jars allow for mass light exposure to occur. 

Tight Sealing Bag (Temporary)

A tightly sealed plastic bag has long been a mode of storing cannabis. However, plastic bags should only be used for temporary storage. 

Plastic bags are not a preferred storage option for cannabis-even if stored inside an alternate stash box or smell-proof container-because of the static electricity produced by the plastic. Plastic can also release chemicals into your stash.

Additionally, plastic bags are not air-tight, so storing your cannabis in a plastic bag is not an effective way of protecting them from air exposure and degradation. 


A humidor can also be utilized for storing weed. However, they are not the most ideal as many of them are made from wood, which has a strong natural fragrance that could easily affect the aroma and flavor of your stash. 

These containers also are not typically airtight and present the risk of your bud becoming exposed to unwanted air. To best maintain humidity during storage, it is advised to opt out of utilizing a humidor and instead utilize a glass or titanium storage jar with a humidity pack. 

Titanium Jar

Titanium jars are great options for storing cannabis. They are typically airtight, and the metal alloy prevents exposure to light. 

However, they should still be stored away from light and heat. Unlike other metals, titanium will not affect the taste or aroma of your cannabis. You also don’t have to worry about accidentally shattering your storage container, which can be very beneficial for patients that struggle with grip, coordination, shakiness, or other aspects that may cause them to accidentally drop their cannabis storage container. 


We know that it is advised to store cannabis in an airtight, cool, dark place, so what better option than the refrigerator or freezer, right? Well, not exactly. 

While this would provide a dark, airtight environment, these areas tend to be very moist, which can lead to issues with humidity. By chilling or even freezing your buds, you also risk losing valuable trichomes along with your cannabinoid and terpene profiles. 

The refrigerator and freezer, however, are great storage areas for other cannabis products such as tinctures, infused butter, edibles, and even cannabis concentrates.

Storing Other Cannabis Products 

Cannabis flower isn’t the only cannabis product on the market today, which has people asking themselves questions such as how do I properly store cannabis concentrates? Is a stash box the best cannabis storage for edibles? 

Let’s look at how to properly store cannabis products other than cured flower.

How To Store Joints

If you are a fan of having one rolled and ready to go, it is essential that you know how to store joints. Luckily, it is as easy as storing cured cannabis flower. Simply keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark area. It is important to note that the longevity in which joints retain their cannabinoid and terpene profiles will be much shorter than with bud. 

How To Store Edibles

Cannabis edibles should be stored in a cool dark area in an airtight container. The longevity in which cannabis edibles can be stored will depend on the type of cannabis edible. 

For cannabis gummies, you can store them as you would cannabis flower at room temperature for many weeks. For the best preservation and long-term storage, place your edibles in an airtight food-safe container and place it in your freezer. 

For infused cannabis chocolates, it is best to keep them in a cooler environment in an airtight container. If you are planning to consume them relatively soon, chocolates can be stored in the room environment as long as it is not too hot or humid. To ensure your chocolates do not melt, utilize an airtight food-safe container and store them in the refrigerator.

How To Store Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates can be stored in many ways. For shatter-consistent extracts, you can simply place them on parchment paper in an airtight bag or container or opt to use a silicone container. For saucy, crumbly, or sugar-type concentrates, it is best to store them in glass jars or containers. 

Concentrates can be stored in a cool dark place at room temperature for a week or so; however, if you are looking for long-term storage, it is best to opt for an airtight container or vacuum sealer and to store your concentrates in a dark, cold place unexposed to the elements. You can even opt to utilize an airtight container within the refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage of cannabis concentrates.

How To Store Tinctures/Oils

Storing cannabis oil and tinctures also abide by the cool, dark, airtight environment recommendations. Like with other cannabis products, tinctures, and oils can also degrade in flavor and potency over time and when exposed to things such as excessive humidity, light, and air. 

Most commonly, cannabis oils and tinctures are stored in glass jars. Many can be kept at room temperature as long as they are in an airtight container and in a cool dark environment. 

The refrigerator is also a great option for these cannabis products. While they can be placed in the freezer, it is important to note that oil-based products such as these can still go bad even when stored in a freezer due to their fat content, so storing them in the freezer won’t prolong their shelf life anymore or less than the refrigerator. 

Key Takeaways

To keep cannabis storage simple and effective, simply follow the recommendations above. By doing so, you can ensure that your stash will still be fresh when it’s time to medicate. Next time you are wondering how to store cannabis long-term, remember to prioritize cool, dark, and dry places, as well as air-tight containers. 

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