How to Store Cannabis Long-Term and Preserve the Freshness

If you have a weed stash you haven’t touched for a bit, you may notice the buds getting dryer with time, and smoking them won’t get you as high as it did at first. While ageing is inevitable, it can be slowed down with proper preservation. We’ll teach you what can harm your buds with age, and how you can preserve them from time and the elements.

If you’re the type to buy bud in bulk, or just don’t smoke too often, we can imagine you’ve ended up with old weed on your hands.

You can tell something’s off when you pinch the dried-up, lightweight nugs. You may need something to smoke, but would that old stuff even get you high at all? Even if it did, what would the flavour be like? No matter the answers, you’re most likely wondering how you can stop your weed from getting like that again.

Well, you can’t stop the ageing process, but you can definitely slow it down! Above all, you’ll need to make sure your weed is expertly cured, placed in optimal containers, and stored in a cool room at the proper temperature and humidity.

What Happens When Cannabis Gets Old?

Before we go deeper into that discussion, though, we want to offer you a deeper understanding of what happens when your weed starts to age.

  • Lost THC

As weed is exposed to heat, oxygen, and UV light, the cannabinoids within, including THC, will begin to break down. It doesn’t happen too quickly, but the change can become noticeable after a few weeks. It won’t leave you sober, but a joint won’t get you as high as the one you rolled when you first got it.

  • Conversion to CBN

As that THC breaks down, it doesn’t just disappear. In fact, it’s converted into another cannabinoid, known as CBN. This cannabinoid has some mild psychoactive properties, but it doesn’t get you high on its own. This conversion mainly occurs when weed is exposed to oxygen and heat, although the process takes time.

  • Lost Flavour

Lost THC won’t be the only consequence of keeping your weed in a warm spot. As it gets weaker, it’ll also taste and feel harsher upon smoking. This, of course, is a result of the terpenes drying out over time. Excessive light and moisture will bring about their downfall as well.

Does This Also Happen to CBD-Rich Bud?

If you’re more inclined to smoke CBD-rich strains, you may wonder whether any of this applies to you. Well, since CBD is also a cannabinoid, and since the buds also have terpenes, it too can degrade with age. The high isn’t a factor, but you’ll miss out on the other potential benefits of CBD.

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What Causes Weed to Age?

We’ve alluded to certain causes of weed ageing, but let’s go ahead and break the issues down into clear terms.

  • Humidity

You have to maintain a very precise balance when it comes to humidity and cannabis. If your storage method introduces too much moisture, you run the risk of mould infestation. If it isn’t humid enough, though, the terpenes and cannabinoids will end up withering away. While they’re quite different outcomes, the unpleasantness is equal between them.

  • Temperature

Often going hand-in-hand with excess humidity, high temperatures can hasten the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. Generally, you should make sure your weed storage area doesn’t get hotter than 25.5ºC (78ºF). Simply enough, this is because any environment between 25.5–30ºC (78–86ºF) is prime for mildew and mould growth.

  • Light

In short, persistent UV light will land a heavy blow on the impact on terpenes, THC, and other cannabinoids. This is especially problematic in tropical areas, where it joins forces with humidity and heat to harm your stash.

  • Container Materials

Lastly, while many aren’t even aware of this, your container’s base material can have a direct impact on your weed’s ageing process. See, while many place their weed in plastic containers, the material can cause your stash to “sweat”. This means, as with actual sweating, your plant will release its inner moisture. It’ll end up dry and harsh as a result.

How to Store Your Weed and Keep It Fresh

So, now that you know the enemies, you need to learn how to defend yourself and keep your weed fresh. Thankfully, it’s a fairly simple process, and you may already have everything you need to start storing your weed for a long period of time.

  • Proper Curing

Really, the journey to proper cannabis storage begins with the post-harvest curing process. And, funnily enough, it involves maintaining the same sort of optimised environment for your flower. You’ll want to find a cool, dark, and moderately dry spot. Separate the buds, trim off the sugar leaves, and sort your stash into mason jars. Also, note that each jar should only be ¾ full.

