Picture this — you’re back home from the dispensary with a full bag. You need somewhere to store your stash, but you’re not sure what the best option is. Do you put it in a cupboard? In the fridge? We’ve got you covered with our guide to the best ways to store your weed so that it stays fresh and potent.
Why Where You Store Weed Matters
Cannabis is a plant, and like all plants it can be susceptible to damage from high or low temperatures, humidity and oxygen. When exposed to these elements, the oils in the cannabis flower begin to break down, which reduces its potency and flavor. If too much moisture is introduced, the buds can even develop mold.
Although cannabis doesn’t necessarily expire, it does become a lot less pleasant to smoke when it’s been improperly stored. The right storage environment will preserve the cannabis’s cannabinoids and terpenes, which are chemical compounds that play a role in the psychoactive and physical experiences of smoking weed. Plus, it helps to extend the cannabis’s shelf life; properly stored, cannabis can last for up to a year.
The Four Steps to Storing Weed
Fortunately, storing weed is relatively easy. Just keep in mind the four environments cannabis likes best: dark, dry, oxygen-free and cool. Follow these tips to help preserve your weed in perfect condition:
- Reduce Light Exposure
Bright light, bright light! (Get it?) Cannabis isn’t a fan of ultraviolet rays, which can quickly degrade its oils. If you don’t have a dark space to store your stash, like a cabinet or closet, buy opaque jars that will help to filter out any unwanted light.
- Minimize Humidity
Cannabis is sensitive to humidity; too much moisture in the air and it will develop mold and mildew, and too little will cause it to dry out and break down. Dispensaries sell humidity packs that can be placed in an airtight container to help maintain the perfect relative humidity of 54% to 63%.
- Keep Oxygen Out
Not only does exposure to air dry out your weed — resulting in a low-quality and harsh experience — it also degrades the cannabinoids and can cause them to break down. An airtight container is the best solution for this problem.
- Find the Right Temperature
Cannabis likes to be stored at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 74 degrees Fahrenheit can result in mold, and anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit can degrade the oils.
So, how can you tell that your stash has gone bad? If it looks moldy, feels dry and crumbly or has been inside a non-airtight container, like a plastic bag, for a long time, it’s probably past its prime and ready to be thrown out.
How to Store Different Types of Weed
OK, so we now know how the cannabis flower likes to be stored. But what about edibles? Or pre-rolls? Check out the general guidelines for each kind of cannabis product:
- Joints: Like cannabis flower, joints need to be stored in a dark, cool and dry place inside an airtight container. Dispensaries also sell portable containers if you want to bring your joints to a different location.
- Edibles: The general rule is to store your edibles the way the dispensary does. If the product was refrigerated, then keep it in your refrigerator (this is normally the case for edibles that contain eggs or dairy). For all others, like gummies or drops, an airtight container in a cool place is the best way to go.
- Concentrates: Unlike flower, concentrates do best in a glass, airtight container, like a mason jar, that’s kept in your fridge or freezer. If that’s not an option, then a cool, dark place is the next best option.
- Oils: Oils are the most shelf-stable option. Although they also do best in a cool, dark and dry place, they can be stored on a shelf or cabinet in the container they were sold in; they degrade very slowly.
The Best Tools for Storing Weed
It’s easy to make do with a plastic container in a dark and dry place, but there are other storage options to help preserve your cannabis products for optimum quality. These include:
- Mason jars are a popular way to store weed. The glass jars and metal tops make an airtight seal that helps maintain humidity. However, since the jars are glass, you’ll need to be mindful of light exposure.
- Cannabis humidors, like the ones made for cigars, are designed to preserve cannabis in a perfectly humid environment. They’re a little more expensive but great if you have multiple strains of bud you want to store.
- Titanium jars are a great option for protecting marijuana from light, but make sure you’re only buying titanium. Other metals can negatively affect the flavor of weed.
- Plastic bags are fine in a pinch but should never be used for long-term storage.
Always avoid the refrigerator and freezer for dried flower. Not only does the moisture result in mold or mildew, but the bud’s trichomes, which are what hold the oils and cannabinoids, will firm up and break off, resulting in a lower-quality smoking experience.
And, of course, never keep your marijuana where children or pets could access it. Keep it stored out of reach for everyone’s safety. Some storage containers even come with child lock options for maximum security.
Store Your Stash the Right Way
By taking the time to properly store your cannabis, you’ll be able to preserve the qualities and experience you’re hoping to get out of it. This is especially important if you’re using marijuana for pain management; lowering the effectiveness because of bad storage techniques won’t do you any favors. Even if you’re using recreationally, marijuana isn’t cheap, and no one wants to let something they bought go to waste.
If you have any questions about storing your weed, don’t be afraid to ask the budtenders at your local dispensary. These experts know all of the tips and tricks to keep your marijuana as fresh as the day you bought it.