Weed doesn’t go bad the same way other perishables do. That’s not to say that cannabis can’t spoil; humidity can cause your weed to mold and lose potency, especially if you leave it in an open plastic bag. This is why dispensaries have resealable bags with a best-by date.
- How long does marijuana stay fresh?
- Prepping marijuana for long-term storage
- Storage tips for keeping your marijuana fresh
- What to avoid while storing your weed
- More on how to keep weed fresh
It can be challenging to keep your harvest fresh when you grow at home. If you’d like to extend the life of your marijuana, learning to recognize fresh weed is just as important as learning how to store it.
How long does marijuana stay fresh?
When stored properly, cannabis can remain fresh for up to six months; how long depends on what you do to the buds after harvesting. Over time, marijuana buds begin to lose their quality(1). After a year, buds can lose 16% of their THC; this climbs to between 26% to 41% after two.
With that said, how can you tell if your weed is still fresh? Examining its texture and color is one way to check. Fresh buds have a slightly sticky feel when you pinch them between your fingers. That stickiness is thanks to the trichomes stuck to them. Fresh weed also has a noticeably brighter hue.
Is my weed old?
You can also check if your weed is old by color and feel. Old weed has a paler yellow or brown hue than freshly dried buds. If they also feel drier and brittle in your hands, it’s a sign that the buds are past their prime. Smoking old weed may not be dangerous, but it’s not a great experience either. Old nugs contain fewer active compounds, which means an underwhelming experience with much less flavor or effect. In some cases, the smoke of old weed will be harsher.
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Is there mold on my weed?
When it comes to old weed (and any stored bud in general), you should check for mold or “jar rot” before enjoying. Check for mold by closely looking for white or grey spots. You can never be too careful when doing this, and it’s okay to pry open the buds and check every nook and cranny. You can also check for smell, as fresh jar rot has a slightly damp scent(1).
Is my weed too dry?
Weed can dry out fast if you don’t properly store it. Oxygen, UV light, and heat are three of the biggest factors that can dry out your cannabis flowers. If you store your freshly dried cannabis where sunlight can shine on them, it’ll dry faster.
If you don’t use an air and light-tight mason jar, the open environment will leave them susceptible to drying out your buds.
If you’re gonna put this much time and effort into storing your bud, you might as well put that same effort into learning how to grow the most and best bud, right? Download my FREE Grow Bible and start filling up those jars!
Prepping marijuana for long-term storage
Long-term storage is an undertaking on its own: plan to spend the same effort and attention you had when growing your weed. The first step is to cure, assuming you’re starting with dried cannabis flower. This is not to say that curing is just a step to store weed properly. No, it’s something you always have to do if you want to enjoy the best of what your buds have to offer and to keep weed fresh.
By curing your buds, you remove even more chlorophyll that remained after drying(1). The process of curing also ages the trichomes in your buds, resulting in a smoother and cleaner smoke with more flavor(2).
To cure marijuana, place dried buds into an airtight container and store them in a dry, cool room for 2-3 weeks.
The relative humidity needs to be around 60-65% with an average temp of 70°F(21°C). It’s vital to ensure that the container isn’t exposed to direct sunlight – that causes the buds to dry out faster.
Fill the container only ¾ full to allow for burping. By occasionally opening and closing the lid of the jar, burping improves air circulation.
But enough about curing, let’s talk a bit about drying cannabis flower. Drying is the process of hanging your cut plants (or trimmed buds) to remove the excess moisture from them. This helps keep weed fresh longer and reduces the risk of mold in your buds. The best way to dry your weed is through air drying.
Storage tips for keeping your marijuana fresh
When striving for the freshest weed, you must watch for humidity, oxygen, and UV light levels in and around your storage environment. Keep your buds somewhere with low light and an average temperature of 70°F (21°C) with a humidity level that’s around 55% to 65%(1). This will prevent your buds from drying out too fast and keep your weed fresh.
Humidity packs have become the go-to method for keeping weed fresh. You can easily find packs specifically for storing weed. Boveda Humidipaks are one of the best ways to keep your weed fresh by helping whatever container you choose for storage maintain ideal humidity levels.
Boveda packs both absorb and release moisture. If there’s too much moisture in the container, it’ll absorb it. If there’s not enough, it’ll release some. They also offer different types of humidity packs that maintain specific relative humidity levels, such as 58% for dried cannabis and 62% for moist cannabis.
