How to Store Cannabis Long-Term and Preserve the Freshness
If you have a weed stash you haven’t touched for a bit, you may notice the buds getting dryer with time, and smoking them won’t get you as high as it did at first. While ageing is inevitable, it can be slowed down with proper preservation. We’ll teach you what can harm your buds with age, and how you can preserve them from time and the elements.
Keeping cannabis fresh is simple when you’re armed with the right knowledge.
If you’re the type to buy bud in bulk, or just don’t smoke too often, we can imagine you’ve ended up with old weed on your hands.
You can tell something’s off when you pinch the dried-up, lightweight nugs. You may need something to smoke, but would that old stuff even get you high at all? Even if it did, what would the flavour be like? No matter the answers, you’re most likely wondering how you can stop your weed from getting like that again.
Well, you can’t stop the ageing process, but you can definitely slow it down! Above all, you’ll need to make sure your weed is expertly cured, placed in optimal containers, and stored in a cool room at the proper temperature and humidity.
What Happens When Cannabis Gets Old?
Before we go deeper into that discussion, though, we want to offer you a deeper understanding of what happens when your weed starts to age.
As weed is exposed to heat, oxygen, and UV light, the cannabinoids within, including THC, will begin to break down. It doesn’t happen too quickly, but the change can become noticeable after a few weeks. It won’t leave you sober, but a joint won’t get you as high as the one you rolled when you first got it.
Conversion to CBN
As that THC breaks down, it doesn’t just disappear. In fact, it’s converted into another cannabinoid, known as CBN. This cannabinoid has some mild psychoactive properties, but it doesn’t get you high on its own. This conversion mainly occurs when weed is exposed to oxygen and heat, although the process takes time.
Lost THC won’t be the only consequence of keeping your weed in a warm spot. As it gets weaker, it’ll also taste and feel harsher upon smoking. This, of course, is a result of the terpenes drying out over time. Excessive light and moisture will bring about their downfall as well.
Does This Also Happen to CBD-Rich Bud?
If you’re more inclined to smoke CBD-rich strains, you may wonder whether any of this applies to you. Well, since CBD is also a cannabinoid, and since the buds also have terpenes, it too can degrade with age. The high isn’t a factor, but you’ll miss out on the other potential benefits of CBD.
What Causes Weed to Age?
We’ve alluded to certain causes of weed ageing, but let’s go ahead and break the issues down into clear terms.
You have to maintain a very precise balance when it comes to humidity and cannabis. If your storage method introduces too much moisture, you run the risk of mould infestation. If it isn’t humid enough, though, the terpenes and cannabinoids will end up withering away. While they’re quite different outcomes, the unpleasantness is equal between them.
Often going hand-in-hand with excess humidity, high temperatures can hasten the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. Generally, you should make sure your weed storage area doesn’t get hotter than 25.5ºC (78ºF). Simply enough, this is because any environment between 25.5–30ºC (78–86ºF) is prime for mildew and mould growth.
In short, persistent UV light will land a heavy blow on the impact on terpenes, THC, and other cannabinoids. This is especially problematic in tropical areas, where it joins forces with humidity and heat to harm your stash.
Lastly, while many aren’t even aware of this, your container’s base material can have a direct impact on your weed’s ageing process. See, while many place their weed in plastic containers, the material can cause your stash to “sweat”. This means, as with actual sweating, your plant will release its inner moisture. It’ll end up dry and harsh as a result.
Curing Pocket Box
How to Store Your Weed and Keep It Fresh
So, now that you know the enemies, you need to learn how to defend yourself and keep your weed fresh. Thankfully, it’s a fairly simple process, and you may already have everything you need to start storing your weed for a long period of time.
Really, the journey to proper cannabis storage begins with the post-harvest curing process. And, funnily enough, it involves maintaining the same sort of optimised environment for your flower. You’ll want to find a cool, dark, and moderately dry spot. Separate the buds, trim off the sugar leaves, and sort your stash into mason jars. Also, note that each jar should only be ¾ full.
With a few weeks of patience, you’ll be rewarded with fresh, smokable flowers. If you really want to ensure freshness, though, you’ll want to make sure no excess moisture gets trapped in your curing jars.
