If you are a regular weed smoker, then you have probably experienced at least one of these 3 scenarios with your weed. Scenario 1: the weed you just bought is super sticky, bright, vibrant and full of flavour. Scenario 2: The weed you bought is dry, lacking colour, and little to no smell. Scenario 3: you’ve purchased weed and it is somewhere in between. Most people run into scenario 2-3 and unfortunately rarely are people able to acquire quality weed like scenario 1. So why is that? The answer is that it’s a problem with how you store your weed. Many producers use very poor storing weed, which leads to accelerated rates of degradation to the quality. This is one of the Canadian market’s largest problems. This is due to poor storage and long holds on the cannabis before it is sold and by the time the average user purchases their product it is almost non smokable because of how dry, or even moldy, the cannabis flower is.
Keep It Fresh: Esters, Cannabinoids and Terpenes
Why is it so important to protect our weed from degradation? The only thing we care about is THC right? Nope! The biggest reason we want to protect our cannabis is because there are over 550+ therapeutic compounds that are found within the trichomes. There is over 120+ different cannabinoids, over 200 terpenes, as well as esters. Alcohols, aldihides, ketons and many other compounds that are responsible for the smells and therapeutic benefits that come along with this magical plant. Once these compounds have been lost to oxidation, light degradation, or age you can consider your cannabis essentially dead. This is because we went from over 550+ compounds to now only a handful. The primary compounds that will be left after degradation are usually THC and CBN. When only these two compounds are left in the cannabis you will notice the high is relatively lack lustre and if it’s especially old the CBN content can be relatively high, making even a sativa strain very sedative. Once those compounds are gone you're left with a strain that will not be energetic, sedative, or help with focus, and will not have really any therapeutic benefits.
Cannabis Killers: Oxidation, Light, Heat and Time
What is the best way to prevent our cannabis from degrading? To answer this question, we must understand what the greatest cause of cannabis degradation is. There are four main exposure risks to our cannabis: oxidation, light, heat, and time. Now the first three we have control over and the 4th we obviously can’t stop. However, if we do a good job at preventing humidity, uv rays, and temperature damage then we can make our cannabis last a long time. In order to protect our cannabis, we must use a storage container that is airtight and uses a black UV glass to prevent any sunlight from entering the container, and it is beneficial to keep the container in a cool (NOT COLD) spot. Having it in a cool area like a fridge is best because this can help slow down the off gassing of volatile compounds such as terpenes. If you can manage to cover all these bases and store your weed properly you can be sure to have fresh and vibrant smelling flower for months!!
Beware of trash storage containers! Many storage jars in the market today will advertise many of these features however not all jars are built the same. Stay away from glass jars that are just painted black they can scratch easily rendering them useless quit quickly. Magnifying glasses on the lid are also a red flag. These jars are the worst for long term storage because they not only let UV rays in, but that light is magnified causing an even more rapid degradation of the cannabis. Finally, do not use a wrap or something that slides on a glass mason jar. These may prevent some light from degrading the cannabis, but these wraps never cover the jar fully.
Here are a couple experiments we’ve done to show the difference between jars:
As you can clearly see in these videos’ cannabis stored in what some people would consider proper storage still gets considerable degradation to the cannabis after a short time. If you are looking to store your cannabis, we want to pick the absolute best storage options for are medicine/recreational flower so that we can get the most therapeutic and recreational benefits out of your flower. So if you want the best storage go find a black UV glass that uses a gel seal lid for maximum protection of your flower.
Q & A: How To Keep Weed Fresh
Q: Can you put weed in the freezer?
A: We never recommend putting weed in the freezer. Freezing temperatures, humidity the will fluctuate and bright lights all degrade THC, terpenes and other cannabinoids. When frozen, the precious trichomes on your cannabis can actually fall off the buds, reducing the potency. The best place to store pot is a cool, dark place in an opaque or black UV sealed glass jar.
However, storing weed in the freezer can be done and if you choose to do it, we have a few suggestions.
