Living through something like a global pandemic reminded many of us how quickly things can change overnight: Not being able to go outside, businesses closing with funds, and hours running low. Sounds like the prime opportunity to keep weed fresh and in stock.
Maybe you are about to re-up on your favorite strain and not quite sure where to keep the ‘leftovers’. Well, it is unlikely there will be any leftovers and (be honest here) less likely you will share if it is your favorite strain. So what happens now? Is there a way to keep weed fresh throughout the holiday season and beyond?
The rumors of weed having a 12-month shelf life or longer are true if you seal and store your weed properly. You will be blown away how such small changes in your storage plans can have the biggest outcome in maintaining the quality of your stash.
What Makes Weeds Go ‘Bad’?
Because weed is best kept dry to later be burned or vaporized, water and moisture will destroy any chance of doing this successfully. Your weed will get soggy, making it impossible to roll but also much harder to get THC out of since the moisture will draw it out.
Also, high temperatures are what you want to ‘activate’ your weed and release its THC (when it is time to use it), but if it is stored somewhere that is abnormally warm, it will lose its potency over time and will not be nearly as effective by the time you are ready to smoke.
Weed is essentially ‘spoiled’ or ‘bad’ when it is discolored, too dry (like almost crunchy), weirdly spongy to the touch and of course, less aromatic than usual. The most telltale sign, just like any other perishable item, is mold: Yes, weed can mold and it is disgusting.
Improper care or storage will cause this over time, which is why we are here to explain how to prevent this heartbreaking future.
The Worst Way to Store Weed?
While making bubble hash does involve putting your weed in ice and water, keeping the fresh buds in the freezer is probably the worst way to store your weed. You might be thinking “How is that? Everything stays fresh when it’s frozen!” Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for weed.
The trichomes or resin glands that store the ‘potency’ of your weed will freeze and actually fall off the plant, which is fine for separating to make hash, but this is not what you want if you are just trying to save it for smoking. Also, if your bag or container has even a tiny bit of moisture inside (which is already a no-no), that is basically the death sentence for your weed.
Moisture is the enemy of the freezer regardless, but this goes double for weed since wet buds get soggy and the moisture draws out terpenes, making it less potent and more susceptible to molding. It may sound like a convenient, out-of-the-way weed storage plan, but it spells disaster for the average consumer.
How to Keep Weed Fresh
Avoiding moisture, avoiding direct sunlight, and keeping bacteria and particles at bay: A bit oversimplified, but this is how you keep your weed fresh.
Room temperature at all times is also the key for maintaining fresh weed: Your place of storage should not be too hot to avoid weed losing THC and eroding over time, and not too cold so that the weed does not break apart and lose its trichomes.
Finally, there is the matter of your storage containers. You can keep your weed in a climate-controlled space and out of the sun, but what will literally make or break your weed is the container or vessel in which it is kept.
If there is any one container you take from this article, it is glass. A clean, spacious glass jar is the apex predator of storing weed and keeping it fresh. If you have room in your cabinets, pantry, drawers, etc, the glass jar already has an airtight seal in its lid preventing particles and moisture from getting inside.
This is the very reason why dispensaries around the world unanimously display their products in glass jars. You would probably have to special order if you do not see them in stores, but some jars are also shatterproof and resistant to UV rays. There is truly no better storage option.
Turns out, those fancy vacuum sealers at the store are not just for keeping meats fresh: You can load up the special airtight bags you get with the machine, fill it with weed, and suck out all the air. The machine’s slot to seal your bags removes every last bit of air, and is so thin that none of your precious green stuff will be getting stuck in the machine.
But say you do not have $120+ to spend on a vacuum sealer you are probably only going to use for weed and maybe a steak here and there: If that is the case, you can go old school and just push out all the excess air and then pack the bag as tightly as you can leaving as little room for air as possible.
Thinking about throwing out those empty prescription bottles that you are not going to refill? Not so fast! You can fill them back up with a little something different.
Aspirin bottles, prescription bottles, these are absolutely perfect for keeping your weed fresh and safe because they avoid direct sunlight in the medicine cabinet, they are the perfect size for a few grams, have child-proof casing and are literally designed to lock out contaminants.
Much like the airtight seal of a glass jar, the medicine bottle keeps everything inside dry and reusable without you having to worry about moisture seeping through.
When Should I Throw Out My Weed?
If there any of the following symptoms after storing your weed for a while:
- Less aromatic or bad odor
Again, you should always check for mold. When there is even the tiniest indication that your stash is spoiled, the time has sadly come to throw it out. The last thing you want to do is get really super sick from a spoiled bud and an intake of any foreign contaminants.
Overall, it is an easy metric: If the things that made you buy the weed in the first place are no longer there, that is when it has to go: No different than other things you keep in the kitchen.