Responsible marijuana storage is based on two goals: keeping it out of reach of kids (and pets) and making sure that each bud stays nice and clean. Mold isn’t just gross; it can be legitimately dangerous if you happen to roll it up and smoke it along with that sweet leaf.
So how long is your cannabis good for?
Well, you can get one answer from reading online, but anything you find stops at the front door because it all depends on how you store your stash. And that means it can last anywhere from a few days to until you reach into your snowboarding jacket the next winter to rediscover it. That’s to say if you and a friend go home with the same amount of a certain strain, that weed will degrade at different speeds depending on how you treat it once you get home.
Ideally, you’ll graduate to a marijuana humidor, which essentially puts cannabis storage on autopilot. But not everyone will be ready to invest in a humidor. The truth is, you don’t need one if you can create the right environment for your bud. Just get the following three crucial elements right, and you’re set.
Mildew and other molds thrive between 77° and 86° F. Your first job as the kush keeper is to store all bud in a cool (not cold) place. Too hot and you lose terpenes; too cold and all those sugary trichomes become brittle. Aim for 60° F (with humidity set to about 59% and 63% RH) to keep all cannabinoids and essential oils stable. Ideally, you will put the flower in glass jars—the kind mom uses for jams and pickles are fine—in a basement cellar. Bonus tip: use a hygrometer or products like a Boveda to monitor and control RH levels.
UV light is damaging to cannabis at any point of its life cycle, and it doesn’t end after the flowers are dried and cured. Cannabinoids can stay stable for up to two years when stored kept out of sunlight. So, that snowboarding jacket might be dark enough to keep your bud safe(ish). But the real connoisseur will use a UV-resistant glass bottle when they travel so that sun won’t spoil those tasty terps.
Cannabis needs fresh air as it grows but once marijuana is harvested it the right amount of oxygen. Too little air will affect the relative humidity, trapping any leftover moisture in the bud without allowing it to dry fully. Too much air speeds up degradation. One item that cannabis connoisseurs love is a hand-help electric vacuum pump that home cooks will use to suck the air out of their jarred jams and sauces.
Let this weed storage guide be your North Star to better tasting bud. And now that you know how the basics of marijuana storage, it’s time to learn how to grow a private stash so you can keep the good times rolling with cannabis that is stored to last.
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.