How to conserve your weed
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- Get the right gear
- Store your cannabis properly
- Invest in quality
- Smoke less
There are many reasons you might want to get the most out of your cannabis flower: to save money, minimize dispensary visits, or simply to stretch out your supply during a dry spell. Whatever your reason for wanting to conserve your stash, there are steps you can take to stretch your weed dollar further. This guide will walk you through how to properly conserve your weed.
Get the right gear
Having the right gear for cannabis consumption can go a long way towards conserving your cannabis. Joints and blunts are the least efficient consumption methods for flower, as the burning tip burns off the cannabinoids even when you’re not inhaling. It also takes a lot of flower to properly pack a joint or blunt, which means much of your stash is going into a single experience. If you love your joints, remember, you don’t have to smoke it all at once.
Glass pieces, such as pipes and bongs, feature smaller bowls and prevent you from loading too much bud at once. If you smoke the whole thing and you still want more, you can just pack another bowl. Bongs are also a good way to maximize your flower, as the long chamber allows you to consume all the smoke from the burning cannabis and take fewer hits to get the same experience.
Glass pieces, such as pipes and bongs, feature smaller bowls and prevent you from loading too much bud at once. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
To get the most mileage out of the flower you use in blunts, joints, or glass, use a proper three-tier grinder and save the kief, which are the resinous trichomes that fall off the flower during the grinding process. You can reuse this very potent dust to sprinkle on top of future bowls and add to their potency.
Vaporizers are also a great way to stretch out the viability of your dried cannabis. Vapes heat cannabis at lower temperatures and burn off less of the cannabinoids in the bud, which means you get more THC by consuming less cannabis.
Store your cannabis properly
The proper storage of cannabis helps ensure your cannabis stays fresh and potent for as long as possible. To extend the shelf life of cannabis, it should be kept in a cool, dark place at or slightly below room temperature. The ideal storage temperature for weed is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 degrees Celsius. The darkness and cool temperature prevent moisture from changing the integrity of your flower and stop mold or mildew, which love light and warmth, from growing.
To extend the shelf life of cannabis, it should be kept in a cool, dark place at or slightly below room temperature. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Light and oxygen are the main culprits when it comes to degrading flower. According to a study that explored the stability of cannabis in various storage conditions, light is the single largest contributor to the loss and deterioration of cannabinoids. Carefully stored cannabis can stay reasonably stable for 1-2 years in dark, room-temperature conditions.
Ultraviolet light will also degrade your cannabis, so use dark and airtight glass jars to preserve your flower’s THC and prevent it from degrading into cannabinol (CBN), a cannabinoid that doesn’t have the same intoxicating properties as THC.
Invest in quality
There’s something to be said for investing in higher quality cannabis. Levels of potency, terpene profiles, curing and drying processes, and growing conditions all play into the experience of smoking a particular flower cultivar. If you can afford to spend a little more on high-quality flower from a reputable source, the potency may encourage you to consume less. Be aware, however, that research indicates those who routinely consume highly potent weed develop a tolerance over time, in which case the best method for conservation is to cut back on frequency.
As you increase the regularity of your consumption, the body builds up a tolerance to THC. Tolerance increases with many substances, such as caffeine, due to a biological process called downregulation in which cells decrease their sensitivity to particular molecules. More THC in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) overwhelms the CB1 receptors, and in turn, the cells reduce their sensitivity to THC. With this negative feedback loop, a consumer must smoke more and more cannabis to achieve the same experience they could when they first began consumption.
Your body will need more potent doses of cannabis the more frequently you consume, as your body “downregulates” the introduction of cannabinoids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
When you intentionally regulate the amount of cannabis you intake, your body’s tolerance adjusts and you soon will be able to achieve your desired experience with a lot less green. Little habit adjustments go a long way: lightly pack a smaller bowl; roll narrow joints, called pinners, instead of fat joints; or invest in a one-hitter or snap bong piece designed for the smallest hit possible.
Already have a high tolerance? Never fear — a study from the Yale School of Medicine found that “significant CB1R upregulation begins with two days of abstinence and continues over four weeks.” In other words, when a cannabis smoker takes a break, CB1 receptors begin to bounce back after two days and return to almost normal levels after four weeks.
How to conserve your weed Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Get the right gear Store your cannabis properly Invest in quality Smoke
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Five Ways to Conserve Weed
Doesn’t matter what the reason, we’ve all been here. Some of us are broke, others are out of connections — or maybe all of us are stuck at home because of a worldwide pandemic. Whatever it is that has you currently counting nugs, conserving the supply won’t hurt.
