How to store weed & keep marijuana fresh

Do you need to store your marijuana so that it keeps stable for up to two years? 

Properly storing marijuana helps preserve cannabinoids such as THC.

In other words, your weed stays potent longer. How do you do it?

This article explains how marijuana starts to degrade so that you can prevent it from happening.

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    Whether keeping your stash safe from mold or simply preserving it for a rainy day, there are plenty of reasons for knowing how to store weed properly.

    The question is, how long can you store weed? If done correctly, you can preserve the THC and flavor of your cannabis buds for up to a year.

    In this blog, we discussed the best way to store marijuana and what kind of weed container you need to do so.

    weed stored in a jar

    Why is weed storage important?

    Storing weed should be an essential part of your post-harvest process since it preserves your buds and helps keep the THC content and flavors of your weed from degrading.

    Just like with any harvest, weed buds can decay. This is true even if you cure them.

    Cannabis quality decays due to 4 main factors:

    • Light
    • Moisture
    • Temperature
    • Air

    When exposed to too much light, the cannabinoids in your buds will quickly degrade and cause your weed to lose its potency.

    Too much moisture, meanwhile, will lead to mold. With high temperatures, your buds will lose a lot of their terpenes which means losing a lot of their flavor.

    Lastly, air could cause mold. If this occurs, the quality could degrade even faster depending on how little or how much is in your weed container.

    Storing cannabis
    Storing cannabis

    Storing weed: Desiccant for weed

    Moisture in any concentration is a bad thing for marijuana unless it is vacuum-packed (which still only slows the formation of mold), so the annual stash should be thoroughly desiccated before storing.

    When considering how to keep weed fresh, the main concern that a lot of growers have is with the humidity in their weed storage containers (i.e., mason jars, resealable bags, medicine containers) since too much humidity can cause mold to appear on your buds while too little can increase the rate at which the trichomes dry out.

    Keep in mind, the best humidity for storing bud is 59 to 64% RH.

    Using desiccants is an easy solution to a potential humidity problem in your weed storage containers.

    This substance helps maintain the right humidity levels in your marijuana storage containers by absorbing excess moisture.

    One of the best desiccant for weed is Boveda. Their different-sized packets work in a variety of containers.

    Desiccants are the best way to store marijuana long-term since they create the perfect humidity for weed storage.

    Plus,  when it is time to cure your cannabis buds, Boveda can also help. 

    They don’t just sell packs that absorb moisture in containers; they also have humidity packs that release moisture. 

    Extra moisture is perfect for any cannabis curing container environment that is too dry to cure cannabis buds.

    Rehydrate weed
    Rehydrate weed

    How to rehydrate weed

    Before you smoke any of your desiccated buds, it’s important to rehydrate them first.

    This is because buds that are too dry don’t have as much flavor or potency as they should, so any flowers you smoke should have a certain level of moisture to them if you want the best experience.

    There are many ways you can rehydrate your buds. You can dab them with a wet paper towel or put freshly trimmed buds with the dried ones in the same mason jar.

    You can also just simply add a few drops of water per ounce of flower and let it sit inside of an airlock bag in a warm room for several hours. 

    Drying marijuana buds
    Drying marijuana buds

    How to store marijuana: Dry it first

    When storing your marijuana, you must first dry the buds.

    This is important because by drying them, you increase their overall shelf life and reduce the risk of mold and mildew.

    Additionally, drying your weed is generally an excellent way to bring out their flavor.

    Typically, the drying process takes around 1-2 weeks; however, it highly depends on the size of your cannabis buds and how you trimmed them.

    Ultimately, the biggest factor in deciding how long the drying process would be is the airflow in your drying room. Insufficient airflow leads to a slower dry.

    After drying, you need to cure your buds. The main difference between the two is that drying simply means reducing the amount of moisture from your fresh buds, whereas curing is storing said dried buds in an airtight container for around 2-3 weeks.

    The curing process further increases their shelf life while increasing their flavor and potency.

    Here’s a quick tip: you can microwave your buds if they are still damp after drying.

    Lay your buds down on a cookie sheet and put them in the microwave for no more than a minute in its lowest heat setting.

    Note: The best temp and humidity to store weed is between 32 and 68 degrees with 59 to 64% RH.

    Store cannabis seeds
    Store cannabis seeds

    How to store cannabis seeds

    It’s important to remove the cannabis seeds in your buds before starting the drying and curing process.

    Removing the seeds gives you something to plant later, but it also helps give your buds a smoother smoke.

