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Friday February 25, 2022

By Erin Hiatt

Image of a weed jar with cannabis nugs in it. Education

For frequent and infrequent cannabis consumers alike, proper storage for your stash can help keep your cannabis fresher for longer — up to two years if done right. The best and simplest way is to repurpose a standard, airtight mason jar (or any other jar that can be sealed tight) into a weed jar, then store it in a cool, dark place.

So let’s assume that you do (or soon will) keep your weed in a glass jar. Even if your jars never see the light of day, is it still necessary to clean them? In short, that’s a definite yes. But first, let’s take a look at the benefits of storing cannabis in airtight jars.

Jars Keep Trichomes and Terpenes Intact

Jars are preferable for keeping your bud’s trichomes intact. Leaving your cannabis in plastic baggies can pull trichomes from the bud and onto the plastic itself.

You’ll want to protect them because trichomes contain powerful cannabinoids that provide the plant with potentially therapeutic benefits 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, a theory positing that cannabis is more effective when compounds such as CBD, THC and terpenes work together, compared to when they are isolated.

Trichomes are fragile, and plastic has a static charge that can pull them from your bud.

Using Jars Protects Your Bud

Another downside to storing your stash in a plastic bag is that it may break apart or flatten. While this may be useful for rolling a joint, storing your bud in a weed jar offers more protection and will protect your stash from being crushed.

Cannabis flower in a small plastic bag.
Storing your weed in plastic bags offers little protection. photo credit

Cannabis that is exposed to light and air, or is left unconsumed for a long period of time will degrade and cannabinoids will break down. The psychoactive compound THC, for example, will break down into a cannabinoid called CBN (cannabinol). While CBN is thought to be effective in beating insomnia, it has little to no intoxicating effects. When you store your weed in an airtight container and away from light, humidity, and heat, your stash will take much longer to degrade.

Jars Help with Odor Control and Maintaining Flavor Profiles

Storing cannabis in a jar also helps keep individual flavor profiles intact for longer. Because of the aforementioned terpenes, weed strains 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.

Cannabis flower in a glass mason jar.
Using a weed jar will help you preserve terpenes and freshness. photo credit

Lest we forget, weed has a strong smell, and unless you want your place to smell like a dispensary, keeping cannabis in an airtight jar will help keep odors to a minimum. Bonus for parents of small children and pet parents: keeping your weed in a jar sealed tight makes it harder for little hands (and paws) to open.

Cleaning Your Weed Jars

Over time, there will be a build-up of plant resin and shake that sticks to the side of the jars. If you leave weed — or any other organic matter for that matter — in any container long enough, you’ll definitely get 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.

Person cleaning a weed jar with soap and
Cleaning your weed jars will help prevent mold. photo credit

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 typically very affordable (though the price has gone up in the age of COVID). Depending on the retailer, expect to pay at least $2.50 for a 16 oz. 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 Water and Rock Salt: 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. PRO TIP: For really sticky situations, you can combine these two methods: add coarse salt to your ISO wash before giving it a shake.
  • 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!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work - which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor - covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Erin's work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let's Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedInWordpress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

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