Cannabis Storage: How to Store Weed So It’ll Last
Article written by
Dipak HemrajHead of Research and Education
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
After a successful harvest, it’s important to store your dried and cured cannabis correctly to ensure your time spent cultivating was worthwhile.
To store cannabis so it will last, put it in a mason jar or other clean, glass or ceramic airtight container that you can easily open and close, and keep it in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.
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Why Proper Cannabis Storage Is Important
Proper storage of your cannabis buds is important because it can:
- Help improve the shelf life of your plant material.
- Keep the integrity of the beneficial compounds in the trichomes (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids) intact.
- Improve flavor as the cannabis cures over time.
- Prevent mold and mildew from forming on the bud.
Where to Store Cannabis
Keep marijuana products in a cool, dark, dry area out of direct sunlight (UV light). You can’t prevent time from degrading your bud, but you can prevent ultraviolet (UV) rays from doing so.
Mildew and other molds on cannabis and other organic matter thrive in high temperatures between 77°F and 86°F, and the likelihood of mold or mildew growing on your cannabis is increased if the area is damp or has high levels of ambient moisture. Avoid keeping your cannabis above electronic appliances or any other heat source like an oven or microwave.
Keep your cannabis flower away from water sources (not near taps or pipes). The ideal relative humidity is between 55% and 62%, which is also the ideal humidity of a wine cellar — an excellent storage space for cannabis if you are lucky enough to have one! Ultimately, you want to avoid extreme temperatures, whether high or low, when storing cannabis.
Low cupboards, shelves, and flood-proofed basements are great spaces to keep your dry weed in.
Best Cannabis Storage Containers
The best marijuana storage containers are glass jars or ceramic containers that you can easily open and close. Be sure to avoid using metal or plastic containers.
Keep your containers three-quarters full. This will allow some oxygen to get to the buds to help cure the cannabis and prevent mold without accelerating the degradation of your cannabis through oxidation (i.e., when exposure to too much oxygen alters the desired effects or potency of the cannabinoids in your weed).
It is worth having jars of several sizes so you can transfer your flower to smaller containers as you use your cannabis. This can prevent your bud from getting overly dry and improve the longevity of your cured bud, ultimately keeping the trichomes and flavor of the plant intact.
Mason jars — also known as “canning jars” or “fruit jars” — are solid, cylindrical containers that are usually made of glass and make for great weed storage containers. Glass mason jars are popular for storing foods like pickles and preserves and are available in various sizes.
These ideal cannabis storage jars have a wide top opening with a rubber seal and a clasp that shuts and fastens the top to the container. This creates an airtight vacuum seal, which prevents oxidation and reduces the smell of cannabis substantially.
Although your typical plastic baggies should be avoided for storing cannabis (the trichomes stick to plastic), vacuum-sealing your cannabis makes sense, as it prevents air from getting to your cannabis and protects its potency for between a year to 18 months.
As cannabis cannot easily move around inside a vacuum-sealed bag, its trichomes do not get stuck to the side of the plastic bag. Vacuum sealing also substantially reduces the smell of cannabis, so it is ideal for long-term storage.
You still need to keep vacuum-sealed cannabis out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry place. Also, once you open the bag, you will need to transfer the cannabis to a suitable container, which is where mason jars come in handy.
Ceramic Container With an Airtight Lid
A well-made ceramic container with an airtight lid is pretty much as good as a mason jar for storing cannabis.
Can You Freeze Cannabis?
You do not want to keep your cannabis in a refrigerator, as it is too moist and can increase the chances of mold growing on your cannabis. But what about freezing cannabis? Well, doing so has some potential advantages (and disadvantages).
One of the major advantages is that if you vacuum seal a bag of cannabis and store it in a deep freezer, you will significantly slow down the natural process of decarboxylation (a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide or “CO2”). This can help the cannabis maintain its potency for between one and two years. Note that the bag must be vacuum sealed; otherwise, air may get into the bag and cause freezer burn.
The disadvantage of freezing cannabis is that it can become very brittle, which can cause trichome loss when you want to use the cannabis. And if not properly sealed, moisture may enter the bag, leading to mold growth. Keeping moisture out also helps when thawing your cannabis, as you do not want water leaching from your buds.
In general, unless you have the ability to vacuum seal your cannabis, we recommend avoiding freezing it.
How to Prepare Cannabis for Storage
Before you store cannabis for long periods, you want to ensure it is properly dried and cured. Improperly dried cannabis will increase the chances of mold or mildew growing on your cannabis.
If you are going to be using your weed, the ideal storage option is a mason jar, which can keep cannabis for between a year and 18 months. Otherwise, vacuum sealing and storing in a cold, dark, dry space is great if you do not intend to consume your cannabis for a while.
The Bottom Line
Proper storage of your cannabis can enhance your cannabis experience and reduce the amount of waste, ultimately saving money. You can savor a particularly delicious variety of cannabis from a year ago and still retain much of its flavor and potency with proper storage. In fact, it may even taste better!
Depending on various factors, many people believe cannabis “peaks” after about three to 12 months of curing, with potency and quality dipping after 18 months. By storing your cannabis properly in one of the storage solutions above, you can get the most out of it. Steer clear of placing it in areas with high humidity levels, access to UV rays, or in areas that experience high or low temperatures.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Should you keep weed in plastic?
You should not keep your weed in plastic, as the trichomes can get stuck to the plastic and quickly reduce the quality and potency of your cannabis. The exception to this is keeping your cannabis in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag.
How long does weed stay good?
This depends on how you store it. But in general, if kept well, cannabis can be stored for between one and two years before any significant and noticeable drop off in quality. In general, if kept in a mason jar, cannabis can stay good for between 12 and 18 months before it starts to degrade.
What temp should I store weed in?
Most sources say the ideal temperature for storing weed is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. You do not want to keep your cannabis in a too-hot space, as it can dry the bud out. Steer clear of freezing temperatures as well unless you plan on vacuum sealing your bud as outlined above.