Keeping your weed fresh is pretty crucial. Honestly, with the quality and price of cannabis today, sandwich bags just aren’t cutting it anymore. So, what’s the best way to store weed? We’re breaking down everything you need to know about glass vs plastic vs other materials below.
Why correct weed storage is important
Storing your weed properly is vitally important. Not just for freshness, but for the overall potency of your flowers. While weed is mostly shelf stable, it can spoil just like any other organic material— whether it’s a fruit or flower. If you ever left fresh fruit on the counter for too long, you know that the environment plays a huge role in degradation.
Weed is no different. Cannabis flowers go through a curing process to make them last longer on the shelf, but when they’re exposed to the elements for extended periods of time, they too can begin to rot. While they typically won’t develop a foul odor, they’ll either dry out or grow mold, and lose a lot of their potency.
The four major contributors to weed degradation are light, air, moisture and temperature. Just like food left out overnight, buds subjected to the elements will break down rapidly. All of these factors can damage the potency of your flowers and change their odor and flavor, leaving you with something tasteless that won’t get you high.
Elements that can affect your cannabis
Below we’re breaking down how each of these four elements can damage your flowers.
- Air: Oxygen is important for your flowers, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Over extended periods of time, the THC found on cannabis flowers will degrade into CBN. CBN is less psychoactive than THC, but it causes notably sedative, sluggish effects. Improperly stored buds are still susceptible to oxygen degradation and drying out. Alternatively, buds stored in small containers with little oxygen are susceptible to growing mold.
- Light: Sunlight causes a lot of damage in a short amount of time. If you ever put a sticker on your car and left it in the sun, you probably noticed that the sun bleached it. The same goes for hair, and THC. UV rays from the sun and certain artificial lights alter the chemical integrity of THC, causing it to break down. Unlike oxygen exposure, light exposure is extremely detrimental in a very short amount of time. A study found that a bud exposed to direct sunlight lost 0.5% THC every hour.
- Humidity: Humidity is an important factor in weed degradation. While it won’t cause your buds to lose THC, extremely dry buds feel less potent than fresher buds since many of the terpenes evaporate away. Terpenes play a vital role in cannabinoid effects since they work in synergy in the entourage effect. Alternatively, buds stored with a lot of humidity are more susceptible to growing mold, which ruins your whole supply. Cannabis flowers should be kept in airtight containers packed loosely about ⅓ of the way full and kept between 59-63% relative humidity.
- Temperature: Like humidity, temperature makes the difference between mold and evaporation. Warm temperatures between 78-86 degrees are where mold thrives. However, colder temperatures below 60 degrees can damage the structural integrity of your buds, This dries them out and snaps the trichomes off or causes them to burst, which all harm potency. That said, avoid leaving your stash anywhere hot and avoid the fridge or the freezer.
All in all, it’s best to keep your weed in an airtight container in a cool, dry and light-free place. 2-way humidity packs stored with your buds can help you maintain the optimal moisture levels to prevent them from drying out or growing mold.
Storing weed in glass vs plastic
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking the perfect weed storage container. While the most perfect way to protect weed is to vacuum seal it, that isn’t at all practical for most smokers who will be revisiting their stash a few times a day. With that in mind, you’ll want to pick the next best material to protect your weed from all of the elements we outlined above.
Most people store weed in glass or plastic. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons. The best material to store your weed is in glass or ceramic jars that comes with an air-tight sealing lid since they protect your flowers from the elements and from the damaging effects of friction.
While plastic is an option that will do you in a pinch, plastic containers sweat and can alter the flavors of your buds. Worse, if you opt for the old sandwich baggie method, the static will grind all of your beautiful flowers down to shake, ripping off important trichomes and hurting your potency.
Glass vs plastic for weed storage: comparison
|Glass or Ceramic||
Is it better to store weed in glass or plastic?
