How To Store Weed Long Term: Tips and Tricks For Preserving Your Cannabis Fresh
If you are a cannabis enthusiast, you probably know that weed can lose its potency and flavor over time. But did you know that there are ways to store your weed long-term and keep it fresh and potent for months or even years? In this blog post, we will share some tips and tricks on how to store weed long term and what factors can degrade it over time.
What Are The Factors That Can Degrade Weed Over Time?
There are four main factors that can affect the quality of your weed over time: heat, oxygen, light, and moisture. These factors can cause chemical reactions in the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that give weed its effects and aroma. They can also cause mold, mildew, or pests to grow on your weed, which can be harmful to your health.
Here is how each of these factors can affect your weed:
1. Heat: High temperatures can cause the cannabinoids and terpenes to evaporate or degrade, reducing the potency and flavor of your weed. Heat can also dry out your weed, making it harsh and brittle. Ideally, you want to store your weed in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
2. Oxygen: Exposure to oxygen can cause oxidation, which is a chemical reaction that changes the molecular structure of cannabinoids and terpenes. Oxidation can lower the THC content of your weed, making it less psychoactive and more sedative. It can also alter the flavor and aroma of your weed, making it stale or unpleasant. Ideally, you want to store your weed in an airtight container that prevents oxygen from entering or escaping.
3. Light: UV rays from sunlight or artificial light can also degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes in your weed, especially THC. Light can also bleach the color of your weed, making it look dull or brown. Ideally, you want to store your weed in a dark container that blocks out any light sources.
4. Moisture: Too much moisture can cause mold or mildew to grow on your weed, which can produce toxins that are harmful to inhale. Moldy weed can also smell bad and taste bitter. Too little moisture can also dry out your weed, making it lose its flavor and potency. Ideally, you want to store your weed in a container that maintains a relative humidity of 55% to 65%, which is the optimal range for curing and preserving cannabis.
Let's Know How To Store Weed Long Term
Now that you know what factors can degrade your weed over time, let’s see how you can store it long-term to preserve its quality and freshness.
What Are The Best Containers To Store Weed In?
The first thing you need to consider when storing cannabis long-term is the container you use. The ideal storage containers should be:
- Airtight: This will prevent oxygen from entering and degrading your weed.
- Opaque: This will block light from reaching and bleaching your weed.
- Glass or ceramic: These materials are inert and will not react with or leach into your weed.
- The right size: You want to fill your container as full as possible without crushing the buds, leaving some room for air.
Some examples of good containers for marijuana storage long-term are glass containers with rubber seals (such as glass mason jars), ceramic jars with lids (such as cookie jars), or metal tins with lids (such as tea tins). Avoid plastic bags or plastic containers (such as ziplock bags or plastic bottles), as they are not airtight, opaque, or inert.
Where Should I Store My Weed Containers?
The next thing you need to consider for long-term storage is the location you choose. The ideal location should be:
- Cool: You want to keep your weed away from heat sources such as radiators, ovens, stoves, or direct sunlight.
- Dark: You want to keep your weed away from light sources such as windows, lamps, or LEDs.
- Dry: You want to keep your weed away from moisture sources such as sinks, showers, humidifiers, or damp basements.
Some examples of good locations for cannabis storage long-term are closets, cabinets, drawers, or safes. Avoid places that are exposed to temperature or humidity fluctuations (such as attics, garages, or bathrooms).
What Is The Ideal Temperature and Humidity To Keep My Weed Fresh?
The last thing you need to consider when storing is the temperature and humidity level you maintain. The ideal temperature and humidity level should be:
- Temperature: Between 15°C and 21°C (59°F and 70°F). Too hot or too cold can damage your weed.
- Humidity levels: Between 55% and 62%. Too dry or too humid can damage your weed.
You can use a thermometer and a hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity level of your storage location. You can also use humidity packs (such as Boveda or Integra Boost) to regulate the humidity level of your container.
Burp Your Jars Occasionally!
One of the best practices to store marijuana long-term is to burp your jars occasionally. This means opening the lids of your containers for a few minutes every few days to let some fresh air in and release any excess moisture or gases.
This will help regulate the humidity level inside your jars and prevent mold growth. Burping your jars will also help preserve the smell and taste of your weed by allowing the terpenes to breathe.
How Long Can I Store Cannabis Flowers?
