Here’s How to Properly Store Your Cannabis Stash
According to the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, cannabis can last up to two years when properly stored. But baggies can quickly lead to stale or dry bud that quickly loses freshness. So how can you properly store your cannabis stash?
Proper storage depends on creating an environment where marijuana won’t quickly degrade. For that, you need to eliminate UV rays and oxygen as well as maintain proper humidity levels and temperatures. UV rays can actually burn up cannabinoids, and excess moisture levels can encourage the growth of mold. Additionally, oxygen speeds up the degradation process, and high temperatures can dry out your precious strains, so find a dark and cool space.
To enhance the life of your cannabis, you can store it in an airtight container, and try to pair it with a humidity packet (55-62%), which can infuse just the right amount of moisture. Avoid plastic bags at all costs, as they can degrade aroma and potency fast, turning buds stale.
You can tell if cannabis has lost its freshness of it crumbles easily and takes on a brown hue. To keep buds vibrant and fresh long term, you can freeze them, but don’t put them in the fridge as this can cause mold. We suggest one of our vetted containers instead, which keeps cannabis in its original state, preserving flavor, scent and THC crystals. In fact, the best airtight containers below can actually cure the buds, which enhances potency over time.
If you want to learn how to store marijuana in a way that maintains its quality, locks in smell, and keeps it away from prying eyes, check out our favorite tools that keep your cannabis fresh and safe. These weed storage solutions include childproof options as well. Read on and choose the right storage containers for you.
1. Masterdam Jars StashShield UV Glass Jar
For users and growers alike, UV rays pose a major problem. Unfiltered light can cause cannabis to become overly dry and lose its potency in a matter of hours. The only way to prevent this is to store your cannabis in a cool, dark place or to use a UV-blocking container, like this Masterdam Jars StashShield UV Glass Jar. This particular product is made out of UV-blocking, purple glass and also includes a smell-proof, BPA-free lid.
2. Ziploc Freezer Bags
For growers or smokers who have a lot of cannabis that needs to be stored for multiple months or years, the freezer is the best option for long-term storage. Granted, freezing bud is highly controversial in the cannabis community, as it can cause the trichomes to become brittle and break away. Avoid this by always allowing your cannabis to come to room temperature before handling it. To freeze cannabis, double bag it in a freezer bag and wrap the pack in aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer.
3. Ball Mason Jar Pint Wide Mouth Clear Glass
Mason jars are probably the most traditional way to store cannabis, and many users could benefit from using these glass jars over plastic baggies. These are the jars farmers use to bottle jams and pickles for the winter months, and the same principle applies to marijuana storage. Plastic bags allow buds to become dried out and lose their potency. They also lack protection, causing harmful crumble. However, mason jars offer the protection of sturdy glass, block out moisture and are readily available for purchase. If you’re using Mason jars for your stash, fill the jars 3/4 of the way full so that there isn’t too much air trapped in the container with your cannabis.
4. Boveda 72 Percent RH 2-Way Humidity Control
BEST FOR HUMIDITY CONTROL
Humidity is key to extending the life of your herb, and Boveda is a great way to control the relative humidity in any container. Boveda is a two-way humidity product, which means it can add or remove moisture to maintain a specific moisture level. It contains a natural salt, water and a thickening agent inside a reverse osmosis membrane. Boveda only allows a 100% pure water vapor to go in or out. As a result, cannabis loses less moisture and maintains its weight longer. Depending on which type of cannabis you cultivate or use, Boveda is available in several different humidity levels.
5. Sure Cure LLC Collector Jar
BEST FOR TEMPERATURE CONTROL
The Sure Cure LLC Collector Jar is the future of cannabis storage. This 1/4-ounce jar has a lid that shows both the temperature and humidity inside the jar, allowing you to adjust as necessary. In addition, the jar is made out of see-through glass, so that you can always view the bud inside. And, the innovative labeling system lets you write the strain name in wet-erase ink and classify your bud into one of three categories, namely indica, hybrid or sativa. Altogether, these features make the Sure Cure LLC Collector Jar a great high-tech option for keeping your cannabis fresher for longer.
6. HELMET HEAD Smell Proof Bag
One of the many things to worry about when storing cannabis is the distinctive smell. You don’t want everyone to know where you’ve got your stash because they can smell it. The best solution to weed stink is to keep your bud in a smell-proof container, like the HELMET HEAD Smell Proof Bag. This bag uses activated charcoal technology to keep weed smells in the bag. It also has a combination lock for keeping your stash safe.
