Keeping your cannabis fresh is essential to a smooth and pleasant toking experience. But when it comes to storing your stash, a plastic baggie can only take you so far. There are levels to the science of cannabis storage and several key elements to consider. Here, we’ll help you sift through the haze of information and break down the proper ways to store your pot.
How to Keep Cannabis Fresh
When it comes to cannabis freshness, the key components are light, air, humidity, and temperature. Controlling for these factors is crucial to maintaining the aroma, taste, potency, and overall quality of your product. By simply heeding the common wisdom of keeping your cannabis in a cool, dark, and dry place, your buds will be more likely to maintain freshness and longevity.
Can Weed Go Bad?
While weed isn’t generally known to expire the way food products do, it can certainly degrade in quality. Smoking a stash that’s past its prime won’t necessarily pose any health threats, but weed that’s been overly dried-out can result in a harsh smoking experience. On the flipside, cannabis that’s been exposed to too much moisture can become moldy—nobody should be ingesting bacteria-infested buds. So in that sense, yes, weed can go bad. However, if weed is stored in proper conditions, you can safely blaze away, worry-free.
Does Weed Lose Potency?
As with every other organic matter, time will eventually take its toll and contribute to cannabis’s breakdown. As weeks and months pass, many of your product’s cannabinoids and terpenes gradually decrease and lose potency—in effect, chemical benefits, scents, and flavors wither. There are ways to slow down the aging process and extend the cannabis’ shelf life, of course. That’s where implementing sufficient storage methods come in.
If you’ve only got a small amount of weed that you intend to consume quickly, storing isn’t really an issue. But if you want your stash of high-grade weed to last, a system for long-term cannabis storage is essential.
Stash Boxes: What to Consider
If you want to be more organized with your supplies, in addition to maintaining discretion, security, and freshness, stash boxes are the way to go. You can spark joy, Marie-Kondo style, by keeping your smoking essentials and accessories in an orderly unit. To maximize the effectiveness of a stash box, here are a few things to consider:
It’s been found that light is the primary factor in degrading cannabinoids. Harmful UV rays can accelerate the rate at which organic matter deteriorates, causing cannabis to lose its essence over time. This process can be slowed through limiting light exposure—store weed in a dark place or use a stash box that blocks out UV rays.
Temperature can impact the degradation of cannabis in several ways. The ideal temperature for weed storage should not exceed 21 C. Anything higher creates an environment where mold, mildew, and fungus can flourish. Excessive heat can also dry out the precious cannabinoids and terpenes thus producing a harsh, unpleasant smoke.
Controlling for humidity is of utmost importance in maintaining weed’s integrity. Too little moisture will degrade and dry up the active cannabis ingredients while too much moisture will breed mold and bacteria, effectively rendering the weed unusable. Keeping your stash in a cool environment (such as a lower cabinet or cellar) is always recommended.
You can also maintain optimal humidity through the use of moisture packets (the same little packs you find in common food and pharmaceutical products). Moisture packets work by absorbing excess moisture when relative humidity is too high and releasing it when the humidity is too low. The ideal humidity level for your cannabis should be between 59% to 63% RH, an equilibrium moisture packets can easily achieve.
DIY Stash Boxes
If you’re taking the DIY stash box route, the main thing to consider is keeping the seal is airtight. Whether you’re using wood, plastic, or glass, keeping it sealed and out of sunlight is essential. Although glass boxes might be harder to come by, they are most effective. What’s good about glass is that it’s durable, inert, and doesn’t leak compounds nor allow temperatures to fluctuate. Stainless steel is also a good option because the metal is impervious to outside air, impenetrable to light, and doesn’t interact with the flowers (unlike plastic and certain types of wood).
Buy a Stash Box with a Lock
For added discretion and protection, a stash box with a lock is an ideal solution. The market is replete with an array of models equipped with different functions and features. A few of these include the Tree of Life Stash Box Combo—a complete, secure set that also includes a UV glass jar (must have!)— as well as the Safe Locker 420, a heavy-duty, airtight, and waterproof kit for storing your treasured reserves.
Storing Cannabis in the Freezer
Storing cannabis in the freezer might seem like an intuitively sound preservation technique—after all, it’s the go-to solution for food leftovers and excess produce purchases. And while storing cannabis in the freezer does indeed lengthen its shelf-life and maintain freshness, it carries with it an important risk. Namely, the trichomes, which are delicate, crystal-like particles on the flowers and leaves that produce the cannabinoids and terpenes, can break and fall off if frozen. A cannabis strain without its trichomes is essentially a blunt without the buzz or benefits. Using the freezer isn’t generally recommended, but if you must, make sure the product thaws a bit before handling to increase the chances of preserving its trichomes.
Storing Cannabis Buds VS. Storing Hash and Concentrates
The principles for storing cannabis buds also safely apply to storing hash and concentrates, with a few considerations. While flowers can be well kept in fully sealed, glass containers, different concentrates require different storing methods. Silicone is an ideal short-term cannabis container for extracts because almost any type of consistency can be easily removed from it. However, since silicone isn’t air-tight, it’s not an ideal long-term storage option. For waxes and resins, parchment paper should be used to wrap up the products before placing them in airtight containers.
The other main difference is that concentrates don’t have the same physical structure as cannabis buds and can, therefore, be safely stored in the freezer without worrying about a loss of trichomes. As long as humidity is controlled for, concentrates can be safely frozen.
Effective Cannabis Storage
Effective cannabis storage comes down to a few basic principles and considerations. Keep away from light, store in a cool dark place, and limit air exposure. All it takes is an ounce of caution and a dose of care. In other words, be kind to your kush. By following these simple storage guidelines, you can ensure that you’ll always be getting high on a fresh supply.