Storing Cannabis for Long Periods of Time

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Categories : Cannabis cultivation

Storing Cannabis for Long Periods of Time

Growing cannabis doesn't end after harvest. Learn how to properly and safely store your stash for long periods to avoid catastrophe and enjoy flavoursome, mould-free buds.

After an intense season of growing cannabis, all of your hard work has finally paid off and harvest time has arrived. It’s time to trim your crop and dry it out correctly to avoid any mould from taking hold of your precious flowers. Depending on the size of your harvest, you may quickly consume your flowers, especially if you share some of your bounty with friends and fellow smokers. However, if you have just processed a massive harvest that’s going to take you a while to get through, you’ll need to prepare and store your buds correctly, to protect them and prevent them from spoiling.

Research has shown that cannabis can be stored successfully for up to 2 years. However, only carefully prepared flowers will still contain stable cannabinoid levels after such a long time. There are many important environmental factors to consider when it comes to storing cannabis long term, but preparation leading up to storage is just as crucial. Let’s briefly run over the preparation procedure and then discuss the key required environmental conditions.


Whether you intend to smoke your cannabis in the near or distant future, you’ll need to dry it immediately after harvest to make it easier to process and to avoid cases of mould. The occurrence of mould means affected buds need to go straight into the bin, so it’s important not to rush through this process. To dry your buds, simply remove them from the branches cut off the main plant and place them onto a drying screen, or remove entire branches from the main stem and hang them upside down. Optimal conditions for drying your harvest are room temperature of 21°C and humidity of 50%. We recommend that you check your buds every couple of days until you can easily snap the buds clean, without any bendiness.

After your buds have been dried you’ll need to cure them to remove excess internal moisture. Not only does this additional step make them more suitable for long term storage, it also improves the taste and smoothness of the smoke. To cure your buds place them in an airtight container and place in a cool and dry place. Open the container 1-2 times per day during the first two weeks to allow for air exchange. The longer you cure your buds for, the smoother the taste will get, and upon periodical sampling you can decide on the length of the process.

Dry Cannabis


You’ll need to keep your buds in a good quality airtight container to prevent them from degrading when storing for long periods of time. One good option here is to use mason jars, which you may have utilised in the curing process. Mason jars are designed to keep food from spoiling and feature an air-tight lid that is secured in place by a screw-on metal ring. Mason jars are transparent, which makes it easy to check on your weed to make sure it is in good condition.

Using vacuum seal bags with a heat sealing machine is another great option for storing weed long term. These machines remove all the air out of the bag, which helps to defend your bounty against mould, and also heat seal the opening to keep your buds safe and secure. This way you can store your stash almost indefinitely.

These storage options will keep your cannabinoids safe from the oxidation that occurs when they are exposed to frequent levels of oxygen, which causes degradation of these valued molecules.

Ways to store Cannabis


Temperature is an important factor when storing cannabis. High temperatures will speed up the rate at which cannabinoids degrade. One of the reasons most growers choose to cultivate cannabis is for the THC content. Before being heated, THC exists in cannabis flowers as THCA. If exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods, this molecule will undergo the process of decarboxylation and convert to THC, and then will eventually convert to the less sought-after cannabinoid CBN. High temperatures will also destabilise terpenes, the volatile aromatic hydrocarbons responsible for the sensational taste and smell of cannabis flowers.

Aim to keep your storage container in a cool and dark place, ideally below 25°C. Not only will this temperature help to slow down decarboxylation, it will also help to prevent mould from taking over your flowers. Place a hygrometer, a device capable of measuring both temperature and humidity, into the storage space to monitor the temperature.


Research quoted above suggests that light exposure is the main contributing factor to cannabinoid degradation. In the presence of light, both CBD and THC appear to remain stable for around 6 days. Clearly, you don’t want to leave your jars or bags sat on a countertop if you plan is long term storage. Keeping your cannabis in a dark and cool cupboard is the superior option, and some growers may choose to use miron violet glass jars that defend cannabis flowers from UV rays. However, this does make fast inspection of buds a bit trickier, as you’ll have to open the jars instead.


Humidity needs to be kept at a certain level to keep things getting either too wet or too try. If humidity fluctuates to either of these extremes, the consequences can be dire. Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity and try to keep your cool and dark location within the range of 55-62% relative humidity.

If humidity levels excess this range, then the air has become too moist and the risk of mould increases. If you experience this and don’t have a drier place to store your buds, use a dehumidifier or desiccant packets to reduce moisture.

If your storage location starts to become too dry, the resin will dry out and the terpenes, cannabinoids, and overall quality of your cannabis will take a hit too. To remedy this, try placing a bowl of water into the environment. If this doesn’t work, step things up a level and periodically use a humidifier, until adequate levels of moisture have been reached.

Use a humidifier, until adequate levels of moisture