7. Safe Locker 420 Smell and Child Proof Case
Although many brands try to make weed storage devices that keep cannabis out of the hands of children, kids are pretty curious by nature, and they sneak into all sorts of places that they’re not supposed to. As a result, some “childproof” solutions aren’t worthy of the name. However, this secure and formidable safe locker will keep out even the most resourceful kids. Not only does it keep the smell in, but the polycarbonate box is lined with padded rubber, so even if your kid shakes it around to try to guess what it might be, contents stay safe inside thanks to impressive shock absorbency. The case itself requires a key to open, and the included jars also have child-safe openings.
8. H I S Sure Cure Collector Vault
BEST FOR MULTIPLE STRAINS
If you like to keep multiple strains of cannabis, you probably need a different storage option for each of them. Let us introduce the H I S Sure Cure Collector Vault. It looks like something out of a Hunter S. Thompson novel, and the set comes with six quarter-ounce jars, a wet-erase labeling system and a lockable case. The jars themselves include a humidity-identifying system similar to the Sure Cure LLC Collector Jars mentioned earlier in this article. In addition, the case boasts adjustable dividers, allowing you to customize your storage system depending on your needs.
9. Herb Guard Smell Proof Stash Jar
BEST FOR LARGE QUANTITIES
The smell-proof Herb Guard carries up to one ounce and will keep your strains fresh for months. It’s constructed out of the thick glass with a sharp black finish and a classy logo. UV protection stops this scratch and smell proof jar from harmful rays but lets infrared and UV-A light in to enhance preservation. The Herb Guard also comes with a complimentary humidity bag, to make sure your flower doesn’t dry out too fast.
10. ONDAMOTA Aluminum Stash Jar
This miniature cannabis storage system looks more like a grinder than it does a place to hold your flower. However, it’s perfect for on-the-go adventures when you only need a small amount of herb, and comes in a range of attractive colors. Constructed from strong, rust-proof aluminum that keeps air out, you simply screw the device open to fill it with herb, and screw it back on to lock in the freshness. It fits in your pocket, so you don’t have to carry a bag around.
11. TÜS Smell Proof Bag
Sometimes a box is bulky and hard to store, but this flexible smell-proof bag can be tucked away anywhere and takes up significantly less space. Lined with carbon and featuring airtight closure, this pouch is as discreet as can be and can fit easily in backpacks. It’s the perfect way to store cannabis while you travel. With the appearance of a small pencil case, this versatile travel accessory also has dual mesh pockets for organization and a double velcro closure. Users love the odor-proof nature, which has been described as “impenetrable.”
12. Swag Gear Wooden Stash Box with Rolling Tray
This handcrafted stash box really does it all. It makes a striking accent piece on a coffee table, and best of all, no one would suspect that cannabis sits inside of it. Designed by Swag Gear, this premium box sets a luxury standard for all marijuana storage. It opens up to a full-size, removable wood rolling tray, with a pre-carved rolling tray built into the lid. The rolling tray even comes with a magnetic scraper that holds to the tray.
13. KEEP Smart Stash Box
If you like discreet cannabis storage with a healthy dose of tech, look no further than the KEEP. It’s not available just yet but plans to ship by the end of Summer or Fall 2020. With all the goodies this award-winning container offers, it’s worth the wait. It looks like an alarm clock with weather features from the outside, but it contains a built-in rolling tray and compartments for multiple strains. Plus, it doesn’t just look high tech. If someone tries to break-in, the user gets notified.
14. Alltrapod Large Capacity Container Bundle
BEST FOR STORING SPLIFFS
Perhaps you already have a place to store your precious flower but need a place to hold a fragile spliff. Joints are notorious for bending, flattening, or even breaking when they’re not stored in a proper container. Enter the space-saving Alltrapod containers. These four tubes are easily color-coded and come with an O-Ring sealed cap. Waterproof capabilities stop your joints from getting wet in these plastic containers, which also refuse to let skunky smells escape.
15. Stash-it Diversion Safe Hairbrush
If you don’t want anyone to know that you have cannabis in the house, or other childproofing methods aren’t working, disguise your buds in an item that looks far from a stash box. There are some amazing diversion safes to choose from, but this discreet hairbrush opens up at the top so you can easily keep your flower in a secret plastic cylinder compartment. Even better, it’s a fully functional hairbrush. The unsuspecting safe fits in easily with other household items, and it can hold up to 30 rolled up dollar bills as well.
