How to Properly Store Marijuana and Keep It Fresh

how-to-properly-store-marijuana-and-keep-it-fresh

Marijuana is an incredibly versatile plant that can be used for medicinal and recreational purposes. However, it’s essential to know how to store marijuana to get the most out of your purchase.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to proper storage for your marijuana and keeping it fresh. It becomes even more essential to buy large flowers or other weed products.

If stored properly, weed can last for a long time — probably even longer than you imagined. But keep them exposed to the elements, and you’ll find yourself losing out on the true marijuana experience.

So how exactly do you keep cannabis fresh? This guide will discuss the factors that affect marijuana storage and the best practices in storing cannabis. Let’s get organized!

Why does proper cannabis storage matter?

If you’ve ever purchased cannabis flower or weed products, you probably encounter a common problem: how do I store it?

Chances are you have placed it in some container and left it to sit on the cupboard or somewhere else. Little do you know that the way you store cannabis drastically affects your experience when you consume them.

Storage is the key to preserving your weed’s colour, flavour, and aroma. Proper storage can keep your cannabis potent for a more extended period while preventing factors that would otherwise make it unsafe to consume.

Maintains high potency

Proper storage for marijuana matters for several reasons. The most obvious reason to keep storage in check is for potency. If left exposed to elements, your stash may experience significant drops in total cannabinoid content.

According to a Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology study, cannabinoids can remain stable for up to two years. That is – of course – if you store your cannabis correctly.

But on the flip side, the CBD and THC present in cannabis flowers can quickly degrade if exposed to harmful environmental conditions. Too much air, high relative humidity, high temperatures, and even UV rays profoundly affect cannabinoids and other aromatic compounds (like terpenes and flavonoids).

Prolongs shelf life

Storing marijuana properly helps maintain its shelf life. This should be pretty obvious — but it helps to know how various factors affect longevity.

For example, too much moisture can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. After all, the plant material in weeds is organic and decomposable. Not only do fungi break down the product, but they also make it dangerous to consume.

The same can be said for cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products. Edibles can remain, well, edible beyond the expiration date if you store them in the proper conditions.

Keep cannabis safe for consumption.

Lastly, storage matters because they make weed safe to consume. You want to avoid exposing dried cannabis flowers to moisture to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens and fungi.

Another thing to keep in mind is chemical exposure. If you keep your cannabis stored in a plastic storage container, some harmful chemicals may leech into the marijuana buds.

Best practices to keep weed fresh

Now that you know why storing weed properly matters so much, it’s time to get to the nitty and gritty. This section breaks down the best practice in keeping weed based on the factors that affect the quality of cannabis. These outside forces include temperature, sunlight, humidity, and air.

Store weed in a cool environment

The golden rule in storing weed is to keep it in a dark, cool place. Ideally, you want the proper temperature to be around 60-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything warmer than that, and you run the risk of your cannabis losing potency and flavour.

When paired with high humidity levels, high temperatures can encourage mildew and mold. And trust us when we say: not even your enemies deserve to smoke mouldy weed!

Some cannabinoids and terpenes are pretty sensitive to temperature changes. At higher temperatures, they may even dry out. But you shouldn’t worry about this too much as they’re likely to break down anyway when smoked or vaped.

Keep your cannabis away from direct sunlight.

Ensure that your dried cannabis flower is also kept away from the light. UV rays can degrade cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in marijuana. Let’s get even deeper into the science behind heed.

Light and air catalyze a complex chemical pathway that converts THCA to THC, transforming to cannabinol (CBN). Unlike THC, cannabinol is non-psychoactive and does not produce any intoxicating effects.

So how do you prevent this from happening? The most obvious way is to store your weed containers in a cabinet or cupboard where there’s no sunlight at all. But some people like to flaunt their jars out in the open — so what’s the alternative.

Alternatively, you could use a brown container that explicitly filters out UV rays. These containers share the same light-filtering properties as the beer bottle. You could also go for green jars, but note that they only block out 30% of visible UV rays.

Keep moisture at bay whenever possible.

Perhaps the biggest culprit to marijuana spoilage is moisture. Humidity levels above 60% can increase the likelihood of growing mould and mildew.

