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Cannabis Tips: How to Preserve Weed

Posted on January 26 2019

how to preserve weedIf your an avid cannabis user, cannabis fanatic, or medical cannabis user, you likely buy your cannabis in bulk. You get a much better price on an ounce than when buying individual grams. While this is a great way to save money and ensure that you never run out of bud, there are a few drawbacks to buying in such large quantities.

Many people will not use an ounce before the bud starts to dry, losing flavor and aroma, and sometimes even potency. In fact, when the bud is exposed to the air or improperly stored, its terpene and cannabinoid content can degrade at terrifying rates. After a while, the bud that you paid top-dollar for is virtually useless, with only enough THC to leave you a little fuzzy-headed. Most importantly, most of its medicinal value is lost.

There are a few ways to avoid this process and keep your cannabis in great shape all the way down to the last bud. If you’re looking for tips on how to preserve weed, you’re in the right place. Here are five steps you can take in order to prolong the life of your tender buds:


Separate Different Cannabis Varietals

Different varietals, commonly known as cannabis “strains” have very different effects on health, cognition, and overall nature of the high. They also have differing aromas, flavors, and visual aspects. Because they often look very different, many people choose to store them together and simply choose the bud they want when it’s time to pack a bowl.

However, when two varietals are stored together, the aroma and flavor can actually mix or degrade, which can definitely take away from the cannabis experience. You may reach for a strain that normally creates a relaxing experience and find yourself a bit energized if it mixed with the wrong strain. Storing different varietals together can essentially delete the unique experiences of each type of cannabis. Instead, store each different varietal in its own cannabis friendly container, and follow these tips for each one.


Don’t Touch The Bud More Than You Have To

The trichomes on the outside of the bud contain most of the bud’s THC content, as well as other cannabis molecules that are essential to your cannabis experience. These trichomes are very vulnerable, and they easily fall off or stick to surfaces that they contact. Every time you touch your bud, move it around or rub it against a non-smooth surface, you lose more trichomes and the potency of your bud lowers.

how to store weedWhen you need to handle your bud, be swift. Cut the bud with scissors instead of tearing or pulling it, and place it immediately in a grinder. Using a grinder often preserves the potency of your weed more than breaking it down by hand, since the sticky trichomes are more likely to attach to your skin than the smooth surface of the grinder. Some trichomes will be lost. It is unavoidable. Handling your budless can help minimize this loss and keep your cannabis in good conditions until it’s ready to be smoked. 

 

Keep It In A Cool, Dark Place

Evidence shows that certain UV light frequencies can degrade the potency of fresh cannabis. As an example, think of the way that sunlight breaks down organic matter, like grass, and causes it to dry out over time. Heat can do the same thing. At high temperatures, terpenes and cannabinoids begin to break down and become less potent.

Evidence suggests that cannabis buds thrive best at temperatures around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures that are too low can actually prevent THCA from decarboxylating into THC. Incredibly low temperatures can cause the trichomes to become even more fragile and fall off, which is why you should never store cannabis in the freezer. Cannabis stored in the freezer is generally done so with the intent of removing the trichomes to make other cannabis products, like hash or concentrates.

 

Store It In An Air Tight Container With A Neutral Charge

how to preserve marijuanaYou will need to store your bud in an airtight container to help control air-drying and humidity. Warm, dry air will quickly degrade the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other essential oils, rendering the cannabis useless after some time. However, most sources suggest avoiding plastics, especially plastic bags, which might irritate the bud and remove some trichomes.
Instead, opt for a container that has a smooth surface and a neutral charge, like a glass jar with an airtight lid. The neutrally charged containers will not attract trichomes and degrade the potency as many other containers will. Glass is also much easier to clean in between batches, which can prevent mixing aromas and flavors between different varietals.

 

Make Edibles Before It Spoils

At the end of the day, all organic matter (including cannabis) will begin to degrade, even if stored properly. If you are wondering how to preserve weed that was improperly stored or has been properly stored for a very long time, there is a way that you can save the last bit of its potency and prevent it from degrading more before you can use it. Making edibles allows you to force the decarboxylation process, which makes a form of cannabis that is orally bioavailable. Cannabis edibles can then be stored in an airtight container or in the freezer until used, without experiencing any further loss to its potency.

There are several ways to make cannabis edibles, but it is important to note that the high from edibles is different than when smoking cannabis. If you have never tried edible products, you might be better trying a single, store-bought one first. Then, you’ll know how you react to the edible experience before using an entire batch of your favorite bud.


How Long Will Weed Last When Properly Stored?

If you store your cannabis properly, there’s no doubt you will get a more fruitful experience when you finally use it, whether you smoke, vape, or use it to make edibles. The storage process does have a lot to do with the quality of your cannabis over time. In fact, when left exposed to all of the elements, placed in a dry, hot area, or physically touched too often, the potency of the terpenes and cannabinoids can degrade significantly in only a week.

One study suggests that properly storing cannabis can make it last much longer, though. This study looked at the effects of UV light and other environmental factors on cannabis over time. It found that cannabis, when properly stores, could maintain its potential value and potency for up to two years. That is seemingly long enough for nearly any cannabis smoker to finish the batch, so following these tips should help you avoid wasting any weed at all.

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