With a few weeks of patience, you’ll be rewarded with fresh, smokable flowers. If you really want to ensure freshness, though, you’ll want to make sure no excess moisture gets trapped in your curing jars.

To accomplish that, we recommend utilising our specialised RQS Moisture Fighters. These plant-based sachets are designed to rest right in your stash jars, absorbing or releasing moisture according to the conditions. They’ll last up to four months, and just one 8g sachet will keep your personal stash fresh. If your jar’s a little heftier, there are sachets in sizes up to 67g available as well. Either way, you’ll want to select the ones that maintain 58% or 62% humidity. Get the former if you’re in a more humid environment, and the latter if you’re living in a dry climate.

“But how will I know if the sachet is still working? Do I need to open up the jar to check?”. Thankfully, no! They each feature a dot that changes colour depending on their condition, so you’ll know exactly when you need to replace them.

  • Use Air-Tight Glass/Ceramic Containers or Vacuum Bags

Once your buds have been sufficiently cured, we’d recommend you keep them in their mason jars. Considering how much damage oxygen can do, air-tight containers are the best choice you can make for your weed.

It can’t just be any container, though. As we mentioned before, plastic can actually hasten the ageing process, so Tupperware would be unwise. A glass or ceramic container, however, will keep it safe and fresh.

That being said, vacuum bags are also incredibly effective, as they’re naturally devoid of air.

  • Keep It Dark

Along with your container of choice being air-tight and glass/ceramic, it should also be opaque. Light can wreak havoc on your cannabis, and blacking out your jars can ensure total safety. Before that, however, you should make sure your curing room is completely dark (with the lights off) to begin with. With blacked-out jars, though, you can turn on the lights to check in without worrying too much.

As it turns out, our specialised RQS Re:stash Jars fulfill every one of the requirements you need your containers to meet. They’re layered with a jet-black silicone sleeve, boast air-tight lids made from hemp, and come in sizes of 4, 8, 12, and 16 ounces.

  • Maintain Cool Temperatures

Once you’ve got your buds in their containers, you’ll need to make sure the room stays consistently cool: below 25.5ºC (78ºF) to prevent mould from thriving. Turning it down to 21ºC (70ºF) would be optimal.

  • Ensure Clean Storage

Now, with almost everything in order, you just need to make sure things stay clean. Make sure you dust the shelves and jars, along with vacuuming or mopping the floor when needed. In turn, make sure you don’t spend too much time in there, as any dirt you track in will have to be cleaned up later.

Will Weed Stay Fresh When Frozen?

Through all of this, some of you may have been thinking, “I can keep food in the freezer for months, so why don’t I just freeze my cannabis?”. Others amongst you may hear someone suggest that and gag at the thought, thinking it ruins the flowers.

Those in the latter camp, however, may be surprised to learn that you can effectively store your bud in the freezer for 1–2 years. If you go for it, just make sure you’re very careful to avoid touching the buds, as the trichomes (which contain almost all of the resin) will quickly fall off.

Let them naturally thaw outside the freezer, and note the top layer of the buds may be sub-optimal. The rest of it, however, will be nearly as good as it was one or two years before.

Aged Buds: A New Trend?

To cap off our discussion, we thought we’d take a look at those people fighting against the notion of age being a detriment to cannabis. See, for some people, the curing process is an art form. For lovers of aged weed, the prime flavour of a strain emerges with time, and some consider it necessary to wait at least five months after curing before smoking their stash.

This is still a very new school of thought, though. In general, we wouldn’t recommend trying it unless you have lengthy experience with cannabis. Yet, your journey with weed is your own, and we don’t want to stop you from experimenting!

