Ask Mama: What’s the Best Way to Store Weed?
Published on March 28, 2023
Some things are just better fresh. Fresh peaches, fresh McDonald’s fries, fresh Jordans, fresh air, Bankroll Fresh, fresh-cut grass, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. OK, now stop thinking about how weird the word “fresh” sounds when you say it over and over (Mama’s gonna keep saying it, that’s the whole article), and start thinking about minty fresh, sticky fresh, extra fresh weed.
Everybody loves fresh dagga like Mama loves her favorite canna-babies (that’s you). You want your weed to keep? Cannabis storage is your ticket to Goldilocks zaza— the stuff that’s not too dry, not too damp, but juuuuuuuust right.
Why Weed Is Best Served Fresh
So why the heck does fresh weed — and the cannabis storage that keeps it that way — even matter? Ain’t that shit already dried and cured when you buy it? Hush child, no one likes a smartass.
Terpenes and flavonoids, the science magic that imbues all sorts of different strains with their signature flavors and aromas, are sensitive, just like you were when you were 13. When your flower is exposed to an excess of UV rays (i.e. the sun) or gets too dry, those elements degrade, and that means less aromatic, less flavorful weed. That sad, dry-assed cheeba also makes for a much harsher smoke.
On the flip side, if weed gets too moist, it can be a pain in the ass to grind and to light up. Even worse, wet weed (ewwww, bro) attracts nasty bacteria, mold, and pathogens. Mama does not need to tell you how bad that is. Inhaling toxins is not good, kids.
You know what else degrades without good n’ proper cannabis storage? Cannabinoids like T-H-m-f’n-C, which can lose their potency when exposed to light and oxygen over time. That’s right: you practice bad cannabis storage habits, you get less high. Mama knows you’d never want to lose a single bit of her Big Block indica blunt’s 37.42 percent THC content, right?
Best Cannabis Storage Methods
If you don’t want to be known as Dry Weed McDipshit, you gotta keep cannabis storage in mind. Here’s how to store weed so it stays stupid fresh, extra sticky, and space-out potent. And that makes Mama proud.
That Good Good Glass
Glass containers are one of the best storage options for your grass, cuz they’re au naturale, affordable, good looking, readily available in a wide range of styles, and won’t transfer any weirdo flavors to your bud. Oh, and they keep your shit fresh, too. Obvs.
But they do come with some small-ish caveats. If you want to make sure your glass container keeps light exposure down to a minimum, you need to go for the UV-protected stuff. So no clear glass, unless it’s specifically labeled as UV-blocking. And it’s gotta be airtight, so look for lids that screw on, seal, or clasp. That shouldn’t be hard.
The Pro-Level Humidor
Look out, it’s time to get real f**kin’ fancy in here. A cannabis humidor — you gotta get one especially for cannabis, as weed has different humidity needs than tobacco — is a swanky-looking, airtight box that automatically regulates moisture, typically by way of an internal sponge that keeps humidity levels around 58% to 62%.
If you’ve got many leather-bound books and your apartment smells of rich mahogany, a weed humidor might just be for you. These are pricey, usually about $100 to $400, but they’re usually S-tier cannabis storage methods.
Bougie and Boutique
Kind of a broad category, but here in the weed renaissance we’re living in, lots of ganja brands offer handy containers made especially for cannabis storage. For the most part, these’ll be airtight, UV-blocking kits free of any nasty chemicals that might leech into your weed or affect its flavor profile (I mean don’t take it for granted, do your research and don’t trust, like, a Wish.com thing).
Boutique storage options are typically cheaper than humidors, and while they don’t regulate humidity, they might include neat features like modularity, color-coded storage, joint cases, easy-clean surfaces, and handy magnetic clasps. Also, lots of ‘em look pretty sick.
Pretty, Pretty Good
An old-school wooden stash box isn’t the worst option, either, as long as the wood isn’t so aromatic that it influences the flavor of said stash. That means no cedar for you, keep that stuff in your body wash. Maple, cherry, mahogany, and oak should be fine, though. Wood looks classy, keeps the light and a good deal of heat out, and is easy to come by, but doesn’t do much for humidity or air exposure.
In the “okay in a pinch” category, we’ve got the cheapest, least cool of them all: a paper bag. Don’t rely on this for long-term storage, but keeping your flower in a brown bag (or even parchment paper if you’re some kinda pastry chef) for a bit is still better than keeping it in a plastic baggie, in terms of light exposure, lack of chemicals and flavor leeching. It ain’t impressive, but at least it’s recyclable.
How to Store Weed (Like a Dumbass)
Turns out the grass ain’t always greener on the other side. Sometimes the grass is drier, harsher, weaker, and shittier. That’s because some cannabis storage habits are a lot more wheezy than steezy. You know Mama doesn’t like to get too negative or judgy, but just keep these don’ts in mind, yeah?
- Don’t stick your bud in the fridge or freezer, unless damp, moldy weed is your thing.
- Steer clear of plastic and silicone containers, which can leech trichomes out of your chronic, make your blunts taste like styrofoam, and even ~infuse~ your bud with trace toxins.
- Metal containers aren’t quite as bad, but they can leave your hash tasting like old pennies. And, no, that’s not a strain.
How to Store Weed (Like a Canna-sseur)
We ain’t done yet. Alongside smart cannabis storage containers, there are a few more things you can do to make sure your weed is garden-fresh. You don’t need to do all of them at once — legit studies show that cannabis stored in the dark at room temp only shows a THC degradation of about 13% over 100 days — but these next-level pro tips will make you the Pharaoh of Fresh.
- Make it mild. Optimal jolly green storage temps range between 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but the ideal to shoot for is 70 degrees.
- Embrace the darkness. Like Mama said, UV rays are no bueno for weed if you want to keep your cannabinoids intact.
- Keep it tight. Same goes for oxygen exposure. If you want those terpenes and cannabinoids poppin’ off, then you want airtight cannabis storage.
- Only grind what you need, when you need it. Otherwise, you’re breaking off trichomes and speeding up dryness and degradation.
- Similar thing: buy what you need to smoke when you wanna smoke — it takes a while, but time is ultimately the enemy of freshness (duh).
- Toss in a humidity pack. Made especially for cannabis, these keep humidity optimal to stave off degradation. You don’t need one if you have a fancy humidor, obviously.
- For vape carts and concentrates, stick to the cool and dry rules of thumb. For edibles, follow the rules of the food — they need to be stored just like the food products they are, and will usually have specific storage instructions on the label.
One way to stay fresher than 1993 season four-era Will Smith? Start with Tough Mama’s own flower. Guaranteed fresh, guaranteed punchy, guaranteed to get you high AF.