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How to Store Terpenes Safely: 5 Tips to Protect Your Terps

This guide will teach you how to store terpenes safely to maintain their quality, potency, and durability.
How to Store Terpenes Safely

Terpenes are highly volatile. They are highly susceptible to contamination and evaporation. Understanding how to preserve your terpenes will help you extend their shelf live and maximize their flavors and aromas.

If you care about the potency and quality of your terpenes, this guide will teach you how to store them properly. This practical advice will enhance the quality and durability of your terpene products.

(What are terpenes? They are molecular compounds that affect the flavors and aromas of plant products. Learn more in our deeper guide on terpenes.)

Why is Proper Terpene Storage Important?

Proper storage of terpenes is crucial due to their sensitivity to weather, light, temperature, and extraction methods. These factors can affect the taste and smell of your terpenes, so you’ll want to safeguard them from any potentially harmful effects.

Furthermore, the extraction processes used (such as steam distillation) can lead to the loss of terpenes due to heat and pressure, so it’s essential to preserve the remaining terpenes to prevent dilution of their original flavor and aroma.

1. Maintain Your Terpenes at an Ambient Temperature

Terpenes are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and possess low boiling points, which means they start to evaporate at relatively low temperatures. This susceptibility to heat can affect terpenes at any stage of their lifecycle, including extraction, storage, or use, leading to a diminution of their distinct flavors, scents, and overall effectiveness.

Some terpenes commence evaporation at approximately 100ºF (37ºC). To preserve their quality and reduce the risk of evaporation, it is advised to store terpenes at a stable room temperature, ideally around 70ºF (21ºC), following their collection.

Additionally, it is important to regulate humidity levels, keeping them between 45% and 65%, to prevent deterioration from rot or the development of microbes.

2. Keep Your Terpenes in a Cool and Dark Place

Exposure to light, particularly ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, swiftly diminishes the quality of flowers and their terpene levels. UV radiation possesses the strength to dismantle terpenes, leading to an irrevocable reduction in their flavor, aroma, and effectiveness.

To mitigate the impact of light on terpenes, consider keeping them in either a darkened environment or within containers that are dark and non-transparent. It’s also crucial to ensure that storage areas remain cool to prevent the terpenes from evaporating.

Moreover, avoiding excessive warmth helps prevent the accumulation of moisture, which could encourage the growth of mold and microbes, thereby contaminating the products.

3. Don’t Store Terpenes in Plastic or Uncoated Metal Containers

Plastic materials have a detrimental effect on terpenes, notably affecting their attributes and strength. Similarly, uncoated metal containers can lead to adverse reactions between some terpene oils and the exposed metal. Despite their widespread use in retail packaging, opting for non-plastic alternatives.

Choose glass containers, such as bottles and jars, to shield terpenes from the harmful effects of plastic. If necessary, metal containers with a protective coating are a viable option, provided you monitor for moisture and maintain quality to prevent oxidation and ensure the terpenes remain uncontaminated.

4. Store Different Strains Separately

Storing various terpenes in close proximity poses the risk of their flavors and aromas blending, potentially leading to the deterioration and contamination of newer batches if placed near older terpenes or resins. Even when using airtight containers, contamination can still occur, particularly with concentrated terpenes known for their strong odors.

To reduce the risk of contamination and maintain the highest quality of terpenes, it’s advisable to store different strains in separate locations. While shelves might serve as a temporary solution, investing in larger, airtight containers for distinct terpenes can offer better protection and preservation.

5. Keep Your Storage Containers Clean and Sanitized

Maintaining the cleanliness of storage equipment is crucial to prevent older, residual terpenes from contaminating fresh batches. Neglect in this area can also lead to the proliferation of microbes, which will harm the quality of your terpenes.

Ensure that storage spaces are regularly sanitized and that glass containers are sterilized through boiling prior to use. It’s also important to frequently clean out storage boxes to remove dust and inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold. Additionally, consider the periodic replacement of storage equipment, particularly when containers begin to show signs of wear and tear.

How to Store Terpenes Properly to Maintain Their Quality

Terpenes are notably fragile. Even slight mishandlings can diminishing their flavor and aroma. It’s critical to handle them with care throughout their journey from harvest to use to ensure their quality is preserved. The good news is that storing terpenes effectively is straightforward—protect them from harsh temperatures, direct light, plastic materials, and contamination.

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