Storing cannabis is easy if you follow these rules
Published: December 19, 2019 · Updated: August 28, 2020
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The best way of storing cannabis is surprisingly cottagey.
A nick, a dime, and a key: whether referring to weight or price, the slang for various cannabis quantities was always measured inside a plastic bag—a nick equals $5 worth, a dime is $10, and a key is a kilo. But while ziplocks and sandwich bags may be convenient for selling cannabis, plastic is no way to store good quality marijuana.
According to Brittany Smith, a bud tender at Queen of Bud, a Calgary cannabis shop, there are six commandments for better storing.
1. Safety first
However and wherever you’re storing cannabis, your first priority is to make sure it is out of reach of kids and pets. Smith suggests that you put it in the same place as prescription drugs and other medication.
2. Jar it like jam
The problem with the ubiquitous plastic bag is that it does a poor job of actually locking in smell and, long term, can shed chemicals into the cannabis, imparting unwanted flavours, says Smith. Instead, transfer your cannabis into a glass jar. The easiest option is a Mason jar—yup, the ones you use for making jams and preserves. The same seal that keeps pickles crisp helps lock in smell and keep out air, which can hurt the flavour and quality of the cannabis over time.
3. Size matters
Pick a jar size that matches the amount of cannabis you need to store. Use too large a jar and the extra air will make the cannabis stale over time. But don’t pack the buds in too tightly either. Too little air flow can raise humidity, which can lead to mould growth.
4. Cool, not cold
Like the size of the container, you want Goldilocks storage temperature. Too warm and the cannabis can dry out prematurely, which impacts the essential oils and leads to harsh smoke. Meanwhile, freezing cannabis ruins the trichomes, the little crystals on the bud that impart a lot of the flavour. Temperature swings can mess with humidity, potentially leading to mould and mildew growth. Just right, says Smith, is a location that sits between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius with little variation. Do not put cannabis in a tobacco humidor, such as the ones often used to store cigars. They are usually made with wood that has oils that can interfere with cannabis flavours.
5. Dark beats light
Just like sunlight can degrade just about anything else left exposed to UV rays, so too can too much light break down cannabis. Store it in a dark space.
6. Separate containers
If you have more than one strain of cannabis, don’t mix them in the same jar, even if they look completely different. Accidentally smoking uplifting sativa right before bedtime will suck. Plus, the different strains have different oils and crystals that could rub off on each other, changing their taste and properties.
Follow those rules for storing cannabis and you’ll find it easy to keep cannabis safe and fresh for up to a year, Smith says. Much past that, and it will start to get dry and dusty. It will probably still get you high, but will have a harsher smoke and not a lot of flavour.
And it’s important to note that all this advice is for cannabis flowers or buds, not edibles, concentrates, or tinctures. In general these products are more perishable. Unless otherwise noted, store them in a cool, dark place, in a sealed container. But use them sooner. Quality products should list a best before date on the package.
Storing cannabis the right way will help to keep it fresh longer. Follow these simple rules and you can avoid stale or mouldy cannabis.
Should You Clean Your Weed Jars?
Tuesday July 2, 2019
F or both frequent and infrequent cannabis consumers, finding proper storage for your stash can help keep your cannabis fresher for longer. The best way to store cannabis is in airtight jars, like a mason or canning jar, in a cool, dark place. Assuming you do keep your weed in a mason jar, is it necessary to clean them? The answer is definitely yes. First, let’s take a look at the benefits of storing cannabis in airtight jars.
Keep Trichomes and Terpenes Intact
Leaving your cannabis in plastic baggies can pull trichomes from the bud and onto the plastic itself. Trichomes, in addition to giving cannabis its frosty appearance, contain powerful cannabinoids that give cannabis its many healing properties for conditions like anxiety, nausea, pain, and many others. Trichomes also contain terpenes, compounds that give weed its distinct tastes and smells, like citrus, or pine. Terpenes also contribute to the entourage effect found in cannabis.
Plastic has a static charge and can pull the trichomes from your bud. Baggies may also leach toxic chemicals, which you definitely don’t want to inhale. Another downside to storing your stash in plastic is that it may break apart. While this may be useful for rolling a joint, storing your bud in a mason jar certainly offers more protection and won’t flatten your stash. Storing cannabis in a mason jar also helps to keep individual flavor profiles intact for longer. Cannabis strains, because of terpenes, have distinctly different tastes and smells that you would not necessarily want to mix. If you enjoy the sweetness of Super Lemon Haze, but store it in the same jar as the cheese-like, slightly funky Dairy Queen strain, both could be much less pleasurable to consume.
Potency and Odor Control
Over time, cannabis that is exposed to oxygen and age will degrade, breaking the psychoactive compound THC down into a cannabinoid called CBN (cannabinol). While CBN is believed to effective in beating insomnia, it has little to no intoxicating effects. By storing in an airtight container, your stash will take much longer to degrade. And let’s not forget cannabis’ signature skunky smell. Unless you want your house to smell like a dispensary, keeping cannabis in an airtight jar will help keep odors to a minimum. And if you are a parent, keeping your weed in a jar sealed tight makes it harder for little hands to open.
Time to Clean
Over time, there will be a build-up of plant resin and shake that could stick to your jars. And anything left in any container for long enough will grow mold, which is not great for your weed or your health. Smoking moldy cannabis can exacerbate conditions like asthma and allergies, and expose you to additional bronchial and lung irritations. Plus, you definitely don’t want to be storing new weed with older, moldy stuff. Luckily, cleaning your weed jars is a pretty straightforward proposition and doesn’t require any special equipment or ingredients:
Ways to Clean Your Weed Jars:
- Isopropyl Alcohol (ISO): Frequently used in disinfectants, antiseptics, and detergents, ISO is very affordable, about $2.50 for a 32-ounce bottle. Just set your stash aside, then pour a small amount of ISO into the jar, put the lid back on, and give it a good shake. If the jar is still sticky, you may need to do a little scraping, then repeat the process. Rinse thoroughly, and let dry.
- Hot Rock Salt Water: If the resin isn’t too caked on, cleaning your jar with hot water should do the trick. To add some scrubbing power, add rock salt and shake vigorously.
- The Dishwasher: If a dishwasher can get rid of the old, stuck-on food from your dishes, getting rid of resin from storage jars doesn’t seem like such a stretch. Dishwashers, after all, are intended to clean dishes at high temperatures and kill germs and bacteria. And if you have a dishwasher with a “sanitize” setting, it is designed to kill almost 100 percent of bacteria and reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit during its final rinse cycle. Plus, mason jars are dishwasher safe.
Remember, cleaning your weed jar can help keep your cannabis fresh and potent for longer, so when you notice some sticky build-up, give one of these methods a try.
Do you clean your weed jars? Let us know your tips and tricks for cleaning in the comments below!
Finding proper storage for your stash can help keep your cannabis fresh, maintain the potency, and control odor. Click to find out more about the importance of cleaning your weed jars and how easy it can be.