To maintain proper humidity levels, you could use humidity packs that deal with moisture issues. The ideal humidity level for weed sits right at or just below the 50% mark.

Too much moisture is dangerous, but it’s better than too little. Too dry conditions can cause your cannabis flower to lose its overall integrity. You could end up with dry weed with brittle buds, reduced potency, and just an overall bland taste if this happens.

That being said, most of your moisture woes can be solved by purchasing properly cured buds. The curing process essentially vaporizes the moisture trap inside the bud.

The flower is placed in packaging from which the extra oxygen has been eliminated once a moisture content of about 6-9% has been reached. From there on, all the maintenance is up to you.

Limit air exposure as much as possible

In addition to influencing the conversion of cannabinoids, oxygen can oxidize some key terpenes found in cannabis plants. When this happens, your weed might end up smelling (and tasting) a whole lot more grassy and hay-like.

The best way to limit exposure is to use an air-tight container. Glass jars are the most popular option, but some people get away with plastic bags or plastic containers (not ideal). We’ll discuss storage options in greater detail in the next section.

Best Containers To Store Weed In

Expert cultivators go to great lengths in finding the best containing their marijuana flower. But for the casual pothead, there are many convenient and easily accessible options to choose from. The best containers to keep weed fresh are here, from glass jars to tinted ones.

Glass Jars

Glass mason jars are a great way to store weed — if not the best way. They’re air-tight, and the thick glass ensures that no contaminants get in the way.

If you’re looking for a long-term storage solution, the glass mason jar is your best bet. You can also find them in different sizes, so you can store as much or as little as you want.

Ideally, look for jars with a metal swing and latch design. This feature creates a vacuum seal to guarantee no outside air finds its way in.

Just make sure that when you put your weed in an air-tight glass jar, leave about half an inch of space at the top. That’s where your weed will expand as it dries out.

Tinted Containers

Tinted containers are a relatively new invention that’s taken off in recent years — and for a good reason. Tinted and brown jars both do a great job filtering out UV rays and still let you see what’s inside the jar.

Not only do they block light, but they also block heat from reaching the weed inside. This helps to keep your buds fresh and dry.

It does come with a minor downside: it can be hard to tell whether or not your container is full based on how it looks. You might want to make sure you’re using something else to gauge how much weed you’ve got left.

The other downside is that while tinted jars look great aesthetically, many people don’t like the idea of having their weed in a brown or green container.

Metal Jars

In most cases, many customers avoid metal containers, especially for extended storage. This is because metals may significantly alter the quality of cannabis flowers over time.

If you insist on using metals, though, go for titanium ones. Unlike other common metals like aluminum or steel, titanium does not react with the natural compounds found in weed. Just keep the titanium jar out of sunlight as it can absorb excessive heat.

Doob Tubes

Doob Tubes are a relatively new invention that allows you to store your marijuana flower in a self-sealing tube. This eliminates the need for any container and makes getting your weed ready for a night much more accessible.

If you’re looking for an easy way to store weed, try out our DOOB TUBE – ASSORTED COLOURS. What’s also great about these 4.5-inch tubes is that they’re perfect for smoking the thinnest papers out there!

Carbon Pouches

Carbon pouches are the perfect solution for storing your weed! They’re made from carbon fibre which blocks out light and heat while still breathing. In addition, they’re also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about spilling or leaking.

The only downside is that they can be hard to find at some stores, but we’ve got them available on our website! Check out the BRIGHT BAY CARBON TRANSPORT BANKER POUCH – LARGE here!

Plastic Containers

Plastic is not ideal for storing cannabis, but it’s better than nothing. One issue with plastic is that it can easily let air in and out. This speeds up the oxidation process, which we mentioned earlier as one of the main factors that lead to reduced potency and flavour.

It’s also hard to tell how much weed you have left in a container since it can be challenging to see through them. That being said, there are some ways around this issue: try using bags made from thick plastic (instead of thin), tinting your bag, or simply marking the date of storage on it.

Small plastic containers are a good solution for keeping weed fresh while you’re out and about — but they aren’t going to do much if you plan on storing more than a few grams at once.

