By Max Sargent

For one reason or another, we may end up with too many edibles or concentrates to finish in one session, and wonder what to do with them. Short-term storage usually isn’t a problem, but if we want to keep cannabis products fresh and potent in the long term, then we need to know how to store them properly.

In this article, we look at the specifics of storing marijuana edibles and concentrates.

Atrophy: A Problem With Cannabis Edibles & Concentrates

Cannabis, in all its forms, will atrophy over time. This means that you will see a steady degradation in terms of aroma, flavor, potency, and overall quality. While true with any form of cannabis, it is particularly so when it comes to cannabis edibles and cannabis concentrates. This is why proper long-term storage is important.

Without due care, edibles will, at best, go stale and lose some potency; at worst, they'll rot, meaning they'll no longer be good to consume. Concentrates, on the other hand, will lose their texture and take a steep decline in terms of potency.

However, if you store your edibles and concentrates appropriately, then you can prolong their shelf lives—sometimes indefinitely—preserving their potency and quality.

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Edibles vs Concentrates: Storage Considerations

Before we dive into the specifics of storing edibles and concentrates, let’s look at some basic facts that apply to both.

As with almost all perishable goods, the key is to store your cannabis products in a dry, dark, and cool place, in airtight containers. If you can do this, then you’ll find they last a decent amount of time, and degrade slowly. Though these are the fundamentals, there is more to proper storage than this (more on this shortly).

Concentrates are less perishable than edibles. As they don’t contain foodstuffs, they won’t be consumed by fungi or bacteria, and are inherently more stable than most foods. Conversely, edibles are, for the most part, perishable and will degrade very quickly in improper conditions. Some edibles can be stored out of the freezer for longer periods, while others must be frozen if they are to be kept for any meaningful period of time.

The exception to this are cannabis gummies. Thanks to their incredibly high sugar content, they are mostly preserved and will not degrade substantially, as long as they are kept in a cool, dark place.

How Does Proper Storage Affect the Potency of Cannabis Edibles & Concentrates?

If you only want to store your cannabis products in the short term, you can get away with putting them in a Tupperware in the cupboard. But for any longer period, you’ll need to store them correctly, depending on which cannabis product you're working with, to avoid degradation.

Storing Cannabis Products: What Causes Degradation?

When storing anything perishable, there are four main contenders against which you must battle. These are heat, light, air, and moisture. Without these, most things die, making such inhospitable environments perfect for storing goods you don’t want consumed by other living beings. What’s more, the above elements can also cause cannabinoids and other compounds to degrade, rendering them useless.

  • Heat: This is a serious killer when it comes to cannabinoids. Strong heat will cause compounds to decarboxylate and then degrade, meaning the molecules will change form. In the case of THC, it will turn into CBN, a compound with less potency and potentially more lethargic effects. In time, heat will render all cannabinoids and aromatic chemicals non-existent. Furthermore, higher temperatures create the perfect breeding ground for many bacteria and fungi—hence why we use fridges and freezers.
  • Light: Photons, along with heat, will accelerate the degradation of cannabinoids, rendering your edibles and concentrates less potent and flavorful. Light also degrades numerous other compounds, and can spoil foods, assist in the growth of bacteria and fungi, and ruin the quality and texture of concentrates.
  • Air: Ever noticed how a moist, delicious cookie or brownie goes rock hard and dry when left out in the open? This is because the moisture contained in them evaporates in the open air, making them go stale. This happens to both foods and concentrates, and results in vastly diminished quality, sometimes within quite a short period of time.
  • Moisture: Too much moisture is also not good for most perishable products. If they start off very dry (like biscuits), then excessive moisture in the air will enter them through osmosis, and they will become soft and unpleasant. Not only can moisture ruin the quality of very dry products, but a moist environment is ripe for colonisation by bacteria and fungi, and damp things will go off very quickly if stored improperly.
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Storing Cannabis Edibles: Keeping Your Snacks Fresher for Longer

Now that you know your enemies, the following section will explain how to keep them at bay. You probably already know the basics, but there are a few factors that might be of interest to you, so keep reading, as cannabis products need to be treated a little differently than normal food products.

How Proper Storage Enhances Shelf Life

Storing edibles properly protects both the perishable ingredients (as with any food) and the cannabinoids and terpenes, helping to slow their degradation. So storing edibles isn’t just a matter of keeping the food from going off; you also have to protect the phytochemicals if you want to get high at a later date.

