If you’re a cannabis user, you’ve probably wondered how long you can keep your weed. In fact, you may be reading this article because you’re looking for tips on a proper storage. Well, you’re in the right place.
Growing cannabis is relatively simple to do and now that most regions have introduced some form of marijuana legalization a lot more people are growing their own weed. The peace of mind which comes from knowing what your homegrown plant is exposed to along with the cost savings make setting up a marijuana grow room an appealing option. Though there is much to learn such as the different strains you might encounter, growing cycles, and light or nutrient requirements. Many don’t realize that the essential portion of the process is not to produce the best tasting most potent weed, it’s to maintain the terpenes and cannabinoids in the best state possible to avoid damaging them. Weed that is stored incorrectly may lack taste, moisture content, and strength due to damage to these primary elements.
Cannabis has long since moved out of back alleys and into the mainstream. People care about the strain, they care about flavor profile, and most importantly they care about quality. Long term storage in a ziplock bag is not suitable for the nugs you are getting from a dispensary. Did it matter when nobody even knew for sure what you were smoking? Probably not. But these days, people care about weed in the same way they care about wine.
If you are still relying on these outdated weed storage techniques, left over from your years in colleges, its time to step your game up! The storage mistakes of your past are destroying the cannabinoids, and terpenes of your delicious buds. So, what storage mistakes are we talking about?
Exposing delicate bud flowers to the light is one of the fastest ways to destroy the THC content of your weed. Sunlight is the most damaging and can degrade cannabinoids such as THC while also stealing necessary moisture. Resulting in a low grade weed that crumbles apart and has lost its potency.
Using non-airtight containers
It’s one of the most horrible things you can do to your pot. The only time your bud should be exposed to oxygen and air is during cultivation or when you’re already loading it into a pipe/bong/joint. Cannabis humidors are a great idea but don’t make the mistake of using a tobacco humidor since these are usually made out of cedar wood, which can leak oil into the bud and affect its overall flavor and terpene profile.
Plastic storage containers
Plastic baggies and containers should never be used to store weed, and there are two reasons for this. The first is that low-grade plastics may leach toxic chemicals into the bud. The second is that plastic is naturally a static collector. It will cling to any charge and hold onto it long term. This static is damaging to the trichomes which are drawn out of the bud and towards the plastic by the charge. Unless you want to be able to harvest the crystals to be used for other reasons it’s a bad idea to use any plastic kind of storage. Plastic bags, although they seem airtight, are slightly porous. Over time as the bag degrades, it allows air to pass through. Most plastic bags are low-grade plastics, which means it may also leach toxins into your flower. This will eventually reduce the natural terpene flavors, and give it a chemical aroma. Plastic bags also develop static cling, which pulls all those valuable cannabinoids and terpenes off of the trichomes. You spent your top dollar on a crystallized bud, so why let all that value go to waste.
Keeping your weed near appliances and electronics
Think that a corner of your kitchen might be a good cool, dry place to keep your weed? Not if it’s next to a microwave. Too many people also make the mistake of keeping their pot near their computers. Sure, it might be a clever way to hide them away from prying eyes but the heat generated by electronics will seriously affect the quality and potency of your pot.
Too much touching – Sometimes it can be difficult not to manhandle your bud, especially if you’re trying to show it off or simply admire it yourself. The truth is that every time you handle a bud, you are jarring trichomes and causing damage to the bud itself which will begin to crumble apart. The best way to avoid this is to use containers that hold smaller amounts, as just digging around for a bud will have this same effect.
Mixing weed – There are times where combining old bud with new can be somewhat beneficial which is why it is most recommended to rehydrate weed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work long term and should only be used with bud that will be smoked relatively soon after. As cannabis degrades, so does, it’s quality. Terpenes, THC, and CBD will all slowly break down over time, which will affect how it tastes, smells, and affects you. This can make a tasty batch of a delicious strain taste burnt and much less enjoyable. To keep the freshest weed possible, store it in separate containers only with other product that is of the same age and quality.
Storing Marijuana in a Freezer
If you do this, the below-freezing temperatures will adversely affect the plant material. For example, the trichomes will become brittle and break off. Also, the buds are known to quickly lose moisture in extremely cold temperatures and become dry. This also means bye bye, potency!
Using Storage Containers that are Too Large
The size of the container (box, mason jar etc.) you choose to store your cannabis should be just right to the amount of the material that needs to be stored. If you go with something that is disproportionate to the amount of cannabis you want to store, you’ll expose the material to too much oxygen, which degrades it and reduces its potency.
Although the techniques for storing weed have changed since your high school days, it isn’t overly complicated. Keep cannabis in a sealed airtight container, avoid plastics, and don’t expose it to light. When it’s time to smoke, only take what you need, and don’t handle the rest. These simple techniques and an appropriate container will maintain the integrity of the nug for many sessions to come.