How to Keep Weed Fresh

How to Keep Weed Fresh

Getting your hands on good weed isn’t very challenging these days, but having it fresh for weeks is often, at times, a more significant challenge to overcome. The packaging process has changed a lot over the centuries; however, the question remains about extending the expiration date of your buds.

Nowadays, marijuana products are likely to have a harvest date, but rarely does cannabis flower come with an expiration date. Unfortunately, there isn’t any hard rule regarding cannabis’s expiration date, but there are a few factors that could extend your weeds life by days or months.

Different cannabis-infused products will have other guidelines on how they should be stored. Make sure that you adhere to the instructions on the package.

Why proper cannabis storage is so important.

If you’re without proper storage, your weed will probably end up growing mould or drying out. Mouldy weed is unsafe to smoke, while dry weed will have lost a good portion of the flavour and potency.

You have to store the weed properly if you have quality weed and wish to keep it that way. Don’t put it inside a sandwich bag or jewelry bag if you aim for it to last longer.

Although weed doesn’t have an actual expiration date, some key factors can ensure that it stays in top condition for as long as possible.

You have to pay attention to the critical elements of how to protect your stash. They are;

  • temperature
  • moisture
  • air

Don’t expose the marijuana to too much oxygen. It will accelerate the degradation process. If your weed ends up stored in a hot, dark, and moist spot, it risks developing dangerous mould. Also, terpenes are responsible for providing delicious flavour and attractive aromas, and if it is exposed to high temperatures, it will evaporate, and your buds will dry out.

The most dangerous threat to the shelf life of cannabis is moisture. Overly moist cannabis can cause serious health consequences; it will grow mould and mildew. These risks became very serious and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which is known for developing technical standards across many industries, published the “Standard Specification for Maintaining Acceptable Water Activity (aw) Range (0.55 to 0.65) for Dry Cannabis Flower” in May 2018.

According to ATSM, water activity can be defined as “the (quantitative) capability of the cannabis flower in a sealed container to affect the humidity of the container’s headspace air.” Headspace is the air that surrounds the flower. Water activity measures vapour pressure against pure water. For example, if water activity is 0.55, it is 55% water.

A relative humidity level anywhere above 65% can significantly increase the likelihood that your weed will end up growing mould. American Herbal Products Association states the drying process dehydrates cannabis until it has less than 15% moisture content. During the curing process, the remaining moisture is slowly removed to retain the volatile oils.

If too much moisture is harmful, then losing too much will change the integrity of your flower. As a result, your flower will become brittle and lose essential terpenes that affect potency and taste.

To your luck, when you buy weed, the process of striking the perfect balance will already be done. All cultivators dry their flowers and then put them through a process called curing.

After properly curing cannabis, the moisture trapped inside the bud slowly dissipates from the flower without damaging the cannabinoids and terpenes. After the flower gets the perfect moisture content (typically between 6% and 9%), the next step is placing it into the packaging from which excess oxygen has been removed. When you take it home, it’s essential to try to maintain that balance.

Proper storage must keep the water activity of the cannabis within a range of 0.55 and 0.65. Remember that water activity can increase with temperature. So the light and temperature control are the most critical best practices for keeping buds fresh.

The best temperature to store your cannabis.

When storing weed, keep in mind that temperatures of between 77℉ and 86℉ are ideal for the growth of mildew and other moulds. Therefore, the perfect temperature to store your weed is right around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius. As such, you have to ensure that you store your cannabis in a cool, dark place.

Excessive cold can drastically slow down the decarboxylation process. Also, there is no need for the temperature to get quite hot, either. But, on the other hand, extreme heat will dry out the terpenes and cannabinoids that developed over months.

How light and oxygen affect cured cannabis.

The fastest way to age your weed is by exposing it to light. This method has been known since 1976 when explored what happens to the stability of cannabis under various conditions in a study published in the journal Pharmacy and Pharmacology. There was a conclusion that light is the single most significant contributor to loss and deterioration of cannabinoids and suggested that “carefully prepared herbal or resin cannabis or extracts are reasonably stable for 1 to 2 years if stored in the dark at room temperature.”

Ultraviolet (UV) light degrades weed. So, glass Mason jars can appeal to you, but they won’t protect your purchase the way an opaque container will. To look after your marijuana, you have to put it in a brown container. That will filter out visible UV rays. Green containers are also a great choice to block out roughly 30 percent of UV rays.

The light and air exposure will gradually convert THCA into THC and THC into CBN: a cannabinoid that does not create the intoxicating properties that THC delivers. Oxygen not only plays a role in the conversion of cannabinoids, but it also oxidizes essential terpenes and gives the flower a grassy, haylike smell.

To reduce exposure to air, make sure always to store your weed in an air-tight container. Don’t forget that huge containers are not for storing small quantities of weed. This will leave too much air inside the container with your herb. Some amount of oxygen will inevitably get into your sealed package after opening, but you can keep the number of times you open your jars to a minimum.

The best way to store weed.

Source: Weedmaps

These are the worst ways to store your bud: on a tray exposed to oxygen and light, in a plastic sandwich bag, or a clear glass jar or similar large glass container.

