A BudCheap guide to storing your flower for continued quality and enjoyment
You grab your favourite strain off the shelf expecting the sweet smell of the dried bud, but as you load your grinder, you realize something’s off. Your precious flower smells terrible. You can’t smoke this nasty musty grossness! Why? Because you didn’t store your cannabis correctly, of course.
Like any natural substance, cannabis has a shelf life. For cannabis, shelf life is essentially the window of time where its quality and potency are at its peak. So how do you maximize the time your weed is at its peak power? Easy! Store it well. Nobody wants to reach for their fave bud to discover it no longer packs a punch, has dried up, loses its enticing aroma, or worse, is covered in white mould. Gross.
Read on for tips about optimal storage temperature, light, humidity, and the ideal containers to store cannabis. When it comes to storage, a little knowledge goes a long way, you know?
Why do I need to store my weed correctly?
Improperly stored weed will not retain its freshness or (importantly) give you the experience you’re looking for. Stale weed has reduced Cannabinoid potency — in other words, it isn’t as effective at getting you high. It still works, sure, but the psychoactive properties are lessened. If things really go downhill you may even be dealing with more serious issues from improper storage like mold that can actually be harmful if inhaled.
Here are the top offenders that destroy the quality and freshness of your precious bud:
- Humidity (the amount of water vapour in the air )
- Oxidization (chemical reaction because of exposure to oxygen/air)
- Light (UV)
Let’s break down each one so we can better understand why and how storage can prolong the life of your fave cannabis strain.
Over time, high temperatures will break down cannabinoids. A consistent temp below 25 degrees Celsius provides stability. Higher temps (25 to 30 degrees Celsius) cultivate mildew and mould infestations.
Humidity — moisture — degrades the good stuff. In a damp environment, your bud may absorb moisture and become soft and spongy. Those long, hot showers we all love? Perfect environment for mold growth, which could make your bud dangerous to inhale. So don’t store your cannabis in a bathroom cupboard.
Loss of moisture can also be problematic. Nobody wants brittle weed that falls apart at the touch! Too dry, and the trichomes — those aromatic little hairlike growths all over the flower — may fall off. Additionally, dry weed is unpleasant to smoke and can hurt your throat and lungs.
Cannabis exposed to too much air will oxidize. The result? It will become discoloured, have an off-flavour, and accelerate the conversion of THCa to CBNa. CBNa is Cannabinolic Acid, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis.
Light exposure breaks down the terpenes and cannabinoids in the bud. Sunlight, in particular, contains UV light, which degrades THC over time. These high-frequency waves also damage living tissue, but unlike your skin, we don’t recommend slathering your weed with sunscreen.
What About Age? Does Age Affect Cannabis?
Cannabis that’s been sitting around but is stored reasonably well still won’t last forever.. After just one year, cannabis may lose up to sixteen percent THC (the psychoactive compound that gets you high). By year three, your bud could be losing thirty-four per cent THC! It will smell differently, perhaps musty, and might taste harsh.
Alright, I Get It Already! So How Should I Store Cannabis?
Some folks wrap their bud in tinfoil and pop it into the freezer. Some prefer to tuck their weed into small plastic bags. BUT — there is a better option that will keep your cannabis vital and fresh for a long time.
Check out these tips for healthy, profuse buds that will last you for one to two years.
- Ideally, a glass jar is the perfect container for your select bud. If you can, use a mason jar with rubber-lined lids for extra protection against moisture and air.
- Use dark glass, so light doesn’t seep in. Although if you store a clear jar in a dark place, you’ll still extend the life of your weed just the same.
- Your jar should be airtight to help delay the degradation of cannabinoids. Once the flower has been harvested, cannabis degradation will naturally occur, but an airtight glass jar will slow the process.
- Fill the jar about three-quarters full. This leaves a small gap at the top so the bud can breathe.
- Use separate jars for each strain. These harvested and cured flowers need their space! Label each jar with the strain and date so you can enjoy your buds before they degrade.
- Add humidity packs if you have them — they help keep your product moisture-free. No nefarious mould will grow on your babies!
- Place your jars in a dark room, preferably in a closet or cupboard. The jars will not emit scent and will sit quietly away from degrading light sources or fluctuating humidity. Then, when you are ready to relax, just reach for your fave anytime and light up!
FAQs About Storing Weed
Wait, did you say freezing weed is a thing?
Freezing your weed means freezing the delicate trichomes. You take out your bud, and the second you touch it, the trichomes will fall off. There goes the magic — trichomes contain little resin-filled sacs that contain cannabinoids and terpenes. These are the molecules responsible for cannabis’ treasured benefits, so you probably don’t want to mess with freezing your flower.
Can you store weed in plastic bags?
Like those little Ziploc ones your mama would pack your school sandwiches in? With the seal at the top that closes when you run your fingers over it? They don’t always close all the way, and that leaves room for moisture or air to seep in. Also, trichomes are fragile! (We’re gonna make a ‘protect the trichomes’ t-shirt pretty soon). You want to avoid any environment that might crumble or crush your weed. Our opinion? Leave those little plastic bags on the shelf in the grocery store.
Should you store weed in a plastic container?
Best not to. If a plastic container is your original container — or if your original container is a metal container — keep the following in mind. Neither are ideal storage containers for your treasured, premium cannabis. Why? Plastic can contain a static charge, which attracts the trichomes pulling them off the flower. You’ll reach for your fav flower and find loose bits on the bottom of the container. Metal, on the other hand, can leave an unpleasant metallic taste. Stick to glass.
You’ve taken the time to carefully select the perfect bud. You’ve run it through your fingers and watched it drift apart and settle in your palms — healthy, fresh, vibrant. You lift it to your nostrils, close your eyes, and inhale through your nose. Mmmm. It smells so good!
Nice moment, right? Make it last by storing your cannabis with care. Prevent the loss of cannabinoids. Take care of those little trichomes. You want to still get high and enjoy the psychoactive properties of your weed months after you stored it, right? Proper storage is easy and is worth the effort.
So remember — your cannabis will store best in an airtight glass container with the proper humidity level (aim for 55 to 65 %) in darkness or in minimal light, at a moderate to cool temperature. Separate and label the various strains with the bud’s name and the date. When you reach for your weed down the road, check for an odd, off, musty smell. Check for an off-colour and for brittleness. You should have none of those. If you do, throw it out.
With proper storage, your bud will be perfect and give you fantastic flavour and the high you expect.
So there you have it. Lots of info on cannabis storage. It’s easy to get the best out of your bud, when you store it the budcheap way. Happy trails!