The shelf life of your cannabis depends on several factors, such as the quality of the buds, the curing process, and the storage conditions. Generally speaking, properly cured and stored cannabis buds can last for six months to a year without significant loss of quality.
However, some cannabis connoisseurs claim that they can store their weed for longer periods without noticeable degradation. In the end, it all boils down to individual choice and trying different things out.
Aged Buds: A New Trend?
While most people prefer fresh weed over old weed, there is a growing trend among some cannabis connoisseurs who claim that aged buds have a more complex and refined flavor and aroma than fresh buds. They compare aged buds to aged wine or cheese, which develop new characteristics over time.
The theory behind this is that aging allows for a slow and natural decarboxylation of the cannabinoids and oxidation of the terpenes. Decarboxylation is the process of converting THCA (the acidic form of THC) into THC (the psychoactive form) by applying heat or time. Oxidation is the process of changing the chemical structure of the terpenes by reacting with oxygen.
Some of the benefits of aged buds are:
- Higher CBN content: CBN (cannabinol) is a cannabinoid that is produced when THC degrades over time. It has sedative and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with insomnia, pain, and inflammation.
- Lower THC content: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in weed. It can cause euphoria, creativity, and relaxation, but also anxiety, paranoia, and memory impairment in some people. Lowering the THC content can reduce these negative effects and make the high more mellow and balanced.
- More diverse terpene profile: Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give weed its distinctive smell and flavor. They also have various effects on mood, cognition, and health. Aging can alter the terpene profile by creating new terpenes or enhancing existing ones.
However, aged buds also have some drawbacks:
- Loss of freshness: Aged buds may lose some of their freshness and vibrancy in terms of color, texture, and smell. They may become brownish, brittle, and less appealing to look at or touch.
- Loss of potency: Aged buds may also lose some of their potency in terms of THC or other cannabinoids that you may prefer. They may not produce the same effects as fresh buds or require higher doses to achieve them.
- Risk of contamination: Aged buds may also be more prone to contamination by mold, bacteria, pests, or chemicals if they are not stored properly. These contaminants can pose health risks or ruin the quality of the weed.
How Can I Tell If My Weed Is Still Good Or Not?
The best way to tell if your weed is still good or not is to use your senses:
• Look at the color, texture, and appearance of your buds: If they are green, sticky, dense, and covered with trichomes, they are likely still good. If they are brown, dry, crumbly, or moldy, they are likely bad.
• Smell the aroma of your buds: If they have a strong, pleasant, and complex smell, they are likely still good. If they have a weak, stale, or musty smell, they are likely bad.
• Taste the flavor of your buds: If they have a smooth, rich, and satisfying taste, they are likely still good. If they have a harsh, bitter, or unpleasant taste, they are likely bad.
Weed storage long-term is not difficult if you follow some simple guidelines. By choosing the right containers, locations, temperature, and humidity, you can ensure that your cannabis products stay fresh, potent, flavorful, and safe for consumption for months or even years. Happy storing!
FAQs about how to store weed long term
Moldy weed usually has a musty or sour smell and a fuzzy or slimy texture. It may also have white, gray, black, green, yellow, or brown spots on the surface or inside the buds.
Moldy weed can be harmful to your health if smoked or ingested as it can cause respiratory infections, allergic reactions, or poisoning. If you suspect that your weed is moldy, do not use it and dispose of it safely.
If your weed is too dry, you can rehydrate it by adding a small amount of moisture to the container. You can use a humidifier pack, a piece of citrus peel, a slice of bread, or a damp paper towel to do so.
However, be careful not to add too much moisture or leave it for too long as it can cause mold or mildew to grow. Check your weed every few hours and remove the moisture source once it reaches the desired level of humidity.
Freezing cannabis is not recommended, as it can damage the trichomes and reduce the quality and potency of your weed. However, if you decide to freeze it, make sure to use glass jars or vacuum-sealed bags that prevent moisture from entering or leaving your buds. Also, avoid opening your containers until they reach room temperature to prevent condensation.
Vacuum sealing your weed can help prevent oxidation and microbial growth by removing air and moisture from your buds. However, it can also make your buds too dry and harsh by squeezing out the essential oils and terpenes.
If you choose to vacuum seal, make sure to use high-quality bags that are compatible with food-grade materials. Also, avoid storing your vacuum-sealed weed in direct sunlight or heat sources.
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