Everything you need to know about storing dried cannabis flower to better preserve its aroma, colour and potency potential
While choosing the right kind of container to store your weed in is important, it’s equally as important to store your containers in the right place. Research shows that your cannabis will degrade much more quickly if exposed to heat, moisture, sunlight, and oxygen.
While you can’t stop the ageing process, you can definitely slow it down! Above all, you’ll need to make sure your weed is placed in optimal containers and stored in a cool room at the proper temperature and humidity.
When it comes to storing your cannabis, the method you choose makes a huge difference in how long your buds maintain potency and freshness. The following tips should help you understand what to do and what to avoid when it comes to storing your cannabis:
WHAT TO AVOID
Heat and Humidity
You have to maintain a very precise balance when it comes to heat, humidity and cannabis. If your storage method introduces too much moisture, you run the risk of mould infestation. If it isn’t humid enough, though, the terpenes and cannabinoids will end up withering away. While they’re quite different outcomes, the unpleasantness is equal between them.
High temperatures can cause buds to dry out and terpenes to evaporate, resulting in harsh smoke and an unpleasant flavour.
Mould loves moisture, so to prevent it, you have to keep your bud dry. But quality bud can’t get too dry without causing terpenes and cannabinoids to degrade.
PRO TIP: Generally, you should make sure your weed storage area doesn’t get hotter than 25.5ºC (78ºF). Simply enough, this is because any environment between 25.5–30ºC (78–86ºF) is prime for mildew and mould growth. You can revive dried out cannabis by placing it and an orange peel, carrot or wet cotton ball in a sealed jar for a few days. Tools such as hygrometers, humidity packs and humidors can also help maintain freshness.
Another big factor in long-term cannabis storage is oxygen level. Too much oxygen can speed the degradation process whereas too little can alter humidity levels which can cause mould or mildew.
When choosing an airtight storage container, be sure to choose the right size. Even if there is no air flowing into the jar, excess oxygen that becomes trapped in the jar can still degrade the product. We suggest using containers that can hold your cannabis easily without much room to spare and without crowding the buds to help prevent humidity from becoming trapped in the container.
Though the best way to protect your cannabis from long-term oxygen exposure is to vacuum seal it, it’s not always an option for those of us who don’t keep vacuum sealers lying around the house.
There are many factors that can lead to the degradation of cannabis flower, but the biggest factor that will degrade your cannabinoids is light.
In the same way harsh UV rays will make the paint color on your car look dull or add highlights to your summertime hair, so too will it burn up the most valuable compounds in your cannabis plant, cannabinoids and terpenes. To avoid an untimely loss of these important chemicals, keep your cannabis in opaque containers away from a direct light source.
Exposure to direct light accelerates the degradation of THC into CBN (which leads to the sleepy, couch-lock feeling for some). For this reason, it’s recommended that you store your cannabis buds in a cool dark place.
PRO TIP: Keep cannabis in a cool, dry spot, away from direct sunlight. If you are storing it in a glass jar, try covering the jar with something to block the light.
Freezing buds is controversial because it’s easy to lose trichomes when moving frozen buds. You do need to be extremely careful when handling frozen buds as the trichomes (glitter) become brittle and can easily break off at freezing temperatures.
Buds that are frozen will maintain their potency for years, so if you decide to use the freezer, be sure to use a glass container and allow buds to warm up to room temperature before handling to prevent trichomes from falling off.
Plastic and Tin Foil
Although this is the most common way for non-growers to store cannabis, it’s one of the worst.
Avoid storing your weed in plastic containers or baggies. Although these can keep your weed fairly safe and fresh, plastic degrades quicker than other materials and can affect your weed negatively. What’s more, the static charge from plastic containers can attract the trichomes from your weed, causing it to lose its potency.
Plastic can also cause your stash to “sweat”. This means, as with actual sweating, your plant will release its inner moisture. It’ll end up dry and harsh as a result.
Tinfoil is too abrasive and can poke at the delicate trichomes when it gets folded or bunched around the buds. Plastic, while somewhat acceptable for short-term transportation, can produce a static charge over time that will attract the trichomes off the buds and onto the walls of the bag or container.
PRO TIP: Plastic can also leach chemicals. If you must use a plastic bag, only use it for short-term storage of small quantities of cannabis.
YOUR BEST BET
Air-tight glass jars are the best place to store cannabis buds!
A glass mason jar is your best friend when it comes to cost-effective long-term storage. However, any airtight glass container will do. The top should have a complete seal to completely protect your buds from exposure to the air. Once your buds have made it into a glass jar, you just need to keep it out of light and away from heat.
There are also blacked-out ultraviolet airtight glass jars that can help to protect your weed from light. Even if its left somewhere with heavy-lighting. In an airtight ultraviolet glass jar, the only element you’ll have left to worry about is temperature.