Can you freeze weed?
The cannabis community is generally a pretty chilled out place, but ironically enough, there is currently a very heated debate raging about whether or not it’s a good idea to freeze weed.
Is it a good idea to freeze your weed?
The basic idea behind freezing is that the cold, dark environment is exactly the opposite of what bacteria need to thrive and hence by restricting (albeit not killing) bacterial activity, food can be kept edible for longer. In principle, you can put any kind of food in the freezer. In practice, some kinds of foods are significantly more freezer-friendly than others. Basically anything with a solid texture and plenty of natural moisture is likely to freeze well. Anything more delicate and/or dry is likely to be more of a challenge to keep in a freezer. It’s also important to note that any time air comes into contact with frozen food, it can trigger drying known as “freezer burn”, hence the importance of airtight wrappings.
Cannabis buds have about 70% water and leafs have about 80% water, which means that in their natural state, both are, in theory, feasible candidates for freezing. Curing weed, by definition, dries it and makes it less suitable for freezing, so if you are planning on freezing your cannabis, you would be best to leave it uncured. Unlike storing weed out of the freezer, it is recommended to use plastic containers precisely because they are totally airtight and hence protect against freezer burn (and also stop the smell of your cannabis from
Can freezing weed affect the quality?
This is the key question and in simple terms the answer is that it depends on what you want. One of the big issues with freezing cannabis is that it impedes the process of decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is the process by which non-psychoactive THC-A is turned into psychoactive THC. Hence, if you’re using your cannabis to treat emotional issues such as depression, then this is a major issue. If, on the other hand, you’re more interested in CBD or actively want to tame a strong strain, which you otherwise enjoy, then freezing could be a positive.
The other issue with freezing weed is that it causes the trichomes to become brittle and more susceptible to breaking off. Given that the trichomes are where the majority of the beneficial cannabinoids are found, this could feasibly be a major issue for all cannabis users and is often the single, biggest reason why people recommend against freezing weed. It’s handling which causes the trichomes to break off so the only real way to protect against this would be to wrap your cannabis very carefully. Basically you would want to divide it into portions and wrap each one individually and then put the individual portions into your main container.
One further negative of freezing weed is that it can have an impact on the taste. Again, deciding whether or not this is an issue for you comes down to personal preference. Basically you’re swapping a bit of taste for the convenience of longer-term storage. The last negative of freezing cannabis is that freezers are powered by electricity, which means if the electricity goes off, they do too. Freezers can actually withstand short power cuts much better than fridges, particularly if they are packed full (to provide better insulation), however, if the power goes off for any length of time, then you are likely to find yourself having to say goodbye to the contents of your freezer and that will include your weed.
How should you store weed? Alternatives to freezing
Using cigar humidors is generally a bad idea since they are, by definition, designed for preserving tobacco and the ideal conditions for preserving tobacco are different to the ideal conditions for preserving cannabis. The CVault, however, as its name implies, is the same sort of idea, but designed for weed rather than tobacco. They come in a variety of sizes and even the larger ones are at very affordable prices.
This is another product which is designed to work along the same lines as a humidor, but it optimized for storing cannabis. It’s a very elegant solution and could easily be put out on display, making for convenient access. More importantly, the Cannador has been designed in such a way that it is possible to store different strains in separate compartments so that they maintain their individual flavour profiles. The Cannador is much more expensive than the CVault, however, it can definitely be put under the heading of investment purchase.
Old-fashioned canning jars (mason jars)
These are a low-cost and very effective solution, for those who are prepared to put in a little effort. The reason why it is important to use glass jars is that they have a neutral charge and hence will protect your weed without tainting it. Leave some space between your weed and the top of the jar, so that the trapped oxygen allows your weed to continue to cure without letting in moisture and hence increasing humidity. Then, vacuum seal the tops closed, to keep your precious cannabis safe from all external harms, except light. If you’re storing different strains, remember to keep them in separate jars and label each jar so that you know which one is which later on. Then place the jars in a cool (not cold) dark place. It is absolutely critical that you protect your weed from light as this is believed to be the single biggest factor in the degradation of cannabis, or, more specifically, the beneficial cannabinoids. Heat can also damage cannabis and since it rises, you want to store your weed as close to the ground as possible and away from anything which generates heat. It may seem obvious to keep your cannabis away from cookers and such like, but remember that electronic devices often heat up during use, so you want to keep your weed well away from them.
A final point - whatever you decide about freezing weed, never, ever, try to store it in a fridge, unless you can keep the door closed all the time. In a standard household fridge, the constant opening and closing of the door causes fluctuations in the temperature and generally triggers a change in light levels, exactly the opposite of what you want when storing cannabis.
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