How to store cannabis concentrates
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Using cannabis concentrates can be a fantastic way to enjoy weed. But what does one do when you don't finish it all in one sitting? The answer to that question may have a bigger impact on the quality of your concentrates than you might think.
Cannabis is a complex organism composed of a vast network of cannabinoids, most notably THC. THC is the main psychoactive constituent in cannabis; in essence, it’s what gets us high. Protecting the integrity of this component is vital for getting the most potency out of your weed.
If you are considering storing your cannabis for later use, this becomes even more imperative. Heat, moisture, and light can all contribute to the breakdown of your cannabis, or more specifically, your cannabis concentrates.
Given that cannabis concentrates are typically more potent than smoking cannabis buds, less is needed to get comparably high. You may find you have leftover cannabis concentrates after a smoking session.
What can you do to maintain its integrity until the next time it is needed? Regardless of the type of concentrate you prefer, proper storage will ensure you get the most out of it time and time again.
WHY STORE PROPERLY?
It may sound like a stupid question, but why would you not want to store your cannabis concentrates properly? For all intents and purposes, you could simply use your desired amount of concentrate, then leave it on the table until later on.
Unless you have a sneaky roommate or friend, it should still be there when you come back. But as we’ve alluded to, numerous factors will impact its quality over time if not consciously stored.
Humidity, moisture, excessive light and strong sources of heat will all contribute to the degradation of your concentrates. The THC will start to break down, losing its potency.
Not to mention, the flavor and aroma can wane. Leaving concentrates out in the open also risks having all kinds of foreign objects contaminate them. No one wants dust or stray hairs on their dabs.
HOW LONG CAN CONCENTRATES BE STORED FOR?
The length of time you can store concentrates for will depend entirely on your method of storage. Having said that, you could potentially store your concentrate indefinitely. Just consider that as more time passes, the cannabinoids will break down until the concentrate has lost its purpose.
A well-stored concentrate in a silicone container perched on a cool cupboard shelf will likely last a couple of weeks. Freezing it, on the other hand, could extend its lifespan to several months.
One of the most important steps is to date all of your concentrate containers. This may sound a bit over the top, but when you are faced with several opaque silicone containers, it can be very difficult to keep track of which ones have been stored the longest. Dating will ensure you make the most of your stash before any of your concentrates start to degrade.
TO FREEZE OR NOT TO FREEZE
An important decision to make. There is nothing stopping you from freezing your concentrates and smoking them after they’ve thawed out.
However, and this is an important however, freezing presents risks to the purity of your concentrates. Freezing exposes your concentrates to excess humidity, and if your concentrate develops too much moisture, this can lead to a very harsh smoking experience.
There are several ways that you can help to protect the integrity of your concentrates if you do decide to freeze. The single most important step is to ensure that the concentrates are stored in an airtight container, preferably one that removes excess air once sealed. This will help to prevent any moisture from developing on your concentrates if the temperature starts to change.
Alongside that, try wrapping your concentrates in parchment paper, as well as double bagging using sealable sandwich bags. If you do this before you place your concentrates in an airtight container, you can further help prevent that dreaded moisture. Finally, when you do decide the time is right to remove the concentrates from storage, try to raise the temperature slowly.
If freezing your concentrates for a later date is essential for your situation, following the above tips will help. It is vital though that during the thawing process, you watch out for excessive moisture so as not to ruin your extract.
WHAT ARE MY STORAGE OPTIONS?
Silicone containers are a good place to start when considering short-term storage. Size is important as you don't want to allow space for air to reside around your waxes or oils. All the same rules apply; make sure it is in a cool, dark place with as little risk to open air as possible.
Consider that every time you open the container, you will weaken the aroma and quality a bit. If a cool, dark place is not available, a kitchen cupboard will suffice. Just make sure the container is not transparent so it blocks any direct light sources.
Timescale: approximately 1-7 days
Airtight containers are the best place to start. Breaking up shatter into smaller pieces and individually wrapping them in parchment paper is the first stage. After this, sealing them inside a food bag is a secondary, protective step. Finally, place these pieces in your chosen airtight container and move to an appropriate storage area.
Dark and cool like a cellar is advisable. For the absolute best conditions, an area that is temperature-controlled, slightly cooler than room temperature, provides the perfect environment.
Timescale: approximately 1-4 Weeks
Aside from freezing, there is only really one option, and this applies only to alcohol-based tinctures. Stored in a temperature-controlled environment and in sterilized, airtight glass bottles, you could make alcohol-based tinctures last beyond 6 months. Consider that any additives or glycerin added to the tincture will decrease its shelf life.
Timescale: Approximately 6-12 Months