- Storing cannabis properly plays a big part in its quality and potency.
- The elements that affect cannabis include temperature, humidity, and exposure to air and light.
- The best way preserve weed is to store it in an air-tight glass jar in a cool, dark place.
Whether you’re a habitual or occasional smoker, knowing how to store weed properly is arguably just as important as knowing your preferred strains or consumption methods.
For cannabis flower in particular, it’s essential to remember that what you’re consuming is a plant — one that’s grown, dried, harvested, and cured before it’s smokable.
“Not storing anything properly that is intended for consumption will have a negative effect on the quality of the product,” says Julian Webb, a senior lead at Nectar Cannabis in Gresham, Oregon. “This can impact potency, taste, and the overall desired effects.”
Why is it important to store weed correctly?
If you care about potency and flavor, you should care about proper storage. It goes without saying that you should store any form of cannabis away from kids and pets. Beyond safety, the right storage conditions go a long way in ensuring you have the best and most pleasant smoking experience possible.
“Cannabis degrades easily,” says Lex Corwin, the CEO and founder of Stone Road, a California-based cannabis farm and brand. When properly cured and stored, cannabis flower should be consumed within six to eight months from its harvest date, and pre-rolls within three months.
“When exposed to heat or excessive light, [it] will dry out and be harsh to smoke and/or can give you a headache,” Corwin says. “The THC turns to CBN, so you will just get very tired rather than a fun and interesting high.”
Quick tip: In most states where weed is legal, it’s required to list the harvest or packaging date of the cannabis on the label. Though some dispensaries move through their inventory quickly, others don’t. Always check with your budtender to get the freshest possible product.
It’s important to note that concentrates and cannabis-infused edibles have their own storage guidelines, typically outlined on the packaging.
For cannabis flower, here are the main factors to consider:
- Temperature: Flower should be kept at an ideal temperature of under 70 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Corwin. Extreme temperatures — both too hot or too cold — can dry out the herb’s terpenes and cannabinoids.
- Humidity: When kept in humid environments, cannabis can grow mold, and in dry conditions it can become brittle and harsher to smoke. Keeping your flower in a controlled environment will help it maintain its color, aroma, and flavor profile. Humidity packs can help you monitor and control humidity levels.
- Air and light: Exposure to air and light have a direct impact on temperature and humidity. UV rays will degrade your cannabis over time, which is why it’s important to keep cannabis out of direct sunlight.
How to store cannabis flower
There are many specialized storage containers on the market, but you don’t need anything fancy to store your stash properly.
Glass is widely considered the best material for weed storage over plastic or metal. Webb says that metal can affect the taste and aroma of your flower, and that plastic creates a static charge that causes the plant to break apart and lose its trichomes, or the crystal-like tips of the flower that contain a high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes.
For the best long-term results, an airtight glass container is your best bet — you can even go the extra mile and opt for a UV-proof glass container. But for most people, mason jars will do the trick — you’ll just want to store the jar out direct sunlight in a cool, dry place.
Besides that, make sure your stash fits snugly inside the container. Packing the jar as tightly as possible will leave little space for oxygen to get trapped inside, which can affect the quality and humidity.
How to store joints
For joints, blunts, or any other kind of pre-rolls, your storage considerations are much the same as for unground nugs. Corwin recommends keeping them in a cool, dark area, and says that once you open a pack, you should consume the contents within 30 days so that they don’t dry out.
You can even use the container you brought them home from the dispensary in, according to Webb — since the flower is already ground, you don’t have to worry about it breaking apart. But if you’d like your pre-rolls to last longer, stick them in their own appropriately-sized mason jar and pack them as close together as you can to prevent airflow.
More tips for long-term storage
- Try vacuum-sealing to reduce odor. A fragrant strain can announce itself before you even have a chance to. “If your goal is discretion, the best way would be to vacuum-seal your products,” says Webb. There are vacuum-sealed weed bags available online and at dispensaries, but you can also use food packaging. Vacuum-sealing is also the best solution to keep flower fresh for more than a few months.
- Don’t store weed in the fridge and freezer. Even though they’re dark and cool environments, the fridge causes too much condensation and puts your weed at risk of molding, while the freezer will dry it out and cause it to become brittle.
- Use ground flower as quickly as possible. Ground weed won’t last as long as intact cannabis flowers, even when stored correctly. Corwin recommends consuming ground weed within 30 days to capture as many terpenes as possible.
Storing your cannabis properly will help preserve the quality and maintain its potency. Keep them in a dark, cool, environment, and store your flower in an airtight, glass jar packed as tightly as possible. You can keep pre-rolls in the container you bought them in, or in a glass jar to keep them fresh for longer. If smell is a concern or if you need to store some flower long-term, experts recommend vacuum sealing it.