When removing from the storage container, be careful not to touch the buds, because the trichomes (which contain almost all of the resin) will quickly fall off.
Storing weed in the freezer for maximum of 12-18 months. Any longer and you’ll loose potency.
Let them naturally thaw outside the freezer, and note that the top layer may be slightly degraded. The rest of the buds should be almost as good as they were when originally stored.
Q: Is there an ideal temperature to store weed?
A:Any temperature too cold can slow down the decarboxylation process. This is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide.
On the flip side, you don’t want a temperature too hot. Heat about 20°C(68℉) can dry out the terpenes and cannabinoids.
Ideally, store your weed at temperatures of between 0°C (32℉) and 20°C(68℉). Somewhere right in the middle of that range is your best temperature for keeping weed fresh.
A: Ideally, store your weed at temperatures of between 0°C (32℉) and 20°C(68℉). Somewhere right in the middle of that range is your best temperature for keeping weed fresh.
Excessive cold can drastically slow down the decarboxylation process. This is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide.
You also don't want the temperature to get too hot, either. Excessive heat can dry out the terpenes and cannabinoids.
Q: How do you control humidity when storing your cannabis?
A: One important factor when it comes to storing weed is humidity. Without the proper humidity, your weed will lose its freshness and potency, making it best to store your stash in an airtight container with plenty of moisture, like a mason jar.
Too much humidity can cause the buds to grow mold and mildew, which can cause health issues in some users. But, keeping your weed bone dry is not always the best option either, as dry weed can become brittle and lose its potency. This is why keeping your weed in a place with the perfect amount of humidity is so important.
Humidity-balancing products are available to help keep weed fresh. Whether it’s a humidity packs, pouches, boxes, or equipment, you can find an option that best fits their needs. We recommend the BOVEDA 60G HUMIDITY CONTROL PACK, made for controlling humidity for marijuana buds, cigars, tobacco, and a variety of smoking products.
Q: What should I store my weed in?
A: Storing in a black UV glass jar or container to prevent any sunlight from entering the container. Ensure the lid is airtight and the container is nonporous to keep weed fresh.
Q: Can I store weed in a plastic container?
A: You can store your weed in a plastic container if it is on a short term basis. In long term storage, plastic can contaminate your weed as it attracts precious trichomes through the static charge. We always recommend glass jars to store your weed and would only use plastic in a pinch.
Q: Does the size of the jar matter for keeping weed fresh?
A: Yes, we recommend your jars be packed in pretty tight to reduce the amount of airspace between your buds. As you empty out the container, switch to a smaller glass jar to keep the ratio.
Q: How can I avoid temperature fluctuations?
A: Storing them in a place away from any windows in your house is a start. Anywhere that heats up during the day is something that can have an affect. This would include any of your appliances or possibly electronics.
When storing weed, it's important to keep in mind that the ideal temperature for the growth of mildew and other molds is around 25 °C (77℉) and 29 °C(86℉).
Q: How can I keep keep weed fresh long term?
A: Proper cannabis storage starts with giving it time for post-harvest curing. And it actually involves maintaining the same type of optimized environment for your buds. You’ll want to find a cool spot to store your weed, below 25.5ºC (78ºF) to prevent mold. Turning it down to 21ºC (70ºF) would be optimal. You storage location will need to be dark to avoid the UV rays that can affect potency. Carefully separate the buds from the sugar leaves (the leaves are sticky) and sort them into mason jars. Each of your jars should only be ¾ full.
After a little time, with some patience you'll have fresh, smokable flowers. You can use these simple steps to prevent excess moisture from getting trapped in your curing jars.
There are many ways to manage the humidity of your content. One way is to use our specialized humidity packs. If your jar's a little larger than usual, there are humidity packs in sizes up to 67g available. Select the ones that maintain 58% or 62% humidity for best results. If you live in a humid climate, get the former. If you live in a dry climate, get the latter.
Q: How long can I store weed for?
A: If you want to be smoking the weed and have that fresh flavour, follow all our steps and it will taste great for months!