Oct 15 , 2018
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 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 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 marijuana 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!
(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, 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:
Here are some things that we weed enthusiasts 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!
- Don’t leave your ganja 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 effects and potency come from.
- Don’t freeze – deep freezing your buds or nugs is somewhat controversial because 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 turn your marijuana moldy and mildewy.
- Don’t store cannabis above the stove, near electronics or any other heat source.
- Don’t store your pot in in plastic bags, because of the many factors that can lead to the degradation of your cannabis flower, the biggest culprits are light, air and molds - and plastic bags are poor protection from all of these!
- Don’t store your herb 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:
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 you should store your 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). 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, air-tight 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, if your ganja jars are kept in a cool, dark place.
Before we go on, here is a gentleman extolling the virtues of storing your weed in a canning jar:
2) Vacuum sealed 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, vacuum sealed food bags should keep you seshables safe for even longer, practically indefinitely!
(A large vacuum sealed bag of weed, image from Cannagrowers on Instagram)
3) Vacuum sealed clothing bags, the kind where the air is sucked out by a vacuum cleaner nozzle, are yet another stash storage idea. Larger bags like these 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. 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.
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 simple, plain old Mason or Ball canning jars, but are better designed for your long-term marijuana storage needs. Infinity jars run from $8 for 5ml (between 1/8 and ¼ ounce) on up to $24 for a 500 ml (about 16 ½ oz, just over a pound). 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.
(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:
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. 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 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 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 way to store your weed 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):
Researched and written by David and Leah Kaye Weathers.
|David and Leah Kaye Weathers are a freelance cannabis writing and graphic designing husband and wife team from Lansing, Michigan. They are passionate advocates for medical and recreational cannabis legalization in the United States. They enjoy not only smoking and vaping, or dabbing, marijuana but also cooking with weed infused veggie oil. They like to spend their free time wandering along nature trails in search of the perfectly chillaxing spot for a smoke sesh.|