Now that harvest season is upon us and you’ve taken the steps to properly cure your cannabis, it’s time to prepare your buds for storage. This is especially relevant for outdoor growers who often grow enough to supply their medicine for the entire year from a single crop. That’s a lot of pot to store, and like any organic matter, even the best buds can degrade over time. But cannabis is also like wine – if stored properly, it will actually get better with time.
To ensure your flowers stay in pristine condition, the first rule is to keep your buds in a cool, dark and dry place. Heat, light and moisture will rapidly degrade your stash. A refrigerator is a good choice, and a basement could work, as well, so long as it stays cool.
It’s best to let your stored nugs remain unmolested until you’re ready to use them, since handling your stash will knock off trichomes and ultimately make your pot less potent. With that in mind, the first thing you’ll want to do before storing your buds is set aside enough for frequent use, which you’ll want to keep separate from your long-term stash.
As with curing, the most recommended container for storing cannabis is glass. To minimize the possibility of harming your buds with light, use dark-colored jars. If glass is not accessible to you for whatever reason, then you could use a combination of brown paper bags and plastic freezer bags. Plastic in general is not preferred, but the heavier plastic that freezer bags are made of is still better than using delicate sandwich bags, which could dry out your flowers in short order. If you really have no choice but to use freezer bags, then protect your buds from the light by first wrapping them in dark paper, such as a brown paper bag, before you seal it in the freezer bag.
But don’t latch onto the word “freezer” too much. While you do want to store cannabis in a cool place, you do not want to freeze it. Freezing will weaken the trichomes and cause them to fall off, resulting in diminished potency.
Whatever container you use, you’ll want it to be as air-tight as possible. Any oxygen will accelerate degradation of your precious nugs.
Store as much cannabis as will fit in the jar or bag; if you’re storing a small amount, use a small jar. If you must resort to plastic freezer bags, then squeeze as much air out as humanly possible before storing. Use a vacuum sealer if you have one, or invest in one if you’re storing a significant amount, as it will suck out way more oxygen than you could squeeze out otherwise.
If you live in a ganja-friendly state, it will serve you well to store small amounts in multiple jars or bags, as opposed to storing your entire supply in one container. That way, you won’t have to jostle your whole stash, knocking off trichomes and decreasing potency, every time you want to bring out a portion to use. If you don’t live in a pot-friendly state, however, be aware that having multiple containers looks like “intent to sell.”
Another key factor that will enhance the longevity of your buds is airing them out.
Just as you did during the curing process, open the jar — this time, once a month — being careful not to disturb the nugs, and simply let it air out for about 10 minutes before returning it to its cool, dark, dry place.
Storing cannabis is easy if you know what pitfalls to avoid. Following these simple steps will ensure a wicked long-term stash, with maximum potency maintained, smell and taste intact, and smooth smoke that will stay golden until your next harvest.