The Best (and Worst) Ways to Store Your Weed
When it comes to storing our stashes, most of us rely on the tried-but-untrue method of tossing it all in a bag and squirreling it away in a desk. That’s great... if you want your beautiful buds to degrade into something that looks like schwag. As it turns out, everything from air to light can affect your cannabis quality. So how do you avoid those, short of smoking it all in one marathon session? These are the dos and don’ts of making your weed last.
Lose the plasticBefore we start talking solutions, let’s identify and get rid of one problem: plastic sucks as a storage option. Its static charge can fry succulent trichomes (the beautiful little hairs), so immediately remove any flower in plastic bags or containers. That includes those handy plastic medicine jars. Unless your storage time is measured in days, you’re subject to the same issues we’re looking to avoid. They’ll surely do in a pinch, but think of these as good travel packs rather than long-term solutions. Otherwise, empty them, fill them all with matches, and hide them around the house for when the big one comes. You’re welcome.
Stock up on glassThere’s no better container for cannabis than glass. It’s not static like plastic, won’t affect the taste like metal containers tend to, and allows for an airtight seal to protect against oxidization. But unless you have access to special anti-UV glass coating, that clear view won’t protect your weed from light that speeds up the THC's (the high) degradation into CBN (that sleepy feeling), leaving you with weed that’s only good for one thing: couch lock. Combat this by wrapping your glass in a towel or storing it in a dark place.
Use parchment to prevent damageIf your idea of long-term storage is Tupperware, let’s at least lessen the damage. Grab that same kind of parchment paper popular for concentrates and softly wrap your bud before placing it inside. You’ll then have a built-in surface for breaking apart nugs or rolling joints. Conveniently, this is also the default method for storing shatter, rosin, live resin, and sugar wax, meaning one of your friends probably already has some.
Wrap it in foil in the short termAluminum wrap protects from light, heat, and air -- which makes me wonder why we don’t use it more. As a short-term option, it’s a fantastic option if you’re planning to only open it once, much like restaurant leftovers. If babied, unlike restaurant leftovers, it will last for weeks untouched outside the refrigerator. But when manipulated often, foil can bunch up and poke at trichomes, especially when carried.
Keep it moist, but not too moistIf you don’t have access to a humidor (more on that later), don’t be afraid to throw an orange peel, carrot, or wet cotton ball into any container you’re storing weed in, but don’t bother unless your stash is already drier than you’d like. Excess moisture is almost worse than powdery weed, as mold or bacteria spreads quickly. Think of these as re-moisturizing options, rather than preventative measures, and you’ll be fine.
Use a humidorCigars are often stored in over 70% humidity. Cannabis needs not this added moisture, with recommendations of anywhere from 50-65% and industry leader Boveda agreeing on 63%. Sadly, this means your humidor must choose between tobacco and marijuana. We recommend making the best blunts ever from the cigars you kick out into a box on a counter.
Use paper as a fail-safeIn pinch, reach for any clean napkin, printer paper, or paper towel you can find. Before wrapping your nugs, be sure to soften the paper by crunching it up for wrapping -- it will make folding the opening shut easier. Plastic bags or cling wrap seems easier, but paper protects against odor about as well while destroying your bud.
Spring for humidity packetsLong-term users will appreciate the existence of humidity packets, meant to be stored with cannabis nugs long term. Inside any airtight container -- preferably glass but people often use Tupperware -- these devices keep a steady humidity of around 62%. Cheaper than a humidor but not as versatile, it’s a simple way to store a big jar of weed a long time for a lot less.
Keep it out of the fridgeDon’t store flower in a refrigerator or freezer. The former’s temperature and humidity fluctuate too often and the latter will create brittle trichomes that fall off at first touch. Unless you’re making ice water or dry ice hash, keep the cold away.
Plastic does have a purpose...... and that purpose is temporary, on-the-go storage. Use plastic medicine jars if you can. They’re much less conspicuous anyway.
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Tyler Hurst once wrote a story that produced eight death threats, three client threats, one public encounter, an online impersonator, 2,000 words of insults, and five-plus months of reader reaction. Follow him to vitriol @tdhurst.