16. NutriChef Vacuum Sealer
BEST LONG TERM SOLUTION
Excess oxygen exposure is one of the biggest factors contributing to cannabis degradation. The best way to prevent your stash from coming into contact with too much oxygen is to remove as much of it as possible from your bags or jars using a vacuum sealer. These devices suck out as much air as possible, leaving just your weed inside its container. The NutriChef Vacuum Sealer works with most plastic bags, but an attachment that allows it to vacuum seal jars is also available.
What are the best ways to store weed safely? Here are 16 ways to keep your dankest buds exactly the right amount of dank.
Learn How to Store Weed So It Lasts!
How Long is My Weed Good For?
When it comes to storing your cannabis, the method you choose makes a huge difference in how long your buds maintain potency and freshness! But what’s the best way to store weed? Is it vacuum-sealing? Will freezing your buds hurt them in any way? I’ve tried a few different methods for storing marijuana over the years, and today I want to share what has and hasn’t worked for me!
Properly stored buds have some natural color and don’t crumble apart
Properly stored weed looks full and sparkly, with at least a little color life. Marijuana buds are often green with orange hairs, but sometimes you’ll see other colors like purple or pink.
Improperly Stored Buds Start Turning Brown and Crumbly
Brown or tan weed isn’t necessarily bad, as well-cured cannabis also loses color, but brown and crumbly nugs are often old or weren’t stored in an airtight container. If there are random brown patches on otherwise good-looking weed, it could also be a sign of mold!
These brown, crumbly buds weren’t stored properly
Note: Some people actually prefer the effects of wet-cured or very long-cured buds, which may offer unique smells and tastes. This typically causes buds to take on a mostly brown or tan appearance. Buds that are still good usually “stay together” as opposed to being crumbly. Although there are exceptions, usually buds that have turned brown are losing their overall potency and smell as time goes on.
How to Store Cannabis to Last for Years
If you grow a lot of cannabis at once, you want it to last long enough to use it all. Outdoor growers usually harvest once a year and may need to store buds until the next year’s harvest.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy and cheap to store your buds. You don’t need any special equipment besides an air-tight glass jar.
Air-tight glass jars are one of the best places to store cannabis buds
But that’s definitely not your only option!
Here are the main methods and tools for storing cannabis, with the pros and cons of each:
What Are the Best Ways to Store Cannabis?
1.) UV-Proof Glass Stash Containers
If you need to store a small amount of bud, a UV-proof glass stash box works wonders. These glass containers not only prevent smells from leaking out, they can also help fresh buds continue curing to improve the quality.
This glass stash box is both UV-proof and smell-proof. The perfect place to store small amounts of weed!
2.) Stash Boxes
These boxes are super fancy and classy. They contain compartments to hold various tools or different strains of weed.
When choosing wood, some woods are better than others. Avoid cedar (for example many cigar humidors) as it leaves a cedar taste. Cannabis-made humidors or stash boxes are usually made out of things like teak, bamboo, acacia, mahogany, cherry or walnut wood. These woods won’t affect the smell/flavor of your buds.
This bamboo stash box is smell-proof and includes air-tight containers and a built-in rolling tray. Besides bamboo, other great wood options include teak, acacia, mahogany, cherry, or walnut. Avoid cedar boxes!
This decorative stash box is not only smell-proof but waterproof
3.) Glass Mason Jars in Cool, Dark Place
A cool (60-70°F or 15-21°C) dark place is the most popular way for growers to store buds and is one of the best and most effective. Quart-sized glass mason jars are found everywhere from grocery stores to home improvement stores. These are often used for cooking (making preserves or marinades for example), but when it comes to storing cannabis they help maintain potency by protecting buds from moisture and air. Glass jars will also completely contain smells while preventing buds from getting crushed during handling. Make sure jars are at least 3/4 full so there’s not as much air being stored in with the cannabis (if you have less bud, use smaller glass jars). Buds stored in airtight glass jars in a cool, dark place will maintain their potency for a year or more.
Wide-mouth quart glass mason jars are an excellent place to store weed (note: it’s usually much cheaper to buy in a store than online)
Add a 58% Boveda pack to help maintain the proper humidity levels in your jar to prevent buds from drying out (62% Boveda packs are better if you prefer softer buds)
4.) Freeze Your Buds (Best for Long-Term Storage)
If buds are completely dry, you can freeze them and they will maintain their potency for years.