    Like cannabis buds, seeds also need proper storage if you want to preserve them for your next grow.

    The best way to store cannabis seeds is to ensure you have the right storage container.

    Any old plastic containers just won’t do since they have pores that could let air into the container and damage the seeds.

    The best way to store cannabis is in an airtight container or its original packaging. 

    You also need a proper space to put them. The best place to store cannabis seeds is clean, cold, and light-free.

    When it comes to the temperature, you need to keep it constantly at 40°F (4°C) to slow down the metabolic process of your seeds so that they have enough stored nutrients to germinate once you plant them.

    Remember:  keep the container light free and dry. Both light and moisture can trigger seed germination.

    Best way to store marijuana: Cannabis storage containers 

    Silica gel packet
    Silica gel packet

    Using silica gel packets for weed storage  

    Silica gel packets are a type of desiccant that pulls in moisture from the air to ensure that the container is dry.

    They are similar to Boveda packets in that they can help control the humidity in your weed storage containers.

    However, unlike Boveda packets that keep the humidity level at a fixed rate, silica gels absorb moisture until they cannot absorb any more.

    For this reason, silica gels aren’t the best type of desiccant for weed since they could lead to a container that’s too dry.

    However, does silica gel keep weed fresh?  Absolutely. It’s still a viable option, especially since you can reuse them – unlike Boveda packets. 

    Keep in mind: you shouldn’t mix silica gels with Boveda packets. The two desiccants would just feed into each other.

    Eventually, the silica gels would become too wet, and the Boveda packet would dry out.

    Adding some silica gel packs is one of the best ways to store weed since it’s pretty straightforward.

    You can scavenge moisture-absorbing silica gel packets from electronic packaging, foodstuffs, or other products that normally include them.

    To store weed this way, simply bag your weed and include a silica pack, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal the zipper lock.

    Add rubber bands to either end of the bag to help maintain a mold-fighting vacuum.

    Add that bag to a tall enough jar that’s also wide enough to hold your bag (with extra space).

    Add another silica gel packet or two for good measure. Now your bud is safe from the elements for at least a year.

    Storing weed for long term
    Storing weed for long term

    Discreet, long term cannabis storage 

    If the above method isn’t enough, you can place your bagged marijuana into sealed jars, paint cans, or anything with water-tight snap-down covers.

    These can then be buried or otherwise hidden in places where people aren’t likely to find them.

    Remember, legalized or not, your bud will always be a stealable commodity, so protect it, spread it around in several caches, and hide each one of them well.

    One suburban stash for folks who grow or buy in volume, but don’t want to risk having a large amount of it in the house, is loosening a square of sod in one corner of the backyard.

    You can then bury a sealed plastic bucket of weed in the soil down to its lid, and replace the sod.

    You could also get even more creative, like placing paint cans inside hollow stumps in the woods.

    Even a military ammunition box with a lock-down waterproof lid wrapped in a garbage bag and buried in a shallow hole camouflaged with ground debris could work.

    Just remember to keep it cool and dry. 

    Smell-proof cannabis storage
    Smell-proof cannabis storage

    Smell-proof cannabis storage

    When it comes to storing cannabis, one of the main problems is containing the smell.

    With how pungent and distinct marijuana buds smell, it can be challenging to find an easy solution.

    However, the best cannabis storage is one that keeps this in mind.

    Additionally, there are many different ways to hide your marijuana and its smell.

    One way to mask your buds’ smell is to place your bagged weed into a jar of coffee beans.

    While this may surprise some as a possible best way to store weed, the rich aroma of the coffee beans is enough to hide the smell of your buds.

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    What degrades weed?

    Want to do some long-term marijuana storage? You’ll need to focus on curing it properly.

    Then, you need to keep it from degrading. You do this with proper storage.

    There are some things that can cause your marijuana to degrade faster than usual, however. 

    Here are four things that you should do to keep your weed potent:

    Keep marijuana bud safe from the air
    Keep marijuana bud safe from the air

    Keep your bud safe from the air

    Oxygen levels are a huge factor when it comes to storing your cannabis long-term.

    Too little oxygen may alter the plant’s humidity level, leading to mildew or mold. On the other hand, too much oxygen causes it to degrade faster.

    So, how do you keep air from degrading your weed?

    One way is vacuum sealing. It’s actually the best way to shield your marijuana from long-term exposure to oxygen.

    However, if you don’t have vacuum pack bags on hand, you could try jars. Airtight jars are an easy solution for storage. Just make sure the lids seal completely.

