Without proper storage, weed can end up growing mold or drying up. Moldy weed is unsafe to smoke while dry weed will have lost a good portion of the flavor and potency.
If you have quality weed and you wish to keep it that way, you will have to store it properly. Putting it inside a sandwich bag or jewelry bag just won’t do, particularly if you want it to last longer.
Although weed doesn’t have an actual expiration date, there are some key factors that can ensure that it stays in top condition for as long as possible.
How to Store Marijuana
Light, air, humidity, and temperature all have the ability to degrade your weed.
· Air Control and Cannabis Storage
Though marijuana requires oxygen during the growth phase, too much air during storage can degrade it. When storing weed, it requires just the right amount of air to keep it fresh and true to its original form.
Too little air, especially if the buds aren't completely dried up, can greatly affect the relative humidity. On the other hand, too much air will speed up the process of degradation.
· Light and Cannabis Storage
Light and sunlight, in particular, are probably the most important factors that can degrade your weed. It reduces the potency and worsens the bud's taste.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays will degrade your cannabis over time. Similar to how a car’s paint begins to fade when it’s not garaged or how grass turns brown at the end of a long sunny summer.
In fact, a study by the University of London found that light was the top factor when it comes to weed degradation. The same study also found that, when cannabis is stored under the proper conditions, it can remain stable for up to 2 years.
· Humidity Factors and Cannabis Storage
Humidity management and control are crucial to preventing contaminants like mildew and mold from affecting your weed.
To maintain and enhance color, consistency, aroma, and flavor, keep your cannabis at a relative humidity (RH) of between 59% and 63%.
Mold usually starts to form at an RH above 65%, and trichomes begin becoming brittle at RH below 55%. For this reason, ensure that you maintain the proper RH levels of between 59% and 63%.
· Ideal Temperatures and Cannabis
When storing weed keep in mind that temperatures of between 77℉ and 86℉ are ideal for the growth of mildew and other molds. As such, you need to ensure that you store your cannabis in a cool, dark place.
Excessive cold can drastically slow down the decarboxylation process. You also don’t want the temperature to get too hot, either. Excessive heat can dry out the terpenes and cannabinoids that have taken months to develop.
Ideally, store your weed at temperatures of between 32℉ and 68℉. With that in mind, how do you properly store cannabis?
· Airtight Containers
Airtight containers will help you protect your weed from the various external forces that work against it. Your best friend in this regard is the glass mason jar. Plastic containers can make buds sweat moisture, so these aren’t recommended.
The ideal glass jar should be able to protect your buds from air exposure by having a complete seal. When you’ve stored your weed in a mason jar, you only need to keep it away from heat and light.
Alternatively, you can store your weed in a blacked-out UV airtight glass jar. With the blacked-out glass, you can leave it anywhere without worrying your weed will be degraded by light. You’ll however still have to worry about temperature, though.
· Humidity Packs
Humidity packs can also help you store your cannabis for an extended period of time. If you deplete your stash in a week or two, an airtight glass container is all you need to keep your weed free from degradation.
However, to keep your weed fresh for months and are wondering how to keep it fresh, you need humidity packs. Humidity packs help control humidity levels, prevent mold growth and preserve the organoleptic qualities of your weed.
The 6 Don’ts of Storing Cannabis
Improperly storing cannabis will significantly decrease its percentage amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which will result in a less-intensified psychoactive high. How do you prevent this?
· Don’t store your weed together with grinders, pipes, or other paraphernalia.
The resin and ash from burnt cannabis have the tendency to linger and will stink up any container it is stored in. In addition to this, it’s simply a good etiquette to keep your supplies separate and clean.
· Don’t use a tobacco humidor.
Most tobacco humidors are made from cedar wood, which has oils that transfer and could easily influence the flavor of your cannabis. In addition to this, tobacco humidors employ sponges that regulate humidity by using propylene glycol. This can oversaturate your weed.
· Don’t store your cannabis around appliances that produce heat.
As mentioned, excessive heat can dry out cannabinoids and terpenes pretty quickly. Much like a wine cellar, store your cannabis on a shelf, a low cupboard, or in your home’s basement.
· Don’t store your cannabis in plastic bags or containers.
Plastic can contaminate your weed as it attracts precious trichomes through the static charge. If you must use one, ensure it’s only for short-term storage.
· Don’t store weed in a freezer.
Trichomes are fragile, and the freezing temperatures can cause them to become brittle and eventually break off like little icicles when handled.
· Don’t store your cannabis in the refrigerator.
The fluctuations in temperature and humidity can actually increase the likelihood of mold and mildew growth.
Different cannabis-infused products will have different guidelines on how it should be stored. Make sure that you adhere to the instructions on the package.
Cannabis concentrates like alcohol tinctures seem to be less vulnerable to contaminants such as mold due to the lowered biomatter amount.
However, we still recommend that you follow the aforementioned guidelines on how to store cannabis.
In summary, cannabis needs to be stored properly. When stored properly, its seeds and oils can remain viable for years, while buds and leaves can retain its potency for months.