To accomplish that, we recommend utilising our specialised RQS Moisture Fighters. These plant-based sachets are designed to rest right in your stash jars, absorbing or releasing moisture according to the conditions. They’ll last up to four months, and just one 8g sachet will keep your personal stash fresh. If your jar’s a little heftier, there are sachets in sizes up to 67g available as well. Either way, you’ll want to select the ones that maintain 58% or 62% humidity. Get the former if you’re in a more humid environment, and the latter if you’re living in a dry climate.
“But how will I know if the sachet is still working? Do I need to open up the jar to check?”. Thankfully, no! They each feature a dot that changes colour depending on their condition, so you’ll know exactly when you need to replace them.
Humidity Control Pack
Use Air-Tight Glass/Ceramic Containers or Vacuum Bags
Once your buds have been sufficiently cured, we’d recommend you keep them in their mason jars. Considering how much damage oxygen can do, air-tight containers are the best choice you can make for your weed.
It can’t just be any container, though. As we mentioned before, plastic can actually hasten the ageing process, so Tupperware would be unwise. A glass or ceramic container, however, will keep it safe and fresh.
That being said, vacuum bags are also incredibly effective, as they’re naturally devoid of air.
Keep It Dark
Along with your container of choice being air-tight and glass/ceramic, it should also be opaque. Light can wreak havoc on your cannabis, and blacking out your jars can ensure total safety. Before that, however, you should make sure your curing room is completely dark (with the lights off) to begin with. With blacked-out jars, though, you can turn on the lights to check in without worrying too much.
As it turns out, our specialised RQS Re:stash Jars fulfill every one of the requirements you need your containers to meet. They’re layered with a jet-black silicone sleeve, boast air-tight lids made from hemp, and come in sizes of 4, 8, 12, and 16 ounces.
Maintain Cool Temperatures
Once you’ve got your buds in their containers, you’ll need to make sure the room stays consistently cool: below 25.5ºC (78ºF) to prevent mould from thriving. Turning it down to 21ºC (70ºF) would be optimal.
Ensure Clean Storage
Now, with almost everything in order, you just need to make sure things stay clean. Make sure you dust the shelves and jars, along with vacuuming or mopping the floor when needed. In turn, make sure you don’t spend too much time in there, as any dirt you track in will have to be cleaned up later.
Will Weed Stay Fresh When Frozen?
Through all of this, some of you may have been thinking, “I can keep food in the freezer for months, so why don’t I just freeze my cannabis?”. Others amongst you may hear someone suggest that and gag at the thought, thinking it ruins the flowers.
Those in the latter camp, however, may be surprised to learn that you can effectively store your bud in the freezer for 1–2 years. If you go for it, just make sure you’re very careful to avoid touching the buds, as the trichomes (which contain almost all of the resin) will quickly fall off.
Let them naturally thaw outside the freezer, and note the top layer of the buds may be sub-optimal. The rest of it, however, will be nearly as good as it was one or two years before.
Aged Buds: A New Trend?
To cap off our discussion, we thought we’d take a look at those people fighting against the notion of age being a detriment to cannabis. See, for some people, the curing process is an art form. For lovers of aged weed  , the prime flavour of a strain emerges with time, and some consider it necessary to wait at least five months after curing before smoking their stash.
This is still a very new school of thought, though. In general, we wouldn’t recommend trying it unless you have lengthy experience with cannabis. Yet, your journey with weed is your own, and we don’t want to stop you from experimenting!
While wine and cheese benefit from age, weed buds get dry and lose their potency. Here, we'll teach you how to preserve cannabis long-term and keep it fresh.
Storing Cannabis: 5 Tips to Keep Weed Fresh
You’ve just gotten home from a trip to the dispensary with some beautiful cannabis. The weed is fresh, fragrant and potent, but how do you keep it that way? What’s the best way to extend the shelf life of marijuana and ensure that it doesn’t lose all of its lovely properties? In this article we’ll discuss what makes weed go bad, what to avoid when storing weed, and our tips for proper storage.
