Wondering about the best ways to store your weed? This is your guide to keeping your cannabis products safe and fresh, which means as colourful, flavourful, and potent as the day you bought them.
Read on to learn more about:
- Optimal storage conditions for weed
- Ideal weed containers and materials
- Safety and security considerations
Best Weed Storage Conditions
The three main factors that you need to control for are light, temperature, and humidity.
When it comes to light, the rule is simple: avoid.
A dark environment or container is perfect for your precious buds. But if you like to admire your weed, want to easily see how much you have left, or just feel good about it, go ahead, go transparent; just keep your container out of direct, strong light, as UV can degrade the plant and ruin the colour.
Temperature is only slightly more complicated: not too hot, not too cold.
To keep weed from drying out, try to keep it under 20°C, away from heat sources like stoves and heaters.
On the other end of the scale, freezing weed can damage the delicate trichomes that give it flavour and aroma, so don’t do it! You should also avoid storing dried flower in the fridge to prevent mould caused by condensation.
Proper humidity management keeps you in the safe zone between dry, brittle weed and mold-inducing moisture. 55-65% is your safe range. Humidity packs, specific containers like humidors and other solutions can help you on this front, but first and foremost, keep your weed sealed.
Best Weed Storage Materials
Whether you’re preserving dried flower, dabs, edibles, or pre-rolls, proper storage materials are key to retaining the value of your purchases. Weed containers are available in different materials, including glass, plastic, metal, and wood.
Most cannabis enthusiasts store their weed buds in glass. Even though it is typically transparent and allows light, it seals well, is durable, and, as mentioned, seeing your weed is nice! Some extracts, however, may get stuck to glass; keep in silicone, or employ parchment paper.
Although weed is often sold in plastic containers, most cannabis specialists advise against plastic as viable long-term storage material.
Stainless steel can be a nice choice, extremely protective and potentially with food grade safety standards. Opacity blocks bud admiration, but blocks potentially harmful light.
Wood has great aesthetic potential for weed containers but unless specialized to the purpose, wooden containers can have a hard time maintaining an airtight seal and managing humidity.
Best Types of Weed Containers
Given the factors we’ve covered so far, the optimal weed container is solid, airtight, temperature and humidity controlled, lockable, sized to suit your needs, and, depending on your preferences, opaque.
With these considerations in mind, here's a rundown of common container types.
Glass stash jars are a classic for a reason. They keep your weed fresh, maintain its shape, protect it from moisture, and contain pungent aromas. Glass jars for weed storage are economical, reusable, and easy to come across: any clean jar with a tight-fitting lid makes a great homemade smell-proof weed container. To protect your weed from light exposure, glass jars should be stored in a cupboard or other cool, dark location.
If you’re feeling fancy, look for borosilicate glass tubes or jars. Borosilicate is a type of glass that is less likely to crack than regular glass (it’s why vintage Pyrex is prized over the modern stuff). It’s often used in laboratory and industrial settings, so you may be able to find fun containers like test tubes. Be sure to choose a lid that seals properly, whether the closure is a cork stopper, screw cap, or press-on polypropylene lid.
For more fanciness, opaque glass containers do exist to deal with UV damage, but are often much more expensive.
Medical-grade silicone is great for storing concentrates. Shatter, wax and other products won’t stick to the surface, so it’s easy to get your product in and out of containers. However, silicone isn’t airtight so it’s only good for short-term storage.
There are different types of smell-proof bags. The first are made of compound films, like what your bud or edibles might be packaged in at the dispensary. Most of these bags are opaque; they may have a window for viewing the product. They’re usually resealable and maintain the freshness of bud or edibles. However, these bags are not “crush proof” so they’re not a great option if you’re transporting your weed in a backpack, purse, or even your pocket.
While these bags are designed to be child resistant upon first opening, most preschoolers will understand the “grip and rip” design, so they’re not a great option for keeping your weed out of the hands of kids. They’re not pet-proof either, as cats and dogs can easily chew through the plastic, leading to a double whammy of complications (and an expensive vet bill) from ingesting both plastic and weed.