 


How to Prevent and Combat Weed Hangovers

Have you ever woke up feeling exceptionally lazy and under the weather after a heavy night of smoking? You were probably experiencing a weed hangover. Sure, they’ve got nothing on alcohol hangovers, but they can still impact the beginning of your day. Use our tips to get rid of this feeling as quickly as possible, and prevent it in the future.

The term “hangover” often conjures flashbacks of severe headaches, intense nausea, and even puking after a night of heavy drinking. However, many cannabis users also report a hangover-like effect after hitting one too many bowls the night before.

The phenomenon of the weed hangover remains contested throughout the cannabis world. Some users report feeling fine the next day—maybe even better than waking up from a sober night—whereas others truly feel lingering effects that trickle into the next day.

Cannabis scientists have solved a lot of things. But these white coat-wearing, weed-loving geniuses have yet to uncover any solid mechanism behind the elusive weed hangover. Still, we can do our own research in hopes of drawing some conclusions. Continue reading to find out what causes weed hangovers, how to treat them, and if they really exist at all.

What Is a Weed Hangover?

A weed hangover refers to the lingering after-effects of a heavy smoking session. Although the term also applies to alcohol, weed hangovers are almost never as bad as those felt after too many beers.

Smoking weed causes several physiological and psychological changes. After hitting a joint or bong, THC enters the bloodstream and starts binding to CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system —resulting in a high. The cannabinoid also causes typical side effects from smoking weed, including dry mouth, increased appetite, heightened senses, reduced reaction times, and short-term memory impairment.

Although most of these effects occur during the peak of the high—between 1 and 3 hours—some users may feel them ripple into the following day, especially after a late session the night before.

Essentially, any residual effects experienced hours after consuming cannabis can be classed as a weed hangover. Some users might find these sensations pleasant and enjoyable, and frequent drinkers will certainly laugh at classifying these effects as a hangover at all.

However, these effects quickly become less desirable upon waking up early for a meeting or another commitment. Learn more about weed hangovers below, including how to treat and prevent them.

What Are the Symptoms of a Weed Hangover?

Cannabis hangovers affect different people in different ways. Some users shoot out of bed ready to tackle the day, and others need time to get their engine started. Regardless of these differences, the most common symptoms of a weed hangover include:

  • Brain fog
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

While most of these symptoms are subjective and anecdotal, cannabis scientists have delved into the domain of weed hangovers to try and suss the phenomenon out. A series of questionnaires and objective tests have enabled them to target some core symptoms.

Researchers set out to analyse the effects of weed hangovers way back in 1985. The study involved 13 male smokers split into two groups—one received cannabis, the other received a placebo. After a smoke, the participants were asked to complete behavioural tasks that involved card sorting, recall, and time production. After the session, they went to bed and then repeated the same tasks nine hours later the following morning.

Upon repeating the tasks, the researchers found that the cannabis group produced significant differences in the time production task and also reported residual subjective effects. The researchers concluded that cannabis does indeed cause a hangover effect. However, the cannabis used in this study contained only 2.9% THC, around 80–90% less than most strong modern strains.

A study conducted 5 years later produced different results, somewhat changing the perception of the so-called weed hangover. 12 regular cannabis smokers were observed over the course of two weekends. During the first weekend, they received a placebo, and on the next, they received active cannabis.

Each participant inhaled exactly 40 standardised puffs before sleeping, and answered a questionnaire and performed several tests to measure the residual effects the next morning. After a stoned weekend, the researchers found little changes in mood scales, subjective intoxication, and residual effect. They found no evidence of a hangover effect, yet the cannabis used only clocked in at 2.1% THC.

More recent research has probed the symptoms of the cannabis hangover. A 2017 study explored the effects of medical cannabis in patients experiencing chronic pain. As well as producing positive effects in many users, some patients reported side effects the following day. These sensations were described as a foggy and non-alert feeling the following morning.

Modern cannabis science definitely considers cannabis hangovers as real. In fact, healthcare professionals are now recommended to inform medical cannabis users of the potential for a hangover and what effects to expect. A 2016 review suggests telling patients to expect residual effects[4] up to one day after using the herb.

