Marijuana is usually sold in cheap, portable containers that are meant to provide a safe way to transport your purchase home such as a paper or zip lock bag. While a baggie will keep your weed fresh temporarily, it is important to switch to a better storage option if you want to preserve it for more than a few days.
As a cannabis enthusiast, you know that nothing is worse than smoking old, dry, and brittle herb. Weed which is improperly stored loses flavour and potency, and will often make for an outright awful smoke over time. But how can you keep your weed fresh for a long period? Find out about the best ways to store your stash!
HOW LONG CAN WEED STAY FRESH AND WHAT SHORTENS SHELF-LIFE?
Storing your weed properly can make a big difference when it comes to the herb’s quality and effect. Although cannabis doesn’t have an expiration date, it still needs to be stored with the same care as a fine wine or good bottle of old whiskey.
Normally, when stored well, you can expect your weed to stay good for six months or longer. With some methods for long-term storage, you can keep it fresh even longer, up to twelve months or more.
On the other hand, how and where you store your weed will greatly affect how long your stash stays good. Humidity, light, and heat all degrade cannabinoids, and keeping weed in unzipped baggies will dry it out.
If your buds become overly dry, the smoke will be harsh and much less flavourful. Likewise, if your weed is kept in a place that’s too humid, mould could ruin your stash in the short-term.
Factors to Consider for Storage
There are several factors that influence the proper storage of weed, and each of these must be guarded against if you want to keep the freshest bud. With proper precaution and care, cannabis can last six months and upwards with minimal loss in quality. The first thing you need to understand is the environmental factors that cause your weed to degenerate. These factors are humidity, temperature, light, and air.
Humidity is important as it an environmental factor in the growth of mould and mildew. Keeping the humidity correct will ensure that the contaminants that would otherwise cause mould and rot never take hold. The ideal humidity for storage is between 59% – 63%. Anything lower will reduce the risk of mould, but can also dry out your bud too much, removing essential oils.
The temperature you store your bud at is important for two reasons. Firstly, temperature also has an impact on the likelihood of mould developing. Heat is the first and most obvious factor to avoid because it will dry out your weed and reduce its potency. Mould thrives between 25-30 degrees Celsius, making it essential to store your bud in a cool place.
Lower temperatures also slow down the degeneration of THC, and thus potency. Never freeze your bud if you intend to smoke it, even in a container. Such cold temperatures will cause the cannabinoid-containing trichomes to freeze and become brittle, making them very likely to fall off your bud
UV light is harmful to the integrity of cannabinoids. If exposed to light for too long, harvested bud will begin to lose its potency as the THC breaks down. It just so happens that sunlight, and most forms of other light, contain UV in one form or another. Make sure that wherever you choose to store your weed, it is dark.
Light can also damage the trichomes, which are the resin glands responsible for its stickiness. While you want to be careful not to dry out your weed, too much moisture can lead to mold and bacterial growth.
Air plays a couple of roles. Although your cannabis plants need a constant supply of fresh oxygen while growing, too much can speed up the degeneration process in harvested bud. Air will also have an effect on the humidity, especially if your bud has not dried out fully. As such, making sure your bud is stored somewhere airtight is a good way to go.
THE BEST WAY TO STORE YOUR CANNABIS
You want to keep your weed away from heat, humidity, and light when you store it. A cool (15-21°C) and dark place is best. If you have a basement, this would be optimal. For storing your buds, use 1l-sized Mason jars with a lid that you can get almost anywhere.
A tight lid ensures that your bud is protected from air and moisture. When you fill your buds into your glass jars, make sure to fill them at approximately ¾ full. The less air in the jar, the better, so if you have a smaller amount of bud to store, simply use smaller-sized jars. When stored this way with these factors in mind, you can keep your buds for a year or even longer.
There are also many affordable and specialised commercial products ideal for the long-term storage of weed. For example, the CVault fits the bill in every way, offering a sterile, airtight, light proof solution. And considering the effort and time put into growing a personal stash, it doesn’t exactly break the bank.
The Problem with Plastic Bags
Everyone at some time or another has stored their weed in plastic bags, and sadly this is still the preferred storage method among many avid smokers. However, baggies have several flaws that affect marijuana potency.
In addition to letting in light, heat and the build-up of moisture, baggies generate static which can cause the weed to break up and cling to the sides of the bag creating shake. When this happens, much of the THC is lost and you can almost guarantee a harsher inhale with baggie-stored weed.
Why Freezing Doesn’t Work
As an alternative to plastic baggies, many people believe that wrapping their weed in foil and putting it in the freezer will keep it fresher longer. This method does not work for several reasons. First, fluctuating temperatures can affect the freshness and lead to bacterial growth. So, unless you never open that freezer door again, you can trust that your weed will be damaged.
Second, freezing buds causes the trichomes to become miniature icicles which will then break off and render the leftover weed less potent. Finally, those who store their weed in the freezer tend to handle it more often which will further reduce the weed into schwag.
Additional Tips for Freshness
Once you have found the perfect airtight glass jar, there are a few more ways to ensure the quality of your weed. First, store your jar in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet or drawer. Second, avoid choosing a storage cabinet over a heat source. Heat rises and the warmth from ovens and microwaves could eventually dry out your weed.
Firstly, avoid handling your weed more often than is necessary. Although it may be tempting to show off your stash or indulge in a whiff, be sure to only open your jar when you are ready for some full-on marijuana relief.
Whether you need to keep your weed fresh for a day or two or several months, it is important to limit exposure to air, light, heat and moisture. Not only will a glass jar keep your weed safe from these factors but it will also help to hold your weed in place so that those crystalized buds do not get shook up and lose their resinous trichomes.
At the end of the day, if you want to maintain the integrity of your bud for as long as you can, you just need a little common sense and a suitable container. It is easy to ensure your bud is as tasty and potent as the day you first harvested it. All it takes is the knowledge of what causes your weed to break down.
So the next time you bring your baggie home, be sure to transfer your stash to safer storage jars so that you can indulge in a potent hit of your favorite bud every time.