In the early days of cannabis legalization, concentrates were almost exclusively packaged in parchment paper. It’s a cheap solution that was originally used to avoid the issue of wax sticking to everything it touches.
However, beyond working with the stickiness, there isn’t a lot of education about how to properly store concentrates and vape pens so they last a long time. If you follow these critical highlights about how to store concentrates, your dabs and vapes will be sure to last a long time.
How to Store Concentrates
Storing weed concentrates is simpler than you might think, but there are a few fundamental rules to ensure your product stays fresh.
Type of Container
If you purchased extracts from a dispensary, they are likely already in a proper container. Glass and silicone are the two most popular options, and each is suitable if used correctly.
Glass is durable, and the lids are airtight, which is a must for maintaining freshness for long-term storage. Silicone is an excellent material because the sticky wax is less likely to adhere to the sides of the container. However, silicone containers are not airtight. Use these for concentrates that you plan to consume within a few weeks or a couple of months.
If purchasing glass storage containers, opt for black or amber glass. Transparent glass containers are ideal for showcasing an extract but leave the concentrates vulnerable to light degradation and are not the best choice for long-term storage. Always be sure to keep the container right side up so the concentrate doesn’t fall onto the top of the lid.
Depending on your climate, you may have concerns about humidity. Moisture can expose your concentrates to mold or mildew, so you must keep your container tightly sealed and only open it when taking a dab or loading a dab pen. This will help reduce the risk of contamination due to environmental factors.
If you’ve ever left a concentrate jar in your car on a warm day, you are likely aware of how temperature-sensitive most extracts are. Heat and light are the enemies when it comes to storing your concentrates. For day-to-day storage, keep your concentrates at room temperature or below. In temperate climates, a dark cupboard or drawer is ideal.
If you live with high heat and humidity, it’s probably best to store your concentrates in the refrigerator. For bulk storage, place them in airtight containers in the fridge. If stored in the freezer, concentrates are vulnerable to condensation as it thaws, which can lead to mold. Only freeze if refrigeration is not an option.
Short Term vs. Long Term
For short-term storage under six months, it’s safe to keep your concentrates in the fridge, so long as they are in an airtight, opaque container. However, even the fridge light can degrade your extracts over time.
If you need to store THC concentrates for more than six months, use a vacuum sealer to remove any air from the concentrate and place it in a dark glass or even silicone container.
If you use a vacuum sealer, it’s safe to put the package in silicone. Store in the refrigerator if possible, and use the freezer as a secondary option.
How to Store Vapes
Vape carts are a convenient way to enjoy cannabis extracts without the hassle of a dab rig. Here’s how to store vape cartridges to ensure they hold up for the life of the oil.
Type of Container
Most vape carts consist of a glass chamber and metal or ceramic heating elements. Cartridges screw into a reusable battery are typically disposed of after use. Some cartridges are refillable, and then there are disposable cartridges. Disposables are a “one and done” situation, meaning you vape all of the oil inside and throw away the entire container once finished.
All cartridges should be kept upright, as opposed to rolling around sideways or getting jumbled around in a bag or backpack. This can cause a leaking vape pen or device malfunctioning, which might waste your precious oil.
Environment & Temperature
Cartridges are not as susceptible to moisture as concentrates are because the glass chamber is already airtight. However, they are sensitive to extreme heat and extreme cold and should be kept at or around room temperature. There is no need to store a vape pen in the fridge, and that might cause the oil to thicken or harden and make vaping impossible. Not to mention, high heat can degrade the quality and potency of the oil over time.
Short Term vs. Long Term
For short- and long-term storage, it’s best to keep your vape carts in a cool, dark place away from natural light. This could be a box or drawer in your garage, a cupboard, or another secret hiding place. There is no need to store it in the refrigerator unless you live in a particularly hot climate. Remember to keep the cartridges upright and in an opaque container.
How long can the concentrates last if stored properly?
When stored properly, concentrates can last a year or more. However, some natural degradation in potency and flavor may occur over time.
How can you tell if concentrates are stored improperly?
If the concentrate has any dark brown, black, blue, white, or greenish spots on it – that’s mold, and you need to throw it away. Additionally, suppose you open a concentrate container and there is moisture inside. In that case, that means that although you might not see evidence of mold or mildew yet, it is possibly already forming.
Do you have to store concentrates in the fridge?
No, you do not have to store concentrates in the fridge unless you are considering long-term storage or live in a hot, humid environment. In most cases, concentrates will remain fresh in an opaque, airtight container away from sunlight.