What Are the Symptoms of a Weed Hangover?

What Causes a Weed Hangover?

Weed hangovers are certainly multidimensional, and many variables contribute to how smokers feel the next morning. However, if a cannabis user exposes themselves to the following factors, they’ll likely feel a hangover the next day.

  • High Doses of THC

Hitting moon rocks and chomping on THC-laced brownies all night will boost the chances of a weed hangover. Such high levels of THC take longer to process, and you’ll probably wake up stoned.

Although the effects of smoked cannabis peak at around 1–3 hours, edible cannabis takes another route through the body. Following digestion in the GI tract, the body shuttles THC off to the liver and converts it to 11-hydroxy-THC. This molecule takes effect over a much longer window, making it more likely to feel effects the next day.

  • Smoking

Smoking cannabis may produce more fatigue than other methods of consumption, such as vaping. If you’ve ever smoked a large cigar late at night, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Some users even choose to add tobacco to their joints, which can cause a foggy and lethargic feeling the following morning.

  • The Munchies

Cannabis makes people hungry. Really hungry. THC triggers the release of hunger hormones and also shifts certain areas of the brain into a state of hunger. These effects cause users to head to the fridge after an hour or so of smoking, often leaving nothing behind but a few carrots and some gone-off milk.

Cannabis and booze both cause a hangover, but so does excess food. If the munchies get the better of you, high levels of fats and sugars will add fogginess and irritability to your experience the following morning.

How to Recover From a Weed Hangover

Weed hangovers are much more forgiving than those induced by alcohol. Look at it this way: you’ll be able to get out of bed, walk around, and even eat something! Although weed hangovers can leave users feeling spaced out, you’ll still remain fully functional—meaning you can take the following measures to fight off any fogginess.

  • Drink Water

Drinking water upon rising will help you feel better with or without a weed hangover. Drink a glass of water after climbing out of bed to hydrate yourself and combat your dry mouth and eyes. Continue sipping on water throughout the morning, and you’ll feel better in no time.

 

  • Caffeine to the Rescue

After hydrating yourself, turn on the kettle and brew a fresh cup of coffee. Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. The moreish molecule helps to elevate levels of cortisol and adrenaline, making you feel more focused and switched on. Caffeine can also help to relieve headaches by constricting blood vessels around the head.

  • Jump in the Shower

Starting the day without a shower just doesn’t feel right. Steam up your bathroom, play some upbeat music, and step under the flow of water. Not only will a shower wake you up and make you feel refreshed, but feeling clean will give you an additional psychological boost. If you’re feeling brave, turn the tap to cold for a few seconds to send a jolt of energy to your brain and release some endorphins.

  • Eat a Filling Breakfast

Now that you’re clean, hydrated, and caffeinated, you need to eat something! Make yourself a filling but nutritious breakfast. Throw in some oats and fruit to increase your blood sugar, raise your mood, and provide stable energy for the next few hours.

  • Take CBD Oil

Finish off your anti-hangover regimen with a dose of CBD oil. Place a few drops of a high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil under your tongue and hold it there for a couple of minutes. As CBD rapidly enters your bloodstream through sublingual tissues, it may help to prevent any lingering THC from making you feel foggy.

Is There a Way to Avoid a Weed Hangover?

Preventing a weed hangover will allow you to immediately get on with your day—no need for lengthy strategies just to feel right in the morning. Of course, not smoking weed the night before remains the most consistent way to wake up without a hangover. However, sometimes we just have to indulge. Use these tips to prevent a weed hangover when you have to get up early the following day.

  • Use Low-THC Strains

Not all strains are loaded with THC. While these varieties are great during parties and weekends, they aren’t always the best option during the week. You can choose low-THC strains that contain high levels of CBD for a clear-headed and relaxation sensation. These strains still provide a pleasant effect, just without the risk of a hangover.

