So, you got your weed. You went to your favorite location, you took the long journey to the annoyingly out-of-the-way marijuana distributor and purchased your favorite strain.
You’re smart, so you bought more than just a few session’s worth. After all, you don’t go to the supermarket for just a day’s worth of groceries, now do you?
The only problem is, how do you store your leftover bud? You know some people keep it in an old coffee jar, but you’re pretty sure that’s not quite right.
Well, it turns out there are a list of important things to keep in mind when storing your bud.
Below is a helpful list of “do’s and dont’s” to bear in mind when storing your weed.
First though, what are the things you need to keep an eye on when storing your bud?
You might think it’s a great idea to keep all your marijuana accessories together in one place. Why not store your pipe, your bong, your papers, all in one handy container?
It turns out that burnt residue remaining from your accessories could impart a harsh, burning flavor on your bud that you very much don’t want. Even if you think you’ve cleaned your pipes out, there’ll still be a surprising amount of burned residue still remaining on it.
So, even if your container looks like the perfect place, don’t keep your supplies there! After all, you might end up crushing it by accident! It would be bad enough to have burned weed, but crushed weed? It doesn’t bare thinking about!
It may seem odd that light is so dangerous to marijuana, considering that light is what feeds the plant and produces the righteous bud you’re trying to store.
However, light is actually extremely deadly to your weed.
Light is more than just the brightness that feeds plants and forces the purchase of those new Ray Bans; light contains harmful UV rays that irradiate whatever they touch, harming a number of useful substances.
One of the substances damaged by UV light is cannabinoids – in a study conducted by the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, UV light was demonstrated as the biggest contributor to cannabinoid degradation.
What happens is that the UV light hits your bud, causing cellular changes to the cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. This radiation causes these vital compounds to degrade and fade, making your weed weaker and weaker, eventually resulting in a useless green bud.
To avoid this, store your marijuana in an opaque, not see-through container. Or, if you must use glass, use green glass, similar to many types of beer bottles. This green glass acts as a refractor of UV light, protecting the important contents within.
Just as when growing your cannabis, temperature is incredibly important to making sure that your weed remains high quality.
In a very similar way to when you store any kind of dried consumable, you’ll want to avoid keeping your marijuana in a warm location, as the huge variety of molds and infections that are able to inject your bud thrive wonderfully in warm temperatures.
Alongside this mold risk, cannabinoids like THC and CBD can be dried and destroyed by continuous, excessive heat. Although marijuana is dried before sale, they are not used to hot temperatures; if you leave your bud container in a warm place, you might find that your marijuana has barely any THC left.
Instead, try to keep your container in a cool, dark place. An out of the way cupboard or other hidden place is best – it also doubles as a place to hide your stash away from prying eyes.
Hearing that you want to avoid hot temperatures might incline you to store your weed in a fridge or freezer, but…
Don’t Use Electrical Appliances
Just like how you don’t want your marijuana to get too hot, you also don’t want it to get too cold. When your cannabinoids get too cold, they can degrade in a similar way to when they get too hot.
Alongside this, if you store your bud in the fridge, your marijuana might get infected by the rest of your fridge’s contents – if you’ve ever pulled something out of your fridge only to find it smells like something entirely else, you’ve already experienced this. No one wants marijuana that smells like mustard instead of fresh bud.
Freezing is even worse for this, as the same freezer burn that affects unwrapped packets of meat can also affect your bud. Even if you properly defrost it, your bud will never light up properly like it would if you had never frozen it.
Finally, perhaps the most significant reason to not use electrical appliances – temperature fluctuations.
You might not realize it, but the food in your fridge or freezer actually undergoes constant temperature fluctuations. Every time you open the fridge or freezer door, you introducing a blast of different temperature air into the cold environment.
Imagine how many times you go to your fridge or freezer on an average day – even more so on days when you smoke! – and think about the damage you’re doing to your bud without realizing it.
Fridges are also terrible for an entirely different reason…
For the same reason that you don’t want too warm temperatures for your bud, if your marijuana is contained in a moist environment, you’ll quickly find yourself with a batch of moldy weed.
The reason for this is because mold and other infectious bacteria require two things to survive and flourish: warm temperatures and lots of oxygen.
If you keep your marijuana in a damp place, mold spores that exist throughout the air will be able to latch on the nutrients within your weed and, using the water vapor contained in humid air, grow and develop a huge mold colony.
To avoid this, make sure you keep your weed in a dry location. You don’t want your bud near any frequent sources of water – and don’t even think of keeping your weed in your bathroom!
If possible, consider only opening and closing your weed container in a dry area of your home. Lots of people keep their bud in an airing closet or their basement. The exact location doesn’t matter, as long as it’s dry enough to avoid tremendous amounts of mold.
If you’ve never smoked a batch of weed that’s been corrupted with mold, consider yourself lucky.
Again, in much the same way that temperature and humidity is incredibly important for keeping your weed safe, a high oxygen environment is killer for the integrity of your weed.
Though this might seem the same thing as humidity, you’re going to want to keep this in mind even if you live in dry locales.
A lot of people that live in deserts or other dry locations might think their weed is immune to the ravages of humidity. Well, oxygen is deadly to the potency of your weed, even so far as to be a problem to just keep it out of its container.
In exactly the same way that you don’t want kind of alcohol fermenting being exposed to oxygen, marijuana’s cannabinoids can degrade and become soured by overexposure to oxygen.
This oxygenation is a result of the same principle of oxidation in the human body, as well as when you see a rusty iron fence. Oxygen interacts with the atoms on the surface, causing electron theft and degradation of the material. With marijuana, this has the effect of diminishing the quality and potency of your bud by destroying the THC and CBD compounds.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to create a vacuum seal and empty your weed container of any possible air. In fact, just the right amount of air is important for the preservation and maturation of your bud’s flavors.
It’s exactly the same as why wine bottles are stoppers with a cork, instead of a vacuum seal – a very small amount of oxygen and oxygen transfer is important to the development of flavors. So, make sure your bud isn’t unnecessarily exposed to oxygen, but don’t deprive it of it either.
Do’s & Dont’s
Now that you understand a few of the primary causes of Marijuana degradation, as well as their causes and reasons, you can hopefully more easily avoid your precious bud getting destroyed.
To make things even easier, here is a brief list of do’s and dont’s to keep in mind when storing your marijuana for later use.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight
- Keep it in a sealed container
- Allow a small amount of oxygen in
- Refrigerate it or freeze it
- Don’t store it near other accessories or near electronics
- Keep the container moist
- Use a vacuum seal
Final Thoughts on How to Store Marijuana
If you want the best advice for how to store your marijuana, consider using either an opaque or green glass contained, stored in a dark, cool room away from any open sources of water or temperature differential.
Somewhere calm, dark and pleasant is where your bud likes best, so don’t mistrust your valuable marijuana — put it somewhere safe, and without danger of it getting destroyed.