Nowadays, packaged marijuana is sold as a properly cured, dried herb. So even though there’s a date printed on the jar you got from your retailer, it simply has no expiry date. But wait. There’s more to that. Cannabis will retain its original freshness only if you know how to store marijuana well.
If you look at the way manufacturers and sellers were storing weed some time ago, compared to the packaging today, you’ll see that marijuana packaging is getting better. That’s because now we know that for proper marijuana storage, you need to keep it in a container that protects it from light and air.
You see, when cannabinoids and terpenes are exposed to high or low temperatures, they lose their original taste and effect. Also, oxidation can make terpenes void of their aroma, while direct light can cause chemical changes that alter the medical potency of the marijuana flowers. In short, you need to keep light, air, and moisture levels ideal to keep your marijuana fresh.
This article will review the best ways to help you keep your weed stash fresh for long periods.
What Do You Need to Know on How to Store Marijuana?
When it comes to proper marijuana storage, you need to keep it simple. There have been a lot of tips and advice going around like placing orange peels and other organic residues with marijuana sachets or popping them into the freezer. Well, none of this is going to do any good, you’ll just end up with moldy flowers you’ll cringe to use.
How to Store Marijuana: Get Rid of Plastic
First of all, avoid plastic containers. Especially plastic bags. We know that the material weed is usually sold in plastic bags but if you choose to store your flowers in a plastic bag for long periods, they will lose all their freshness and get crumbled as well.
How to Store Marijuana: Get Air-Tight Mason Jars
The best option is to get glass jars. They can be mason jars or any other containers, the point is, glass is the most effective way to store marijuana. That’s because it doesn’t let oxygen or moisture inside it.
Just make sure that you don’t overfill your jar. Also, you’ll need separate jars to fill different strains if you have them. Storing more than one strain in the same jar can become problematic as well, so keep them separate.
Take Moisture Control Measures
Besides glass jars to regulate the oxygen exposure for your weed, you’ll need to manage the moisture as well. Your marijuana can only thrive in balanced moisture content. Too little moisture will make it dry out and lose its freshness and productivity, while too much moisture will make them moldy and smelly.
However, if you feel your marijuana is getting too dehydrated, you can use boveda packs to help it regain its ideal moisture level. These packs do not replace their natural cannabinoids and terpenes, but they do maintain the moisture to a balanced level so that you get the ideal taste when you smoke.
Buy a Cannabis Humidor Box
Storing your marijuana in a humidor box is also a great idea. A humidor box maintains the humidity in your weed to an ideal level. This means they won’t spoil or get too dehydrated when inside the box.
But remember, humidor boxes for marijuana are not the same as cigar humidor boxes. While their purpose is more or less the same, cigar humidor boxes are often lined with cedar oil to enhance the smoky taste in cigars. These oils may harm the taste of your weed. Therefore, make sure you buy customized humidor boxes for weed storage.
Vacuum Seal Bags
While plastic bags are not advisable when storing weed, vacuum-sealed bags can prove to be better at weed storage. Mainly, vacuum sealers suck out all the air before sealing the bag shut. No air means lower moisture levels, thus, a low probability of mold and mildew build-up. However, this technique is for relatively short term storage and not advised for large amounts of weed.
What is the Perfect Temperature to Store Marijuana?
Both high and low temperatures can degrade your marijuana. The high temperatures usually bring lots of moisture and humidity with them. This means if exposed too extra warmth, your marijuana is at risk of developing mold and mildew. It’s believed you can store your marijuana in the freezer at low temperatures, but that has its disadvantages as well.
While the ideal temperature for marijuana storage is 60 degrees F, mold can start developing and survive at 70 and 90 degrees. This means you’ll have to control any temperature change in the environment, or else your weed’s freshness is compromised.
On the other side, high temperatures can dry your marijuana out of all its terpenes. That’s what makes the taste exceptional. The compounds will eventually break down if exposed to high temperatures. This means your flower will dry out and lose all its effectiveness. Also, the weed will produce harsh smoke and taste.
Additionally, lower temperatures are not that bad when it comes to marijuana storage. It’s not that evident in short-term exposure, but low temperatures began decarboxylation in the cannabinoids.
This process makes them lose their original composition. The THC-A degrades into THC and, furthermore, into CBN, which is just not the way you want your marijuana.
To maintain the perfect balance between two extremes, the first thing in the line of action is to store in a cool, dry place. After that, continue to regulate the temperature in your storage area. It should be below 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius. Also, make sure it doesn’t drop severely below that level to ensure a perfect balance.
The Impact of Humidity on Keeping Weed Fresh
Humidity levels are perhaps the most important aspect you need to take care of when storing marijuana. As we’ve mentioned before, where moisture goes, mold and mildew come with it. You might not even know it when mold starts to develop in your marijuana flowers, but once it’s there, it disintegrates the buds into a miserable excuse for cannabis.
Why is Mold an Issue?
Simply enough, moldy weed can be hazardous to your health. It’s ironic if you’re consuming it for medical reasons because smoking or vaping moldy marijuana puts you at risk of developing lung infections and breathing problems. Also, you’re probably inhaling a plethora of microorganisms and spores with the smoke, which probably won’t taste as good anyway.
