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Medical Marijuana – Tips for Purchasing and Storage Safety

Every year around October, at least one or two well-meaning TV news reports pop up, warning of children exposed to marijuana due to edibles accidentally (or nefariously) given out by adults as Halloween Trick-or-Treat candy. Though endlessly dispelled as untrue, these reports underscore the importance of having accurate and helpful information when it comes to the purchasing and storage of medical marijuana. 
Purchasing Cannabis

The single best way to avoid receiving a tainted cannabis product is by purchasing  from a state-licensed dispensary. While the FDA does not regulate cannabis products, most medical marijuana states do and these products have been tested for safety before hitting dispensary shelves. Furthermore, following your state’s email alert system can notify you about recalls on dispensary products as soon as they occur. 

Some patients find that hemp-based CBD products complement their cannabis treatment well. It’s thought that CBD can help reduce the anxiety and paranoia reported in some high-THC strains. While marijuana-based CBD products may be available in your dispensary, many do not carry them or only carry a limited selection. Many cannabis patients prefer the hemp-based CBD widely available outside of dispensaries and chemically, they are identical. However, caution should always be taken when purchasing cannabis products outside of a dispensary. There is no evidence that popular head shop isolated cannabis products such as Delta 8 THC and THC-O have any health benefits and have not been scientifically studied. 

 

Storing Cannabis

If you have children in the house, identifying a safe place to store cannabis products when you arrive home from the dispensary is of critical importance. Processed products like chocolate bars and medicated sodas can be especially enticing to children, so it’s best to keep them locked up. Here are a few products recently reviewed by Fatherly to help parents safely store their medical marijuana.   

You may also consider locking up your cannabis if you live with roommates or family members, or in a rental unit. Even if you own your own home and live by yourself, purchasing a lockable container for your medical marijuana might be worth considering. 

 
Cannabis Storage Tips

Did you know that cannabis flower that isn’t stored properly can affect quality, flavor, and even the effectiveness of your medicine? Most cannabis flower has a stable shelf-life of up to a year or more when it’s been cured and stored properly. Here are some tips to keep in mind: 

  • High temperatures can cause cannabis to dry out, which can damage the terpenes and cause them to evaporate. Don’t store cannabis containers near a heater, water system, or outside the home. You also need to avoid freezing temperatures which can burst the delicate trichomes. Good spots might include closets, drawers, or cabinets. 
  • UV light can also break down the cannabinoids and terpenes, so make sure containers are always stored in a dark place and never leave cannabis containers on a windowsill or in direct sunlight. 
  • Don’t store cannabis in the refrigerator, as the fluctuations in temperature and humidity will increase the chances of growing mold. Any contact with moisture can cause mold to grow. 
  • You also don’t want cannabis to get too dry as it can degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes. Ideal humidity levels are between 59% and 63% RH (relative humidity). Here are a few reviews of products that can help control the humidity of your cannabis. 
  • Ensure any containers you use are clean and free from dirt and grime that could contain bacteria or mold spores. 

Edibles and other forms of administration have their own guidelines about storage. Some need to be refrigerated; others don’t.Tinctures and concentrates can degrade from exposure to light, heat, and humidity as well.  State recommendations include using all cannabis products by the stated expiration date and keeping them in their original container. 

If you’re new to using medical marijuana and have additional questions about purchasing and storing your cannabis, you may find these additional resources helpful:

10 Tips for Buying CBD

Tips for keeping your cannabis fresh and away from the kids

Cannabis Storage: The Dos and Don’ts

You may also want to ask your local dispensary budtender for additional purchasing storage tips and advice specific to the products you have purchased. 

Have questions about obtaining a legal cannabis card in your state? Make an appointment to be evaluated by a Duber Medical doctor today. 

 

Author: Gabrielle Dion Visca

Gabrielle has been writing and editing professionally for the medical and wellness industries for more than 20 years. She’s held positions with The Journal of Pediatrics, Livestrong, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Patient Pop. She currently writes articles about medical marijuana for Duber Medical, and is the founder of the Ohio cannabis journalism non-profit, MedicateOH.

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