Controlled light and temperature
Minimizing UV light levels in your storage room is key to keeping the active compounds in the trichome heads from degrading. The same goes for temperature. Maintaining an average temperature of 70°F (21°C) is crucial for effective storage.
Too much heat and light cause your buds to dry out faster and lose terpenes which diminishes their flavor and potency(1).
By far, mason jars are one of the best methods for keeping weed fresh. Unlike plastic or stainless steel containers, mason jars won’t taint the flavor of your buds.
Just make sure, as mentioned before, that you use an airtight container and UV-light-resistant jar. Several brands, such as the Kosrae airtight container are made especially for marijuana. Alternatively, you can take any ol’ mason jar and tape it shut with lightproof (duct) tape. (and don’t forget to stick a Humidipack in there for good measure)
Humidors: High-end weed storage
For aficionados looking to store their favorite cultivar, a cannabis humidor is your best friend. With humidors like Cannador, you can store your bud for several months without losing any of its freshness.
Cannador maintains the ideal (55-65%) humidity level by using humidity packs that come with the box. Some Cannadors even have a hygrometer to tell you the relative humidity inside. Other humidors boast different features, such as the American Chest humidor, which has six flower jars and a hygrometer.
The best weed is something worth saving. You can grow the best stash by starting with the best genetics from ILGM. Grow what you love, then get more tips on harvesting and curing in the free Harvest Bible.
What to avoid while storing your weed
You might have read somewhere on the internet that you can store your fresh or dried herb in your kitchen freezer to preserve their quality. But that’s nothing more than an urban legend. Buds stored in a regular freezer will come out mushy and have their trichomes fall off.
Another wives’ tale you need to avoid is putting orange peel into your bag or container to retain the moisture balance of your weed. There’s no evidence that the moisture in the peel transfers into your weed, nor does it give you any control over the moisture level in the container. If anything, it might cause the mold you’re trying to avoid. Even worse, the orange aroma and flavor might permeate your bud and affect the precious terpene profile of your buds. It’s much safer to stick to humidity packs like the ones from Boveda.
More on how to keep weed fresh
Can you store weed in plastic bags?
Plastic bags (like Ziploc bags) are alright for short-term storage. However, depending on the type of plastic, there is a chance the material of the baggies can possibly interact with your weed on a chemical level and/or release microplastic particles over time (especially when exposed to direct heat and UV from sunlight). For long-term storage, go for glass, not plastic.
Is refrigerating or freezing weed bad?
Refrigerating your buds can result in most of the trichomes in your buds falling off. While this might be what you want if you’re making bubble hash, it’s not ideal if you simply want to keep your dried herbs fresh for smoking.
Why is it important to store weed correctly?
Proper cannabis storage is necessary for weed because it keeps it fresh. Weed will naturally degrade over time. It will lose potency and flavor. Through proper storage, you preserve both its potency and its flavor. Moreover, it also keeps your stash clean and mold-free.
If it’s still illegal where you live, having multiple stashes of less than an ounce is a worse charge than finding one single large stash as it is probable cause for intent to distribute as opposed to possession of a large quantity. Also, if you’re that paranoid about someone stealing your weed, maybe you shouldn’t be around those people in the first place. This plant’s about love not money and greed
Up dated info,turn u’r bud into oil..I just found a sample of 3 pluse year old jar of acetone & non poplar solvent based bud oil (I used activated charcoal to remove the green colouring/then used white spirits & a separating funnel & shit load of water,to rid even more green colouring-so ended up with 2.4g of black oil from a manicured (no stem/leaf trimed down to suger leaf coating..
3 pluse year old & it took hours to finnish the joint,& was still fucked up all day !…
Op’s theres two waffle’s covering the same info..read No 2…(it was up dated with more info..
Hi-ho have to agree on dry it beyond, what u get off the st..
bag it in random amounts (its off veryest diffrant strains,your juge-ship…)
army amo boxs are good for a lb..unless u can get your hands on a army cannon amo box @ A mtr/yard long & with sealed valt like locking lids (good for 10/15 lbs..got em never grew enough to both using em.)
& or steel/alu eskys (with rubber seals)…keep checking u’r amo/esky box every week at 1st to make sure it was dryed proply..
