Most avid cannabis users at one time or another have purchased a large quantity of weed and stored it away for later use. However, a problem arises when users keep their flower in the same zip-lock bag or container it came in originally and then ask “how to keep weed fresh?”
If stored improperly, cannabis flower can lose its potency. If exposed to air, moisture or sunlight for a long duration of time, the cannabis flower’s THC level could degrade or worse yet – the flower itself could get moldy.
Looking for the best ways to store weed and how to know for sure it’s still fresh? Let’s break it down.
How Long Can Weed Stay Fresh?
Cannabis may be a miracle plant, but you’ll need a miracle of biblical proportions to keep your flower fresh for a long period of time! The shelf-life of fresh cannabis may be shorter than you have originally thought.
Fresh cannabis with its soft, supple nugs and aromatic smell is easy to spot. The nugs will give way slightly when squeezed and be slightly sticky. Old cannabis, on the other hand, will be extremely dry and almost brittle when squeezed. The pungent smell will still be there but a bit more “stale” smelling than anything else.
Properly cured and dried cannabis, if stored correctly, can last upwards to a year and 6 months at a minimum. You won’t get sick from smoking some old bud, but the harsh smoke, lackluster flavours and weak high might persuade you from smoking altogether.
If you’re wondering how to store your bud for the best smoking experience, here’s 5 foolproof tips:
5 Easy Ways to Keep Weed Fresh
So, now that we have determined that weed does indeed go bad if it is improperly stored for an extended period of time, the next question is how to store it properly to extend its expiry date.
Keep cannabis flower dry and away from moisture
Before cannabis flower can be sold to consumers, it has to go through a drying and curing process. This process removes the majority of the plant’s moisture and allows it to actually be smoked. The curing process also enhances the quality, potency and flavour of the smoke and is an essential step in quality cannabis.
One of the easiest ways to keep your weed fresh is to remove it from the ziplock bag/container it came in and store it in a jar/container that has a seal-type lid. The seal will keep excess moisture and keep mold growth to a minimum. Mold is extremely dangerous to your smoked.
Keep cannabis flower away from sunlight
Like your own skin, if cannabis is exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight, you’re going to be in for a bad time. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays will chip away at your flower’s potency and flavour until there’s nothing psychoactive left in it!
Prolonged exposure to UV light will transform your cannabis flower’s psychoactive THC content into cannabinol (CBN) – a cannabinoid that doesn’t have any psychoactive effect.
If you want to sun-bleached cannabis, the easiest way is to just store your stash jar/container in a dark place away from sunlight. In a cupboard or drawer is usually best, but any place that is protected from the sun will work.
Keep exposure to oxygen at a minimum
We know how tempting it is to open your stash jar and smell that delicious kush aroma, but by doing so you’re actually weakening the potency of the flower and degrading it.
Leaving your cannabis in a non-sealable zip-lock bag or worse – out in the open, runs the risk of degrading its potency. When left exposed, the psychoactive element of Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) transforms into cannabidivarin (CBV), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. The less THCV, the less high you’ll get.
Leaving cannabis open to the air will also reduce its flavour and aroma. We love the smell of weed as much as the next person, but it’s within best practices to store cannabis flower in a sealed glass jar/container and keeping that jar sealed until you actually need the flower.
Maintain stable temperatures
Minimizing your cannabis flower’s exposure to moisture and sunlight is a step in the right direction in keeping your flower moldfree, but maintaining stable temperatures is also vitally important.
Warm temperatures, in combination with moisture and sun exposure creates the perfect growing conditions for mold.
Keep your stash jar in an area where the temperature is relatively stable and cool and you’ll be able to enjoy your cannabis flower for a much longer duration!
Keep cannabis flower away from the refrigerator/freezer
With all the emphasis we placed on keeping cannabis flower away from warm temperatures, the sun and oxygen – the refrigerator/freezer sounds like a naturally great place for storing your cannabis. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
You may be able to store leftovers in the fridge, but the wet environment of a refrigerator and its extremely low temperatures can actually do more harm than good. Your flower will be extremely dry and brittle from the low/freezing temperatures – enough for the bud’s trichomes and resin to be completely removed from the flower.
Avoid the fridge/freezer as a“cool, dark place” and try storing it in a cupboard or a drawer in your bedroom.
How to Keep Your Weed Fresh For Maximum Shelf Life
Now that you know how to tell fresh, quality weed apart from dry, stale weed and 5 tips on how to keep it fresh, you’re ready to enjoy weed for 6 months up to a maximum of a year!
To recap, the best way to store cannabis is in sealable glass jar/container and placing that stash jar in a cool, dark place away and minimizing its exposure to oxygen. For best results, avoid opening your stash jar repeatedly to smell it and avoid storing it in the refrigerator.