Storing Your Marijuana Buds
In the days when buying marijuana on the black market was the only option, most sellers and users didn’t worry much about storing their buds. Sellers got more money for their products if it was moist, so they didn’t dry it completely, and most smokers were fine with it. Marijuana burns a little gentler with just a touch of water vapor.
Now that medical and recreational marijuana have been legalized in many states, a lot of true cannabis enthusiasts have begun to grow their own crops. Outdoor growers, in particular, must grow a full year’s worth of marijuana for personal use, which means a little moisture can be a big problem. This article will focus on how to store marijuana buds not if they are to be sold immediately, but if growers want them to last a full year without developing mold and mildew, or falling prey to insects, rodents, and other pests.
From germinating your weed seeds to grow all the way through to flowering, your plants will require plenty of water to survive. However, none of that moisture should linger once the buds have been harvested, dried, and cured. Those who have never stored large quantities of marijuana will be surprised by how quickly mold and mildew can completely decimate an improperly stored crop. That’s why any grower who wants to put away enough of a stash to get by until next year’s harvest needs to dry his or her buds carefully before storing them.
What About Vacuum Sealing?
Vacuum sealing is a great way to slow the formation of mold. That’s one of the reasons black-market sellers sometimes use this technique, alongside the more obvious rationale of minimizing smell. Unfortunately, vacuum sealing won’t eliminate problems with mold and mildew entirely. If growers store a large stash of even slightly damp buds in vacuum-sealed containers, they can expect to lose a good portion of their harvests before the year is out.
Best Ways to Dry Damp Buds
If growers go to store their stash for the year and find that the buds are still a little wet, they should not resort to just packaging it as-is. Evaluate the moisture level by squeezing the buds. If they’re still moist, growers have two options.
The best option is to slow dry them in small batches on mesh racks with lots of air circulation. A small amount of extra heat can be added to the room with an ambient space heater, but this is generally not required. Slow drying will preserve the terpenes that give the marijuana astrain its wonderful flavor and aroma, which is what most people enjoy most about exoctic varieties like purple punch strain and strawberry cough.
As a last resort, growers can sometimes ‘quick dry’ their buds in an oven at a very low setting (100-200 F). This method will typically decrease the value of your buds as they will often taste more of chloropyll and potentially lose some of their THC. Whenever possible, do not rush the drying stage, as this will only hurt the end product of your high thc cannabis seeds
Since fully dried marijuana tends to smoke a little harsh, most growers rehydrate it before use. This can be done by just adding a few drops of water to every ounce of buds, then storing them in an airlock bag at room temperature for several hours. Make sure you use pure filtered water for this, just as we recommend for germinating your medical marijuana seeds for sale on i49.net.
Best Ways to Package Dried Buds
Once they’re sure that all the moisture has been removed from their buds, growers need to figure out packaging and storage solutions. Every consumer’s situation is a little different, so take diverse environmental considerations like wet weather, temperature changes, legal concerns, and the presence or absence of rodents and other pests into account.
Old-School Sandwich Bags
Anyone who has ever seen marijuana seeds for sale on the black market should be familiar with the ubiquitous flap-top sandwich bag packet. Even black-market growers and sellers didn’t store their final products in these bags, though. Before preparing them for retail sale, sellers usually kept them in heavy-gauge, vacuum-sealed plastic bags.
The rationale behind using vacuum-sealed bags was that it allowed growers to transport their crops without attracting attention. These bags were often transported using less-than-ideal methods, like immersing them in engine oil or even the sewage tanks of RVs. The vacuum-sealed bags protected the crops and helped to prevent the smell from getting too overwhelming, but they never offered the best solution for storing marijuana.
Growers who live in places where rodents and other pests could get into their stashes may want to opt for glass mason jars instead of relying on flimsy plastic bags. Don’t store all the marijuana in one jar. This increases the risk of spreading mold or mildew and destroying the entire hard-earned crop. Instead, segregate the supply into smaller, isolated units.
Those who live in places where security or legality is a concern should always package their og kush or gorilla glue #4 in amounts less than one ounce, as possession of more than an ounce of bud is usually considered a more serious crime. Unfortunately, packaging a crop in multiple, smaller bags can also land growers in states that haven’t completely legalized recreational possession in a world of trouble, as it may be considered trafficking.
The police aren’t the only people most growers worry about. If a stranger happens upon a huge stash of marijuana, there’s no telling what he or she might do. If the stash is stored in multiple, small containers in different locations, an unexpected theft won’t completely decimate the grower’s crop.
The Best Option for Packaging
All issues of legality aside, the best way to package marijuana is to store it dry but uncleaned in separate airlock bags. Fill them about ¼ full, then add a silica-gel packet to absorb any lingering moisture. Roll up the bag from bottom to top to remove as much air as possible, mimicking the vacuum-sealing process, then seal the zipper lock. It can also be helpful to place a pair of rubber bands around the bag to help it hold its shape.
Once the bags have been packed, place them into a tall jar. If they’ll be stored in a place where rodents aren’t an issue, a mayonnaise jar should do the trick. Growers who plan to stash their dried buds in a barn, attic, or another rodent-prone area should use glass instead. Throw in another gel packet or two for good measure and seal the jar. This should keep the bud safe and ready to smoke until the next harvest.
Best Places to Store Packaged Marijuana
Whether marijuana is legal where growers live or not, it’s still a hot commodity and as such, it’s prone to theft. Make sure to store packaged buds where they’ll be safe from not just the elements and pests, but also people. Most growers choose several stash spots.
Storing Buds Indoors
The ideal environment for storing marijuana is any cool, dry place. Attics, barns, and garages are all popular spots. Those who plant to leave their stashes in outbuildings that don’t have climate control should remove seeds in advance, as the winter freeze can render them nonviable.
A second option available to urban and suburban smokers is to store the stash in the freezer. Again, make sure to remove the weed seeds from your dried buds first if there are any present. Those who plan to use this storage method should also note that law enforcement often checks the freezer first, so it’s best to freeze marijuana only in legal quantities.
Storing Buds Outdoors
A second option for those who don’t want to store their stashes inside is to stash them in the ground. This is a good solution for growers in any state, regardless of legalities, as few potential marijuana thieves will be willing to take a shovel out into the backyard of an inhabited home and start digging.
To prepare the stash for in-ground storage, take the packaged containers and place them all in paint cans or plastic buckets that have watertight seals. Food-grade 5-gal buckets should do the trick if they’re available.
Next, just take a shovel and loosen a square of sod or dig up a patch of dirt. Bury the sealed can or bucket up to its lid, then replace the sod or dirt. To finish the deal, camouflage the area with some leaves, twigs, or other debris.
It’s still a good idea for growers to divide up their stashes. Dig several holes, or store some of the crop indoors and some in the backyard. Just make sure to note the locations of each stash carefully. No one is saying that marijuana smokers tend to be absentminded, but it would be a shame to lose track of an otherwise perfect stash.
The Bottom Line
Growers have more to worry about when storing marijuana than just hiding it from prying eyes. The first step to safe storage should always be to remove as close to 100% of the buds’ excess moisture as possible. If you are cultivating classic cannabis strains, you will likely want to preserve as much as the potency and flavor as humanly possible in order to maximize the value of your crop.
Fully dried and carefully packaged buds should be stored in air-tight containers, or close to it, and placed somewhere discreet where they won’t get smokers into any trouble with the law, nosy neighbors, or potential thieves. As long as they harvest a good crop and follow the packaging and storage advice above, even small-scale growers should be able to tide themselves over until the next year’s harvest.
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