How To Store Cannabis
The good news? Keeping cannabis fresh is easy. The alternative isn’t so fun.
Once your precious buds start to dry out (which is inevitable over time) you’ll notice that smoking doesn’t get you as high as it used it. Worry not! You can slow the aging process with a few simple tricks.
According to Dome Duong, co-founder of Little Farma Labs—a cannabis company based in British Columbia—a couple of the biggest factors that will help prevent weed from aging are quite simple.
“Keep it sealed at room temperature to avoid oxidation and from it going too dry,” he says. “You can tell your cannabis has gone bad if it loses smell, becomes discoloured, and becomes dry.”
To save your weed from drying out, you want to avoid exposing it to humidity, temperature, and light, all of which degrades THC content and dilutes the flavour.
When cannabis begins to degrade, there are some obvious signs. First, when you can pinch the lightweight nugs and they crumble between your fingers like dust. Worse than crypt weed, is lost THC.
If your flower is exposed to heat, oxygen, and UV light, the cannabinoids begin to break down. The THC doesn’t just disintegrate but converts to CBN, which is a cannabinoid that produces mild psychoactive properties. The entire process takes weeks and might not be noticeable for a while, however, over prolonged time, you’ll notice you aren’t getting as high when you spark up your favourite strains.
As far as flavour goes, the taste will also start to morph. It will become harsh and lose the nuance of unique terpenes that make strains like Lemon Haze so desirable.
Follow this checklist for the best results.
How to store cannabis:
Now that you know all the ways things can go wrong with storing your weed, you’ll be able to fight against the slow march of time to keep it fresher, for longer. The journey begins during the post-harvest curing process.
Curing your cannabis:
The most important factor is finding a dark, dry, and cool spot to separate your buds, trim the leaves, and sort your stash. Put them into mason jars, about ¾ full. You don’t want smushed flower.
How to seal your weed:
Use air-tight glass or ceramic containers. Pro tip: if you are storing more than one strain, always label your jars. Not only will this make you feel like you have a buffet of feelings to offer your friends when they come over for a sesh, but it will keep you at ease and organized in the long run.
The reason for sealing your weed is to keep out air, so it would be silly to have air pockets in your container, right? If you choose to store your bud in sealed bags, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Vacuum-sealing is a reliable option for long-term storage. However, you risk causing damage to your weed if you go this route.
To reduce the potential for battered and bruised flower, the first step is handling it nicely. Say sweet things as you put it into the bag, sing it a song, tell it you love it. But seriously, handle it delicately and be cognizant of the terpene-rich trichomes (hairlike glands that give it flavour).
Also, try to avoid vacuum sealing your weed in plastic that contains bisphenol A (BPA). Not only is this harmful to humans but some of the chemicals can actually seep into your flower over time. It’s like re-using a plastic water bottle after a year of it sitting under your bed. It doesn’t taste quite right. Don’t do it.
Now, back to properly storing your weed in a container. The only downside to a clear glass jar is that it allows in light, which could damage your herb. Once you’ve tucked your cannabis into a glass container, make sure to store it somewhere cool and dark. Find a drawer, cupboard, hidden nook, vampire lair, or secret passage in your home and keep it there to avoid dreaded sunlight...and children.
Keep out of reach of light:
Light can do major damage. Blacking out your jars is helpful if you plan to occasionally turn the lights on to check on your babies. The best thing to do is double down and keep them away from a direct light source.
In the 1970s when weed was really booming, a study out of the University of London found that light was the single biggest culprit of cannabinoid degradation. For some reason, this was really important to know.
Now that you’ve mastered curing your weed and creating a darkness shield, you need to consider temperature.
It’s time to consider the temperature!
But don’t just consider it, really think about what temperature means. Imagine that you’re a nug without any hands and it gets too hot. You can’t remove your little nug coat. What if you’re too cold? You don’t have a mouth to ask for a change of scenery; you can’t buy a ticket and go on a vacation. Your flower relies on you to get the temperature right so it can keep delivering you the quality high you crave whenever you smoke up. If you do your job as a caretaker, your bud will take care of you.
Now that you’ve “considered temperature,” let’s talk about the application of it.
Keep it cool...but not too cool:
The room should stay consistently cool, that is, below 25.5ºC (78ºF) to prevent mold. Do not put your weed in the fridge! Freezing will make your trichomes vulnerable to damage. They will become sad, brittle, and emotionally-disturbed.
Excessive heat is also not good. It can dry out the cannabinoids and terpenes, which will result in a harsh smoke. Warm air also holds more moisture than cold air, and moisture, as you know, can create mold.
With some patience, and by following this checklist, you’ll be rewarded with fresh flower that’s smokeable up to a year or longer.