How long can your marijuana be stored to keep it stable? Properly storing marijuana can help preserve cannabinoids like THC. This means that your marijuana stays potent for longer. How do you do it? This article will explain how marijuana begins to degrade and how you can stop it.
After harvest, mold and mildew can be a major problem for growers. You will need to store a pound (or more) of your harvest for up to one year. If marijuana is not vacuum-packed, moisture in any concentration can cause mold growth. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly dehydrate the annual harvest before you store it. You can dehydrate it later for smoking by adding water to one ounce and then letting it rest in an airlock bag for several hours in a warm place.
You can recognize cannabis that is stored too moist by pressing the budsd between your thumb and forefinger. Leaves can be dried in a microwave for a few minutes. However, it’s best to dry buds on a cookie sheet in the oven at the lowest heat setting for a quick drying. You should not microwave buds unless you have removed any seeds that you may want to plant later.
You can store dried marijuana in the same way as you would for packaged or dried vegetation. Keep it dry and cool. You can store your marijuana in attics, provided they are not inhabited by squirrels or mice. You can also use garages or barns. However, you should remove any seeds that are intended to be planted before the cold weather freezes them in northern latitudes. It is also a good idea for packaging it in rodent-proof containers.
You can also freeze harvested marijuana like any other vegetable for up to a year without worrying about mold or losing its freshness. Although this is the best way to store your harvest it should only be done in areas where there are no restrictions on how you can do so. You should not freeze cannabis seeds. They can be killed by freezing.
Packing cannabis harvest
A flap-top sandwich bag containing marijuana taken from 1-pound “bricks”, vacuum-sealed in heavy gauge plastic bags is the symbol of black-market cannabis. Bricks may have been soaked in engine oil, other liquids, at the bottom of a barrel, in the sewage tanks of motor homes, or in the vermin-infested water of a ship’s bilgewater. Young smokers have been able to associate pot’s smell with dryer sheets, which were placed in many shipments smuggled cannabis in an attempt to confuse drug-sniffing dogs.
These are all good reasons to grow your own cannabis, and to package it with more security and personal care. The packaging of commercial marijuana is not chosen because it is the most effective, but because it serves the purpose of those who will be selling and transporting it.
Handling a hundred pounds worth of cannabis for street sale is less personal than making your own. Personal-use growers can also do more than simply storing it in bags.
Storage container for cannabis harvest
Growers in areas where marijuana remains illegal need to be aware of the fact that courts often use 1-ounce bags to prove felony drug traficking. This is because only a dealer would possess more than one small package of marijuana.
It’s not practical and can even be harmful to your harvest to keep it all in one container. Any mold that may have escaped from one of the damp buds could quickly spread to all of that container’s weed. It’s best to separate a supply into smaller units, which are separated from the rest. If you are particularly prudent, which is always a good trait in today’s world, you might consider dividing your stash into multiple scattered caches to ensure that you don’t get wiped out if someone happens upon one.
- We prefer to cache dried, ready-for storage marijuana by first packaging dry, uncleaned buds in l-quart airlock bags.
- After the bags have been filled with cannabis to a quarter of their capacity, a silica gel packet that absorbs moisture from foodstuffs and electronics packaging is inserted.
- Next, we place the pot, with the bottom and top of the bag inside, pressing down as hard as we can. Finally, we close the zipper lock. The bag is kept in a comfortable cylindrical shape by two rubber bands at each end.
Our smoking weed was packaged in rolls that contained less than one ounce of marijuana. Possession of more than one ounce is still a crime in my area. We will now place each bag in a jar of mayonnaise or another similar-sized jar that is tall enough to hold them.
A jar that is tall enough to fit a rolled up quart-size bag under it has a sufficient diameter to hold approximately l pound of marijuana. Your bud will be safe for at least one year when it is sealed in a tightly sealed jar with a silica-gel packet.
Perhaps we are paranoid but that doesn’t make us any less vigilant. I place sealed jars of bagged marijuana in paint cans and plastic buckets with snap-down covers. These can be hidden or buried in areas where they are unlikely to be found. Remember, legalized or unlegalized, marijuana is a valuable commodity. Protect it by placing it in multiple caches and hiding each one well.
