Why Weed Is So Pungent
Most people associate cannabis strains with the high (or medicinal benefits) they provide. Users generally associate those qualities with the amount of psychoactive THC (or non-psychoactive CBD) the strains contain.
But weed is more than just cannabinoids like THC or CBD. It also contains terpenes. Those essential oils interact with cannabinoids to determine the effect(s) the flower will have, they contribute their own medicinal benefits – and they also provide the pot’s distinctive taste and smell. Does your bud smell of citrus? Diesel? The forest? Pure skunk? It’s because of the strain’s unique mix of terpenes. (The famous skunk aroma is thanks to the terpene myrcene.)
Each strain contains a different mix of compounds, but every strain has terpenes. Many other plants have them too; terpenes are what give lavender and mint, for example, their easily-identifiable smells. The potency and oiliness of modern cannabis play a major role in its much-stronger aroma – believe it or not, it smells much skunkier than it did in the 20th century. And the aroma of marijuana is strongest when it’s been harvested at peak potency.
In other words, you can’t just buy “the right strain” of cannabis in order to prevent other people from smelling your weed when it’s stored.
You have to take active measures.
How To Store Weed Properly
No, you can’t just take the baggie you got from your dealer and toss it into a drawer in your desk, nightstand or bureau. That won’t do the trick.
The drawer actually isn’t the worst choice. The problem is with the baggie.
The choices for storing weed without smell can be categorized as bad, good, and best. Let’s go in order.
Bad Choice: Don’t Use Plastic Bags
You may get a warm feeling from knowing that you’re storing your stash the same way your parents (and even your grandparents) may have stored it. Here’s the difference: they probably didn’t know any better.
Part of the problem with using plastic bags for weed storage is that they’re not air-tight, not even the ones with zip-loc tops. Plastic is a porous material, and the odor from cannabis can easily escape even when bags are completely sealed. There are other issues with plastic as well; they don’t necessarily affect the odor, but they can ruin your weed.
Plastic is a see-through material. That means ambient light can reach your flower and damage it (any light can do that, not just UV rays from the sun). It also builds up static charges which can attract the bud’s trichomes and destroy them. And some inexpensive plastic contains toxins.
Finally, you’ve probably seen moisture gathering inside the sealed bags you’ve used to store leftovers from dinner. That’s a common problem with plastic bags; they cause the contents to “sweat out” the moisture they contain. It might not matter much for that extra burger that didn’t get eaten and you’re saving for tomorrow, but large amounts of moisture in close proximity to weed are likely to accelerate mold growth over time.
So plastic bags are a no-no. If you absolutely want to store your stash in bags, use ones made from Mylar. They won’t keep all of the bud’s odor from getting out, but they’ll stop most of it from escaping.
Before we move on, we should mention two other places many people use to store weed that may hold in the smell but can ruin the stash. Fluctuating temperatures in refrigerators can cause cannabis to degrade and mold to grow, and the high humidity in a humidor will almost certainly start the mold-growing process.
Good Choice: Glass Jars
Glass jars, like the mason jars used for preserving food, are very good options. They seal virtually air-tight when the rubber seal is in place and the top is screwed on tightly. That means no air can get in to ruin your bud – and none of the telltale smell will get out. Glass also doesn’t create static charges, so there’s no danger of frying the weed’s trichomes. To really keep the skunk in the jar wrap duct tape all around the outside of the jar, and to keep the bud from growing mold use humidity packs in your jars. (Boveda makes the most popular ones)
It’s true that glass is transparent, so light can be a problem if you’re not doing the duct tape thing. It’s a good idea to wrap glass stash jars in black towels or plastic, and an even better idea to put the jar in the right place. We’ll discuss that shortly.
Two products will do a superior job of storing weed while hiding the odor.
- Smell-Proof Bags: These aren’t the type of bags you can buy in the supermarket; you’ll find them sold on specialty websites or in some head shops. These bags are usually made from some sort of durable fiber and lined with activated carbon (which absorbs odors), and some have extra layers with foam padding, more activated carbon, or another odor-absorbent material. This smell-proof approach is also used to make larger boxes or cases.
- Air-Tight Vacuum Jars: Some models take Mason stash jars to a higher level. They have built-in airlock pumps that pressurize the air in their large lids, preventing even a hint of weed smell from escaping. Simpler products use valve systems that evacuate air from the jar when the lid is pushed down tight.
If you don’t have one of those ideal containers for your stash, be sure to put several inexpensive charcoal “odor eliminator” packs in the area where you’re storing your glass weed jar.
What area is that? Glad you asked.
Where To Store Your Weed
Cannabis will degrade or grow mold easily when exposed to high temperatures and light. Light (particularly UV rays from the sun) will cause much of the THC to transform into non-psychoactive CVD. Heat causes moisture buildup, which can trigger mold growth. That means finding a dark and cool (but not cold) spot for your stash jar or smell-proof bag.
Those criteria rule out most attics (which get extremely hot in the summer) and basements (which get quite cold). A closet, pantry, or drawer in your living area, where it stays right around room temperature year-round, is the best area for weed storage – as long as they’re not in the bathroom where humidity can be a problem, or near the stove where heat can cause issues.
Added bonus: a closet with a door that closes tightly, or a closed drawer, can act as the final barrier to any skunky odor that might somehow escape your stash.
How To Store Weed Without Smell? FAQ
Q: Will empty pill bottles hide the smell of weed?
A: Maybe for a while, if you put them into a tightly-sealed baggie or two. But those bottles are made from plastic, meaning they can end up damaging your stash.
Q: My friends keep their stuff in the freezer. Good idea or bad?
A: Again, it might take care of the odor problem, but there’s a good chance it will ruin your weed. Freezers can suffer from the same temperature fluctuations as refrigerators, but even worse, they’ll make your flower brittle and the resin-loaded trichomes are likely to fall off.
Q: I’ve heard that putting orange peel in a stash jar will add humidity and revive weed. Won’t it also provide a scent that can cover the smell of pot?
A: Actually, the smell of the orange won’t do much for more than a few hours – and the bigger problem with orange peels is that they can easily trigger mold growth in your jar.