Dispensary Weed Bags: What to Look for When Buying

Sophia Delphi May 09, 2022 - 7 min read
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Image of weed in bags

Once upon a time, there was a universal solution to the problem of storing weed: baggies.

That was an even worse idea during the 1950s and 1960s since zip-loc bags didn’t exist back then. “Weed bags” had to be sealed with twist-ties or simply tied into knots.

If you’ve ever tried storing your flower in a baggie, you know how suboptimal that approach is. Plastic stash bags are only slightly more effective than putting the bud in your pocket, at least when it comes to containing the telltale aroma. And we’re not even considering the likelihood of the bag eventually breaking.

Sure, some people still use baggies to store their weed — although the smart ones only do it as a temporary solution. There are much better options.

Here’s why you shouldn’t use a baggie, and what you should use instead.

The Problems with Ordinary Plastic Bags

We’ve already touched on the first reason not to use baggies as stash bags: they don’t effectively contain the odor of weed, no matter how tightly you seal them. Anyone who’s ever tried it — and we’re sure almost every reader has — can vouch for that fact.

That’s not the only problem with baggies, though.

Plastic is prone to building up static charges, which is why the two sides of a plastic bag often stick together. When the static is discharged, it creates an electric charge — which can fry the sensitive trichomes that give weed its potency and flavor. (The same problem can occur if you use a plastic stash jar. Use glass instead.)

There’s another issue to consider.

Even though baggies aren’t great at containing odor, they do a very good job of containing moisture. And when moisture builds up in a weed bag, it alters the humidity levels crucial for preserving cannabis. High humidity dramatically increases the possibility that flowers will grow mold or mildew. Not only will that ruin your weed, but you could also get sick if you smoke it without realizing that it’s moldy.

There’s still another problem with using regular plastic bags for storage.

The major reason that the potency of weed declines over time is exposure to light; light eventually converts THC into non-psychoactive cannabinoids. And needless to say, ordinary plastic does nothing to block light.

A final issue with baggies: they make it easy to inadvertently jostle or crush your bud, and knock off trichomes in the process.

Here’s the bottom line: plain plastic bags are terrible for storing weed. If you buy your pot from a dealer who uses baggies, bring it home and store it somewhere better.

Where should you store it? At home, you can’t beat an opaque glass jar or container, kept at room temperature in a closet or cabinet that’s far away from the light.

But if you want an easy-to-carry bag for your stash, there are some great options on the market.

Choosing a Weed Bag

There are so many high-quality weed bags available that it’s easy to choose a color or design that matches your “personal style.” More important, however, is whether the bag has the characteristics and features needed to perform the crucial functions of a stash bag.

Sturdy

If the weed bag won’t protect your flower (or smoking accessories) that are inside, you shouldn’t even consider it. It sucks to open a stash bag and find nothing but crumbled weed. Also be sure the zipper or closure mechanism isn’t flimsy, since odor will flood out if it ever breaks.

Odor-Proof

Cool-looking bags made from thin material, or with a cheap closure mechanism, may not be much better than baggies at keeping the skunk inside. Start by looking for a weed bag made from thick material. Even better are bags made from carbon fiber, because carbon is one of the best materials at trapping and neutralizing strong odors.

You can also find stash bags made from other materials that have a carbon coating, or ones outfitted with activated carbon padding or filters. (Padding can also help to physically protect your weed.)

Opaque

Most stash bags that you can buy won’t let the light in, but make sure before purchasing. Light exposure will degrade your weed and make it less potent over time.

Other Options

You may not care about the fancy stuff, but you can find weed bags with locks (to protect your stash from roommates), anti-microbial linings (to better protect against the weed getting contaminated by bacteria or fungi), and pockets or dividers to help you organize all of your smoking stuff. Depending on where you plan to take your weed bag, a waterproof one might also be a good idea.

Other Good Materials for Weed Bags

We’ve already talked about bags made from carbon fiber material, one of the best choices. We’ve also nixed ordinary plastic bags, but that doesn’t rule out our first suggestion.

Mylar Bags

You’re probably familiar with these if you buy weed at a dispensary or patronize an upscale dealer. You’ll also recognize them as the bags used to package computer parts.

Mylar seems like plastic, but it’s a strong polyester film. Dispensaries use bags made from Mylar because they’re relatively durable, they can be sealed tightly to keep odor inside, and they protect humidity levels to maintain potency.

Some vendors use transparent Mylar bags to allow customers to see the product inside, but you can purchase opaque ones which will protect weed from outside light. (Some states like California require dispensaries to use opaque bags.)

Mylar weed bags normally have zip-loc tops, though, so they’re not an ideal solution for long-term cannabis storage.

Natural Fabrics

Some fabrics aren’t specifically “odor-absorbing,” but they are odor-resistant. Cotton, hemp, linen, and wool are among the choices that will help reduce the aroma lingering in your stash bag. They’ll be much more effective at blocking the weed smell from getting out if they’re then lined with carbon, scent-suppressing foil, or similar materials.

Beware of attractive bags made from materials like canvas or leather; they’ll retain the scene of your flower for a long, long time.

Metal

If you don’t mind lugging around a heavier stash “bag,” metal might be your best choice. They’ll do a terrific job of keeping weed odor in (most are designed with extra odor-absorbent material as well), and the hard shell ensures that your bud doesn’t get crushed or jostled. Most also have plenty of room for whatever else you want to pack with your herb.

Just pretend that it’s an overnight bag, and you’ll be good to go. No one will ever suspect what’s inside.

Weed Bags FAQ

Q: Are plastic weed bags OK to use if you vacuum-seal them?
A: Yes, if you’re simply using them for storage. Obviously, you can’t keep opening them to take out just enough to roll a joint. Just be sure that the bags don’t contain the hazardous chemical BPA (some do), and do all you can to safely discharge static before re-opening them.

Q: Is there any way to prevent weed from getting moldy if you keep it in a stash bag?
A: Humidity packs (Boveda is the most popular brand) are an inexpensive and smart investment if you’ll be keeping your cannabis in any sort of container long-term. They ensure constant humidity levels inside the jar or bag; that largely prevents weed from developing mold or mildew in high humidity, and it also prevents the flower from getting so dry that it crumbles.

References

  1. Vujanovic, V., Korber, D. R., Vujanovic, S., Vujanovic, J., & Jabaji, S. (2020). Scientific prospects for cannabis-microbiome research to ensure the quality and safety of products. Microorganisms, 8(2), 290. [1]
  2. Fairbairn, J. W., Liebmann, J. A., & Rowan, M. G. (1976). The stability of cannabis and its preparations on storage. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 28(1), 1-7. [2]