How do you store your cannabis correctly and legally?
After New York legalized the recreational use of cannabis on March 31, 2021, New Yorkers over the age of 21 have been able to legally possess, obtain, use, and transport up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of the concentrated form.
New Yorkers over the age of 21 can also legally distribute cannabis products to those over the age of 21. However, they will still need a permit to be able to sell cannabis in any form.
While people are allowed to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis at a time, at home they can legally store up to 5 pounds. This law doesn’t go into effect, though, until 18 months after the first legal sale of recreational-use marijuana in New York, meaning that the earliest one could store their cannabis legally in this quantity wouldn’t be until 2023.
While New Yorkers have to wait until 2023 to legally store their cannabis in higher quantities, they can use this time to learn how to effectively store their cannabis, even if only storing up to 3 ounces for now.
For those who grow their cannabis at home, the best time to store the flower is between two weeks and three months of cure time, according to SelfStorage.
It’s important to store your cannabis properly. When not kept in a controlled environment, cannabis can be exposed to many different elements that influence the potency of a flower over time, such as light exposure, humidity, temperature, and air exposure, based on where the cannabis is stored.
Some of the best ways to store cannabis are in mason jars; small, tight-sealing plastic baggies; or titanium jars (to avoid light exposure). Two of the worst places to store cannabis would be in a sandwich baggie or the freezer/refrigerator. Sandwich baggies are a bad idea due to constant light exposure and excessive air exposure since they aren’t entirely airtight, while the high levels of humidity and extremely low temperatures in a fridge/freezer can be highly detrimental to the flower. When storing cannabis this way, the extreme conditions will cause the flower to become brittle and the trichomes to freeze and break off. Without these trichomes, the cannabis becomes less potent and less effective, severely reducing its quality.
Maintaining a certain humidity level when storing cannabis is also critical to prevent mold or mildew that can grow at a higher humidity. Extremely low humidity, on the other hand, can dry out cannabis and reduce its quality. It’s best to keep a healthy balance between the two, typically maintaining an RH between 54 and 63%, according to Veriheal.
Storing cannabis at higher temperatures can also dry out cannabis, reducing the quality and taste of the bud. Lower temperatures, however, can reduce cannabinoid content and cause a breakdown of the terpenes in the flower. It is recommended to store cannabis at temperatures as low as 55 degrees and as high as 74 degrees. Ideal circumstances would be to maintain an average temperature of around 65 degrees.
Too much light exposure can be a bad thing as well, as UV rays are able to rapidly damage the cannabis flower when exposed for too long. For this reason alone, cannabis should be stored in the dark, away from any direct light sources, or in a dark, opaque container.
Oxygen can degrade cannabis as well and rapidly reduce its potency over time by drying out a flower and damaging its terpenes and cannabinoids, amongst other things. To store cannabis properly and avoid exposure to excess air, it should be kept in an airtight container so that excess air can’t get in or out. Cannabis should also be stored in a childproof container or locked up, just like any other drug. This is done to prevent children, teenagers, or even pets from getting into someone’s “stash” and accidentally ingesting it. The best way to do this is to keep your cannabis out of sight and out of reach of anyone who might get their hands (or paws) on it.
Now that you know how to properly and legally store your cannabis stash, be honest…will you keep using sandwich baggies anyways?