What’s the Perfect Humidity Level?
You have to keep the humidity at a favorable level while storing your marijuana, or your stash will most likely end up as trash. Ideally, you should keep the humidity level between 59% to 63% RH. That’s because when marijuana is stored at this humidity level, the buds will improve in aroma, taste, and color.
Whatever you do, keep the RH below 65% to avoid mold production. But remember, anything below 60% RH will completely dry out your trichomes and make your flowers brittle and coarse. You don’t want to lose those trichomes as they’re essential for good taste.
Do you want more info on storage? Read our article on storing cannabis seeds.
Light and Storing Weed
Harmful UV rays are the bane of marijuana flowers. Just like the ultraviolet rays from the sun cause skin damage and corrosive effects on certain materials, they cause adverse effects in marijuana plants as well. Most importantly, extreme exposure to harsh light causes immediate degradation of cannabinoids.
Research reveals that if you store your marijuana in the dark, meek place, chances are that the buds will retain their freshness for as long as two to three years.
How Does Light Harm Marijuana?
The main effect of light on marijuana buds is the degradation of cannabinoids. The UV rays make the THC-A turn into THC and eventually into CBN. This leaves the weed incapable of its potential qualities, in other words, worthless. Additionally, excess light brings in other interconnected problems as well.
Light and Temperature
Naturally, light emits heat. This means the temperature level is directly proportional to the light exposure. The more your content is exposed to light, the higher the temperature gets. This results in complete dehydration of your marijuana collection.
We know, we mentioned glass mason jars as an ideal storage container for cannabis. However, it’s only ideal if you place it in a cool, dry, dark place. If you don’t, the light will easily enter the transparent glass and begin the disintegration process before you know it.
If you don’t have a place to keep your jars away from light, you can use opaque jars or colored glass jars. Brown or green colored jars work wonders at keeping ultraviolet rays away from your contents, so the weed is safe inside.
Do’s and Don’ts When Storing Marijuana
Now that we’ve answered the basic questions related to marijuana storage and packaging, you have a good amount of knowledge on the subject. Nevertheless, to make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up a list of important Dos and Don’ts for effective marijuana storage. Check the list before you choose your storage place and containers.
What to DO
Keep Out Of Sunlight
Simply keep it away from windows and ventilators where the container can be exposed to direct sunlight at any time of the day. Similarly, choose a dry, cool place like inside a cupboard or a shelf to reduce the chances of unnecessary light exposure.
Store In Neutral Containers
Static charges can also degrade your cannabis. If you store your cannabis in a negatively charged container such as a plastic jar or plastic bag, the aroma and freshness won’t be the same after some time. Instead, go for a positively charged container such as a glass jar to keep your bud nice and healthy.
Store Different Strains Individually
Different strains have different levels of concentration, color, and taste. Organize each of your strains individually and keep them in separate containers to keep them from damaging one another.
Monitor Moisture Levels
You need to keep track of the RH percentage. Use boveda packs or other humidity controlling agents to regulate the moisture level inside your container.
Regulate Oxygen Exposure
You don’t want your buds to become oxidized. Make sure your container is airtight, or vacuum seal them before use. Also, try that minimum air gets inside the container when you open it for use.
Keep Up With the Latest Research
The cannabis storage technology is getting upgraded day by day. New research is leading to effective and productive ways for marijuana storage so you can keep large quantities for longer periods. Make sure you’re on the same page as the rest of the cannabis industry.
What NOT to Do
Freeze Your Cannabis
Freezing your cannabis can make the trichomes brittle and difficult to handle. You may also lose the trichomes as they might fall inside the container and become hard to retrieve.
Refrigerate Your Cannabis
Temperature levels are never constant in a refrigerator due to rigorous use. This fluctuation in temperature forms an ideal condition for mold development in your marijuana.
Use a Cigar Humidor
Only use a humidor, which is custom made for cannabis storage. Otherwise, you might end up losing the natural essence of your weed buds.
Store it Along With Other Stash
Don’t place other stuff like cigars, pipes, and paraphernalia along with your cannabis. They need their personal space to stay healthy and fresh.
Keep it in Plastic Containers
As mentioned before, plastic containers are negatively charged and can harm your flowers in various ways. Also, plastic containers are not strong enough to protect against UV rays and temperature conditions, so try to avoid them.
Place Marijuana Containers Close to Electronic Appliances
Electronic appliances around the house tend to emit heat along with other harmful electromagnetic and radioactive rays. That’s why keeping your cannabis jars above your television or on the top of your refrigerator is not advisable. Instead, find a space away from the electronic clutter to keep the temperature levels under control for your cannabis.
Final Words – How to Store Marijuana?
Wrapping this up, that’s all you’d ever want to know about proper marijuana storage. As long as you don’t skip any of the details, you can continue to use your stash of cannabis for as long as two to three years. The fresh aroma and consistent taste will tell you how a little customization and consideration can do wonders.
Do you want to grow your own weed and are you looking for the right equipment? A LED grow light is something you can’t miss. Also, there are various tools that should be present in every grow tent. Look at PAR light meters, bud trimmer machines and grow room controllers, for instance. You could also buy a complete grow tent kit so that you get all the essentials at once.