Talk to any marijuana grower, and you will discover just how difficult it is to cultivate a healthy cannabis crop, harvest and prepare the bud and get it safely onto dispensary shelves. The last thing you should want to do, as a cannabis consumer, is to waste all that effort by letting your grass go bad through sloppy storage.
Though marijuana is a hardy plant, you can easily ruin its most prized product by carelessly caching it. Temperature, humidity, light, air exposure and more can cause cannabis to go off — so if you aren’t sure if you are storing your stash as you should, use this guide for proper procedure.
How Temperature Affects Weed
Everything on Earth (except maybe tardigrades) have an acceptable temperature range — even people, who can’t survive for long in environments above 140 degrees Fahrenheit or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit without supplemental cooling or heating. Weed doesn’t like heat or chill, which tend to cause the cannabinoid-rich trichomes to separate from the bud; the best temperature range for marijuana is between 32 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, weed doesn’t appreciate fluctuations in temperature, as can occur in refrigerators or out in the open, so even a smart thermostat might not be enough to keep your weed at the right temp.
Conclusion: Stable room temperature storage. A small, temperature-controlled room that doesn’t have a window is a good space for weed storage. A cupboard in an unused interior bathroom or your bedroom closet are both good options.
How Humidity Affects Weed
While temperature can have an effect on weed, it isn’t nearly as devastating as humidity. Air that is too humid will cause mold and mildew to grow on your bud — and while you might enjoy dank weed, mildewy weed is just too dank to bear considering. In fact, some molds are incredibly toxic if inhaled, so you should want to avoid their growth anywhere in your home.
Roughly 12,000 years ago, cannabis grew wild across the high, dry Eurasian Steppe, where humidity was unheard of. Today, you should try to mimic those conditions by keeping the air around your bud at a relative humidity (RH) between 59 and 63 percent. This will keep mold away, and it will prevent trichomes becoming too brittle in dry air.
Conclusion: Humidity packs to reduce moisture. Most weed users need to reduce humidity for the sake of their nugs, and humidity control packs are an efficient way to do this. However, if you live in a dry environment like California, your weed might benefit by the addition of humidity to your space through a humidifier.
How Light Affects Weed
Though cannabis is naturally resistant to the degrading effects of UV light, your trichomes will suffer if they are too often placed in the bright light of day. Light can cause the cannabinoids within trichomes to decay, making the THC and CBD less potent and depreciating your weed investment. In fact, studies have found light to be the single largest contributor to cannabinoid deterioration, which means you need to be extra cautious to store your sticky green herb where the sun don’t shine.
Conclusion: Opaque container in dark space. You can purchase UV-protected containers specially made for weed storage, but in truth, any brown glass or opaque container will work at thwarting the degrading effects of sunlight. An even better solution is to store your grass in the dark — again, a cupboard or closet works wonders.
How Airflow Affects Weed
Like light, oxygen is bad for bud because it changes the chemical composition of cannabinoids. Just as air causes apples and avocados to turn brown, air will transform your fantastic THC into benign CBN, severely hampering your marijuana experience. What’s more, terpenes oxidize, shifting from the range of delectable aromas to a dull, hay-like smell.
On the other hand, you don’t want to vacuum-seal your stash. A lack of air will prevent your weed from retaining moisture, which will cause the trichomes to dry out and crumble away. You need to strike the right balance between restricting air flow and maintaining humidity.
Conclusion: Air-tight container. Fortunately, this is the easiest storage problem to solve. The best airtight containers for weed have a rubber gasket on top to provide a complete seal, and glass tends to be better than plastic because it doesn’t emit VOCs.
There are right and wrong ways to store your weed to maximize potency and prolong enjoyment. By learning a little bit about cannabis chemistry and investing a little space in proper seed storage, you can keep your stash a bit safer.