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.

Download my free Grow Bible for more information about storing and growing cannabis!

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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.

    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.

    weed stored in a jar

    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 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.

    Storing cannabis
    Storing cannabis

    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.

    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.

    Rehydrate weed
    Rehydrate weed

    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. 

    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.

    Drying marijuana buds
    Drying marijuana buds

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Store cannabis seeds
    Store cannabis seeds

    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.

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

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

    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 

    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.

    Silica gel packet
    Silica gel packet

    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. 

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

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

    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.

    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.

    Storing weed for long term
    Storing weed for long term

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

    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

    Smell-proof cannabis storage
    Smell-proof cannabis storage

    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 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.

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

    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. 

    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.

    storing high quality weed
    Storing high quality weed

    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.

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

    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.

    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. 

    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.

    Storing weed with mild temperature
    Storing weed with mild temperature

    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.

    For high-quality marijuana seeds please visit my webshop. Please like or share this article 🙂

    Robert

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    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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      33 comments on “How to store weed & keep marijuana fresh”

      1. 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

        Reply
      2. 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 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 (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 !…

        Reply
        • 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 ! )…

          Reply
        • Op’s theres two waffle’s covering the same info..read No 2…(it was up dated with more info..

          Reply
          • 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 !…

      3. 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.

        Reply
      4. 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.

        Reply
        • His audience, with a few exceptions are intelligent and can understand that growing requires you to walk and chew gum at the same time.

          Reply
      5. 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.

        Reply
        • 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

          Reply
      6. 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!!!!!

        Reply
      7. 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?

        Reply
        • marilyn taylor,

          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.

          Reply
      8. 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.

        Reply
      9. 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. @
        https://www.catscientific.com/decarboxylating-cannabis/
        If you believe this is mistaken please let me know?

        Reply
      10. 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.

        Reply
        • Raunchybud,

          “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! 🙂

          Reply
      11. 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.

        Reply
      12. […] 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. […]

        Reply
      13. Tamara,

        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 🙂

        Reply
      14. 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?

        Reply
      15. […] 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 […]

        Reply