How Long Can You Store Marijuana?
Although marijuana aging is inevitable, with proper preservation, you can significantly slow down the rate at which it dries out and loses potency. First, it’s important to understand what can harm your buds in the first place, how to detect old or aging weed, then discover tips for long-term pot storage and ways to maintain freshness for longer.
What’s Harming My Weed?
If you typically buy your weed in bulk but you’re not a regular smoker, it’s safe to assume you’ve experienced old weed once or twice. When you go to enjoy it, it crumbles way too easily, the flavor is off, or you just don’t really feel the effects, leaving you wondering, “how do you store weed?”
Marijuana ages, regardless of short-term or long-term pot storage, but if you know how to recognize the signs it can help you prolong the potency a bit longer. So, what exactly happens when your weed begins to age? What causes it?
- Loss of THC: Excessive exposure to oxygen, heat, and UV light can cause the cannabinoids within marijuana to break down. Although it doesn’t happen immediately, you’ll notice a difference within a few weeks, and it won’t leave you feeling the same as it did when you bought it.
- CBN Conversion: THC doesn’t just vanish when it breaks down. Instead, when exposed to heat and oxygen, it transforms into another cannabinoid with mild psychoactive effects called CBN, producing a duller high.
- Flavor Loss: Keeping your weed in a warm location is the core cause of flavor loss and occurs as a result of the terpenes drying out, making it taste and feel harsh when smoking it.
Ways to Keep Weed Fresh & Potent
Humidity is essential but avoid storing your stash in areas with too much moisture as this can create mold. Along with minimal moisture, maintaining temperatures in the high 70s (Fahrenheit) is optimal; any hotter and mildew will start to develop. Additionally, keep it out of direct sunlight as the heat and UV light will severely damage its various properties. Finally, be sure to keep in an appropriate container to reduce the chances of “Sweating” or drying out.
Here are some more easy tips to keep weed fresh and potent:
- Keep in a sealable, glass jar - Creating an airlocked environment prevents bacteria growth with nothing getting in and nothing getting out.
- Store in empty prescription bottles - This one’s an oldie but definitely a goodie. These bottles are designed to keep their contents fresh and safe from any contamination.
- Vacuum seal - This serves the same purpose as keeping your weed in an airtight container, reducing contamination caused by excessive moisture.
- Leave it alone - Some may suggest adding herbs, fruits, or veggies to the jar to help you weed maintain or regain its moisture, but in doing it you run the risk of introducing bacteria, contamination, and more, so it’s best to ‘air’ on the side of caution and skip this hack.
- Titanium - It’s a little more costly, but titanium containers lock out any unwanted elements and let in just the right amount of air, making them great for minimizing weed’s exposure to oxygen.
Always keep different strains in separate containers, invest in cannabis humidors, and stock up on Boveda packs. Additionally, it’s important to nip this one in the bud (puns): Freezing it for freshness is a common mistake. Don’t do it.
It’s less a question of “how long can you store marijuana” and more a matter of how you store it. Treating your THC with some extra TLC will surely make a lasting impact and only guarantee you more time to spend with your best bud.