Sunday August 9, 2020
By Paul Barach
With the coronavirus pandemic still rampant in every state, your best option for staying safe remains sheltering in place. In order to protect your health and the health of everyone around you, this means going out as little as possible, and that includes trips to your local dispensary. When you do go to the shop, be sure to wear a mask, follow all the posted directions, and if you have the budget, you should stock up on as much weed as possible.
Of course, once you’ve amassed a stockpile of bud, the next question becomes “How do you store it?”
Increasing the longevity of your bud is an age-old problem. You want every bowl torched or joint lit to have as fresh a flavor of those terpenes as when you first opened the bag. Even if you can accept a little softening of the taste after a bit, no one wants to smoke old weed. Everyone’s dealt with headaches, cough, or drowsiness you’ll experience as the THC molecule has degraded into CBN, and no one is a fan.
Storing Cannabis Long-Term
Airtight and out of sight is a pot smoker’s maxim for storing their weed. So it stands to reason that the less air you expose your weed to, the fresher and more potent it will remain. The terpenes won’t dry out, trichomes will stay on the bud, and it won’t burn as hot. Keeping your cannabis from the air will also reduce the humidity, which can cause weed to mold. Store it in a cool place to prevent the cannabinoids and terpenes from drying out further. You’ll want to keep it below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, does this work? Is all you need a good jar and a closet or drawer to keep your weed in good condition for the long haul? The answer is yes. As with most things, the fresher, the better, so be sure to put aside some of your purchase to enjoy immediately. However, if you want to keep your cannabis flower in the best condition possible and store it even longer, a vacuum sealer is your best bet.
Vacuum Sealing Cannabis
Once your bud is vacuum-sealed, some strains can be stored for up to a year without losing a noticeable amount of their potency. Even better, vacuum sealers are relatively cheap online. A quick search on Google or Amazon will give you plenty of options. You can find a home use one for around $50-$75 and a jar sealer attachment is only $20.
If you do decide to go with vacuum sealing, jars vs. plastic bags is worth considering. The benefit of plastic bags is their cheapness and ease of storage. If you’re vacuum sealing in a plastic bag, your nugs will get a little compressed and some small pieces may get crunched off. However, the quality will still be exceptional and it’s not like you’re putting them in a showroom. You’re just going to burn them anyway. As long as you keep them out of the light they’ll still be good.
Considerations for Vacuum Sealed Marijuana
Plastic bags have some downsides though. If you’re choosing to freeze your weed to keep it an extra-long time, you have to be extra careful when handling the baggie. Frozen trichomes can break off and remain in the bag, instead of going into your body where they belong. Allow your weed to come back up to room temperature before using it. However, there’s a lot of debate whether or not freezing weed has any real advantages for storage. Many cannabis consumers will say that room temperature works just fine for storage and that between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature range.
A final issue to consider with plastic bags is that plastic can get a very light static charge. This won’t zap you like a metal door handle when you touch the bag, but it’s still strong enough to pull delicate hairs and trichomes off of your weed. This lowers the potency.
Using a jar adapter to vacuum seal your weed is just as easy as sealing plastic and jars have some big advantages over plastic. They’ll preserve the shape of your nugs, you’ll lose fewer trichomes to crunching and static charge, and they’re more earth-friendly.
With jars, there is the issue of storage. Since glass doesn’t bend or flat pack, you’re stuck needing more storage space.
Whether you choose jars or plastic to vacuum seal, the final method to long term weed storage is to use a couple of smaller jars or bags rather than one large container. Every time you open the bag or the jar, you lose terpenes and cannabinoids to the air. By having a couple of smaller containers, you can keep the majority sealed from the air and fresh while you work your way through one. Plus it’s easier to portion out your weed if you’re trying to ration it.
Of course, you don’t need to vacuum seal your weed. Airtight and out of sight works just fine in the short term, as long as it’s not too hot. But it never hurts, especially if you’re regularly buying in bulk. If a small investment is worth having fresher weed longer, vacuum sealing is the way to go. Especially if you’re buying a lot all at once.
Have you ever vacuum sealed your cannabis? Share your experiences in the comments below.