How to Make Weed Last Longer
Can weed go bad? Sadly, yes. While it will not poison you or cause a negative effect when consumed (unless there is mold involved), cannabis potency can decrease and its active compounds can break down. Additionally, if you don’t store your weed properly it can dry out and lose most of its smell and flavor.
The key elements to be aware of when considering how to protect your product are temperature, moisture and air. If the marijuana is exposed to too much oxygen the degradation process will accelerate. If your weed ends up stored in a spot that is hot, dark and moist, it is at risk for developing dangerous mold. Furthermore, when exposed to high temperatures the terpenes that provide delicious flavor and attractive aromas will evaporate and your buds will dry out.
What to Avoid When Storing Marijuana
The easiest way to make sure that your cannabis doesn’t go bad is to avoid some of the mistakes that are all too common when it comes to marijuana storage.
- Do not store your weed in plastic bags or any other type of plastic container. Plastic exposes the marijuana to the evils of air, light and temperature fluctuations. Depending on the plastic, BPA could also be introduced to the weed.
- Keep your weed away from light. Light is the primary factor in cannabis degradation because it causes the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to turn into cannabinol (CBN), a cannabinoid that is far less psychoactive than THC.
- Do not store your weed in the refrigerator or freezer. When frozen, the precious trichomes on your cannabis can actually fall off!
- Do not store your weed in aluminum foil or paper. These materials aren’t effective for keeping your bud fresh.
- Avoid tobacco humidors. Some types of wood used in cigar humidors readily transfer oils and odors meant for tobacco – not cannabis.
If marijuana has not been stored properly the buds will become crumbly and dry and smell like cardboard. Trust us, you don’t want that. What you want is a product that is full of cannabinoids, fragrant and sticky with resin!
The Best Way to Store Weed
Regardless of whether you are new to the world of weed or are a seasoned cannabis consumer, it is critical to know how to keep weed fresh and how to keep weed from drying out. The goal is to maintain the appearance and taste that led you to choose that lovely flower in the first place.
The easiest and most affordable way to keep cannabis fresh for weeks on end is to use an airtight jar that can be filled with your stash. A jar with a metal swing and latch design with a rubber gasket on top will create a vacuum seal to keep air out. Alternatively, reach for a Mason jar or a similar sealable glass jar that will keep anything from getting in or leaking out. Jars that are dark-colored or opaque will also keep harmful light out and keep your weed from reaching its expiration date.
A cannabis humidor is another option if you are willing to spend a little more cash to ensure the sanctity of your stash. These humidors are usually wooden (walnut or mahogany) boxes with internal jars. Depending on the model, different systems are used to monitor and maintain the perfect humidity. Humidors also provide a physically attractive option for storing marijuana. Some are quite beautiful and very well made. Prices range from around $100 to well over $500 for top of the line units.
Boveda Packs are another great choice for taking your weed storage to the next level. The packs are produced to deal with moisture storage issues in all sorts of scenarios (electronics, musical instruments, photographs) and work incredibly well as humidity packs for weed. Boveda Packs use water and salts to respond to humidity levels and either add or absorb moisture to maintain the ideal level of humidity that will keep you and your weed happy.
5 Tips for Proper Marijuana Storage
- Use an airtight glass jar.
- Place the jar in a dark area that does not experience dramatic temperature fluctuations. The ideal temperature for weed storage is around 65F. The temperature should never exceed 80F or drop below 40F.
- Keep weed jars away from appliances and other heat sources.
- As you consume your weed, switch to smaller jars that limit the amount of airspace between buds. Try to keep the weed jars packed as tightly as possible.
- Be gentle with your weed. Handling it roughly will accelerate the aging process and result in bad weed.
How long does weed stay good? If you’ve checked all the boxes and followed the instructions above, your weed will easily stay fresh and tasty for months to come.
How do you store your marijuana? What is your go-to system for keeping your cannabis safe and ready to consume? Let us know in the comments section below.
You’ve just gotten home from a trip to the dispensary with some beautiful cannabis. The weed is fresh, fragrant and potent, but how do you keep it that way? What’s the best way to extend the shelf life of marijuana and ensure that it doesn’t lose all of its lovely properties? In this article we’ll discuss what makes weed go bad, what to avoid when