What do you do with your cannabis once you have purchased or grown it? Well, smoke it of course... but chances are you don't smoke all of it right away, and you store the rest of your stash for days, weeks, or perhaps even months before finishing it off completely.
How you store your cannabis can make a great difference to the overall quality of your grass, especially if you plan on keeping it for a while. There are certain factors you will want to keep in mind when considering where, how, and in what you put your pot. Let's take a look at the most important:
One of the most important factors in your weed freshness is air. Luckily, it's also one of the easiest to take care of. There are a multitude of air-tight storage options out there, but it's tough to top the ease and availability of the good old fashioned glass wide mouth mason jar.
Meant for food storage, they have a great rubber seal which keeps out the air and just as importantly keeps your dank smell, as well as your terps and your flavour, in the jar with the weed where they belong. Be sure to keep your jars in a cool, dark place for reasons that will soon become evident.
Air flow (or the lack thereof) is also the reason we used to see bud in vacuum sealed bags or even tuna can style containers. It really does make a big difference!
So your weed is in an airtight container. Excellent! However, air isn't the only enemy to weed longevity... light also plays a large part in the degradation of your stash's quality. Sunlight is pot's worst enemy. That's why many cannabis connoisseurs prefer to store their grass in dark glass.
Dark glass has been used in alcohol storage for ages and for precisely the same reasons it's great when storing weed. The darker the glass, the less light is being let in and so the more protected your grass is and the better your cannabinoids and terpenes will be preserved. Dark orange, dark green, and straight black are the most common options and these all work great. Air-tight ceramic containers are also excellent for this purpose as they also don't let in the light.
So your stash is now in dark glass jars, sealed airtight. It's safe, right? Wrong.
Dry, crispy weed. Mold. These are the enemies you must slay in order to enjoy your weed at its maximum potential, and moisture levels are how you will fight these battles.
The ideal humidity range for cannabis is between 55-62%, and this can be achieved and maintained in a few different ways. The easiest works with most storage methods and is simply adding a form of humidity control such as Boveda packs or Hydro-Stones. (Orange peels have also been used in the past, but these can leave an orange-like flavour as well as increase the chances of mold.)
Boveda packs offer two-way humidity control and can help easily maintain a favourable moisture balance via a small, sealed, odourless package. Hydro-stones are stones, typically made of terracotta, that you pre-soak in water and add to your stash. These aren't two-way controlled though and so once your weed is not dry, you need to remove the stones to lower the chances of your bud molding.
Another method, long used for keeping cigars at the correct humidity levels, is the humidor. However, many traditional humidors are made of cedar wood which imparts a flavour and odour that works well with cigars, but does not really jive well with cannabis. Look for cannabis-specific humidors which are made with other, more neutral woods, such as mahogany.
Do keep in mind, a 2-way humidity system will need to be kept within the humidor (if it does not come with one) in order to maintain that all-important balance. Here in Sherwood Park & Alberta, the air is typically drier than a lot of places and so you will more than likely find yourself working on keeping your grass moist as opposed to it going moldy on you. Especially in winter.
We all like a comfortable temperature, and weed is no different. We've all heard the expression "store in a cool, dark place" before, and it's no different with cannabis.
If you have your weed in an airtight, light-reducing, moisture-friendly container... you've done the hard part. Just make sure that container remains at a temperature below 21°c and you have done all you can to ensure your cannabis is in the best possible condition it can reach, which of course then gives you the best possible experience.
There is one more factor at work that will affect your stash and it's one that affects all of us... the ravages of time. No matter how well your weed is stored, time will reduce the potency and flavour of your pot regardless. But the better the storage, the better your weed and its longevity (and thus your high) will be.
In one year, your cannabis will lose 17% of its original THC levels. By two years, it's up to 27%, three years about 35%, and by the time it is four years old, your stash will be around half the potency it had to begin with. Although, I don't know about you, but my stash doesn't last quite that long...
One more thing to mention. If you are growing your own weed, you will want to make sure that you are properly drying and curing your cannabis before you start to store your stash on a more permanent basis. Any cannabis you purchase should have been dried and cured for you already.
The Good Roots Gang