If you have a suburban stash and want to grow or buy your smoke in large quantities, then loosen one square of sod in one corner, place a plastic bucket with weed in the soil, and cover it with soil. Then, replace the sod. It’s paint cans in hollow stumps back at the woods, or even a military ammunition container with a waterproof lid. These are all good options. I know exactly where to go if I need more smoke or run out of it. I just have to take a quick trip on snowshoes.
What causes the cannabis harvest (flowers) to deteriorate
Do you want to store long-term marijuana? It is important to properly care for it. You must then prevent it from deteriorating. Proper storage is key to this.
However, there are certain things that can make your cannabis go down faster than normal. These are the four things you need to do to keep your marijuana potent.
1. Keep the Cannabis Flowers Safe From the Air
When it comes to long-term storage of cannabis, oxygen levels are very important. Too much oxygen can cause the plant to lose its humidity, which could lead to mildew and mold. Too much oxygen can cause it to decay faster.
How can you prevent the air from destroying your weed?
Vacuum sealing is one way to do this. Vacuum sealing is the best way to protect your marijuana from oxygen long-term exposure. You can also use jars if you don’t have any vacuum bags. You can store your items in airtight containers. Make sure that the lids are sealed completely.
Airtight Storage Container
Start by choosing the right size. Even though there is no air getting in, the jar can trap oxygen. This can cause your cannabis to become less potent.
You want to choose a container that is large enough to store your marijuana without it being too crowded, but small enough that you have very little space inside. This prevents humidity from getting trapped inside the container.
2. Avoid moisture in the containers
Moldy cannabis is dangerous. It is not something you want to inhale. You can prevent moldy cannabis by making sure it stays dry all the time. You don’t want your cannabis to completely dry out. Your cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds will be affected. These two compounds are the most important in your marijuana.
You need to monitor humidity levels in order to preserve your marijuana’s quality during long-term storage. The ideal humidity level should be between 59-63 RH. RH is shorthand for relative humidity. It refers to the amount of moisture in the air relative to its potential.
3. Limit exposure to light
The quickest way to reduce the levels of cannabinoids in your cannabis is by light exposure. As with many things, light can alter things. The paint on your car might become duller or chipper, while your hair color may change. Same thing can happen to cannabis.
Here’s how it works:
The UV rays can cause damage to your plants’ terpenes, and cannabinoids. Avoid exposing cannabis to too much sunlight. How do you store it? It should be kept in opaque containers. Keep it out of direct sunlight.
4. Keep it mild
High temperatures can cause buds to dry quickly. This causes terpenes to evaporate, resulting in a bitter taste and harsh smoke. Additionally, mold and mildew thrive in temperatures between 78-86 degrees.
You should keep your marijuana below 78°F.
Most people assume that you should store your marijuana in a cool and dark place. Many people assume it means the fridge.
But, keeping your weed in the refrigerator can increase moisture which can lead to mildew or mold. If you intend to use your weed later, you could consider freezing it. These freezing temperatures can lead to plants losing their potency and bursting their gentle trichomes.
This is why a dark corner, basement drawer, drawer or closet is the best place to store long-term cannabis.
Here are some more tips for long-term storage of cannabis
You’ll see great results if you use the tips. If you want to achieve even greater success, these are some other things you can do:
- You should choose your storage container carefully – plastic containers can make your weed sweat. You can store your cannabis in mason jars, ceramic containers, or other types of glass and ceramic containers if you don’t have one. To keep your cannabis fresher longer, make sure that the lid is airtight.
- To control the moisture, old timers recommend throwing in oranges, lemons or other fruit rings to your ceramic or glass pot jars to enhance flavor and rehydrate your buds. This can cause your buds too much moisture which can lead to moldy, unsmokable weed.
- Keep Cannabis in its original container – If you are preparing cannabis for long-term storage, be sure to keep it that way. Avoid storing cannabis with lighters, pipes or other paraphernalia. These items can elicit a strong odor. The aroma could be absorbed by your marijuana, resulting in a change in the way your bud tastes and smells.
- Avoid using tobacco humidors. Most tobacco humidors were made with cedarwood. The oil from the wood may be absorbed by your plants, which can cause a degrading of the terpenes and alter the flavor of the buds.
Perhaps you have some cannabis but don’t want to smoke it quickly. Maybe you bought a high-quality strain at a dispensary, and want it to last. You can store your cannabis properly so it tastes fresh when you want it.
