Cannabis can be expensive and there’s nothing worse than a stash that’s dried out or grown mold. The only way to avoid this is to practice proper storage methods. The most potent parts of the cannabis plant also happen to be the most fragile. We’ll give you all the tips and suggestions you need to properly store your cannabis.
Exposing cannabis flower and other cannabis products to excess air, moisture, and light will quickly bring your top-shelf bud down a few notches. Allowing in excess air or heat quickly diminishes the shelf life of your weed by drying it out and reducing potency. Your flower may also become brittle and the beneficial terpenes can fall off. On the other hand, leaving your stash in a moist environment can lead to gross mold.
If you want to keep your buds aromatic and potent for as long as possible, you’ll need to store them properly. There’s no set way to determine the expiration date on cannabis flower and other THC products. According to HelloMD, the shelf life of cannabis depends on the type of product or extract but can last longer than you think when stored correctly:
Dried Flower: Remains viable from 6 months up to 1 year
Concentrates: Concentrates like waxes and dabs
Edibles: Depends on the type of edibles (candies or lozenges last longer than baked goods)
Topicals: Can last a year or more when stored properly
Now that you know the importance of proper weed storage, we’ll give you a few tips and best practices to keep your flower stash fresh.
How to Properly Store Your Weed
Pay Attention to Temperature
The ideal temperature to store your stash in is around 70° Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures combined with any moisture in the air quickly leads to mold and mildew. On the other hand, weed stored at high temperatures without any humidity will dry out and deteriorate the fragile terpenes.
Keep it Away From Light
Exposing your stash to direct light is a surefire way to prematurely age your weed. A study completed back in the ’70s and published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, concluded that ultraviolet damages cannabinoids faster than moisture, excess air, or improper storing temperatures. Therefore, if you keep your weed in a clear glass container, make sure to keep it in a closet or sheltered space.
Stay Away From Moisture
As mentioned above, storing your bud in a humid environment quickly leads to the growth of contaminants like mold and mildew. Smoking a little bit of moldy weed probably won’t kill you, but it’s definitely not recommended. Mold is hard to identify on cannabis, but if you let it grow long enough, a grayish-white powdery coating may show up.
The ideal humidity levels for cannabis flower range between 59% and 63% RH (relative humidity). For those of us without fancy cannabis humidors, just make sure to keep your stash in a dry location away from paraphernalia like water pipes and bongs. Another way to control unwanted moisture is to add Boveda Packs into your storage containers. These two-way humidity controls help keep your cannabis within the proper RH range for preserving terpenes.
Where Not to Store Your Bud
Don’t Put Your Stash in a Refrigerator or Freezer
A common question among stoners is whether you can freeze or refrigerate your stash. One may think the freezing preserves all of the beneficial compounds found in your weed, but it actually does the opposite. Freezing or even cooling your buds in a refrigerator can make the potent trichomes brittle and prone to falling off as soon as the product is thawed.
Stay Away From Plastic Containers
We’re all guilty of this one every once in a while. It’s easy to throw your weed into a plastic Ziploc bag or pill bottle and assume that it provides a decent seal. The truth is, plastic creates too much static and pulls precious trichomes straight off the buds. You want to make sure to keep these sticky little crystals intact because they house the most potent THC, terpenes, and additional cannabinoids.
Avoid Metal Containers
Metal is a far better storage option than plastic, but still not ideal. Metal is a decent option in a pinch because it allows for a decent seal and keeps out UV rays. With that said, most enthusiasts tend to believe metal storage options can alter the taste of your weed. Think about drinking beer out of a can versus a bottle.
Our Favorite Weed Containers
We’ll be honest, if you’re only a casual smoker, a humidor may be overkill. With that said, they’re a must for anyone that considers themselves a true cannabis connoisseur. A humidor, often made out of wood, is built to be airtight and maintain specific humidity levels.
Vacuum Sealed Glass Jars
Mason jars or jars with vacuum-sealed lids are other popular options among cannabis enthusiasts. They do a good job of keeping excess air and moisture out without altering the taste and smell of cannabis like metal does.
Final Tip: Buy Quality Weed
You can buy the most expensive humidor in the world, but it won’t matter if you’re already buying subpar bud. Most dispensaries have plenty of options when it comes to their flower selection, but how do you make the right choice? We suggest looking at more than just the price, THC percentage, and packaging.
Sadly, most states don’t allow you to handle or smell your weed at the dispensary, which further complicates things. Ask your budtender to see the label as some brands will print test results including cannabinoid and terpene contents. The combination of these compounds, along with THC, leads to the Entourage Effect.
Want to learn how to keep your edibles from going bad? Check out this blog post