If you want your cannabis flower to last, you need to store it properly! Here’s a guide on how to do just that.
Whether you’re a new or experienced cannabis user, knowing how to store marijuana products properly is as essential as learning about various strains and ways to consume them. For dried buds, it’s vital to remember that the cannabis plant itself must be cultivated, harvested, dried, and cured before you can smoke it.
If you plan to keep purchased cannabis for longer than a few weeks, becoming familiar with long-term storage options is a necessity. Properly storing cannabis is vital because it helps maintain the potency and quality of the product. Where and how you keep the buds plays a considerable part in the overall flavor as well as cannabinoid and terpenes levels.
Our guide below will cover the best ways to store weed so that you can always keep top-quality weed on hand.
Why is it essential to store weed correctly?
If you’re concerned about maintaining the potency and flavor of your weed, you’ll want to educate yourself about proper storage. First, it’s essential to remember to store any cannabis products away from children and pets.
Next, cannabis degrades quickly, and although there’s no official expiration date when properly cured and stored, loose dry buds can last from six to eight months after harvest, and pre-rolled joints can last about three months on average.
Third, when weed is exposed to excessive heat or light, it can dry out and turn into CBN, making it harsh, difficult to smoke, and extremely sedative.
Storing weed correctly means preserving the cannabinoids and terpenes to keep your flower fresh. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD deliver the desired effects of cannabis, and terpenes provide flavor and aromatics. Both cannabinoids and terpenes deteriorate with time and exposure to elements like heat, oxygen, and UV rays.
The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology published research in the 1970s showing that you can keep cannabis storage for up to two years if it is correctly cured for at least four weeks and kept in a controlled environment. Extreme heat, cold, or humidity can cause the buds to develop mold or mildew.
Bottom Line: If the goal is to keep your THC for as long as possible, store it properly to help preserve effects, flavor, potency, and texture.
Five Factors to Consider When Storing Cannabis
Let’s dive deeper into the elements that can affect your buds without proper cannabis storage. There are four main concerns when it comes to storing weed:
The best temperature for cannabinoid storage is around 70° Fahrenheit or below.
Relative humidity levels should stay between 55 and 65 percent.
Airtight container storage protects terpenes from oxidation, which causes them to deteriorate and evaporate.
UV light and subsequent heat degrade and synthesize cannabis, converting THC into CBN, a sleep-inducing cannabinoid.
Best Cannabis Storage Containers
One of the vital steps to properly store cannabis is using high-quality storage containers. A glass jar with a tight seal are ideal for protecting your buds from humidity, parasites, climate issues, and mold. There are even jars with a UV-proof finish or a violet/dark brown tint to protect your weed from the light. Cannabis stored in a closet, pantry, or drawer will also work.
Is Curing the Cannabis Important?
The trimming and drying process is crucial to enjoying your cannabis buds thoroughly. While the curing process isn’t essential, it’s still an excellent idea to be patient and allow the cannabis flower to cure in a jar. Curing buds enhance their flavor and quality and enable them to be stored for longer.
If you’ve ever gotten weed with an ammonia smell, the curing process was incomplete. You smell ammonia because the anaerobic bacteria are decomposing the chlorophyll. Without completely curing cannabis, not only do you risk the ammonia smell, but you’re also in for dry marijuana that is harsh to smoke.
Best Way to Store Cannabis Products
One of the vital steps to proper weed storage is using high-quality storage containers. Glass jars with a tight seal are ideal for protecting your buds from humidity, parasites, climate issues, and mold. There are even jars with a UV-proof finish or a violet/dark brown tint to protect your weed from the light. You can store medical marijuana in a closet, pantry, or drawer in a well-ventilated room.
A proper cure will ensure that your cannabis plant will last longer. They will maintain their flavor and potency longer as well. Humidity packs can help ensure humidity levels remain ideal for storing buds to keep the weed fresh.
Store buds in airtight containers. Mason jars are perfect airtight jars for storing cannabis after the curing process. A plastic bag may risk drying and losing the potency of your cured cannabis. Maintain a dark space with a cool temperature for optimal storage of cured cannabis in an airtight storage container to help the weed stay fresh.
There are multiple ways to store marijuana edibles; however, it greatly depends on the edible you will be placed in storage. For cannabis brownies and cannabutter, it’s best to store edibles with wax paper in an airtight container. If you plan to freeze edibles, cover them in plastic wrap and place them in sealed, zip-up plastic bags for best results. These will maintain their full potency for about two months when stored properly and can successfully be stored for up to six months.
When storing cannabis gummies, they typically last up to a year without being frozen, but the potency will decrease over time. If you are going to keep gummy edibles, wrap them up and place them in an airtight glass container before deep freezing them for the best results.