  • Don’t Mix Substances

When you start mixing your weed with booze and other substances, the effects of THC will be the least of your worries in the morning. Avoid mixing to minimise the negative effects when you wake up, especially when you have places to be!

  • Start and Finish Early

If you want to enjoy some high-THC cannabis in the evening, make sure you start early and put the joints down well before sleep. Fire up some bongs straight after dinner to enjoy a high throughout the evening, but stop around 3 hours before bed to let the THC clear out of your system.


Using LED Grow Lights: 6 Mistakes to Avoid?

Whether you are new to growing cannabis or just new to growing with LEDs, mistakes can happen! Find out what you should avoid in order to grow top-tier cannabis under LED lights!

Growing great cannabis is not really difficult—at least in theory. Get yourself some quality cannabis seeds, good soil, proper containers, and you’re already off to a good start. However, if there’s one factor that’s especially crucial to developing superb cannabis, it’s light—a lot of it. Indeed, cannabis plants require more light than most other plants, and they optimise performance if light exposure is significant and consistent. As such, you really don’t want to skimp when it comes to your grow lights.

In the past, weed cultivators largely used HID lights—with MH (metal halide) lights used for vegging and HPS (high pressure sodium) lights employed for flowering. HID lights are still viable, and they have a great track record amongst home and commercial growers alike. That said, LEDs are exponentially taking over grow rooms around the world. Why? Compared to HID, LEDs have some convincing advantages: They use (a lot) less electricity, allowing you to save money over time and reduce the footprint you leave on the environment. They also emit less heat, which can be a big advantage, especially in small grow setups. Lastly, LEDs have recently become more affordable as the tech has become widespread, allowing home growers an opportunity to benefit from this unique and powerful lighting system.

Yet, even the fanciest LED lights cannot prevent growers from making mistakes in their grow. Let’s delve into some common errors, slips, and faux pas to avoid when growing cannabis with LEDs.

1. NOT SETTING YOUR LED LIGHTS AT THE PROPER DISTANCE

This is probably the most common mistake that inexperienced growers make upon just starting out with LEDs. Since HID lights emit a lot of heat, out-of-the-loop growers might be overly cautious with their LEDs, placing them too far away; alternatively, those aware of the benefits of LEDs might get cocky and place the lights super close. If you hang your LEDs too far away, there’s a good chance your plants will over-stretch in an effort to reach closer to the light. If, on the other hand, you place your LEDs too close to your cannabis plants, this can stress the plants more than they can comfortably handle, causing burning and bleaching of the foliage and buds.

So, what is the ideal distance between your grow lights and your plant canopy? Unfortunately, there is no standard, since the best distance during the vegetative and bloom phases of your cannabis will depend on your specific LED. Each type can vary slightly, therefore affecting the final distance they should be from your plants. The first port of call is to check the manual you received with your LEDs for any information on recommended distance. If you can’t find it there, check out the manufacturer’s website. If, for whatever reason, you cannot find any information, you can keep your LEDs somewhere between 30–45cm from the canopy—around 45cm during veg, then a little closer when your plants are flowering.

When adjusting the height of your LEDs for peak performance, keep an eye out for any oddities. Dry, curled, brown, or bleached leaves signal too much light, calling for your LEDs to be raised higher.

2. OVERWATERING

Because good ol’ HID lights emit a lot more heat than LEDs, soil normally dries out quicker when utilising the former. Once growers make the switch, however, they often forget to take this into account. Given the significant reduction in heat, it’s likely your plants will need less frequent watering. So adjust your schedule accordingly when using LEDs, especially if you’re new to it. Overwatering is a common and sometimes serious error beginners make that paves the way for a host of pests and diseases to take hold. So this is really important to keep an eye out for. When in doubt, let your soil dry out—then you can water again.