Some growers double-bag buds in Freezer bags and then wrap the bags in foil. This works okay but you can actually store your buds directly in glass mason jars. If you’ve got a lot of bud that needs to be stored for a long time (years), the freezer is the best way to do it.
One option is to store buds in double-bagged Freezer bags (the freezer kind is more air-resistant than regular plastic baggies) and wrap it all in aluminum foil. Squish all the air out at each step, or even vacuum seal them first. Don’t forget to add a label with the strain and date!
Or put in the freezer inside glass jars. Using jars instead of bags helps prevent trichomes from breaking off during handling. Pack each jar tight!
Avoid handling buds when they’re still frozen as the trichomes (glitter) become brittle and easily break off at freezing temperatures. Freezing off trichomes is actually how you make bubble and dry ice hash. Always let frozen buds come to room temperature before handling.
Note: Moisture is associated with mold/bacteria growth and faster degradation in long-term storage. Buds should be stored at normal temperature for several weeks before any long-term storage method to make sure all moisture in the middle of each bud has worked its way out. If you’re using a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels, it should consistently stay below 55% for at least a week before long-term storage. If you’re having trouble drying out your weed because your local humidity is too high, a 49% Boveda pack can help lower the humidity and remove moisture as you prepare buds for storage.
Buds that are frozen properly will maintain their potency for years
5.) Refrigerate Your Buds (Avoid!)
Buds stored in the fridge tend to mold after a while, even in air-tight containers. Either keep buds outside the fridge or put them in the freezer. If you must use the fridge, it’s especially important to make sure buds are completely dry to avoid mold, and keep them in the back in a crisper where the temperature and humidity don’t fluctuate as much. But again, if possible you should avoid using your refrigerator to store buds just in case; a regular cabinet or drawer is usually better!
6.) Plastic Baggies (Avoid!)
Although this is the most common way for non-growers to store cannabis, it’s one of the worst. Buds lose their smell and tend to get dried out and brittle in plastic baggies. The potency degrades quickly, and the lack of protection means that handling the buds tends to crumble them. Plastic baggies should only be used short term, or avoided altogether.
Don’t use a plastic baggy!
7.) Vacuum Sealing
You can use a vacuum sealer to take all the air out of a container before long-term storage. You tend to get the best results when vacuum-sealing bags, though some growers use these machines to vacuum seal mason jars.
Vacuum sealing is recommended if you plan on storing buds for a long time. However, even if you do vacuum-seal your buds, make sure to still follow all the other steps. If buds aren’t properly prepared (for example if they’re still wet), vacuum-sealing isn’t as effective at slowing down the bud degradation process.
The ultra-cheap way to “vacuum seal” is to get a stash jar that lets you create a vacuum when you close the top. These help slow down bud degradation a little. A decent option for small amounts you plan to use in the near future.
But if you’re serious, an actual vacuum sealer will take all the air out of a bag of weed before storage
What about vacuum-sealing buds in mason jars? When I experimented with vacuum-sealing buds in mason jars using an accessory for a compatible vacuum-sealer, I found that the vacuum-sealed buds didn’t seem to be any different from the same batch of buds stored in non-vacuum sealed jars. After a year of storage, they looked and smoked the same as far as I could tell. If you do plan to vacuum-seal, use the included plastic bags.
More on Freezing vs Refrigerating Buds
Freezing buds is controversial because it’s easy to lose trichomes when moving frozen buds. You do need to be extremely careful when handling frozen buds as the trichomes (glitter) become brittle and can easily break off at freezing temperatures.
However, if this does happen you can still collect trichomes from the bottom of the container and use them (just like the kief that falls to the bottom of a grinder!); the trichomes do not “vanish” into the ether!
Additionally, you can dramatically reduce this problem by always letting buds come to room temperature before handling them. The fact of the matter is that buds will stay potent for longer in the freezer than if kept at room temperature, so it’s up to you to decide whether the risk is worth the reward. I can tell you that many growers freeze their buds for years to maintain potency, especially outdoor growers who may harvest pounds at a time.
So if you want to use the refrigerator to store buds, don’t risk mold by using the fridge portion – put your buds in the freezer!
Weird fact: Ever notice that the word ‘refrigerator’ doesn’t have the letter ‘d’ in it, but the word ‘fridge’ does? Although ‘fridge’ and ‘frig’ are technically both acceptable spellings, one proposed explanation is that the word was originally spelled ‘frig’ but adding the ‘d’ and ‘e’ became much more popular since the word is pronounced as if it rhymes with ‘ridge’.
