Marijuana, aka weed, comes in different levels of potency. Good weed is much harder to come by. When you land on a good strain, you want to keep it fresh for as long as possible. The packaging may come with harvest dates, but flower buds do not have an expiry date. Marijuana can remain healthy and potent for up to two years if you are storing it properly. This begs the question, how long does weed stay fresh? The answer to this depends on particular storage methods. Rolling it up in a sandwich bag in your closet does not ensure long-term virility. Various chemical factors create a perfect environment while choosing a storage mechanism.
What happens when cannabis gets too old?
Cannabis, like any other organism, has aging properties. However, it ages much faster with exposure to heat, oxygen, and UV light, which causes the cannabinoids to degenerate. Although it does not happen overnight, after a few weeks, the changes become noticeable. THC breaks down into CBN. Smoking such a quality of weed does not exactly leave you sober, but it does not have the same effect as when you first had a fresh batch.
Old and stale weed tastes wrong and has a harsher effect. Its terpenes dry out over time.
Cannabis storage history
Since the 1800s, pharmaceutical companies in the United States have used airtight tins to store cannabis. The cans had to be dark and airtight to prevent exposure to air and sunlight.
In the 1900s, ceramic jars came into play. Apothecaries found that ceramic jars kept marijuana fresh for an extended time. Over time, new and advanced methods have come up to store weed and preserve its potency.
Factors to consider while storing cannabis.
Store your cannabis in a cool environment. Not cold, cool! This environment preserves the psychoactive potency of your weed and other safe and effective CBD pills. Leaving cannabis out in heat degrades THC to CBN. CBN induces sleep but does not give the euphoric kick similar to that of THC. Air temperature also degrades the cannabis aroma and medicinal properties you obtain from the use of weed. Warm temperatures promote the growth of mold, making your marijuana less healthy for ingestion.
One may think that hot temperature is the problem and consider refrigerating marijuana. Cold temperatures ruin the smoking potential of your cannabis due to the breakage of the trichomes. Frozen trichomes become brittle and highly susceptible to breakage.
Humidity levels highly determine how long your stash remains potent. Too little moisture causes drying up and degrades the cannabinoids. Too much humidity and the stash becomes the perfect habitat for mold growth.
Studies indicate that adequate relative humidity (RH) levels are 59% to 63%. This maintains the aroma, color, texture, and potency. However, different ingestion methods call for different relative humidity (RH) levels. For smoking, store your weed at 62% RH, while for vaping, leave your weed at 54% RH. To measure humidity, cannabis users should use the Cannador humidity monitors such as Boveda packs.
Light and Oxygen.
Light exposure is the most rampant cause of cannabis degradation—ultra-violet rays from sunlight harsh marijuana’s mellow. When you store weed in a dark room with perfect humidity and air temperature conditions, it can remain potent for as long as two years.
A brown container is appropriate as it filters UV light-this is why beer comes in brown bottles. Light converts THCA into THC. Concurrently, light can convert THC to CBN. This degrades the weed making it less potent.
Oxygen, on the other hand, oxidizes terpenes and changes the cannabis flower aroma. The storage should be airtight and the right size, relative to the amount of marijuana. A large container leaves room for too much oxygen that interacts with your herb. You will need to open the jar now and then acquire some amount of weed, which causes an air leakage. Generally, try to avoid leaving your weed jar open and limit the number of times you reopen the jar. Vacuum sealing is a viable option, available for long term weed storage.
5 Great methods to keep your Cannabis fresh.
1. Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are a popular way to store weed for weeks or months. However, you should:
- Eliminate as much air as possible before packing.
- Ensure the bag is sealable and airtight. If you must access the bag, limit the number of times you re-open the plastic.
- Store the bag in a dark place as UV rays degrade cannabinoids.
- Avoid using material that contains bisphenol as it is harmful to humans.
Constant movement leads to the breakage of the trichomes. Freezing marijuana in plastic bags is not advisable. We open and close the fridge very often in a day, exposing the weed to the external microbial environment.
2. Cannabis Humidor Box
A cannabis humidor box is a tool made specifically for the storage of marijuana. It has the perfect conditions for weed storage and maintains all the elements that keep marijuana fresh and potent. Avoid storing your weed in cigar humidors, especially ones with cedar wood that harm cannabis. Further, the humidity levels for storing cigars are too high for cannabis.
3. Glass jar with a lid
Glass jars are an economical way to store weed. The jars prevent mold growth and other microbial organisms. Glass jars that come with a rubber seal are better as they offer the required airtight conditions. Ensure the jar is completely dry and store it in a cool dark place.
4. Medicine bottles
Medicine bottles provide a safe environment for drugs. So next time you purchase your steroids or other tablet medicines, repurpose the container as a storage for your weed. The contents remain dry and free from contamination. The bottles are convenient to carry and provide a sense of safety. Ensure the bottle is dry before storing your stash and keep it in a cool and dark environment.
5. Ceramic jars
Although this is an ancient method from the 1900s, it is still quite an effective method to store your marijuana. Ceramic material does not let in light. The challenge would be to control the entry of air. To maintain humidity and oxygen levels, insert the weed in a plastic bag then put it in the ceramic jar. It is essential to use a jar with a lid.