Should You Clean Your Weed Jars?
Tuesday July 2, 2019
F or both frequent and infrequent cannabis consumers, finding proper storage for your stash can help keep your cannabis fresher for longer. The best way to store cannabis is in airtight jars, like a mason or canning jar, in a cool, dark place. Assuming you do keep your weed in a mason jar, is it necessary to clean them? The answer is definitely yes. First, let’s take a look at the benefits of storing cannabis in airtight jars.
Keep Trichomes and Terpenes Intact
Leaving your cannabis in plastic baggies can pull trichomes from the bud and onto the plastic itself. Trichomes, in addition to giving cannabis its frosty appearance, contain powerful cannabinoids that give cannabis its many healing properties for conditions like anxiety, nausea, pain, and many others. Trichomes also contain terpenes, compounds that give weed its distinct tastes and smells, like citrus, or pine. Terpenes also contribute to the entourage effect found in cannabis.
Plastic has a static charge and can pull the trichomes from your bud. Baggies may also leach toxic chemicals, which you definitely don’t want to inhale. Another downside to storing your stash in plastic is that it may break apart. While this may be useful for rolling a joint, storing your bud in a mason jar certainly offers more protection and won’t flatten your stash. Storing cannabis in a mason jar also helps to keep individual flavor profiles intact for longer. Cannabis strains, because of terpenes, have distinctly different tastes and smells that you would not necessarily want to mix. If you enjoy the sweetness of Super Lemon Haze, but store it in the same jar as the cheese-like, slightly funky Dairy Queen strain, both could be much less pleasurable to consume.
Potency and Odor Control
Over time, cannabis that is exposed to oxygen and age will degrade, breaking the psychoactive compound THC down into a cannabinoid called CBN (cannabinol). While CBN is believed to effective in beating insomnia, it has little to no intoxicating effects. By storing in an airtight container, your stash will take much longer to degrade. And let’s not forget cannabis’ signature skunky smell. Unless you want your house to smell like a dispensary, keeping cannabis in an airtight jar will help keep odors to a minimum. And if you are a parent, keeping your weed in a jar sealed tight makes it harder for little hands to open.
Time to Clean
Over time, there will be a build-up of plant resin and shake that could stick to your jars. And anything left in any container for long enough will grow mold, which is not great for your weed or your health. Smoking moldy cannabis can exacerbate conditions like asthma and allergies, and expose you to additional bronchial and lung irritations. Plus, you definitely don’t want to be storing new weed with older, moldy stuff. Luckily, cleaning your weed jars is a pretty straightforward proposition and doesn’t require any special equipment or ingredients:
Ways to Clean Your Weed Jars:
- Isopropyl Alcohol (ISO): Frequently used in disinfectants, antiseptics, and detergents, ISO is very affordable, about $2.50 for a 32-ounce bottle. Just set your stash aside, then pour a small amount of ISO into the jar, put the lid back on, and give it a good shake. If the jar is still sticky, you may need to do a little scraping, then repeat the process. Rinse thoroughly, and let dry.
- Hot Rock Salt Water: If the resin isn’t too caked on, cleaning your jar with hot water should do the trick. To add some scrubbing power, add rock salt and shake vigorously.
- The Dishwasher: If a dishwasher can get rid of the old, stuck-on food from your dishes, getting rid of resin from storage jars doesn’t seem like such a stretch. Dishwashers, after all, are intended to clean dishes at high temperatures and kill germs and bacteria. And if you have a dishwasher with a “sanitize” setting, it is designed to kill almost 100 percent of bacteria and reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit during its final rinse cycle. Plus, mason jars are dishwasher safe.
Remember, cleaning your weed jar can help keep your cannabis fresh and potent for longer, so when you notice some sticky build-up, give one of these methods a try.
Do you clean your weed jars? Let us know your tips and tricks for cleaning in the comments below!
Finding proper storage for your stash can help keep your cannabis fresh, maintain the potency, and control odor. Click to find out more about the importance of cleaning your weed jars and how easy it can be.
How long is my weed good for? Leafly’s guide to storing cannabis
At some point in our cannabis consumption, we’ve all asked ourselves, “How long is my weed good for?” Maybe you’ve found a few nugs tucked in your winter jacket from last year’s ski trip, or when harvesting a medical crop you may need a way to safely store the excess buds until you’re ready to consume the fruits of your labor.
Like a fine wine cellar or whiskey barrel, properly dried and cured cannabis is best when kept in a cool, dark place. While there is no steadfast expiration date for cannabis, if you store it well it should last about six months to one year before losing considerable potency and flavor.
However, before you spark up that old weed, there are a few key elements to consider when storing cannabis for any extended period.
Explore marijuana storage options
What’s the best way to store weed?
