The Green Scene

How to Store Weed, According to Experts

The best ways to stash your hash.

February 18, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

In The Green Scene, there's no such thing as a silly question about cannabis. What's the difference between THC and CBD? How the heck do I make edibles at home? What home design advice can dispensaries teach me? Kick back—we have the answers.

So maybe you want to make some cannabutter, or some double chocolate weed brownies. But the weed you have, well, possibly past its prime. It's unclear how good it is because it’s hard to know the best way to keep it fresh. Is a plastic bag really the best way to store cannabis flower? What about a mason jar? Just like it’s important to clip a bag of pretzels or reseal an airtight bag of granola to prevent it from going stale, storing your cannabis products properly is the best way to maintain their potency and quality. Cannabis buds don’t expire, per se, but they may become less effective and less flavorful if not stored properly. While it’s not unsafe to consume degraded or expired cannabis, you probably won’t feel significant psychoactive effects after consuming it. Here’s how to store it the right way:

How to Store Cannabis

You’ve probably heard these same keywords before about where to store olive oil, wine, and even vinegar: in a cool, dark, and dry place. The same can be said for cannabis buds and other cannabis products. Keep them away from light, warm spots, and humidity, all of which will decrease their shelf life. Make sure that wherever you store these products, the temperature and humidity remain stable; too much fluctuation can negatively impact the quality of the buds. “The same way UV light can fade the color of your favorite shirt or give you a sunburn, it can also break down the cannabinoids and terpenes in your bud,” according to Cannavine, a California-based dispensary. If it’s too humid, cannabis will begin to grow mold (it is a plant after all!). Don’t store cannabis in the refrigerator or freezer and instead, tuck it away in a drawer or cabinet away from other food.

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So now that we’ve talked location, let’s go over types of storage. Any form of airtight jars or bags are preferable; bonus points if they also have a vacuum seal. “A glass jar is one of the best things you can use. One of the most common mistakes people make [when storing weed] is leaving too much headspace in the jar. Ideally, you want there to be very little space between the lid and the product,” explains Khalid Al-Naser, head of product at Raw Garden.

A tight-sealing Ball mason jar, particularly an amber-hued one, is ideal because it will keep moisture and light out. According to Veriheal, a healthcare technology company aimed at making medicinal cannabis more accessible, certain types of metal such as aluminum may affect the flavor of the cannabis if it’s kept in long-term storage; something like titanium or food-safe stainless steel is more neutral and shouldn’t change or degrade the flavor of weed. “Over time, some types of low-grade aluminum can leave a less desirable taste,” adds Al-Naser. Similarly, ditch the Altoids tin, since it’s a weak metal that doesn’t have a super tight seal.

Al-Naser adds that by using a Ball mason jar, you can store the cannabis near other food products without worrying about your morning cereal tasting like weed. A plastic Ziploc bag, on the other hand, won’t lock in the aroma as well and can spoil the taste of, say, a loaf of bread. Thus, your brunch guests may wonder if you’re actually serving THC-infused French toast for breakfast.

And this goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: keep cannabis products out of reach from children or pets.

If you're considering enjoying the products and/or recipes in this content, please consult and follow the legal restrictions for controlled substances in your state. Because there are so many variables with cannabis products, go slowly. You may want to start with half a serving and determine your tolerance and ideal dose from there. And always wait a couple hours to feel the effects.
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Former Food52 Staff Editor


Jean February 22, 2022
You are totally wrong about the freezer. That’s the best way for long term storage. I seal it into seal-a-meal bags and put those into a freezer ziplock. I’ve kept bud fresh and potent for up to 5 years like that. I grow a few plants every few years and make it into edibles ( ginger snaps are a favorite), an anti- inflammatory balm for my arthritic knees, and give tons away. Most of it is sealed up without air in those bags. I take a small amount out at a time. It dries out pretty quickly in mason jars unless you add humidity control packs. I use Boveda 62% packs. When they get dried out you can rejuvenate them in a steamer. I have been using cannabis pretty much daily for 55 years so I consider myself an expert. I have a degree in plant science and have been growing, trimming, curing, and storing weed since I was 18 ( I’ll be 69 tomorrow.) so I know what I’m talking about.
Ekim420 February 23, 2022
Having a problem drying my weed. How do you do it old timer? Hey I turn 69 in March. I have been a criminal for over 50 years. VA legalize 4 plant grow your own. Thx
Jean March 11, 2022
Yay, VA. So, you are finally being treated like an adult. Drying is the hardest and most crucial and time-consuming step. I hang plants upside down in my garage. I cut off individual branches and strip the leaves off of them and hang them on a wooden clothes drying rack. I cover it with something to make sure it stays dark. You let it dry until it is pretty dry but not crispy. Then I cut the buds off the stalks and put them in mason jars. I shut them for a day, then open them and let them sit open for a few hours. I keep doing that until it reaches the dryness I like. The jars will make the moisture equalize throughout the material. Too wet and you get mold: too dry and it’s too powdery. Check it daily. Wear gloves when you trim the leaves because your hands and scissors will become resinous. Hope this helps.
NEK July 16, 2023
Hi - thank you for posting! 2 quick questions: what prep is needed before the Buds are put in airtight ziplocks in the freezer? Can you post a link or recipe for your balm and the ginger snaps? Thank you!