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Cannabis Storage: How to Successfully Store Weed for a Long Time

Don't waste your buds! Improper storage can ruin a stash. We cover the best ways to preserve your flowers' flavor, potency, and aroma.
30 August 2022
7 min read
Cannabis Storage: How to Successfully Store Weed for a Long Time

Contents:
  • 1. Do's
  • 1. a. Keep weed dry
  • 1. b. Keep weed in the dark
  • 1. c. Keep weed cool
  • 1. d. Keep weed sealed
  • 2. Don'ts
  • 2. a. Don't put buds in the refrigerator or freezer
  • 2. b. Don't store buds in plastic bags
  • 3. How to store weed long-term
  • 3. a. Ensure your weed is cured properly
  • 3. b. Use air-tight glass containers
  • 3. c. Keep it in the right conditions
  • 3. d. Use clean jars
  • 4. How long does weed last?
  • 4. a. 1. how to know if your weed is old
  • 5. Does weed go bad?
  • 6. Conclusion

You've put two months of effort into cultivating the perfect harvest. You've chopped your tree and the flowers are drying. As you look over your haul, two questions nag at the back of your mind,”is there a way to store weed to keep it fresh as long as possible?” and "How am I going to smoke this all before it goes bad." Sadly, cannabis has a shelf life. Leave it too long and it will become dry and hard to smoke, lose potency or worst of all, grow toxic mold. We're here to run down the dos and don'ts of high-quality cannabis storage.

1. Do's

Keep Weed Dry

Mildew and mold are your enemies in this fight. Mold can start growing on marijuana cannabis before they've even been harvested. The sticky, irregular surface of a nug is the perfect spot for spores to wait for the proper conditions before covering your weed in a gross net of moldy cobwebs. Do not give them a chance, and store weed properly, preferably in glass jars as they’re a great way to store flowers. Wherever you store your weed, ensure the humidity stays below 65%. However, dry air will make those sticky trichomes brittle, so ensure you mantain humidity above 59% for optimal storage.

Keep Weed in the Dark

Cannabinoids does not like light, and placing your flowers out in direct sunlight is an easy way to ensure your hard-won THC content degrades into a couch-locking, sleepy CBN. It's probably OK to leave your cannabis on a shady sheld, but you must ensure it's never exposed to direct sunlight at any point in the day. Sunlight contains ultra-violet radiation, the same kind that gives humans sunburns and skin cancer, which destroys THC, essential oils, and more. Anything that makes weed worth smoking is destroyed under the direct light of the sun, so having a cool dark storage place is super important.

 

How to store cannabis: do's

Trichomes will degrade so make sure to keep your flowers in the right conditions!

Keep Weed Cool

Fungi love humidity, but they also love the heat. A warm storage spot is the perfect breeding ground for toxic fungus you do NOT want to smoke. Play it safe and mantain your flowers at a temperature below 77° Fahrenheit or 25° Celsius. Any higher and you risk virulent mold eating your harvest. This may be difficult during the summer if you live in a warm climate and do not have air conditioning, but keeping your buds away from direct sunlight also helps mantain them cool.

Keep Weed Sealed

We need oxygen to live, and because of that, we forget one fundamental fact, oxygen is a corrosive gas that eventually destroys all it touches, and cannabinoids are no exception. Keeping your flowers away from the air in correct storage is an essential part of preserving them, but you do not want to remove all the air, you need at least a little to mantain your humidity in check. However, if there's too much air, you'll be giving mold and mildew fuel to power their growth. Mason jars and other rigid, airtight containers are perfect for storing flowers. They'll have the right amount of air inside, trichomes won't stick to the inside of the container, and they're cheap.

2. Don'ts

Don't Put Buds in the Refrigerator or Freezer

We know we said to mantain things cool, but putting your weed in the fridge or freezer storage creates more problems than it solves. Humidity in your fridge is going up and down continuously as you open and close the door, put food in, take it out, or even when you're doing nothing at all. These fluctuations are perfect for, you guessed it, mold.

 

How to store cannabis: dont's

Never store your buds in the freezer unless you're planning on making hash.
 

The fridge might be the absolute worst place you could ever store your stash. The freezer introduces its own problems. While it is dryer and more stable than the fridge, the low temperatures will freeze the remaining water in your flowers, and make trichomes hard and brittle.

