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The Science Behind Mylar: How Does it Keep Cannabis Fresh?

Mylar. This remarkable material has become a staple in the industry for maintaining the freshness and quality of cannabis products. But what is Mylar, and how does it work to...

In the rapidly evolving world of cannabis cultivation and preservation, one technological hero often goes unnoticed: Mylar. This remarkable material has become a staple in the industry for maintaining the freshness and quality of cannabis products. But what is Mylar, and how does it work to keep cannabis at its peak? Let's dive into the science behind this wonder material.

What is Mylar?

Mylar is a brand name for a special type of stretched polyester film, known in the scientific community as BoPET (Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate). Developed in the mid-20th century, Mylar has a variety of applications, from balloons to insulation, and yes, to preserving food and medicinal herbs like cannabis.

The Properties of Mylar

The properties of Mylar make it exceptionally well-suited for the storage and preservation of cannabis. Its durability, barrier quality, light protection, and flexibility are precisely the characteristics needed to maintain the freshness, potency, and aroma of cannabis over time. 

Durability and Cannabis

 The durability of Mylar ensures that the physical integrity of cannabis is preserved. Cannabis buds are covered in trichomes that contain essential cannabinoids and terpenes. The strength of Mylar protects these delicate structures from physical damage during handling and storage, which could otherwise lead to the loss of these valuable compounds. 

Barrier Quality and Cannabis

Mylar's superior barrier quality offers an almost impenetrable defense against oxygen and moisture. This is crucial for cannabis because exposure to oxygen can lead to the oxidation of cannabinoids, reducing the quality and potency of the product. Additionally, moisture can cause mold and mildew, which can contaminate cannabis. By providing a moisture and oxygen barrier, Mylar helps in preserving the chemical composition and ensuring the safety of cannabis for consumption. 

Light Protection and Cannabis

Cannabis is highly susceptible to degradation when exposed to light, particularly UV radiation. This exposure can break down THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, diminishing its potency. Mylar can be treated to reflect harmful light and UV rays, protecting the cannabis from this photonic degradation. This property is especially useful for long-term storage of cannabis, where even indirect light exposure over time can have cumulative negative effects.

Flexibility and Cannabis 

The flexibility of Mylar allows for the creation of custom storage solutions that can fit any amount of cannabis, from small personal stashes to large commercial quantities. This adaptability means that Mylar bags can be vacuum-sealed to remove excess air, creating an environment that minimizes the oxidation and degradation processes. Flexible packaging solutions also mean that space is used efficiently, which is important for both home storage and for businesses that need to optimize their storage space.

How Mylar Keeps Cannabis Fresh

Oxygen Reduction

Oxygen is one of the primary culprits behind the degradation of cannabis. When cannabis is exposed to oxygen, it undergoes oxidation. This not only leads to a loss of potency but also to the degradation of the aromatic terpenes, which contribute to the flavor and scent of the plant. Mylar’s ability to provide an oxygen barrier keeps the buds in an almost anaerobic state, slowing down the oxidation process.

Moisture Control

Moisture can lead to mold and mildew, which can ruin a cannabis stash. Mylar bags, when sealed correctly, prevent moisture ingress, maintaining the optimal humidity level needed to keep cannabis fresh. This is particularly important as cannabis must be stored at a relative humidity of 59% to 63% to maintain its quality over time.

Light and UV Protection

Exposure to light, especially UV light, can have a detrimental effect on cannabis, breaking down its cannabinoids, particularly THC, into less potent compounds like CBN (Cannabinol). Since Mylar can be made opaque or with a reflective coating, it serves as a barrier against this harmful light, preserving the chemical integrity of the cannabis.

Temperature Stability

While Mylar itself doesn’t regulate temperature, its barrier properties can help maintain a stable temperature when used in conjunction with a controlled environment. Fluctuations in temperature can affect the humidity levels around cannabis and accelerate the degradation process.

Security and Discretion

Mylar is also favored for its ability to seal in odors, providing a discreet storage solution that won't betray the presence of cannabis through its distinct aroma. This feature adds to the overall freshness by preventing the terpenes, which are responsible for the smell, from dissipating.

To further learn about the science behind mylar film, check out biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate.

Best Practices for Using Mylar to Store Cannabis

To harness the full potential of Mylar for cannabis preservation, it's important to follow some best practices:

Vacuum Seal: If you have access to a vacuum sealer, use it to remove all the air from the Mylar bag before sealing. This process minimizes the oxygen inside the bag, thereby reducing the rate of oxidation and prolonging the freshness of the cannabis.

Proper Sealing:  After vacuum sealing, use a heat sealer to create an airtight seal on the Mylar bag. This ensures that no air can get in or out, preserving the cannabis’s terpene profile and potency. Make sure the seal is complete and there are no gaps.

Correct Sizing: Use an appropriately sized Mylar bag for the quantity of cannabis to minimize the air space around the buds.  To determine the best size for your mylar bags, check out Mylar Bags Sizes and Options

Keep Cool and Dark: Even with the protective properties of Mylar, it’s important to store the bags in a cool, dark place. Light, especially UV light, can degrade THC over time, and heat can increase the rate of decarboxylation, reducing the quality of your cannabis. 

Labeling: Properly label each Mylar bag with the strain of cannabis and the date of storage. This will help you keep track of the freshness and ensure you use the oldest stock first.

Regular Inspection: Periodically check your stored cannabis for any signs of degradation or failure of the Mylar bags. Look for punctures, tears, or a loss of vacuum. If you find any issues, consume the affected cannabis promptly or transfer it to a new Mylar bag. 

Legal Compliance: Be aware of the laws and regulations in your area regarding cannabis storage. Some regions may have specific requirements for child-resistant packaging or other storage guidelines that must be followed.  For California's Compliance, check out California Cannabis Law's and Regulations page. 

Check Regularly: Regularly inspect the storage conditions and the cannabis itself to ensure there are no breaches in the Mylar's integrity. 


The science behind Mylar's effectiveness in keeping cannabis fresh is rooted in its exceptional barrier properties. By providing protection from light, air, moisture, and temperature changes, Mylar is an ideal solution for preserving the quality and longevity of cannabis products. As the industry continues to grow, the reliance on this material is likely to increase, helping both producers and consumers maintain the integrity of this valuable plant.

By understanding and utilizing the properties of Mylar, cannabis enthusiasts can ensure that their prized buds remain as fresh as the day they were harvested, delivering the best possible experience.


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