Using Glass for Storage
- Air-tight and smell-proof
- Doesn’t stop the curing process, and buds may actually continue to cure and gain potency over time
- Doesn’t affect the natural smell/taste of buds (unlike plastic, metal and some types of wood)
- Won’t cause trichomes to break off due to static
- Buds last for 1+ years in a cool, dark place without losing potency
Boveda Packs – A Helpful Storage (and Curing) Tool!
Sometimes called Humidipaks (their old brand name, which I thought was muck more descriptive), the renamed Boveda Packs can basically turn any airtight space into a cannabis humidor. The 58% and 62% Boveda Packs are both specifically designed for storing cannabis and can be placed in a sealed container with your buds to regulate the humidity to the ideal level for marijuana storage. The 58% version is better for storage, while the 62% version makes softer buds.
Boveda packs also help keep buds from getting dried out or brittle (and can re-hydrate buds that are too dry).
Bonus Use: In addition to storage, for those who have trouble getting buds to cure properly, these can be a valuable part of the curing process! Simply place them in your jars a few days into the jar-burping process to help regulate the humidity.
Buds Must Be Dried and Cured Before Storage
If buds are still fresh and green, they need to be cured before being put into long-term storage.
Example of Fresh Bud (May Feel Wet and Usually Appears Very Green and “Plump”) – Never put fresh bud into long-term storage!
Cured Buds (Color Has Darkened Slightly, Buds Feel More Dense and Are Completely Dry) – Always wait for buds to cure for at least 4 weeks before long-term storage!
Whenever Storing Cannabis Long-Term, Make Sure….
- Buds Have Been Cured for 4+ Weeks – Buds should be cured at least 4 weeks before being put into long-term storage. The potency and smoothness of your buds is greatly improved during the curing process, and you want to make sure they’ve reached peak potency before you put them in storage. Additionally, the curing process is integral to setting a good moisture level for buds about to be stored long term.
- Buds Are Dry Enough – Buds should never feel moist and jars should never “sweat” during the curing process. These are signs the buds still contain too much moisture and aren’t ready for storage. Why? Even in a sealed container you can still get mold, and wetness causes potency to deteriorate faster (and buds turn brown and crumbly)! This is really important because buds being too wet is one of the biggest factors that cause buds to degrade early. If you have a humidity monitor, you are aiming for humidity under 55% RH before putting them into storage. This recommended humidity is a little lower than what’s generally recommended for curing, but helps prevent unwanted biological processes during long-term storage.
- Keep Buds in the Dark – Avoid letting buds be exposed to light because UV rays cause bud potency to diminish
- No Heat, No Middling Temperatures – Avoid letting buds be exposed to heat or middling temperatures. The temperature should be 60-70°F (15-21°C) or under 32°F (0°C) for the best results. Don’t let buds get cold, then hot, then cold, etc. Don’t store them near electronics that may heat up. Try to maintain a steady temperature until you’re ready to use your buds.
- Glass is Best, Avoid Plastic or Metal – Although plastic and metal can be used to store buds in the short term, they can start to affect the smell/taste after a while. Therefore they are not recommended for long-term storage. Plastic also tends to be “static-y” which can cause trichomes to fall off the buds and stick to the sides or the bottom of the container. Your best bet is glass, which is completely airtight and nonporous. Quart-sized mason jars are a tried-and-true storage container, which is why they are so popular for cannabis growers.
- If You Do Go For a Wood Container… avoid cigar humidors as they can impart a cedar taste. Cannabis-made humidors are usually made out of things like teak, bamboo, acacia, mahogany, cherry or walnut wood, as these won’t affect the smell/flavor of your buds. However, wood doesn’t seem to be as effective as glass when it comes to cannabis storage, and buds won’t last as long when compared to being stored in glass.
- Avoid the Refrigerator – Although refrigerators might seem like a great idea, they don’t maintain a consistent humidity and temperature. These fluctuations increase the chance of mold and other unwanted biological processes. Keep your buds at a cool room temperature or in the freezer.
Now that you know how to store your marijuana properly, you can enjoy every big harvest for years to come!
Beginner Shopping List (What You Need to Start Growing)
Learn the best way to store your weed so it stays potent and smelling great! Proper storage of cannabis can even make buds feel stronger!