Recap – Key factors that should be considered
Always bear in mind that the dryer the Marijuana, the more desirable for you as a personal user. While (for various reasons such as the fact that moist content renders a heavier product that weighs more and can therefore be sold for more) there is a tendency on the “Black Market” to sell Marijuana that is slightly moist, this can be risky due to the fact that mildew and other molds can infest the produce, which will render it useless.
Also bear in mind that these infestations thrive at a higher temperature (approximately between 77° and 86° F) and that it therefore makes sense to store your crops below 77° F.
Humidity is as important as temperature. In order to enhance conditions to the effect that formation of mildew and mold is discouraged, it is the general belief that humidity should be kept at between 59% and 63% RH. This also generally improves and maintains color, aroma, consistency and flavor.
In recent years, partly to confuse the smelling sense of drug detecting dogs, smuggled marijuana has been transported in all kinds of foul smelling substances such as engine oil, marine bilge water, sewage tanks and the like, which is a great incentive to grow your own Cannabis.
Packaging for commercial Cannabis is selected to suit those who will be supplying the street markets, and these people don’t consider the end user’s health or needs. You will therefore do yourself a great favor to produce your own Marijuana and store it in more ideal conditions.
If Marijuana is still illegal where you live, then it may be risky to prepack your stock in little packages that are ready to sell.
Should a cop happen to stumble upon it, they would immediately suspect you of smuggling, since they automatically see these little “prepacks” as evidence that you may be a drug dealer, because according to them only drug dealers will pack their stock in little “ready-to-sell” packets.
Fact of the matter is that to a grower it does not make good sense to keep their Marijuana in bulk packages, since there may just be a chance that one bud may have escaped the drying process, attract some mold and contaminate the entire batch.
It is therefore imperative that you divide your stock into smaller units away from each other. This will also be an advantage when one nosey person accidentally discovers one small unit of your stash. The rest of your harvest will still be safely stashed away.
A great idea is to place little absorbing silica-gel packets (obtained from the containers of products (electronics, foods, medicines and other products that normally include them) with your dried Marijuana into your packets.
You can use little zipper-top bags and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing them. Another great method is to use glass jars with screw tops, and also include the little absorbing silica-gel packets.
If Marijuana is still illegal where you live, it is a great idea to pack your stash into small bags that contain less than an ounce each and then store these little bags in a glass jar with one or two extra of the silica packets.
Edibles and other Cannabis containing products and substances
Remember that products that contain Cannabis, such as chews or cookies, will have an entire different set of rules for proper storage. Follow the guidelines on the packets, and preferably do not store these products for longer than 12 months.
Due to a lower content of organic matter, alcohol tinctures and other Cannabis concentrates are usually not as susceptible to mildew, mold and other contaminants as edibles are.
However, in order to protect potency and minimize possible contamination, it is always a good idea, and we always recommend that you follow the basic guidelines on any packet that contains Marijuana or substances that are derived from Marijuana.
Recommended for Cannabis storage
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from the sun;
- Store in containers that have a neutral charge, such as glass jars;
- Monitor RH levels, using hydrometers or other products such as Boveda;
- Minimize oxygen exposure by means of vacuum packing;
- Maintain and optimize flavor profiles by separating strains from each other;
- Always be on the lookout for newly developed and effective methods for storing your Cannabis.
The Cannabis industry is growing fast, and it makes sense to avoid stagnating. New products and equipment enters the market every day, and companies like Cannador and The Bureau expand continually, designing solutions for your Cannabis storage needs.
NOT recommended for Cannabis storage
-Avoid the refrigerator. Humidity and temperature fluctuations can increase your risk of mildew and mold formations;
-Avoid the freezer. Freezing causes the trichomes, which are extremely fragile, to become brittle. They will snap off like little icicles when you handle them;
-Don’t store in plastic bags or plastic containers for a long time, since plastic often has a static charge that can attract the trichomes. If really necessary, use a plastic bag only for short-term storage. And only for small quantities of stock;
-Avoid storing near electronics or appliances that emanate heat, since heat rises. Rather store your Cannabis in a low cupboard or shelf. Even better if you have a basement in your house, since it works much like a wine cellar;
-Don’t use a tobacco storage container for your Cannabis. The oils in some of the woods used can transfer and influence the flavors of your cannabis;
Avoid storing grinders, pipes, etc. with your Cannabis. The smell of ash and resin from burnt Cannabis linger and will spoil the aroma of your stored Cannabis.
Hopefully you have learned something new by reading this article. For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.