Why is keeping your weed fresh important? Because smoking weed that’s all dried and crusty isn’t enjoyable. Dried out weed makes for a harsher smoke, which not only can influence the taste but can also make your throat feel like you swallowed a porcupine.
So, how do you keep weed as fresh as possible? Fortunately, it’s not too hard. It begins with understanding what makes good weed go bad – pretty much all elements of nature, including light, moisture, and air. Thus, in order to keep your weed fresh, you must protect it from these elements. And you can do this by:
Getting a good glass jar
Some people opt to buy glass jars designed specifically for storing pot. Others take whatever they can find – a sugar canister, an old jelly jar, a mason jar (just be sure to dump out the moonshine!). The type of jar isn’t as important as the circulation – it must be airtight!
As previously mentioned, air is one of the elements that dries out cannabis. The reason it does this is because of evaporation. Cannabis contains a certain level of moisture and air induces evaporation, causing your buds to dry up. Have you ever experienced dry skin after spending time outside on a windy day? It’s the same concept – air dries out cannabis just as it does skin.
Glass works where other material fails because it doesn’t change – it doesn’t leak compounds or allow the temperature to fluctuate. This isn’t to say no air is introduced into the jar – each time you uncap the lid, oxygen enters. In other words, if you’re opening the jar every five minutes to check in with your buds, you’re not doing Mary Jane any favors. Only open it when you’re taking weed out or putting weed in. And make sure your jar is size appropriate. If you have a small amount of weed, use a small jar.
Glass does have a major fault – it’s not immune to light. So be sure to store your glass jar somewhere dark (like a cupboard or basement shelf). Refrain from keeping it in a shed or garage – you don’t want to store it where it might get too hot. Don’t put it near a heater, either.
Metal is a suitable alternative to glass. But, again, the seal matters: it must be airtight in order to be sufficient. Titanium is most recommended. The reason is that titanium won’t change the flavor of the weed, turning it metallic. Like with glass, be sure that your metal jar (or box) is kept somewhere dark and away from heat.
Plastic is not recommended for weed storage because of its moldability – it does leak chemicals that can change the flavor of weed (or the flavor of anything else). Even cookies stored in Tupperware start to take on a plastic taste if stored long enough. Storing weed in a pencil box for twenty-minutes while your RA conducts room inspections probably won’t hurt anything, but avoid it for anything long-term.
Try a cannabis humidor
Sure, humidors are “so cigar” but they work for cannabis too. A humidor, as the name insinuates, help control humidity, something highly important to cannabis. Humidity acts opposite of air – it doesn’t dry out weed, but it leaves it too moist. And that sets the stage for mold.
Moldy weed is a different ballgame than weed that is simply dried out. The former can be unhealthy for you, especially if you smoke moldy weed routinely. Inhaling mold spores can exacerbate conditions you may already have (things like asthma) while leaving you more prone to lung infections (like pneumonia).
A humidor doesn’t solve the problem of moldy weed entirely – there’s always a chance that the weed was moldy when you bought it. But it does help you control humidity, which will prevent healthy cannabis from growing mold. The best humidity levels are over 50 percent but less than 70 percent.
Of note, most cigar humidors maintain humidity levels higher than what is recommend for cannabis. If you’re using a cigar humidor to store your weed, keep this in mind – it’s probably already programmed at levels higher than you want.
Not putting weed in the refrigerator or freezer
Back in college, when we were young and dumb, weed was stored in the mini-fridge as a routine – heck, if you wanted to keep things fresh, that’s where it went! Some people (i.e. my parents) even put batteries in the fridge or freezer.
But these places are not ideal for cannabis. The freezer is especially bad as it can cause the weed to lose its trichomes, which are essentially the heart of the cannabis plant. The reason the freezer does this is that it causes the flowers to freeze, crystalizing the trichomes and allowing them to break off. This breakage not only lessens the benefits of cannabis, but it can also make it taste funny.
Overall, when storing cannabis, it’s best to keep it in a dark, cool place (but not freezing) free from too much air or too much humidity. Make sure you don’t store it somewhere it may be exposed to periodic heat, such as in the kitchen cupboard above your oven. If you can do all this, you should be able to keep your pot good to go for an extended period of time. Long live the leaf.