How to store cannabis concentrates: Keep your dabs fresh!
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If you're a tried and true stoner, we're sure you enjoy cannabis concentrates. No matter how much you enjoy them, though, we can't imagine you finish your whole stash in one sitting. The question then arises: Where are you going to keep the rest?
It may seem like any old container will do, but that's far from the case. It's very potent, sure, but it's significantly more fragile than the flower it comes from. Whether it's excess air, humidity, or some other imbalance, it can all spell trouble for your wax. Don't try returning your dabs just yet, though. If you follow a few simple steps, you can make sure your wax is in it for the long haul.
WHAT ARE CANNABIS CONCENTRATES?
Let's get some context in the mix, though. When we're talking about concentrates, wax, or dabs, those terms generally refer to the same thing. More specifically, they refer to THC-rich concentrates that take the form of a light–dark brown material that's sticky to the touch. This comes from a chemical process in which a large quantity of flower is broken down and chemically separated from the desired THC.
While flower typically only has up to 30% THC, concentrates can contain anywhere from 65% to 95%+ THC. As a result, you'll only tend to see experienced smokers using concentrates.
WHAT TYPE OF CONTAINER CAN YOU USE FOR STORING CANNABIS CONCENTRATES?
So, if you are one of those experienced smokers in question, you might be wondering what really makes for an "ideal" concentrate container. There's more than one option out there, but there are important things to keep in mind whichever way you go.
Given their cheapness and typically interesting colour patterns, silicone containers are a popular concentrate storage choice. However, there's an issue with this material choice that has become apparent in recent years.
The issue, surprisingly, is the interaction between the silicone material and the terpenes in the cannabis concentrate. If you've ever dug into the science of cannabis, you might've learned that terpenes are a natural solvent. This doesn't pose a problem when smoking. If your wax is more concentrated or pure, though, it can end up dissolving your silicone case. Along with a ruined case, you could end up with contaminated, unsmokable dabs, and who wants that? It won't dissolve as quickly as that one villain from Indiana Jones, but it can get bad over time.
Compared to silicone, glass is definitely the safer choice. That doesn't mean you can just leave your dabs in an open, cleaned-out pasta sauce jar, though.
Oh, that wasn't your plan? Good, just making sure. Anyway, there are a few conditions your container has to meet to be suitable. First off, there can't be any opportunity for excess air to get in. This means your container should be proportional to the size of your dabs, along with having an airtight seal. If your container is too big, you should at least make sure you have the airtight seal for your container of choice. Assuming your glass is clear (and even if it isn't), you should also keep it away from any sunlight or heat source. As an extra step, you should also keep the wax wrapped in parchment paper, but we'll discuss those details more in a bit.
SHOULD YOU FREEZE CANNABIS CONCENTRATES?
You've probably heard both sides of this issue before, but now we pose the question again. Should you freeze your concentrates, dabs, wax, or whatever you want to call them? Technically, yes, you can put your concentrate in the freezer, take it out, and smoke it again. It'll be a safe smoke session, but it won't be the most pleasant.
You see, in the freezer, your dabs can get exposed to excess moisture. If too much builds up, smoking the dabs can end up very harsh on the lungs. This can be lessened by keeping the dabs in an airtight glass container, along with wrapping them in parchment paper (even plastic bags on top of that). Even then, though, you'll have to be careful of this moisture during the thawing process.
If you're only needing to put the dabs away for a few days, silicone containers are unlikely to do any damage, and their cost makes them attractive for short-term storage. Just pick a cool and dry place, make sure the container is airtight, and don't open it unless you're smoking. They're almost never transparent, but just make sure you're picking an opaque container as well.
• Timescale: up to 7 days
If you're wanting to keep things safe and secure for a while longer, glass is the way to go. As we mentioned before, you'll want an airtight, proportional container, which you'll keep in a cool and dry place. Before putting your wax in there, break it up into smaller chunks and wrap each of them up in parchment paper. Once you've got the chunks wrapped up, stick them in a food-safe resealable plastic bag. From there, you can finally put your concentrate in the glass container.
• Timescale: up to 4 weeks
If you want a concentrate that can last longer in storage, you'll want to go for an alcohol-based tincture. If you use a sterilised, airtight glass bottle and keep it in a temperature-controlled space, it can last up to a year, or at least 6 months. This, of course, is provided there's no additives or glycerine in the solution, as these could go bad sooner and spoil the whole tincture.
Whether you're doing short-term, medium-term, or long-term storage, be sure to date your containers so you don't forget how long your dabs have been in there.
• Timescale: between 6 months and 1 year
WHY STORE CANNABIS CONCENTRATES PROPERLY?
So, why bother with any of this? Why should you store your concentrates properly? To put it simply, it's all about quality. Sure, you'll be able to smoke what you've got either way, but why make it worse? If you know the wax gets less potent when exposed to air, why leave it exposed? If you know leaving it in silicone too long leads to contamination, why risk that? It's entering your body, and you should treat it accordingly. Love yourself by loving your concentrates.