4 Amazing Ways to Store Weed to Keep It Fresh
How to Store Weed: An Introduction
If you have some weed you want to save for a rainy day, and we certainly all have those from time-to-time, what is the best way to store your weed? We have found that within cannabis culture there are a number of us that go through financial feasts and famines and some of us have learned that at those times when you have a little more money – after your rent, bills and responsibilities are covered, of course – it is a really good idea to store up some ganja in the granary, so to speak. But is there a good way to stockpile your sesh stash so that your beloved buds maintain potency and freshness? Why, yes, yes there is! Unless you are gonna smoke up the entire quarter oz of weed you just bought in the next day or two, you might wanna consider how to store weed for the long-term preservation of your pot.
A medical marijuana study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, found that cannabinoids can remain stable and won't become brittle for up to two years as long as they’ve been cured and stored properly. So, if you are in search of some good long-term cannabis buds storage options, we are gonna lay on you some dos and don’ts and help you keep your healing herb tasting great and smokably smooth!
The best part? This doesn't have to be complicated! An airtight glass jar, a bag you can vacuum seal shut, a specially designed storage container that will keep out UV rays (easily sourced online) - these are all options available to help ensure your cannabis flower stays fresh so you can enjoy its flavor profiles and fun side effects long after first acquiring it.
(An open bag of weed, image source: Mike L Parker on Instagram)
Do's and Don’ts:
Here is where you find out if your current cannabis cache is adequate or not! We confess that we generally store our own stash in the same plastic sleeves they come in from the dispensary – resealable, squeeze together ziplock baggies. However, more dispensaries are either selling you cannabis that comes in vacuum sealed cans or even childproof-capped medicine bottles. But once you open those, unless you have a way of vacuum sealing them back up afterwards, they aren’t exactly as airtight as you need them to be for more than a few weeks of storage at best.
What NOT to Do with your plant material:
Here are some things that we cannabis consumers do wrong (be ashamed, very ashamed - we were):
- Don’t just leave your mary jane sitting out in the air, on a rolling tray or countertop exposed to light, heat, humidity, dust, pollutants, germs, and curious cats! Too much oxygen exposure, even in the short term, will quickly zap the joy from any marijuana products.
- Don’t leave your marijuana buds exposed to direct sunlight, which could make your nugs fade, make them brittle, and slowly vaporize the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids - thus losing potency and flavor.
- Don’t roughly handle your cannabis or you could lose a lot of the silvery trichomes – where most of your weed’s health benefits, effects and potency come from.
- Don’t freeze – deep freezing your buds or nugs is somewhat controversial because freezing temperatures can cause your weed can become crumbly, brittle and you could lose trichomes when handling frozen buds! If you do freeze some of your sesh stuff, let it thaw completely before handling it.
- Don’t store in the refrigerator, because temperature fluctuations from opening and closing the refrigerator door could cause mildew and mold growth.
- Don’t store cannabis above the stove, near electronics or any other heat source.
- Don’t store your cannabis plant in simple plastic bags like a sandwich bag bought from grocery stores, because of the many factors that can lead to the degradation of your cannabis flower, the biggest culprits are UV rays, humidity and temperature changes - and plastic bags are poor protection from all of these!
- Don’t store your cannabis products in paper or aluminum foil for similar reasons to avoiding plastic; plus, if your weed is moist, the paper could stick to it, maybe even peel off some of the trichomes.
(A baggie of weed, image from Deanie Muerto on Instagram)
What to Do for proper Cannabis Storage:
Now that we have warned and berated you about the things you are probably doing wrong (and, if we’re honest, we have all done these things), here is how cannabis storage should look to properly store your favorite cannabis strains:
1) Mason jars or glass preserving jars are the easiest, most economical way to store up your marijuana! There are several benefits to storing your pot buds in a sealed glass jar – they have rubber seals and so are airtight and superbly smell-proof (a little discretion can go a long way, especially if you live in an apartment building like we do). Glass Mason type jars also don’t stop the curing process, so your buds may actually continue to cure and thus increase in potency over time! Also, airtight glass jars won’t affect the natural smell or the taste of your weed stash, whereas plastics, metals and even some types of wood might! Additional benefits of glass preserving jars are that they won’t cause trichomes to break off due to static, like plastic bags notoriously tend to, and your snug little smoke stash should last for up to a couple of years, without losing potency, especially if your ganja jars are kept in a cool, dark place where humidity levels are monitored.
Before we go on, here is a video of a man using your average mason jar to cure and store some beautiful flower:
Order your own large, wide-mouth glass mason jars like the ones used in the video above!