Ideal temperatures for storing cannabis
Mildew and other molds on cannabis and other organic matter thrive in temperatures between 77° and 86° F, so basic precautions of keeping your cannabis in a cool, dark place will go a long way. Excessive heat can dry out the cannabinoids and terpenes that have taken months to develop. When these essential oils get too dry along with plant material, it can result in a hot, harsh smoke.
Lower temperatures also slow the process of decarboxylation of cannabinoids, the process in which THCA converts into the intoxicating cannabinoid THC. THC eventually degrades into CBN, a cannabinoid with different effects and properties. Additionally, warm air holds more moisture than cold air, which brings us to the next consideration.
Humidity factors for cannabis storage
Humidity control is paramount to keeping mildew and other mold contaminants away from your cannabis. Keeping your cannabis stored in a controlled environment with the proper relative humidity (RH) ranges can be a bit of a balancing act, but the general consensus is to keep cannabis between 59% and 63% RH when stored to maintain and enhance color, consistency, aroma, and flavor.
Keeping your RH below 65% reduces the chances for mold to occur. However, if your RH drops too low, you risk your trichomes becoming brittle and drying out the essential oils.
Light settings for storing cannabis
Harmful UV rays break down many organic and synthetic materials. Similar to the way your grass turns brown at the end of a long sunny summer, or how a car’s paint begins to fade when it is not garaged, UV rays will degrade your cannabis over time.
A study conducted at the University of London in the 1970s concluded that light was the single biggest factor in the degradation of cannabinoids. The same study concluded that cannabinoids maintain stability for up to two years when stored under the proper conditions, though it can remain effective and safe to consume for much longer as the essential oils slowly break down over time. Storing your cannabis out of direct light will also help you control the temperature.
Air control for cannabis storage
Double-check jar tightness to ensure every terpene is conserved. (Leafly)
While cannabis needs oxygen during growing and curing, storing your cannabis in a container such as a Mason jar with just the right amount of air is crucial to keeping it fresh and true to its original form. Having too little air can greatly affect the relative humidity, especially if the buds are not completely dried before storage.
Too much air, on the other hand, will speed up the degradation process as the cannabinoids and other organic matter are exposed to oxygen. There are a variety of hand and electric vacuum pump attachments available for canning jars that will help you minimize oxygen exposure.
How to store your weed
Do – store out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place
Do – store in containers with a neutral charge, like glass Mason jars
Do – use hygrometers or products like Boveda to monitor and control RH levels
Do – vacuum seal jars and containers to minimize oxygen exposure
Do – separate your strains to maintain their individual flavor profiles. Label them with a date using a Sharpie. It sucks when you mix up strains.
Do – look for the many exciting new ways to store your cannabis. The cannabis industry is growing every day, with new products and companies like Cannador and The Bureau designing solutions for all of your cannabis storage needs.
Do — not stress about storing weed. The best way to get the most out of your herb is to smoke it in a timely fashion!
How not to store your weed
Don’t – store in the refrigerator. The fluctuations in humidity and temperature can actually increase your chance of mold and mildew. If you do refrigerate, vacuum-seal completely. Cold buds will scavenge water from the air, ruining the flavor. Allow container enough time to return to room temperature before re-opening.
Don’t – store in the freezer. Freezing temperatures cause the fragile trichomes to become brittle and break off like little icicles when handled. If you do freeze, vacuum-seal completely and keep frozen. Since a frozen bud scavenges water from the air, ruining the flavor, allow frozen container and buds enough time to return to room temperature before re-opening.
Don’t – store in cheap plastic bags or containers. Plastic often has a static charge that can attract precious trichomes. If you must use a plastic bag, only use it for short-term storage of small quantities of cannabis. Or use a higher-quality bag like a Smelly Proof bag.
Don’t – store above or around electronics or appliances that give off heat. Heat rises—instead, store your cannabis in a low cupboard, shelf, or in the basement of your house, much like a wine cellar.
Don’t – use a tobacco humidor. Most use cedar wood, which has oils that transfer and can influence the flavors of your cannabis. They also tend to employ sponges that use propylene glycol to regulate humidity and can oversaturate your cannabis.
Don’t – store grinders, pipes, or other paraphernalia with your cannabis. The ash and resin from burnt cannabis tends to linger and will stink up any storage container. Also, it is simply good etiquette to keep your supplies separate and clean.
Other factors for storing your marijuana
Products infused with cannabis, such as edibles and other perishable creations, will have different storage guidelines. Use by expiration date. Keep locked in a container to avoid accidental cannabinoid exposures. Refrigerate as directed.
Alcohol tinctures and other cannabis concentrates also degrade based on heat, light, humidity, and time. Keep extracts sealed tight in their containers in a cold, dark, dry place. While flower shelf-life is usually measured in a year or less—extracts and tinctures can be fridge-stable for years.
Find out about storage options to keep your marijuana fresh for longer. Learn more about the best ways to store weed at Leafly.com.