There’s nothing worse than spending hours concocting the perfect cannabis infusion just to have it go bad or lose potency before you get a chance to use it all. Now that you've mastered measuring the potency of your infusion and creating a homogenous mixture, you’ll need to figure out how to store your creation properly.
Stick around, and we’ll help you discover how to store your infusions like a pro.
How to Properly Store Cannabis Infusions
When it comes to keeping infusions fresh, light and heat are your biggest enemies. Ultraviolet light quickly degrades cannabinoids, even in relatively stable alcohol tinctures. Keeping your infusions out of the light will also protect them from your second enemy: heat.
Make sure you store your infusions far away from heat sources like stoves, heaters, or sunny windows. Heat can also encourage the growth of mold and mildew, which love warm temperatures between 78°-85° degrees F.
Pro-Tip: Use gloves when handling infusions and edibles. Touching them with bare hands can transfer oils and microbes that can cause contamination.
Containers for Storing Infusions
Most experts agree that air-tight, glass containers make the best storage solutions for cannabis infusions. Plastic containers aren’t recommended for storing infusions, especially if you’re planning to keep them for a while.
Chemicals from the plastic can leach into your infusions and contaminate them.
Glass has a neutral electrical charge and won’t affect the flavor of your infusions. Many people prefer glass canning jars as they can usually withstand extremes in temperature. Glass Mason jars can be filled with hot cannabutter and later stored in the freezer. The best containers are made of colored glass, which keeps more light out.
Metal containers make another great option for infusion storage. However, they can be quite expensive. If you’re a dedicated infusion maker, you may want to spring for top-of-the-line titanium storage containers.
It’s always a good idea to label each infusion with the date it was created and any other relevant information you might want to remember. It also helps to do an initial cannabinoid potency test and record the information on the container.
Pro-Tip: If you don’t have access to dark-colored glass containers, you can wrap your jars with black construction paper or opaque fabric to keep the light out.
Storing Different Types of Infusions
Each category of infusion has different storage needs. You’ll need to adjust your methods based on the most perishable ingredient in your infusion.
You probably already know that you should never store raw cannabis in the refrigerator or freezer. The damp conditions may promote mold growth on your buds. However, you’ll need to refrigerate or freeze your cannabutter to keep it fresh. The butter will go rancid way before the cannabinoids begin to degrade.
You can store cannabutter in an airtight jar for up to three weeks in the refrigerator or around six months in the freezer. If you’re planning to freeze your cannabutter in a glass jar, make sure it can withstand the temperature. Glass canning jars are useful for this purpose.
Pro-Tip: Clarifying the butter before infusing it enhances the flavor and may even make your cannabutter last a little longer. You’ll be removing a lot of the water that makes a fertile breeding ground for microbes.
Most people use coconut oil or olive oil for their infusions. You can store both cooking oils and topical products in glass jars or bottles in the refrigerator. You may even want store filled ice cube trays in the freezer for easy use. It's best to avoid microwaving or cooking infused oils over high heat as it may burn off many of the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Pro-Tip: Make a larger batch of infused oil and divide it into smaller containers for different purposes. You can add herbs, essential oils, or other ingredients to customize your oils for cooking, oil-based tinctures, or topicals.
Gummies or hard candy will last longer than baked goods. An important first step is to check the expiration date of each ingredient you use in your edibles. It’s always better to make more perishable edibles in smaller batches and consume them sooner.
You can wrap edibles like chocolates and brownies in aluminum foil or parchment paper to keep them from sticking together. Remember: Never use plastic. Place your wrapped edibles into airtight containers before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Pro-Tip: Cannabis edibles can look exactly like regular food. Label your edibles appropriately, and make sure that everyone in your household knows which foods have been medicated. Although no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose, unintentional consumption can be an uncomfortable or downright frightening experience. As with any cannabis product, please store your edibles out of the reach of children or pets.
Brown or blue dropper bottles are excellent for storing tinctures. You can usually store alcohol tinctures in a cool, dark cabinet, where they can stay potent for years. Tinctures made from vegetable glycerin tend to be more perishable, and you’ll need to place them in the refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage.
Pro-Tip: You may want to test your tinctures every once in a while to make sure they’re still potent.
Testing Your Infusions for Potency
Potency testing is the only way to know the true strength of your infusions, but sending every infusion out to a lab can get expensive fast. Moreover, you’ll probably want to test the potency of your infusions more than once.
With tCheck’s at home potency tester, you can check your infusions as many times as you need without waiting for results from an external lab. If you test your cannabis infusions when you first make them and after you store them for a while, you can get a clear idea of the effectiveness of your storage methods. tCheck even has an onboard recipe calculator so you can find out exactly how much of your infusion to add to your edibles.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about tCheck’s cannabis potency testers. Our staff would be delighted to help you pick out a model that’s perfect for your needs.