Try these five tips from our resident Stoner to keep burning on a budget:
Set Daily Meters
If you’re worried about running out, it’s time to stop applying the 70/30 method to weed (smoking 70 percent of a bag in the first 24 hours, then stretching the rest until Friday). If you’re working from home and tend to smoke during the day on weekends, treat cannabis use like booze — and stay away until work’s done. Then figure out the minimum amount it takes to reach a medicated level, recreational cruising altitude and (for the stoners) well-baked heights. Anyone who’s smoked weed longer than a month should know these limits.
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Set goals and scheduled session times for days off, and abstain from periodic snack-smoking as much as possible. For anyone who’s been spoiled by living in a state with dispensaries, this can be harder than it sounds. But holding yourself to exercise, learning or work goals while keeping cannabis use as a reward could conserve your bud and lead to self-improvement. If you’re too lazy for that, just space your sessions out longer than five hours at a time.
Reclaim and Reuse
These are hard days for many. Maybe it’s time to actually start saving the THC-rich goop in your dab rig’s reclaim collector, whether that be for a wet-crackling dab down the road or easy stovetop edible infusion. The same could be done with additive-free vape cartridges, too, if you’re sick of vaping. And although smoking pipe resin or saving joint roaches isn’t something I’d do, it’s not something I’d judge if you have a medical issue and no other choice.
The brown leftovers of vaped weed might look lifeless, but there are usually some cannabinoids left in there. I wouldn’t recommend smoking the harsh, burnt leftovers, but they work well for edible infusion. This is something worth doing even if you’re not in a pinch, because it’s an easy way to make cheap weed brownies.
Make Your Own Edibles, and Amp Them Up
Making edibles is one of the most effective ways to prolong high times at home, and the simpler forms of infusion don’t require much more than a stove, cannabis butter or cooking oil, and a cooking pot. An eighth of flower or a gram of hash can make a very strong batch of cookies, brownies and plenty of other edibles recipes that break the traditional stoner mold, while infusing a jar of peanut butter with a half-gram of hash — all you do is mix melted hash with peanut butter and cook on medium-low for ten to fifteen minutes —puts anywhere from 150 to 400 milligrams of THC into a jar, depending on how potent the hash is.
Edibles can completely take the place of smoking for days, or at least cut those days back. Vaped weed, dab reclaim, sugar leaves, kief, hash and nugs can all be used to make edibles, and individual recipes don’t require that much weed. Because THC bonds to fat, drinking whole milk or other drinks high in fat will enhance an edible’s effects; many users swear that mangoes, which are high in the terpene myrcene, also increase an edible’s potency. The little things add up.
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Take Advantage of Bulk Deals
This doesn’t only extend to dispensaries. Even dealers will drop the price if you’re buying more. Although buying in bulk increases the likelihood of falling to the 70/30 method, it’s much cheaper for those disciplined enough to stay weed-rich. Buying ounces instead of eighths or three grams of hash instead of one saves money and trips to the dispensary, and being properly stocked in case of emergency isn’t a bad habit, either. If you take the time to follow daily and flash deals, you’ll come up with even more economical opportunities. Just make sure to store your windfall properly.
Unleash Your Stash
If you have a true stash of various strains and concentrates, don’t be afraid to unleash it when the time is right. Even when stored in prime conditions, cannabis doesn’t have an infinite shelf life, so you might as well enjoy that vintage Chiesel or Mendo Breath. Keep these for nighttime use or highly anticipated activities, so that you’re not relying solely on a stash unless absolutely necessary, and don’t be afraid to toke alone once the stash gets low. When I start running out of an individual strain, I’ll set it aside for a future weed-salad bowl in my vape — a guaranteed trip to the moon with plenty of fun turbulence along the way.
Part of maintaining a powerful stash is proper storage. Keep your weed in an air-sealed container and avoid heat and light, both of which age buds and convert THC to CBN, a much less fun cannabinoid. Keeping the right balance of humidity is also an important factor that can affect flavor and potency.
Nobody likes smoking a joint rolled with a crumbling piece of dirt; they burn too fast.
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Whatever it is you're currently experiencing that has you counting nugs, conserving weed won't hurt. Try these five tips from our resident Stoner to keeping burning on a budget.