    How to choose an airtight cannabis storage container

    Start with the proper size. Although no air is seeping in, the jar itself can trap excess oxygen inside.

    This tends to degrade your cannabis.  

    Choose a jar that’s large enough to hold your weed without crowding it, but so small that very little spare room is left inside.

    This stops the container from trapping humidity inside. 

    storing high quality weed
    Storing high quality weed

    Keep moisture away from your marijuana

    Moldy weed is deadly. You do not want to smoke it. The best way to prevent moldy weed is to make sure your cannabis stays dry at all times.

    However, you don’t want it to dry completely out. This causes your cannabinoids and terpenes to become degraded.

    These are the two most valuable compounds in your weed.

    To keep your marijuana’s quality high during long-term storage, keep an eye on those humidity levels.

    The ideal humidity level is between 59 and 63 RH. By the way, RH stands for Relative Humidity or the amount of moisture lurking around in the air in comparison to what it can hold.

    Quick tip: Humidity Control Packets help you maintain control without putting in a lot of extra work.

    Minimize light exposure

    Light exposure is the quickest way to degrade the cannabinoids in your weed.

    Just like with many other things, light can change things. For example, the paint on your car may dull and chip or the color in your hair may lighten. The same can happen with marijuana.

    Here’s what happens:

    UV rays burn up your plants’ terpenes and cannabinoids.

    Keep this from happening by not exposing your cannabis to too much light.

    How? Store it in opaque containers. Also, keep those containers away from any type of direct light. 

    Storing weed with mild temperature
    Storing weed with mild temperature

    Maintain a mild temperature

    Buds tend to dry out quickly when exposed to high temperatures.

    This evaporates the terpenes, giving you an unpleasant flavor and harsh smoke.

    On top of that, mildew and mold thrive when temperatures are between 78 and 86 degrees. 

    That’s why you should store your marijuana at temperatures below 78 degrees. 

    Most people simply say store your marijuana in a “cool and dark” place. Most people assume that means the refrigerator.

    However, storing your weed in the fridge increases moisture, which leads to mildew and mold.

    You could also try using a freezer for long-term storage, especially if you plan to use it later to create bubble hash.

    However, such freezing temperatures can cause your plants to lose potency by bursting the gentle trichomes. 

    With this in mind, the best place for long-term cannabis storage is in a dark corner, basement, drawer, or closet.

    Storing marijuana
    Storing marijuana

    More tips for storing marijuana long-term

    If you follow the tips above, you’ll have great results. But, if you’d like even more success, you could also do these things: 

    • Choose Your Storage Container Wisely – Plastic containers can cause your weed to sweat. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, store it in mason jars or some other type of glass or ceramic container. Just make sure the lid seals the jar air-tight to keep the marijuana fresh longer.
    • Control the Moisture – Old timers suggest throwing orange, lemon or other fruit rings into your ceramic or glass marijuana jars to improve flavor and rehydrate buds. However, be careful with this as it can cause your buds to absorb too much moisture, which can lead to unsmokable, moldy weed.
    • Store Cannabis by Itself – When preparing your cannabis for long-term storage, make sure to store it alone. Do not store cannabis with pipes, lighters and other paraphernalia. These items reek. Your cannabis may absorb the aroma, negatively transforming the way your bud smells and tastes.
    • Avoid Using Tobacco Humidors – Most tobacco humidors are created using cedarwood. Your plants may absorb the wood’s oil, which can degrade the terpene and change the bud’s flavor.

    Maybe you have a nice amount of weed and don’t plan to smoke it up quickly.

    Or maybe you picked up a quality strain from the dispensary and want it to remain potent for the long haul.

    Either way, learning how to store bud properly helps ensure your marijuana stays fresh, so that it still tastes great when you’re ready to enjoy it.

    Want to grow your own weed? Read Robert Bergman’s Marijuana Grow Bible. Get your free copy here.

    FAQ about storing weed

    What is the best temperature for storing weed?

    You don’t want the temperature to be too hot or too cold. Make sure you store your weed in temperatures below 78℉, ideally between 32℉ and 68℉

    What’s the ideal jar size for storing weed?

    Your jar size should be relative to the size of your grow and how you like your product. Make sure that it’s large enough to hold your weed and with very little spare room left inside.

    What is the best relative humidity for storing weed?

    Between 59 and 63 relative humidity.


    I hope you learned something from this article and if you have any questions please go to the forum or leave your comments and questions below.

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    Robert

    Avatar for Robert Bergman

    Robert Bergman

    Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing led him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]

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