At first glance, freezing your weed may sound like a brilliant idea to make your stash last longer. But is storing your weed in the freezer actually a good idea? In order to understand whether or not freezing weed is a smart move, we must first understand what effects dried cannabis once it’s in your hands. While freezing vegetables and fruits is a no-brainer, there are multiple factors that go into storing your cannabis the right way.
Basics of Weed Storage
As an everyday cannabis consumer, not many people look too deeply into why cannabis is packaged the way it is. It’s true that branded jars and bags look nice, but they’ve also been thoughtfully designed to best suit the longevity of your stash with several factors in mind.
Just as humans have a sensitivity to UV rays, so does cannabis. Too much exposure to UVB rays will cause the THC in cannabis to start breaking down, especially in the storage phase. Any good cannabis storage method will involve blocking out the light in some way: either by storing your weed in containers that block out UVB rays specifically (like Miron jars), by storing them in opaque containers, or by storing them in complete darkness.
Moisture in the air can make a big difference when it comes to degrading the shelf life of your weed. In order to keep cannabis fresh, you have to strike a delicate balance between over-humidifying and over-drying. If you allow weed to dry out and become brittle, it can cause the trichomes to degrade, which contain most of the potency and flavor of cannabis. Thus, old, dry weed won’t just smoke harsh but it will be less potent and flavorful as well. That being said, too much humidity is also a storage no-no. Over-humidifying cannabis can also lead to the growth of mold, mildew, and other bacteria that you do not want in your weed. Choosing an airtight container to stash your weed will do wonders to prevent mildew and other pests.
Friction may seem like an odd element to consider, but this again goes back to the trichomes on the surface of cannabis flower. These crystal-like molecules are fragile and can easily be broken off with a little friction. Any storage method where your weed is routinely crushed, crumbled, or sat on is not a good idea — unless your storage method involves a kief catcher, then feel free to friction away.
Last but not least, temperature. Weed prefers to be in cool to moderate temperatures, as heat can cause it to dry out. Experts say to aim for temperatures between 32 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal conditions.
To Freeze or Not to Freeze
The main argument in favor of freezing weed is that it does slow down the natural process of decarboxylation, which leads to less potent cannabis over time. Freezing cannabis may indeed slow down this undesirable process, but it will also cause a host of unwanted side effects that you may want to consider. First, if your packaging is not entirely airtight, your weed might get freezer burn, making defrosting it a whole ordeal. Even if you manage to avoid freezer burn, drastic changes in humidity can put your cannabis at risk of losing its character or attracting harmful bacteria. One of the biggest downsides of frozen weed is that the fragile trichomes are again at risk. As temperatures dive, these potent and tasty molecules will begin to fall off. This also means that the effects of friction will be magnified in frozen weed — even the tiniest movement will have trichomes falling off like flies. Rather than the intended purpose of preserving weed’s potency, the process of freezing could cause it to lose strength. However, this isn’t always a disadvantage—if you’re looking to make ice bubble hash or something similar, you can use this factor to your benefit. You can also use the freezer to store cannabutter and other infusions for several months with little to no side effects. However, if you’re just looking to store some Pineapple Express to smoke later, it may not be ideal.
Best Ways to Store Weed
The most effective way to store cannabis and maintain its flavor and character is to store it in an airtight container, like a glass jar or tightly sealed bag. While oxygen is an integral part of the curing process, you want just enough in your container to keep the humidity level consistent without drying out the flower too quickly. Also remember to keep your cannabis in a separate container from grinders, dirty pipes, or other accessories that smell of burnt weed and other resins that can stick to the container making it smell over time. Overall, if your weed is in a cool, dry place and in an airtight container, you do not need to stress about your stash going bad any time soon.
Keeping weed in the freezer may not be the best idea for storage, but that doesn’t mean that you should rule it out completely for other uses. Your freezer can be a great tool if you want to make ice bubble hash or store cannabutter for a rainy day. That being said, if you keep temperature, humidity, friction, and light in mind when storing your cannabis, you will be good to go for a long time.