Airtight Containers

First off, an airtight container is a must. Be it plastic Tupperware, Pyrex glass, a mason jar, or something else—it must prevent air exchange. These containers help to retain the moisture of the product by blocking out fresh air, while also preventing excess moisture from getting in and ruining your edibles. Furthermore, it keeps creatures of all sizes, from microscopic bacteria and fungi to dogs and cats, from getting at your goods. Also, the lack of air exchange can help to suffocate any bacteria or fungi that may already be present on your edibles.


You may already be aware that putting food in the fridge helps it stay viable longer. But if you didn’t, then fear not, Royal Queen Seeds is here to tell you to refrigerate your food!

It goes without saying: refrigerating food slows the growth of bacteria and fungi, and also keeps it fresher for a longer period. But with edibles, the cool temperatures also help to keep the cannabinoids and terpenes from breaking down, helping to retain the potency and flavor of your edibles.


Depending on the edible and how long you want to store it for, you might be better off freezing it. While fridges slow the growth of life that would like to devour your edibles, freezers halt its development entirely, meaning you can store your edibles indefinitely. Official advice is to consume frozen food within six months, but nobody will stop you from keeping frozen goods for much longer than this.

When freezing edibles, you should still do so in an airtight container, as freezers have a high moisture content that can adversely affect the quality of foods stored in them. Note that plastic containers are more suitable for freezing, as glass can crack and break.

Cool and Dark Locations

Last but not least, cool and dark locations (like cool cupboards) will help to keep food items from going off quickly, and help to maintain phytochemical levels. But with most foods, if you want to store them in the long term, you should put them in a fridge or freezer.

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How to Store Edible Gummies

The only instances where you don’t need to freeze or refrigerate edibles is if you make gummies or very dry biscuits, which can be stored in cupboards. Although they don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen, you must still store them in a cool environment (<21ºC) if you don’t want them to degrade, and they should also be protected from light, air, and moisture.

How to Correctly Store Cannabis Concentrates

Generally, concentrates are much more robust than edibles, and won’t rapidly go off if the conditions they are stored in are not ideal. Still, they will degrade over time, losing potency and flavor. And certain concentrates may also dry out and lose their quality and/or texture if left out in the open, making them difficult or unpleasant to use.

How to Store Dabs, Wax, RSO, and Distillate

The above concentrates can all be stored in the same way, as they all share similar properties. They should be kept in airtight, opaque containers in a cool, dark, dry place. If you can’t get hold of an airtight container, make sure the other variables are ideal.

To preserve the quality of your products, the ideal temperature range is between 15 and 21ºC. At these temperatures, you should find that the cannabinoids and terpenes remain very stable over time.

Silicone Jar

Many products that are sold to store concentrates are made from silicone. This material is inexpensive, practically unbreakable, and easy to clean, making it the perfect short-term storage solution for concentrates.

However, for longer-term storage, you should opt for a different material. The solvents in solvent-based concentrates can, over time, react with silicone, and you might open your container to discover that the concentrate and container have become one, rendering both quite useless!

Glass Jar

Glass is the perfect material for storing concentrates. While it is breakable (if you’re not careful), it doesn’t react with solvents and thus can store them indefinitely. What’s more, their airtight nature makes glass containers reliable over long periods, which is not necessarily true with silicone.

Parchment Paper

If you’re in a fix and need an immediate solution, then simply storing your concentrates in parchment paper will work for some time. This baking parchment won’t absorb moisture, and will offer your concentrates some protection. But obviously, it’s not airtight and therefore won’t offer full protection.

Still, if you need something for a week or so while you figure something else out (or use all of your concentrates), then it will work just fine. Just make sure to keep your concentrates in a cool, dry, and dark place.


Although this is probably overkill in most scenarios, you can store concentrates in the freezer too. While it will maintain their quality indefinitely, it’s probably unnecessary unless you don’t see yourself using your concentrates for a very long time.

If you do store them in a freezer, make sure your concentrates are in a truly airtight container, otherwise the moisture in the freezer might seep into your concentrates and spoil them. Also, once you are ready to use your concentrates, you'll need to let them thaw out completely first.

Keeping Cannabis Edibles & Concentrates Potent, Fresh, and Flavorful

Cool, dark, dry, and airtight. Those four words are key when it comes to storing concentrates and edibles. Each product may have its own specific storage needs—and “cool” can range from around 21ºC to -5ºC, depending on what you’re storing—but the fundamentals remain the same.

As a general rule, edibles are more perishable than concentrates and need more attention. But stored correctly, you can extend the lifespan of most cannabis products considerably!

DisclaimerExtracts, concentrates, and oils used for dabbing are among the strongest cannabis products available. Proceed with caution when using substances high in THC. Start with low doses and slowly increase over time to build up a tolerance to the compound.

Remember: Set and Setting will help you deal with various situations.

Stay Cultivated.

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