Whoever coined the old cliche “good things don't last” never tried marijuana. Fortunately, with the proper preparation and care, cannabis is able to last between two and three years. As modern technology continues to grow, that span will likely expand.
Here are three tips to store your weed, optimizing freshness and quality for as long as possible.
1. Control the Environment
Think of weed storage as an experiment: There are variables you can control. Here are some manageable methods for long-term cannabis life.
Keep it Dark
One of the best ways to keep your marijuana around is to keep it in dark places. Cannabis has trichomes — the resin glands that hold THC — which degrade when exposed to light. To preserve these holy grail trichomes, avoid direct light and aim for opaque storage containers when possible.
The magic number is 65 percent relative humidity. If the humidity is too high, you might find yourself with a moldy stash. A fuzzy bud is a bad one; smoking moldy marijuana is bad for your health and an extreme toxin to the human body. Don’t consume moldy weed!
Adversely, under 50 percent relative humidity comes with its own set of problems. Although not dangerous, no one likes overly-dry weed.
Tip: Take control over the humidity by investing in a humidistat. INTEGRA BOOST by Desicare, Inc. is a product that is specifically made to release and absorb the moisture in contained cannabis environments. It's a tool that can keep the weed storage unit to a specific relative humidity percentage, preventing issues like over drying and molding.
Marijuana reacts to temperatures. When the weed gets too hot, two things may happen. First, like any plant, there's a potential for cannabis to dry. Second, fresh herb can begin to sweat, which usually leads to molding or becoming brittle. Keep in mind: Heat rises. Be wary of storing your cannabis in cabinets above ovens, microwaves, dish washers, or other heat-producing appliances.
When marijuana is too cold, its potency might decrease; this happens when the THC-rich trichomes freeze, becoming brittle and breaking off. This is where the freezer debacle comes in: it’s probably not your best bet to store your weed in the freezer short-term, but a recent study shows that weed might keep better in the freezer long-term. Refrigerators might not be great either, just because regular opening and closing fluctuates temperature, which can affect how long the marijuana is able to survive.
The most ideal environment is just below room temperature: dark, dry, and cool.
An important controlled factor is the amount of oxygen cannabis is exposed to — it should be limited. The best practice is to get a container that is perfectly sized for the amount of weed; if it's too large with a lot of space to breathe, the cannabis will start to degrade, age, and dry out completely.
Aim for a little breathing room, while still keeping the container full.
2. Keep Your Hands Off
Be careful when handling your cannabis and limit the time you spend rolling it around. Too much touching can lead to breaking off the trichomes, and lots of handling will result in a lot of shake—the potency of which will dwindle dramatically. In cases of dryness, the resin glands will stick to skin over the bud, so touching will get the THC over your fingers instead of where it belongs.
3. Store Weed Correctly
There is a right way to store your weed, starting with the kind of container you are using.
Airtight glass jars come highly recommended as a low-key storage strategy for cannabis. They are a go-to for many, based on ease, mobility, and cost effectiveness. Glass jars are typically used for canning fruits and pickling vegetables, so they have many features that align with keeping herb fresh.
Mason jars, with both screw-top lids or silicon seal, are an inexpensive method for keeping weed for extended periods of time. They can be found at any hardware, container, or grocery store, are easy to store and move, and most importantly are impermeable. This means that they are smell-resistant and tight enough to guard against excess oxygen and moisture.
Glass jars are best kept in cool, dark spots, like in a closet, drawer, or cabinet. Opaque or tinted jars give extra protection against direct light but aren't mandatory if the storage spot is nice and shadowy.
Another storage method is the CVault, made from food-grade stainless steel. The CVault is a popular option because of its consistency: It's airtight, protects against penetrating light, doesn't release any smells, comes in many different shapes and sizes, and maintains a specific relative humidity of 62 percent.
Sounds perfect, right? The only downside is that the humidity packs — which ensure consistent humidity — only last for 60 days. That means every few months you have to open up the container to replace the packs, which is seen as both inconvenient and temperamental for keeping weed fresh. Also, CVault containers are significantly pricier than glass jars, though are often seen as an investment piece for cannabis connoisseurs.
One sure-fire way to store weed is to vacuum seal extra packages shut. Doing so can keep bud preserved for years, since oxygen is locked out completely — all the air is sucked out and away from the weed.
Vacuum seals usually involve plastic but can also come as a wide-mouth jar attachment.
Watch Out for Bad Bud
A good rule of thumb is to check up on your weed a few days after storing it, just to make sure nothing went wrong, especially with moisture. If you didn't opt for the vacuum seal protection, it's also a good idea to check on your marijuana every few months to make sure that it's still fresh. Clear glass jars are easy to check with minimal impact, though other containers will require opening.
Bad bud can be easily identified by a few signs. Look for mold, bone-dry weed that crumbles, condensation build up, loss of color, and a lack of smell. When flavor and aroma have depleted, so has the potency and value of the marijuana.
With these tips to store weed, you should be good to go with fresh, delicious herb. With all cannabis and storage accessories, be sure to stock up on deals from local dispensaries at Leafbuyer.com.