This post originally appeared on gocaliva.com.
In California these days, you can be confident you’re buying quality marijuana — heck, the testing standards could be higher than actual food items — but are you properly storing it once you’re home?
You may be thinking, “What’s wrong with storing it in the package it came in? I kept my bud in a baggie back in the day.” There are actually several compelling reasons to ditch the bag. Here are our top five reasons for proper cannabis storage — and how to keep your weed from losing its potency and flavor.
The top five reasons to properly store cannabis
1. Keep your cannabis fresh and potent for longer. After exposure to oxygen over time, THC, the psychoactive component to marijuana, converts to cannabinol (CBN), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Just like air oxidizes iron into rust, exposing your weed to air will cause it to degrade faster. CBN has its own therapeutic qualities, including sedation, but “getting you high” isn’t one of them. Proper storage helps ensure your marijuana stays as strong as the day you bought it.
2. Plastic bags are bad for your bud. Plastic often has a static charge that can attract trichomes, which contain THC, terpenes and other cannabinoids. The more of those stuck to the bag, the fewer on the marijuana you’re smoking. Plastic can also leach chemicals. If you must use a plastic bag, only use it for short-term storage of small quantities of cannabis. The best storage option is a glass jar with an airtight seal, like a mason jar or canning jar.
3. Prevent odor from escaping. It’s tough to be discreet if you or your home smell like a dispensary. Proper airtight seals keep scents in and oxygen out (see #1). There’s still serious stigma attached to marijuana usage, particularly for women, so storing your cannabis in an airtight jar provides an extra level of discretion.
4. Keep your flower intact. Cannabis stored in bags is vulnerable to being squished and breaking apart into shake. If you plan on rolling joints, that might be great, but if not, a solid container affords more protection than a bag. And if for whatever reason you do want flat buds, try a rosin press instead.
5. Different strains require separate storage to help maintain individual flavor profiles. Cheese and fruit may go together as foods, but their aromatic cannabis counterparts should not be mixing. To maintain the integrity of each strain’s terpenes and scents, keep your Dream Queen in one jar and your Cheesewreck in another.
Proper marijuana storage conditions
1. No heat. Heat will quickly dry out your cannabis, and dry cannabis is brittle, less potent and the smoke is harsher on the lungs. Avoid storing your marijuana at temperatures above 77℉.
2. No cold. Refrigerators often fluctuate in temperature and humidity, two of the key factors to proper storage. Freezers can cause trichromes to fall off buds, which is great for making bubble hash, but terrible for your marijuana’s potency. As a rule of thumb, avoid temperatures below 40℉.
3. No light. The sun can degrade your marijuana, just like it makes colors fade and skin burn. Keep your bud in the dark and avoid stashing it in direct sunlight (heat can be a factor here too) to protect those trichromes.
4. No air (almost). You don’t need to vacuum seal your stash, but choose a stash jar that’s approximate to the size of the stash you’re…stashing. Too much air will cause your cannabis to degrade faster; too little air can cause issues with humidity and mold. “Dank weed” should not actually smell like a dank basement.
5. Monitor the bud’s humidity. Consider purchasing a couple humidity control packs, like the ones from Boveda. The control packs take the guesswork out of finding the perfect balance of relative humidity levels (between 58%-62% for cannabis), and ensure your marijuana is stored with just the right moisture content.
DIY stash jars
Making your own stash jar can be a fun project, alone or with friends. Pinterest has hundreds of ideas on decorating glass jars, from burlap wraps to chalkboard paint. Materials are relatively cheap – we purchased a pack of 12 4-oz glass mason jars from Target for ~$10, and painting supplies from Michaels for ~$7.
So round up your pals, break out the bud and get creative! Your marijuana (and future you, who’ll be smoking it) will be grateful you did.