lowkey cannabis industry

A Lowkey Guide to Storing Cannabis

Not so long ago, storing your weed in a plastic baggie was the norm. But as users get more sophisticated, so is how they store their weed. Proper storage of marijuana is key to maintaining its quality, ensuring you get the flavor and potency you pay for, and maximizing the investment you made at your local dispensary.

The Importance of Properly Storing Cannabis

How long does weed last? According to one study, cannabis has a shelf life of up to two years provided it’s cured and stored properly. In states with legal recreational marijuana—like Massachusetts, home of Lowkey—curing is commonly done before the weed arrives at your local dispensary; after you purchase a cannabis product, though, the responsibility to store it the right way falls on you.

The 5 Rules of Cannabis Storage

The key to preserving your pot’s flavor, aroma, quality, and potency largely comes down to limiting its exposure to the elements. In general, the more you can control the environment cannabis is stored in and the cleaner you keep where it’s stored, the better.

1 – Stay Cool

Ideally, weed is stored in temperatures ranging from the mid-fifties to mid-seventies. Store it in too-hot conditions and you can dry out the flower and reduce terpenes, the compounds that give cannabis strains their unique smell and taste. Furthermore, temperatures above the mid-seventies, when combined with excess humidity, are conducive to mold and mildew—the enemy of safe and healthy cannabis.

Too-cold temperatures are also bad for the longevity of weed. Freezing cannabis can damage its trichomes—appendages that produce and store the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes—and ultimately affect its potency.

2 – Keep it in the Dark

Store weed in a dark place—somewhere like a closet/drawer or, at a minimum, in an opaque container. Light (sunlight in particular) is the biggest threat to your weed. UV degrades cannabinoids and terpenes and reduces its potency. A study from the 1970s found that exposure to light is the greatest single factor in the loss of cannabinoids.

3 – Manage Moisture

In a perfect world, weed is stored in a relative humidity of 59% to 63%. When humidity levels creep above 63%, your bud becomes more susceptible to mold and mildew—the natural enemy of cannabis. Conversely, not enough humidity can dry out weed and break down cannabinoids and terpenes. Too-dry conditions can also strip cannabis of essential oils and can lead to weed that lacks flavor, is harsh to smoke, and is less potent.

4 – Clear the Air

Storing your weed in an airtight container can go a long way to ensure long-lasting cannabis. Air converts THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to CBN (cannabinol). More simply, air reduces the “high” feeling produced by THC and replaces it with the more sedative effect of CBN.

Another tip for controlling the amount of air in contact with your weed is to choose the correct container size. A good rule of thumb is that your weed should take up between two-thirds to three-quarters of its container. This leaves some room for air and prevents humidity from rising, but doesn’t pack your bud so tight that it gets damaged.

5 – Clean Up

Keeping the container you store your cannabis in clean is an easy way to prolong its shelf life and ensure its quality. Make sure to remove any dirt and grime before adding your weed. It’s also a good idea to clean containers between uses if you’re mixing strains, since containers can hold onto flavors and impart them on whatever they’re currently holding. While not catastrophic, it can affect the taste and your overall experience.

Recommendations for Storing Weed

Plastic baggies have gone by the wayside, but there are numerous options available, ranging from repurposing common household goods to buying something especially for weed storage.

Glass Mason Jars

Glass Mason jars are an extremely popular choice for storing weed. Glass is sturdy, nonporous, and—unlike metal and plastic—will not affect the smell and taste of your weed. Mason jars also feature an airtight seal which helps your bud last longer.

On the downside, classic Mason jars are clear and do not block light, the biggest threat to weed. If you’re going to use Mason jars to store your weed, keep them someplace where they won’t get exposed to light. Another option is to select Mason jars made with brown glass—which offers significantly more protection from light than clear—or made with UV-resistant glass.

Cannabis Humidor

Cannabis humidors—humidity-controlled boxes—are gaining popularity with true marijuana mavens. If you’re going to go this route, buy a humidor specifically made for use with weed. Cigar humidors are lined with cedar, which has oils that enhance the flavor of cigars but can have the opposite effect on cannabis. Cigar humidors also use sponges that use propylene glycol to control humidity, which can oversaturate your pot.

Other Considerations

In addition to what you store your weed in, there are a few other factors to consider when storing weed.

  • Moisture control: A multitude of companies have stepped up to create ways to keep your cannabis at the correct humidity level. Look for pods or packs that absorb and release moisture as needed.
  • Store separately: Keep your weed away from lighters, pipes, grinders, and other paraphernalia that can impart their smell on your container and in the end your weed.

The Wrap Up

Lowkey Dispensary sells the finest cannabis products and proper storage of them ensures the best possible experience. While nothing lasts forever, taking a little extra care when storing your pot can help it last longer, smell and taste better, and protect its potency.

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