Containers made of silicone or another type of plastic work best for storing compressed cannabis buds — avoid plastics that contain harmful chemicals like BPA (used in some water bottles). Still, an air-tight glass container remains the best option to keep weed fresh for most cases.

Zip-lock plastic bags

This is another standard method for storing marijuana, but this option isn’t exactly ideal because harmful chemicals may be present in plastics like zip-locks. If you do choose to go this route, though, make sure that your weed is completely rolled and stored in a sealed bag with as little air inside as possible.

When to start storing weed?

The best time to start thinking about how you will store your weed is when you purchase it from a dispensary! Ask the budtender which strains they recommend for efficient storage and keep an eye out on their special. For example, if they have bulk sales, it might be a good time to stock up.

Two things to keep in mind when buying weed from your dispensary:

  • For the long-term: An air-tight container or vacuum-sealed one is best for long-term storage and protects the weed from further degradation. 
  • For the short-term: Only use plastics when you’re storing weed on the go. This can also be ideal for medical cannabis since you probably consume it immediately.

Things you should avoid when you store weed

To protect the precious trichomes of marijuana, there are many things you should avoid doing at all costs. Here are five don’ts when it comes to storing cannabis!

Don’t freeze your cannabis.

One thing you should avoid when storing your weed is freezing it. Freezing temperatures will not only damage the trichomes, but it can also cause the cannabis to lose its flavour and potency.

Don’t store weed in a hot car.

It may seem like an ideal place to keep your weed, but this is another common mistake many people make. In the summer months, the heat from the sun will cause anything that’s been exposed to deteriorate much faster — and cannabis is no exception.

Don’t store cannabis near your kitchen or other places where you cook food.

To avoid any potential contamination, make sure that the weed is stored away from those cooking areas and out of reach for children! Be careful when placing it on a shelf, too — this can cause unwanted stains if anything drips onto it.

Don’t press cannabis in storage containers.

When you store weed, make sure to avoid pressing it down — this will cause the trichomes (and cannabinoids) to break and degrade faster than usual due to the increased pressure on them!

Don’t store cannabis together with your everyday food and drinks.

Storing marijuana near certain foods or beverages can cause contamination — especially if they’re stored for long periods!

For example, many people store their weed near the fridge because it’s a cool and dry place. However, this is not ideal because the humidity from the refrigerator can cause your cannabis to become mouldy.

Don’t use a humidor.

Tobacco humidors are made from wood which naturally contains oils. They can also trap moisture because most come with propylene glycol. Moisture tends to build up inside the humidor unless you’re explicitly using it for cigars or tobacco. 

How long can weed stay fresh?

It’s hard to say the exact number of days that weed stays fresh. Typically, you should store cannabis in an air-tight container or vacuum-sealed package for as long as possible. Otherwise, cannabis can degrade after a few weeks if it’s constantly exposed to light and heat.

One study found that cannabinoids remain reasonably stable for nearly 1-2 years under the most optimal conditions. But unless you’re an expert cultivator, you likely won’t reach this maximum.

If you’re looking for a general rule of thumb, another study found that storing marijuana in glass containers with tight-fitting lids can extend its shelf life to nine months.

How can I tell if my weed has gone bad?

If it smells like mildew or tastes like soap, you’re probably out of luck. Try cutting off a small clump and burning it in a pipe. If it gives off an unpleasant odour, throw the rest of the weed away.

If the weed has turned a brownish colour, this is another indicator that it’s gone bad. If your cannabis is already dry and brittle to touch, or you notice cracks on its surface, try storing it in an air-tight container with a humidipak for at least 24 hours.

As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you suspect anything wrong with your with, you should trust your intuition. Throw it out!

Conclusion

Proper cannabis storage is crucial to preserving the quality and potency of your product. It doesn’t matter if you’re a recreational or medical marijuana user. You must know how to store weed properly for best results.

There are many different containers available on the market with varying levels of protection from light and air exposure. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to store your weed safely and effectively.

If this blog post has left many unanswered questions about storing weed, don’t hesitate to contact us with your concerns, and we’ll be happy to help clear them up as soon as possible — or comment below!

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