Don't Store Buds in Plastic Bags

Generations have kept their ganja in plastic bags. If it was good enough for your hippy grandparents, it's good enough for you, right? Not quite, plastic bags carry a slight electric charge. You've probably seen this yourself when a bag sticks to your hand. That charge doesn't just attract bags to human hands; it attracts trichomes to the bag. Every moment in a bag is subjecting those precious balls to a slight pull. It won't strip your bud bare, but over time, you'll find your weed loses potency and the inside of the bag grows sticky. I nice mason jar, or even a discreet and inconspicuous cookie jar are better options for correct storage.

3. How to Store Weed Long-Term

Now, if you’re storing weed for a couple of months or longer (or if you want to store it for as long as possible), it’s essential you store weed in the proper conditions as your weed will degrade if you do not store it properly. All of the things mentioned throughout the blog still apply, but there are a couple of other things you should always remember.

Ensure your weed is cured properly

Long-term cannabis storage starts with proper curing. So ensure to trim the flowers and place the flowers in airtight mason jars in a cool, dark place, making sure the jars are only ¾ full. After a couple of days or weeks of burping and curing, your cannabis will be ready for consumption but you can check this by measuring the moisture in the jars, you want the hygrometer to read anywhere between 58 to 62% humidity.

Use Air-tight Glass Containers

In order to store weed correctly, you want to keep weed in glass containers as oxygen can degrade and damage the trichomes. If you cannot find a glass container, you can use a ceramic container, just stay away from plastic!

 

How to store cannabis: long-term storage

Always go for airtight glass jars as they will preserve your flowers better.

Keep it in the Right Conditions

As mentioned, you don’t only want to keep the cannabis in airtight glass jars but you also want to store the jars in the proper conditions, so remember to place the jars in a dark place (with the lights off) and ensure the temperature are below 25 ºC to prevent mold, ideally, the temperature for cannabis storage should be around 20 -21 ºC.

Use Clean Jars

And finally, make sure the curing jar is clean. Depending on where you got the jar from, it could have dust, dirt, and even mold spores which can affect the quality of your harvest, so make sure to clean the jars before storing your flowers!

4. How Long Does Weed Last?

In proper storage, dried cannabis can last anywhere from 6 months to a year before it starts to lose its smell, flavor, and potency but this doesn’t mean cannabis only lasts 12 months. According to research, cannabis loses up to 20% THC after 1 year of storage.

 

Years of StoragePercentage Loss (THC)
116%
226%
334%
441%

Relationship loss of THC and years of storage
 

As you can see in the table above, cannabis will not expire per se, but can get old and lose its:

  • Cannabinoids;
  • Terpenes and;
  • Flavonoids.

Now, this doesn’t mean your weed will not be good for consumption but its quality will be affected, even in the right storage, as years go by. 

4.1. How to Know if your Weed is Old

As mentioned above, the quality of the weed is affected even in proper storage so the best way to know if the weed isn’t fresh is by its smell. Old weed smells different or does not smell at all, sometimes may even smell harsh or taste harsh when stored for too long. 

Apart from the smell and flavor, the appearance of the weed can help you figure out if your flowers are old or not. So if the weed is too dry and crumbly, it’s definitely old weed. Keep in mind that smoking old weed won’t harm you but won't taste as good or be as potent as fresh weed.

5. Does Weed Go Bad?

Now you know that weed can’t expire….but can it go bad? Yes, weed can go bad in two different ways. On one hand, exposing your cannabis to too much light or open air will dry it and turn it into dust, which you can still smoke but won’t be as effective as weed stored correctly.

On the other hand, exposing your weed to too much humidity causes the weed to get moldy and you do NOT want to inhale mold because it can make you sick so always try to store weed in the right conditions and preferably, consume it in less than a year

Remember, if you want weed that gets you super high,  that smells and tastes good, fresh weed is the way to go.

6. Conclusion

Of course, all this advice is moot if you haven't adequately dried and cured your buds. You can choose any way to store flowers and try to keep them fresh for as long as possible but unfortunately, it doesn't matter if your storage spot is perfect, poorly kept marijuana can grow mold and will get old eventually. Be sure to check out our bud drying guide. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest strains, deals, and contests from Fast Buds!

30 August 2022