The Best Practices for Storing Cannabis

I used to keep my weed a paper bag because I saw it in a movie once and thought it looked cool yet always wondered why the buds were so dry and harsh to smoke. While I was not exactly a bright young man, you can’t entirely blame me. Nobody ever told me the importance of storing cannabis correctly and how much it could improve your experience. Cannabis flowers are just that; flower. Like anything else grown from the earth, it needs to be kept fresh otherwise it will only decompose quicker.

The longer you expose your weed to light, air, and heat; the faster its cannabinoids and terpenes will degrade. Not only are you losing money, but you’re also losing THC and all those delicious terpenes! How could you do that to your weed, after everything it’s done for you? Smoking stale weed won’t give you the same potency, aroma, and flavor and is just not a very enjoyable experience compared to smoking nicely cured buds. 

THC, as it degrades, converts to CBN. And CBN isn’t called the Sleepy Cannabinoid for no reason. Of all the cannabinoids, CBN is the most sedative, says a laboratory report. So the longer you leave your weed exposed, the more CBN it will have as its THC degrades. If you’re after CBN, then go for it, but you’re doing so at the expense of the rest of the experience. You are better off finding strains that are high in CBN that won’t be as harsh as stale and dry weed.

If you’re after potency, taste, and smell; then you definitely want more THC than CBN in your weed. And to do this, you need to store your weed properly.

Importance of Curing and Storing Your Cannabis Correctly

Cannabinoid synthesis doesn’t stop the moment the flowers are cut from the plant. The cannabinoid acid precursor, CBGA, continues to transform into different cannabinoids like CBG, THC, and CBD. Continued exposure to light and air speeds up their degradation process, and the process is further sped up by the enzymes found in the buds and bacteria. The degradation process, however, can be slowed down by properly curing and storing your weed.

Curing basically means preserving the buds by removing excess moisture. This is done initially by hanging the buds upside down inside a room that has controlled lighting, temperature, and humidity for about a week or two. This will dry the buds and remove excess moisture.

Once done, the buds are then allowed to sweat. They are placed in airtight containers and stored inside a dark and cool room. The containers are opened several times a day to allow the excess moisture to escape and fresh oxygen to enter. This process typically takes a month to a couple of months.

Curing preserves the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the buds. It also prevents the formation of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Properly curing the buds also improves not only its flavor and aroma but its potency as well.

Once you buy weed them from a dispensary, you can also preserve its quality by properly storing the buds. Weed that has been properly cured and stored can be kept for a long time, however, some connoisseurs may debate the quality after some time.  

Glass Jar Method

Using mason jars is one of the best methods of storing cannabis. Compared to plastic containers that encourage sweating, glass jars stay consistent. It won’t leak air out, nor will it allow air in. The temperature inside the jar is also controlled better than plastic and doesn’t fluctuate as much. There will only be air exchange when you open the lid. Moreover, glass jars don’t produce any scent that can contaminate your weed’s flavor and aroma.

However, glass jars are transparent and allow light to enter. You don’t want to expose your weed to too much light since it degrades the cannabinoids and terpenes. To prevent this, you can wrap the jar up with a dark paper and store it in a cool, dark place.

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In choosing a glass jar, make sure that it has durable rubber seals. Check, too, that the rubber seals completely seal the lid tight when you close the jar.

If your cannabis is still somewhat moist, do not pack it too tightly in the jar, and allow fresh air in once or twice a day, until the moisture regulates. Excessive moisture can cause mold. I learned this the hard way when I put some very fresh buds in a jar and went on vacation for two weeks. I came back looking forward to smoking the buds but was met with mold and rot. It was… devastating, to put it lightly. 

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Moist weed that had been packed too tight in a jar causes this travesty.

Zip Lock Bag Method

Using zip lock bags is another easy way of storing weed. Most people gently push the air out as they close the bag, however, if you want better control of air, then you can use a vacuum bag. Simply use the vacuum that usually comes with the bags, suck excess air out, and close its lid. Vacuum bags are typically thicker than zip lock bags, and the thickness can help prevent air from getting out or in. However, this is not ideal for daily usage, as you don’t want to have to use the vacuum sealer before you go to bed every night. 

Ziplock and vacuum bags are also not as sturdy compared to glass jars. If you put your nose to the bag, you’ll notice the smell of weed coming through it. When your weed’s aroma can leak through the bag, air from inside the bag is getting out. If air can get out, then the air outside the bag can also get in.

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Ziplock and vacuum bags can help preserve your weed for a short time, but they may not be the perfect containers for longer storage.

You may have the right containers for your weed, but they won’t be enough to preserve their quality if you don’t practice the common dos and don’ts in storing cannabis.

To preserve their quality for a longer period of time, keep these tips in mind:

Keep your weed container in a cool, dark, and dry place and away from heaters, electric appliances, water systems, etc. Always remember that light, heat, and moisture can easily speed up your buds’ degradation process.

Treat your glass jar like it’s made out of…glass. My dog’s tail is responsible for the destruction of more bongs and jars of weed than the entire DEA and I can’t blame him because he’s a dog and a pretty dumb albeit cute one at that. Don’t keep your jars on the edge of the table, even if you like to live dangerously. Want to take stupid risks? Go to film school… Leave innocent weed out of this. 

Never store your weed in your freezer, no matter how cool it looks. The low temperature can easily freeze the buds, especially the trichomes which contain the cannabinoids and terpenes. It can make them brittle and therefore easier to break off of the buds, leaving you with weed that’s weak and less potent.

Do not store your weed in your refrigerator. Although it is cool and won’t freeze the buds, the fluctuating temperature and humidity can easily spoil the quality of your weed. The fluctuations can also encourage mold and mildew to grow on them.

Never store your cannabis paraphernalia like grinders, bubblers, and pipes together with your buds. You are risking contaminating your weed with the byproducts of burnt cannabis. The aroma and flavor of burnt cannabis also linger and can affect your weed.

Always use clean containers for storing weed. If you’re using different cannabis strains, then store them in separate containers. This way, you will be preserving the strains’ unique characteristics, flavors, and aromas. If you are going to repurpose a jar from your kitchen, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and dried before putting your weed in there. My weed tasted like capers for a good 3 months before I realized my mistake. 

Most important of all, keep your weed away from where children can find it. 

Final Thoughts

Buying from reputable cannabis providers assures you that the buds have been cured and stored properly. At Just Cannabis, we strive to provide some of the freshest and most expertly cured cannabis available. When you receive cannabis it becomes your responsibility to keep it stored properly, not only to maximize the enjoyment of your weed but to keep it away from children and pets. 

2 thoughts on “The Best Practices for Storing Cannabis

    • Jackson Gray says:

      Hi Martin,
      It comes down to a process called decarboxylation. To activate the full psychoactive potential of the cannabinoids, the cannabis must be heated at a very low temperature, also known as decarboxylating the cannabis. Some bakers insist that you must decarboxylate the flower before adding it to the butter or oil. Others believe that the decarboxylation will take place as the oil and cannabis simmer together.
      The deterioration of cannabinoids and THC through light and mild heat is a long and gradual process. That said, if it is baked too hot in the baking process than that can eliminate all the THC before you get to eat it.
      Therefore, when baking, low temperatures are key for preserving cannabinoids, and they are only kept at this temperature for a matter of hours as opposed to days or weeks as it would be if kept on the shelf exposed to light and heat. Once the THC is in the edible, it is not as vulnerable as when it was in flower form. However, THC butter and edibles can also lose their potency with time, just not as easy as buds.
      I hope this answers your question and thank you for reaching out! Let me know if I can help with anything else 🙂
      Jackson

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