At the end of the day, it’s still best to store your weed in airtight glass or ceramic jars. When you store weed in a plastic container, they flowers are typically not fully protected from the elements. Even a plastic tupperware isn’t fully airtight, so you risk oxygen exposure and humidity issues. What’s worse is that plastic sweats, which can change the scent and flavor of your flowers to something plasticky— the last thing you want to taste when you smoke something that smells as delicious as Runtz or Blueberry Muffin.
Tips for long-term weed storage
If you plan on keeping your bud locked up long term, glass is definitely the way to go. Proper storage containers will protect your stash from heat or cold, moisture, light, and air. Since weed breaks down quickly in the presence of these elements, the best way to protect your investment is to use containers that can regulate those effects.
For starters, we already know that you need something airtight to keep oxygen away. But even with an airtight seal, you can still have problems with humidity. If you’re squirreling bud away for the long haul, invest in 2-way humidity packs, like the ones from Boveda. These systems keep your flowers at the ideal humidity level while they’re in storage by either drawing moisture out of the flowers or returning it to them.
Another thing to consider is light. If you like to keep your stash jar handy, definitely invest in a light-proof or opaque glass or ceramic container. UV light isn’t a huge risk if you keep your weed stored in a dark cabinet or under your bed, but if it’ll be out in the open, you’ll want to take the extra step to ensure that light can’t get in and damage your flowers.
Lastly, keep an eye on your temperatures. You won’t want to store your weed in the fridge or freezer since extreme cold damages trichomes and sucks the moisture straight out of your weed. While there won’t be scent leaching with glass or ceramic containers, storing a tupperware full of weed in your fridge is a surefire way to end up with buds that taste like old food. It’s also not a good idea to store buds in high temperatures, like in your car, attic or laundry room since it can cause mold.
It seems pretty straightforward, but below is a list of proper storage do’s and don’ts that can help you protect your bud for the long haul. When it comes to storing flower, use an airtight glass or ceramic jar with an airtight lid. Keep it out of sunlight and in a cool, dry place. Humidity packs are a stoner’s best friend for long-term storage, so invest in those and you’ll be all set. At the end of the day, the best place for weed is a dark closet, basement, or cabinet with the below criteria met.
Long-term weed storage best practices
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What about storing concentrates?
Storing concentrates both short term and long term is a whole different ball game. Similar to bud though, concentrates break down at the same rate with oxygen, light, temperature, and humidity. For short-term storage, most people opt to take their concentrates out of the glass and plastic container they come in at the dispensary and scoop them into a silicone puck. These pucks help protect them from light and oxygen, but they also make scooping concentrates for dabbing a little easier.
Storing in a puck is a little dicey for long-term storage though. Since pucks aren’t totally airtight, they’re not the top choice for the long haul. Like bud, concentrates should be stored in an airtight and lightproof container and monitored for humidity. Concentrates can be vacuum-sealed, and should be kept cool. We think our friends at Yo Dabba Dabba covered the topic in-depth flawlessly.
Best way to store marijuana: Our top picks
If you want to take all of the guesswork out of shopping for the perfect weed storage container, we’ve compiled a list of our top three picks. Each one is an ideal storage container since they’re airtight, lightproof, and easy with humidity management. Store them in a cool, dry place, and you’ll be good to go.
- Formline Airtight Smell-Proof Container — These containers are perfect for taking your herb on the go. They’re pocket sized and can hold up to an 1/8th of weed. But they’re made from sturdy, UV-resistant aluminum and can help protect against oxygen, light, and friction.
- Glass BITMOIC Stash Jar — This is an affordable option that comes with a lot of added benefits. It’s made from a durable, light-proof glass that has an airtight seal. The jar is stylish, but child-proof, water-tight, odor-proof and durable. It’s ideal for smaller amounts of weed, up to about a ¼ oz.
- 3L Super Jar — If you want to store different quantities of bud, these jars are the way to go. They come at an affordable price, but come with an air-tight seal that keep oxygen out. They’re made from durable glass and feature a wide mouth for hand selecting your favorite flowers. While they’re not child, odor, or UV-proof, they are a great, versatile option for all intents and purposes. Just be sure to keep them out of light and extreme temperatures.