Keeping marijuana fresh has long been a bone of contention for many stoners. Some believe storing it in plastic sandwich bags will keep weed fresh, while others find airtight tin containers the best for storing weed.
The debate had raged on since the early 1900s when pharmacists who sold and distributed cannabis stored it in ceramic jars to keep it fresh.
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Despite being in the 20th-century, marijuana masters haven’t developed reliable packaging to keep weed fresh. Studies show that marijuana can remain fresh for up to two years if stored properly. But how can you keep it fresh for that long?
Experts advise understanding factors that compromise weed’s taste and potency and avoiding storage methods that encourage such factors to thrive. The following section explains how to keep weed fresh in detail.
How to Keep Cannabis Fresh: Factors that Degrade Weed Potency
If you can control these factors, you can keep marijuana fresh for a long time. They include:
Light in the form of UV rays can degrade weed by reducing its potency and worsening its taste. A study conducted at the University of London found that light was the main factor that caused marijuana to degrade.
While marijuana needs oxygen during the growth phase, allowing too much air to the storage area degrades its taste and potency. Therefore, the storage area should have the right amount of air; it should be too cold or too hot.
If too much air is allowed in the storage area, the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) component loses its euphoric kick and degrades into cannabinoid (CBN), which won’t give you the usual high. Also, its aroma and the medical properties of weed dry out, making medicinal marijuana harsher and less healthy to smoke.
Similarly, cold air can affect the drug’s potency. Ice, dry CO2, and high-proof alcohol can maintain its freshness, but if storing the buds, the trichomes break off and damage the short and long-term smoking potential of your weed.
Mold and mildew thrive in temperatures between 77 and 86 F; thus, storing cannabis in areas with such high temperatures creates ripe ground for them to grow. In addition, excessive heat dries out the cannabinoids and terpenes that have taken ages to develop.
Once these essential oils dry out, weed becomes extremely harsh and hot. Warm air also holds more moisture than cold air hence likely to increase humidity.
Conversely, low temperature slows the decarboxylation of cannabinoids, a process that converts THC-A into the active THC compound, eventually degrading into the less desired cannabinoid.
Humidity also affects weed’s medicinal qualities. If stored in spaces with too much moisture, the herb is likely to make it susceptible to mold and mildew. Conversely, too little humidity can dry the trichome resin and degrade terpenes and cannabinoid compounds.
According to research, a relative humidity level of 59-63% should keep marijuana fresh, maintaining essential properties like aroma, color, potency, flavor, and texture. For stoners, an RH level of 62% is the best to keep weed fresh, while vaping enthusiasts find RH levels of 54% the best.
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How to Keep Marijuana Fresh
Having looked at factors that compromise the drug’s freshness, we look at the best way to store marijuana to keep it fresh.
Store Weed in a Glass Jar
One question that lingers on many people’s minds is, ‘is it better to store weed in a bag or a jar?’ The truth is that glass jars make a better storage option.
They create an artificial airlocked space, prevent microbial growth triggered by external factors, and barely retain residual humidity. Glass jars also don’t experience temperature fluctuations.
And if you’re wondering what the best container to store weed in is, we’re talking about glass canning jars used for preserving fruit. They are available in grocery stores or at the local hardware. Be sure to look for dark or tinted glass jars to prevent weed from becoming dry and brittle.
So what happens when you store weed in a jar? Weed stored in glass jars is likely to last a long time. This is because the jars limit oxygen exposure and don’t have the static charge (as in plastic containers), which affects the delicate trichomes.
Avoid Adding Organic Matter
Once stashed in the glass jar, it’s best to leave the weed alone. Some people add veggies and fruits to help weed regain moisture. Unfortunately, this hack doesn’t work; instead, it creates ripe ground for mold and mildew growth.
The best way to increase humidity to a suitable level is to use humidity packs like Boveda packs. They increase moisture without reintroducing the lost terpenes while ensuring you don’t have a harsh smoking experience.
You can also vacuum-seal the jars to reduce airborne contamination caused by humidity. The jars should be bisphenol-free to avoid producing static energy and to keep the bud healthy and fresh for a long time.
The main aim of storing weed is to reduce oxygen exposure, which is what titanium containers do. So if you’re ready to splurge a few more bucks, they make great storage options.
They allow the right amount of air into the storage space and lockout unwanted elements. Titanium containers also retain the drug’s potent flavor, which is a major bonus for hardcore stoners.
If looking for the best way to store weed, cannabis humidors would ace the test. They are designed to store cannabis, are opaque, and airtight, keeping off most elements that degrade marijuana’s taste and potency. What’s more, they maintain an RH level of 59-63% suitable for storing marijuana.
One controversial issue about storing cannabis in humidors is ‘can you keep weed in a cigar humidor too? The answer is no. Cigar or tobacco humidors are lined with cedarwood which produces oil that enhances the taste of cigars.
Such oils compromise cannabis taste and its freshness. In addition, humidors for cigars use propylene glycol or sponges to create the humidity levels ideal for tobacco. Well, such levels are too high for cannabis and would compromise its freshness.
What Not to do When Storing Weed
Now that you know how and where to store weed let’s look at what not to do with the containers you choose to ensure it remains fresh
- Avoid leaving marijuana on open spaces like tables or countertops because they are exposed to heat, light, and humidity.
- Avoid storing it in a refrigerator. The temperature fluctuations caused by opening and closing the fridge door can cause mold growth.
- Don’t stash your weed near heat-generating devices like electronics because the heat degrades your dope.
- Avoid keeping weed on ice in a freezer. The cold air breaks the trichome resin head from the rest of the reefer before consumption.
- Weed shouldn’t be kept in direct contact with other substances with a strong aroma like cologne, makeup, shaving cream, paint, or other commonly-carried cosmetics. They can leach into the stash, easily compromising its freshness.
What Container Stops Weed Smelling?
The best container that can stop the weed from smelling is the glass jar. It has an airtight seal that protects against oxidation and keeps off the distinctive odor.
Alternatively, you can purchase a smell-proof bag like the Helmet Head Smell proof bag. The bag is lined with activated charcoal technology that keeps the smell in the bag.
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Can Plastics Keep Weed Fresh?
Many cannabis users rely on sandwich bags to keep weed fresh. Sadly, it’s the worst way of preserving weed because they hardly keep light, moisture, air, or heat out.
Even sealable plastic bags let out lots of odor from your pot. What’s more, they produce a static charge which destroys the valuable trichomes, creating a refined, sticky powder.
If buying cannabis from the local dispensary, it’s best to carry an empty glass jar or purchase one from the seller to avoid ruining your weed.