2) Food-preserving bags like FoodSaver, NutriChef and a host of others are good ganja storage options. They are as economical as $35 for a small simple unit to upwards of $125 or more for a larger unit with all the bells and whistles. Depending on the size of your food sealer, you can vac between 50-1000 g of your weed. Without air surrounding your weed, mold and mildew cannot grow and your beloved buds are safe, the smell and flavor are unaffected. Whereas with glass jars your weed can stay potent for up to a couple of years, airtight glass and food bags should keep you seshables safe for even longer, practically indefinitely!
(A large air tight bag of weed, image from Cannagrowers on Instagram)
Just imagine your precious green buds rolling out of this bad boy in place of that (admittedly very tasty looking) salmon.
One of the best ways to store weed is to put it through a vacuum seal like this one from Müller. It comes with everything you need, it's super easy to use, and it's a versatile object to have in the kitchen! Storing cannabis has never made so much sense!
3) Clothing bags, the kind where the air is sucked out by a vacuum cleaner nozzle, are yet another way to store cannabis. They keep the moisture level down, humidity factors are a non-issue, and they can save more space than a bunch of mason jars on a shelf. Larger bags like these are great for long term storage, but would probably be best for growers or dispensaries because you can literally store pounds and pounds of marijuana in these – they’re pretty much jumbo-sized food storage bags. You can stack the big bags of buds on shelving units or in storage totes. This is great, too, because it's better to have a dark place to store weed. Being that, even in places where medical and recreational weed is legal, you still have limits on how much you can possess at any one time, these larger sealed storage bags are probably impractical for most consumers.
Order this set of small, medium and large reusable bags, which you can vacuum seal up by using the included, rechargeable vacuum! Store your cannabis like the pros with this handy space saver set.
4) Commercial cannabis-industry specific containers like Infinity Jars - opaque ultraviolet glass jars that are airtight, light-proof, and scent proof - or CVault humidity-controlled curing and storage containers, are fast-becoming standards for long-term weed storage. They understandably cost more than your simple, plain old Ball or mason jar, but are better designed for your long term storage needs. Infinity jars run from $8 for 5ml (between 1/8 and ¼ ounce) on up to $29 for a 1L (about 34 fl oz). CVault curing and storage containers run from $39.99 for a 2-liter (3 - 4oz) unit up to $129.99 for a 21-liter model. There are also Boveda dehumidification packs that are a bit like the silicone gel packs you find in clothing and leather to keep them fresh and not musty smelling; the Boveda packets utilize salts and water absorbent beads, and can be used in conjunction with a number of pot storage containers to keep excess moisture away from your marijuana. Boveda packets are sold according to humidity level control from 32% Rh (relative humidity) for coffees and teas up to 84% for tobacco humidors… and weed; they range in price from $12.99 for an 8-gram 10 pack to $349.99 for 100 units of 84% Rh packets. Each of the above – and there are other commercial storage options that work as well as these - come in a variety of sizes tailored to the amount and purpose of your weed storage.
There are also great ways to store your cannabis smartly while on the go. Something like the RYNO smell-proof storage kit is a great way to make sure you avoid the degradation process, even if it's only to meet a short term storage need.
Order your Infinity Jar now! Pick up 1, 2 or 3 depending on how many different strains you're storing.
If you need a way to store your cannabis while traveling, we highly recommend a smell-proof travel kit like this one from RYNO.
Specifically designed to meet all of your smoking needs, this kit ensures lighting up on the road is as easy as ever.
(Boveda humidity packs, image source: 420 Stock on Instagram)
Here is a vid with an in depth look at using the CVault container system to store your stash:
Summary: How to store weed like a pro
Good practices when storing marijuana for the long-term include such common-sense ideas like keeping your ganja in a cool, dry area away from hot dripping pipes, heaters or ducts, and anything that could raise the temperature of your pot. Imagine something like a wine cellar! We think weed is also worthy of such a lovely, cool, dark place!
In addition to knowing how to store weed, you should also know the proper ways to handle it. It is also always a good idea to be clean with your herb, washing and drying your hands thoroughly, or wearing sterile surgical gloves, so you don’t cross-contaminate your weed with allergens, chemicals or pollutants.
Now you, you lovely cannabis users, have some decisions to make if you want to keep your weed fresh and potent for the long-term. What you can and will do depends on your needs and your own resources. Primarily, to keep your weed fresh you need to make sure you keep it cool, dark, and dry. It is vitally important to keep marijuana fresh by sheltering it from weed’s mortal enemies like light exposure, diseases, molds, and dampness – all of which can degrade the cannabinoid content and reduce your stash’s potency. So, assess your own situation and determine the best storing conditions for that rainy day when you just might need it most, and want to be able to count on the potency of your favorite strain’s smell, taste and effects!
(Infinity Jars with weed, image from the Real Rob Van C on Instagram)
Here is a quick video review of many of the things we just discussed (just in case the article was TLDR, too long didn’t read):
Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)
Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.
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