Other variations are heavier duty, potentially relatively weatherproof, sometimes lined with carbon or other odour-neutralizing materials and designed to prevent smells from escaping. These bags can be soft and pliant or hard, shaped cases. They are available in many colours, styles, and sizes, from small pouches or wallets to fanny packs and backpacks, and everything in between. They often include pockets to store various accessories, like your rolling papers and lighter. If you’ve never shopped for smell-proof bags before, prepare to be impressed by all the options.
Polystyrene containers are more compact than glass containers and include an optional silicone insert for sticky materials like hash or wax. They are a cost-efficient solution for weed concentrate producers, so if you’ve bought wax, crumble, budder, or other concentrates from the dispensary, they were likely packaged in these containers.
Tubes for Pre-Rolls
Pop-top tubes are clear or opaque tubes for storing your pre-roll joints. They’re child resistant, portable, airtight, and waterproof. They’re a convenient size and shape, and their rigidity protects joints from being crushed in transit. For long-term storage, place the tube inside a glass jar in a cool, dark location for added protection from heat, humidity, and sunlight.
These stash containers are often wood. They range from simple boxes with hinged lids to more high-end offerings with built-in lights, storage compartments, matching weed jars or grinders, or even a rolling tray that fits inside nicely. Different styles are available, including innocuous ones disguised as chests or stacks of books. Some include combination or key locks for safe storage.
Some connoisseurs swear by weed storage humidors. These airtight boxes are often made out of wood, but metal and glass options are also available. Unlike cigar humidors, the ones designed for weed usually don’t use cedar and therefore don’t add any flavour to your bud. The humidity controls can be adjusted depending on whether you’re storing dried flower, edibles, wax, or other products. Some humidors are lockable, so look for that feature to keep your weed secure.
What about product packaging? Should you transfer?
The sealed bags and containers from the dispensary are great at keeping weed fresh — at least until you first break the seal. These resealable containers can continue to be used for the short-term, but you’re better off switching to something better, like glass jars, for long-term weed storage. Also, although they’re designed to be child resistant, the dispensary’s weed containers won’t offer much protection from a determined child (or pet) with a moderate amount of strength. Therefore, it’s better to move your weed to more secure storage.
The amber bottles used for CBD oil and THC oils protect the oil from air and sunlight, but be mindful to not contaminate the storage by having the dropper/pump touch your mouth, or allow it to foster bacterial growth in the fridge.
As always, a main focus should be security; a lockbox or small safe is a good choice.
Safe Away from Children and Pets
You are legally (and morally!) obligated to keep your stash out of the hands of kids. Ingesting weed can be harmful to minors and deadly to pets.
The best safety precaution is to keep your weed locked up in a private place. Treat cannabis products like alcohol, medications, and poisonous products:
- Keep weed locked up in rooms other than the kitchen and living area.
- Make sure your weed is inaccessible and out of sight. Store it higher than your kids’ or pets’ field of vision.
- Speak to your family, friends, and roommates about the rules of consuming weed or bringing it into your home.
How Long Can You Store Weed?
As long as it’s stored properly in airtight containers away from heat, sunlight, and moisture, dried flower and pre-rolled joints can be stored for up to a year. A vacuum container for weed is the best way to store weed for a long time. However, keep in mind potency will decrease over time as the THC degrades. Take a sniff and a close look for mould or mildew before consuming weed that’s been stored for a while.
What About Storing Extracts?
Concentrates and extracts generally maintain potency in long-term storage and hold up well in the freezer. Place your products in a silicone jar or wrap in parchment paper, and then place that in an airtight glass jar. You can then vacuum seal it in a bag to ensure no humidity gets in and stick it in the freezer. (If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, a well-sealed bag is better than nothing.) When you’re ready to use them, be sure to let your extracts come to room temperature before you break the seal on the outer container.
THC and CBD oil can be kept in its original medical-grade bottle for one to two years, depending on the quality of ingredients and extraction process. Be sure to close the bottle tightly and store it away from light and heat. And, as mentioned, don't taint the container by contact with your face, which can... get ugly.
Weed oil can go in the fridge but keep it out of the freezer. Cloudiness can indicate that the oil is too cold, but it should clear up as the oil returns to room temperature. Thickness, unpleasant smell, or rancid flavour can indicate that the oil has gone bad and lost its potency.
Now that you know how to treat your weed with the respect it deserves at home, stay tuned for weed storage on the go!