@12/15 months my stash is only “marginally” less potent than my neighbors curant crop from the same seed stock !
& have no problems selling the odd 1/4…
I have deer & kangeroo’s to contend with,so I grow on the roof..last grow season I had the 6 o’clock news helicopters & waterbombers flying over head as I was harvesting b4 evacuating on new years eve..
Big tip…start u’r babys under lights in winter…come spring kick em outside…they freak from having 18 hours of indoor light down to 9 hours of early spring daylight hours ..= u’ll have good big bud by xmass !…. ha, but by newyears eve/Jan they’ll go back into leaf mode..unless u put em in a dark shed so they only get 12 hours of bud…am so sick of walking them in & out of the shed,evey 12 hours..hence the 2 year break between crops !..
.p.s by doing the xmass crop trick, u’r subjecting u’r babys in bud mode to way higher U.V rays (& as noted oil glands help protect against U.V ! ) & plant *wormwood next to u’r buding babys..again w/w will kick off tricones (guess what hydro bud finishers have in them !)
Or start u’r crop on new years eve,a 3 ltr milk container (with a strip of cloth wick sticking out the bottom,will give u a “bud on a stick” u’ll get Jan/feb leaf mode..march boys show up..april/may buds…instead of a 12ft +’s monster u’ll have 30/40 short ass babys (about the same amount of side branchs u’ll get of said 12ft’er…)& at the end of the day ..all trimed n bagged still looks like bud off my next door neighbour’s 12ft’s ( except way easyer to hid a 3ft “bud on a stick” than the 12ft’r..expect 1/4 to 1/2 oz off u’r new year eve babys..( u just have to plant more ie 30/ 40 per sq mtr/ yard will do it…
Now for a young hippy trick…
hold a bud up,& flick it…tricones will fall straight down..mould will float up..(my neighbour paid my kid in product to baby sit his babys… the neighbour DOSN’T cure to my standards…(& lost 1.3kg bud(2.8lb) to mould ! )…
Hi-ho have to agree on dry it beyond, what u get off the st.. bag it in random amounts (its off veryest diffrant strains,your juge-ship…) army amo boxs are good for a lb..unless u can get your hands on a army cannon amo box(good for 10/15 lbs) or steel/alu eskys…keep checking u’r amo box every week at 1st to make sure it was dryed [email protected]/15 months my stash is only “marginally” less potent than my neighbors curant crop from the same seed stock ! & have no problems selling the odd 1/4…I have deer & kangeroo’s to contend with,so I grow on the roof..last grow season I had the 6 o’clock news helicopters & waterbombers flying over head as I was harvesting b4 evacuating (start u’r babys under lights in winter…come spring kick em outside…they freak from having 18 hours of indoor light down to 9 hours of early spring daylight hours ..= u’ll have good bud by xmass !…. ha, but by newyears eve they’ll go back into leaf mode..unless u put em in a dark shed so they only get 12 hours of bud…am so sick of walking them in & out of the shed,evey 12 hours..hence the 2 year break between crops !…
I throw in a 58% boveda and loosely fill “salmon” sized mason jars with fresh lids. I get to open a fresh jar more often 🙂 by using smaller jars and my pot doesn’t get exposed to air/moisture as much compared to quart jars.
I use a mason jar attachment for my vacuum sealer to suck half of the air out. No more or my terps will be in the air, not in my bud. Stash places also have larger 58% bovedas. Overkill, I know, but this is a very humid area. Once opened I have smaller “working” jars for my weekly strains.
I just finished the very last of some Blue Cheese that I stored almost 3 years ago and it didn’t lose much at all. Every jar has been smooth and tasty, and if anything have become slightly sweeter over the years. I am sad that it is all gone and proud that I could make it last as long as I did.
If you don’t have an attachment, you can put the jars with loose lids in a vacuum bag and suck the air our that way. Don’t seal the bag, the lids are vacuum sealed and you can just tighten the rings for extra protection.
His audience, with a few exceptions are intelligent and can understand that growing requires you to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Yo. This article is coming from a good place, but there are too many points in this article that would betray the writer’s lack of focus and dedication to quality writing.
Great to hear of your great harvest Ben. this is the wrong topic for this comment but perhaps you would like to share your success here: support.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com Happy growing
Yes you can 🙂
Just finished the harvest of outside growth of Bruce Banner. In drying stage now. Had one plant to reach 10′ 7″. Planted only 2 plants and have enough to last for the next 12 months.
