As more and more cannabis users start cultivating the cannabis plant at home, they’re in need of proper storing techniques to keep their weed stash fresher for longer once they’ve dried and cured it. While some store weed in jars, others choose to try alternative methods, so in this article, we’ll discuss freezing marijuana as a long-term storage method.
We’ll give you all the information on the best way to store weed and maximize its shelf life as well as answer the question “can you freeze marijuana” and go into whether it’s a good option. We’ll discuss whether freezing cannabis affects the quality of the product and its THC levels, as well as give you some additional tips for storing weed. So, let’s get right into it.
Best Way to Store Cannabis
Before we go into the topic of whether you can freeze cannabis, we need to discuss how weed is stored after you’ve dried it and cured it. If you’ve ever entered a dispensary, you’ve probably noticed that cannabis is stored in glass, airtight containers, which is one of the most commonly used methods for storing weed long term, and we’ll tell you why.
Important Factors for Long-Term Cannabis Storage
If long-term storage of weed is something that you’re not very familiar with, we’ve got you. When storing your yield, you need to be mindful of the following five factors:
- Storage methods.
We’ll go over them one by one so you learn why each step is essential.
If you’re not a first-time cannabis user, you probably know that the trichomes of the cannabis plant are very fragile, so you should handle your cannabis buds with care to prevent them from breaking. For that reason, it’s best to store your buds loosely, and not to overcrowd the container where you keep your weed. It’s also important not to switch between containers constantly because friction also causes loss of trichomes.
Seasoned growers know that cannabis plants thrive in sunshine and warmth, however, dried and cured plants thrive when the humidity is controlled. In fact, increased humidity can cause the formation of mold and mildew which will ruin your stash, so make sure that the humidity levels are between 59% and 64% for optimal cannabis storage. To regularly inspect the humidity inside your containers, place a hygrometer inside, or purchase a humidity pack to restore some of the humidity.
While weed needs light to grow, cured cannabis doesn’t because exposure to the sun and UV rays causes THC to convert into its non-psychoactive counterpart CBN which has more in common with CBD. Store your cannabis in a dark place in an airtight container to minimize oxygen exposure and to prevent losing the original potency and flavor of your cannabis.
Temperature is also important for storage because higher temperatures can be the reason why mold and mildew develop, while lower temperatures can dry out the essential oils in your cannabis and make it crumbly and brittle. It’s ideal to store your cannabis in a range of 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to maintaining adequate temperature, humidity levels, and preventing light exposure and friction, you also need to use good storage containers to prevent your weed from losing its quality. It’s best to use glass containers or mason jars and keep them away from sunlight to preserve both the terpene and the cannabinoid content of your buds.
Using a cardboard box or a plastic bag is an ineffective storage method as it doesn’t provide airtight closure. Plastic bags also hold a lot of static charges which means that your precious trichomes will stick to the plastic baggie, therefore you lose a lot of its potency.
Is Freezing Marijuana a Good Long-Term Storage Method?
In order to reap its psychoactive and sedative effects, weed needs to be decarboxylated. The decarboxylation process converts THCA and CBDA into their psychoactive and sedative counterparts THC and CBD. But as weed stays in the container on the shelf, these cannabinoids slowly lose their potency which lowers the quality of the weed. Because a lot of growers are worried about how cannabis loses its potency over time, they see freezing cannabis as an alternative long-term storage option. However, this can’t be further from the truth, and we’ll tell you why.
Oxygen is essential during the curing process, however, it’s not desirable after the weed has been cured. This is especially true if you’re freezing weed since too much oxygen can cause freezer burn. That means that defrosting this weed without losing its quality and attracting pathogens is nearly impossible. Freezing and unfreezing weed will not only reduce the quality of your weed but it can also increase the chances of the development of mold and mildew because of the increased humidity.
Another downside to freezing cannabis is the fragility of the weed’s trichomes, the THC crystals you find on cannabis nugs. As the temperature drops during the freezing process, trichomes freeze and fall off, which ultimately decreases the potency of your weed. So if you don’t intend to lose precious trichomes, freezing is not a good option for you.
When Is Freezing Cannabis a Good Idea?
Even though freezing isn’t an ideal storage solution if you want to store dried and cured cannabis long-term, there are certain cannabis products that require you to freeze weed in order to make them.
Live resin is a high-terpene cannabis extract that’s made using flash-frozen cannabis buds. Instead of the drying and curing process, the flower is flash-frozen at extremely low temperatures with liquid nitrogen immediately after harvesting. This process preserves the natural compounds in cannabis and results in a product that’s preferred by a lot of cannabis users.
Another product that’s made with the help of the freezer is bubble hash weed. This cannabis product is made by putting weed through a micron screen which has tight weaves, and washing them with ice water so the trichomes are separated from the buds after a few times of going through the process.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Storage
While freezing weed isn’t the most effective way to store your high-quality cannabis nugs, it can be done with a lot of effort. However, placing them inside airtight containers with regulated humidity levels away from direct sunlight will keep your weed fresher for longer. Placing a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels inside the container can also be beneficial because you’ll know whether to maintain, decrease, or increase the humidity. To reduce the exposure to oxygen, use a vacuum-sealed jar, and if you’re worried about UV exposure, you can even try the UV-blocking Miron Jar by Cannador which easily fits inside your wine rack. If you follow these suggestions, your cannabis will keep its potency and terpene content for at least six months.