With medical marijuana tinctures, it’s best to keep them in glass jars at room temperature in a dark place. Storing like this will keep it fresh for a few months. While you can freeze concentrates in airtight containers, it doesn’t maintain the oil’s integrity.
Can I Freeze My Cannabis?
While there are ways to freeze dry your buds, freezing them after being thoroughly dried and cured is more than likely a recipe for disaster. If you decide frozen marijuana is the way to go, vacuum sealing and glass containers will be your best friends. However, the weed will likely not be as potent and will not bounce back to its original form.
In saying this, you can freeze other forms of cannabis concentrate like wax, shatter, and tinctures, and they will do much better since it has gone through decarboxylation. Either way, you should never keep your marijuana products stored in the freezer for longer than six months.
How Long Do Cannabinoids Last
In optimal conditions, adequately stored cannabinoids can last six months to a year. The general rule of thumb to consume cannabis while it still has its flavor and potency is to use it within six months.
Some studies show that weed loses its strength after approximately one year:
- 16 percent THC lost in one year
- 26 percent THC loss in two years
- 34 percent THC loss in three years
- 41 percent THC loss at four years
Tools for Maintaining Discretion
Here, we have five tips for how to grow and weed discreetly:
- Invest in a ventilation system to minimize the smell when growing or storing weed indoors.
- Keep your product and storage room to yourself. The more people know you are growing or possessing weed, the more likely word will get around.
- Don’t sell any cannabis products that you legally purchased. This is crucial because weed sale is illegal and can result in consequences like losing your stash and legal troubles.
- Research before you buy your plant seeds. Try to choose a less intense strain.
- Be aware of online tracks when purchasing accessories, growing supplies, and cannabis products.
How to Know if Your Weed is Bad
You’ll want to check a few key points before indulging if you find old weed and don’t know how long it’s been in storage. Marijuana that is cured and dried will make a snapping sound when you break it apart, whereas old weed will crack and crumble in your hands.
Terpenes don’t keep on improperly stored weed. So, if your weed has a pleasant scent, it’s probably acceptable for consumption. Look out for marijuana with a mildew smell, which is a vital sign of mold growth.
Older, dried-out weed will easily break apart into a fine powder form. Mold can grow over trichomes and looks like a collection of white powder on the top of the buds. You can also locate mold when you break them apart.
Bud rot usually begins with fluffy white growth in the middle or on the sides of your buds. It is easy to see with the naked eye as the color changes and becomes a dry weed texture.
In the early stages of powdery mildew, you can see small circles of white mold on the tops of stems and leaves. As the fungi progress, they will become denser, covering the buds in thick white powder.
Dark spots on the lower leaves will quickly turn the leaves a yellowish-brown color. Visual signs of Fusarium to look out for are leaves that have wilted but not entirely fallen off and limp stems.
Aspergillus is a common mold found both indoors and outside. Generally dark green-black, Aspergillus spores create a lung infection after inhaling and can be found in the soil or cannabis buds.
Penicillium mold is predominantly found indoors. Its spores are typically light blueish-green and can ruin crops and harm humans and animals inhaling mold.
Rhizopus produces a grayish-white coating on its spores and may infect humans with certain health conditions, such as when a person has a compromised immune system.
While smoking moldy weed may not kill you, it is still not recommended and could have potential adverse effects, especially for those with certain chronic conditions.
How to Avoid Weed Mold
- Buds should be appropriately stored in a cool, dry place but try not to refrigerate or freeze them. The ideal temperature for the flower is just under 77°F.
- Remember to keep your weed in airtight containers, preferably with darker-colored glass. Weed does have an expiration date of approximately six months to one year.
- The ideal humidity level in your storage containers should be between 59% to 63%. You can purchase disposable humidity packs at many dispensaries that can be placed inside your mason jar.
- Less airflow can develop mold, so ensure proper ventilation in the storage room.
- Moldy weed will have a distinct odor. Cannabis products infected by mold will usually smell musty after closer examination. Exposing cannabis to a black light is an excellent way to see if there’s mold present so you can avoid moldy weed.
As we’ve learned, cannabis curing and storage are critical to maintaining flavor, potency, and overall cannabinoid integrity. When it comes to dried buds, it’s recommended that your cannabis is stored in a cool, dark environment in an airtight sealed container.
Following these steps dramatically lowers the risk of degradation and avoids exposure to extreme elements that can wreak havoc on the terpenes and cannabinoids. Next time you store some newly purchased buds, remember our tips and share them with your friends.
Last Updated: February 20, 2023
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