3. CHOOSING THE WRONG TYPE OF LED LIGHT

Most LED grow lights you can find today are “full spectrum” lights, which is sort of a buzzword that means you can use them for vegging and flowering. But there are also models outfitted with a switch that allows you to change the light spectrum according to the phase. Moreover, some LEDs are made only for veg—emitting a bluish light that supports fast and vigorous growth—while others are made for bloom, giving off a reddish light to support bud development. So, before you get an LED light, make sure it’s the right type. For most growers, a full spectrum LED is likely what you’ll want.

4. CHOOSING LOW-QUALITY LED LIGHTS

If there’s one drawback to LED lights in comparison to HID, it’s that a quality LED is significantly more expensive outright. Not everyone has the cash upfront for a high-quality, full spectrum LED, so they look for ways to save money while still benefitting from the technology. The problem is, there are now tons of low-quality LEDs available on the internet to satisfy this very issue—and these manufacturers are not prioritising quality. These cheap LED lights are often manufactured overseas, and claim to provide more light than they’re actually capable of. Some of these lights are only able to grow one plant (if you’re lucky), and not much more. Low-quality LEDs can also be dangerous to operate if they’re made in a country that has less strict requirements on electrical safety.

Lastly, if you get a cheap LED from overseas and you run into trouble, you will likely have a hard time with warranties and returns. As almost nothing is as important as your lights when growing cannabis indoors, it’s simply not smart to cut corners here. By spending a bit more on a quality LED, you and your plants will be so much happier. Plus, high-quality LEDs are much less expensive to run than HIDs, so you’ll surely save some serious cash on your energy bill over time!

5. NOT PROVIDING YOUR PLANTS WITH ENOUGH LIGHT

The issue with many of those cheap “beginner LEDs” is that some manufacturers intentionally confuse the grower with specs and numbers, such as wattage. This seems fine, except that, with LED lights, wattage doesn’t really say how much light the LED is emitting; it says how much energy is required to produce the light. Instead, we’re measuring in lumens—the amount of light actually emitted. So, regardless of how high the wattage is, the light could still have a poor spread and/or doesn’t penetrate the canopy well. In other words, don’t fall victim to misleading information, and consider the source of your product.

Providing your plants with enough light can become an issue if you want to grow more than one. For example, one single 300W LED light fixture may be fine for one or maybe two plants, but it may not be enough to cover a bigger space with multiple plants. So make sure to reference any recommendations from the vendor and/or LED manufacturer on how much light you will need for your growing space. You can also look for reviews and user reports on grow forums if you want to know more about using a particular LED.

 PROVIDING AN IMPROPER LIGHT SCHEDULE

6. PROVIDING AN IMPROPER LIGHT SCHEDULE

At most high-quality seed shops, you can get autoflowering cannabis seeds and feminized photoperiod cannabis seeds. Autoflowering strains are relatively easy to grow, especially when it comes to lighting: You can just keep them under an 18–24-hour daily light schedule from the moment you plant your seeds up until harvest. They flower automatically after a few weeks of growth, which makes them very convenient.

Feminized (photoperiod) strains, on the other hand, are typically grown under 18–24 hours of light in the vegetative stage, then under 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to initiate and sustain flowering. This shouldn’t be a problem, as most growers will set their lights on a timer for this very purpose. Then again, for someone who’s just starting out, they might not feel confident tailoring different light cycles and spectrums, especially if their setup doesn’t utilise full spectrum lights. It’s certainly not impossible for beginner growers to swiftly get the hang of maintaining proper light schedules, but sometimes the new tech of LEDs can lead people to make silly mistakes. In that case, you may wonder why your plant is reaching gigantic heights, but won’t grow you any buds!

GIVE LED LIGHTS A SHOT—JUST BE VIGILANT

For more tips on growing with LEDs, check out our blog on how to make the most of your LEDs. Lastly, keep in mind that even the most advanced LED system doesn’t just magically grow good weed. So always be sure to provide your plants with the necessary water, nutrients, substrate, and all the other great things it needs. With patience, care, and some powerful LEDs, your plants will reward you with fat, resinous buds come harvest!


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