How to Preserve the Flavor and Potency of your Cannabis Products

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Much like any other prized product of agriculture, cannabis flowers must be processed and handled properly after harvest to maintain as many of the resinous, THC-packed trichomes as possible. Trichomes are the sparkly resin glands that you can see coating cannabis flowers, and when agitated through rough shipping and handling, many of these particles will break off and end up collecting in the bottom of bags and jars. These trichomes also comprise the content of all hash and extracts made from cannabis flowers, further concentrating potent cannabinoids and flavorful terpenes.

Direct sunlight, heat and exposure to air are the enemies of cannabis preservation, causing volatile terpenes to evaporate, degrading cannabinoids and causing the product to lose potency. When purchasing these products from a dispensary, you’ll notice that extracts are usually kept in a wine fridge at about 54ºF, and this is ideal for storage at home as well. Keeping your hash in a cool, dark place will extend the life of the product for up to several months.

As far as storage containers, it’s always best to keep cannabis flowers in an airtight, opaque glass jar, and keep the lid on as much as possible. If you purchased cannabis in a plastic bag, remove it and store in a jar. Exposing cannabis and extracts to the air will cause terpenes to evaporate, making weed stale and flavorless. Try not to leave any cannabis products in a hot car, which can rapidly degrade both flavor and potency. Leaving your vape pen in a hot car can also cause cartridges to leak and break, so be aware of this issue and store your vape pen in a purse or backpack if you need it on the move!

Hash and extracts usually arrive in glass or plastic jars, and sometimes extracts including shatter and live resin will be wrapped in parchment paper and packaged in an envelope. Avoid putting the small envelopes in your pockets, as your body heat will affect the consistency of the product. Live resin is the most perishable type of extract, and should be dabbed within a few days of purchase for best flavor. Using silicone jars to store extracts is okay for short-term use, and silicone is handy because the extracts don’t stick to it, but these types of containers aren’t airtight, so if you’re not consuming your concentrates within a week, use glass jars instead.

If you’re not using your cannabis or extracts immediately, you can store them in a fridge. It’s best not to use the freezer since the process of thawing it out can introduce condensation and moisture to your products. If you’re storing cannabis products in the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature before consuming, since this will give you the best flavor.