Cultivators do their best to package your flower with optimal moisture content, usually in opaque packaging to keep light out. There is also a tendency to replace the oxygen in their packaged flowers with nitrogen to help maintain freshness.

For those who don’t care as much about seeing and smelling the product before buying it, it’s wise to buy smaller amounts of pre-packaged cannabis.

You have to store cannabis in a cool, dark place in an air-tight container with as little air in the container as possible.

Extending the shelf life of weed.

It is imperative to learn how to keep weed fresh and keep weed from drying out. In addition, you have to keep the appearance and taste that attracted you to choose that lovely flower in the first place.

The most accessible and most affordable way to keep cannabis fresh for weeks on end is to use an airtight jar that you can fill with your stash. Put your weed in a jar with a metal swing and latch design with a rubber gasket on top. It will create a vacuum seal to keep air out.

Instead, you can get a Mason jar or a similar sealable glass jar keeping anything from getting in or leaking out. Dark-coloured or opaque jars are also a great variant. They will keep harmful light out and keep your weed from reaching its expiration date.

Another option can be a cannabis humidor if you are willing to spend a little more cash to ensure the sanctity of your stash. These humidors are usually wooden (walnut or mahogany) boxes with internal jars. Every model has a different system, and they are used to monitor and maintain the perfect humidity.

Boveda Packs are also on the top of the list for taking your weed storage to the next level. These packs are designed to deal with moisture storage issues. They have extensive usage in all sorts of scenarios, for instance, electronics, musical instruments, photographs, and work incredibly well as humidity packs for weed.

What’s vital for Boveda Packs, they use water and salts to respond to humidity levels. These packs either add or absorb moisture to maintain the ideal level of humidity that keeps you and your weed happy. They reintroduce moisture if it is too dehydrated, but consider that this will not reintroduce the lost terpenes. Instead, it ensures that you don’t have a harsh smoking experience.

Bottom line.

Always remember that the precious trichomes on your marijuana buds aren’t going to last forever. Over time, the molecular structure changes with exposure to heat, light, and moisture.

Don’t let cannabinoids and terpenes experience extreme temperatures, for instance, too much moisture, too much air, or too many UV rays. As a result, there takes place chemical changes and degradation of the potency of the flower.

These factors can also affect the taste and mouthfeel. If you want to keep your weed in tip-top shape for as long as possible, you have to keep an eye on the harvest date on the packaging. Then you have to take careful steps to avoid exposure to the elements listed above.

What’s the best smell-proof container for weed?

Source: Herb.co

The simplest way to keep your stash smell-proof is to ensure it’s stored in a solid, air-tight container with a sealable top. It will help you protect your weed from the various external forces that work against it. The best choice in this regard is the glass mason jar. However, plastic containers aren’t recommended as they can make buds sweat moisture.

The ideal glass jar, having a complete seal, has to protect your buds from air exposure. After storing your weed in a mason jar, you only need to keep it away from heat and light.

Instead, a blacked-out UV airtight glass jar also can be great storage for your weed. Stored in blacked-out glass, you can leave it anywhere without worrying your weed will be degraded by light. But don’t forget to worry about the temperature, though.

Is refrigerating or freezing weed bad?

It’s suggested refrigerating or freezing weed over storing it in areas that are too hot or humid. Some cannabis consumers recommend successful long-term weed storage through freezing. But it’s possible to lose freshness and potency to icy temperatures. In this case, trichomes may become brittle and break off more easily.

The preferable solution is storing your stash in an opaque, sealed container in a relatively cool, dark place with minimal sunlight. It’s the best choice for long-term storage with minimal degradation.

Can you store weed in plastic bags?

It’s not suggested, but there are a few extra precautions following them; you can do that. If you are going to store your weed in sealed bags, it’s essential to remove as much air as possible before sealing. A relatively reliable method to store weed can be vacuum-sealing. It’s a long-term storage solution for a large stash.

If you plan to do this, you have to follow these tips to avoid inadvertently damaging your weed strictly:

  • Avoid vacuum-sealing your marijuana in plastic that contains bisphenol A (BPA). This chemical is a key ingredient in many types of plastic, but it has proven to be harmful to humans. And unfortunately, if you store your weed in plastic containing BPA, some of those dangerous chemicals could leach into your marijuana.
  • Handle your weed delicately. Plastic easily builds up static charges, and that will damage precious trichomes of your buds. Trichomes are the cannabinoid- and terpene-rich hairlike glands all over cannabis flowers. That’s why you have to avoid damaging them.

When planning to store your vacuum-sealed weed in the freezer, remember freezing will also damage the trichomes, as they will become brittle.

Also, leave your weed alone. Some suggest that adding fruits and veggies, for example, orange peels, in the weed jar helps the bud ‘regain’ moisture. But, be attentive, don’t follow these cool hacks, and stay on the safer side—simple, common sense. Also, don’t add organic matter to a weed jar. It will create a happy breeding ground for mould and mildew.

Also Read: Weed Measurements Guide

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