Can you store Marijuana in the freezer for long length of time.
Freezing does not kill seeds. At least loose seeds.
your good lolts of information thank you
Keep the info coming. I’m on m 3rd grow, and ha alot to learn, i have topped it worked great! I’ve done my research on strong strains, thanks to your forums. I’m still using white widow and now trying lsd for something different. Want to know when and witch of the huge fan leaves that block alot of light . No one tells you witch ones i can remove without damaging the plant please help!!!!!
Hi, how do you join this forum? Very informative! :). Thank you 🙂
SCROG Screen of Green. PLace screen about 12-18″ above top of 5g pots. prune off all usueless lower foliage under the screeen and train stems in and out of or tied to the wire screen.
NO do not elvate pots. You need as much head room as possible, usually.
You also do not want you root zone too warm; However, you did not explain your rerasoning behind thinking you need to warm your root zone.
Join ILGM forum. We have many many SCROG journals to peruse and learn from.
What is scrogging? Also, is it advantageous to elevate my 5 gallon pots up on 5-inch wire racks for better air circulation and warmer root areas?
All you have to do is dry the silica packets in a dehydrator for a couple of hours, good to use again!
Happy to help Peter 😀
Bob, your a wherehouse of knowledge, THANKS !!!
Assuming seed is dry, freezing it definitely will not kill it. For more than 30 years I have germinated frozen seed kept in a freezer. Recently germinated a Thai seed from 1987.
Great info Bob, thanks! – I❤️GM
I don’t know that your comment that heat is the enemy of storage is accurate except maybe extreme heat for long periods. I bought some sativia flowers(fully properly cured) that seemed so-so at that time. I left them in their container for about a year at room temp. which included getting up to 90F at times. After that year I tried it again and it was noticeably improved in quality. I believe that it was due to the slow decarboxylation that takes place even at room temp. If you look at the chart in the web link here you’ll see that the process go at a very slow pace even at 176F, which is way above any temp. you’ll be storing it at. So I believe that you can see from the chart that room temp. would likely improve the THC for a long time before it would reach THC degradation. Storing it in air tight jars in the refrig./freezer would tend to keep it like it was originally, no decarboxylation. Chart plus some info. @
If you believe this is mistaken please let me know?
“Ever”, is a long time. I think you will do best by finding a “happy medium” between what experts teach, and your year and a 1/2 of grow experience. There you will find a balance.
Happy growing! 🙂
I just put my stuff (dried very good) into 1/2 gallon jars and vacuum seal the jars! Works perfect with no mold ever! But how long can it last like that?? I have no idea as im only a year and a half into growing. I dont want my stash to go bad as there is alot of it. Thanks ,Raunchybud.
Good thing I am keeping all desiccants from shoes and other products I buy. Thanks for sharing this. I never thought I could use them with storing seeds.
[…] Store the marijuana inside a sealed container, such as a plastic bag or glass jar. Smoke it within several months, to one year. After a year, it is unlikely that the product will be as pleasant for smoking. Keep it in a dark, cool location. Freezing it can keep it fresh longer. […]
I personally do not use silica but I am seeing more and more people claiming that they do.
Not really sure what you mean here; “this is unadvisable, as they have already absorbed as much moisture as they can.”
Thanks for sharing 🙂
I noticed in your article that you use previously used silica gel absorbers to prevent mold, etc. from developing in your harvested bud. It is my understanding that this is unadvisable, as they have already absorbed as much moisture as they can. In our preservation, we use new absorbers purchased from on-line stores that cater to food preservation buffs, also known as Preppers. These are inexpensive and usually come with an “Indicator” device to show they are fresh and unused. Any comment?
How do I get marijuana sent to me?
We got good quality marijuana available for sale very good prices and a discreet delivery.
[…] Whenever you need to unpack your cured marijuana, you just need to pull out the amount you need to use and put a couple drops of water on it. Doing this will give you the moistness to produce the ideal gentle smoke. Of course, you could also store the cannabis in the freezer, but be sure to remove the seeds prior to sticking it in there. The cold will end up killing the seeds and ruining the potential for your future crop. Whether in the freezer or stored in dry containers, the cannabis should last you for about a year. Read more about how to store marijuana […]