by Dan Ketchum
Zip-storage bags, glass jars, tins with built-in grinders, decorative wooden boxes, those incognito snack containers they used to sell at head shops, or just the packaging that it shipped in – when it comes to weed storage, we’ve seen it all and then some.
As connoisseurs of craft cannabis, we understand the urge to elevate your storage game (along with the other accouterments of the stoner aesthetic). Enter the cannabis humidor, an accessory for your canna-kit that’s often as stylish as it is helpful — but is it necessary? Let’s put a little informed context in your brain’s storage box and find out.
So What Is a Cannabis Humidor?
Let’s start with a mantra that you’re going to hear a couple of times today: harvested cannabis flower thrives in cool, dark places with just the right amount of humidity. The same can be said for smoking tobacco, especially cigars, which is why tobacco humidors have been around for hundreds of years. These small, airtight boxes crucially regulate moisture for smokable plant products that may otherwise dry out and lose their potency along with their smooth smokability. Tobacco and cannabis humidors often use internal sponges to maintain resting humidity levels of around 58% to 62%.
It should come as no surprise that the burgeoning cannabis industry has added specially tuned weed humidors to its accessory lineup. While cigar humidors are often made of cedar wood that can subtly transfer its flavor profile to the plants within, cannabis humidors make use of non-cedar woods (like cherry or mahogany), acrylics, glass, or metal, and they typically maintain lower humidity than tobacco humidors. It’s important to remember that while tobacco humidors and weed humidors aim for many of the same outcomes, they are not interchangeable.
Weed Humidor Benefits
Mildew and mold usually flourish at temps ranging between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Likewise, high heat can dry out the essential oils in cannabis flower, which in turn can significantly reduce the cannabinoid and terpene content that gives all your favorite strains their distinct identities and specific flavor profiles. By regulating temperature control, cannabis humidors help you avoid harsh smokes and weakened weed, all while elongating the overall lifespan of your flower.
Similarly, Thrillist notes, warmer temperatures accelerate the process of cannabinoid decarboxylation, which degrades THC over time. This can result in less powerful highs and lessened psychoactive content. Though not exclusive to humidors by any means, the dark helps, too, as ultraviolet rays can also break down cannabinoids that may otherwise remain effective for years.
Do You Need One?
It’s completely possible to keep your weed fresh – and thus reap all of its crisp flavors and bright highs – without a cannabis humidor (we’ll get to the “hows” of that in just a bit). While weed humidors certainly do offer tangible benefits related to potency and lifespan, a humidor won’t otherwise improve or elevate your cannabis in any way.
As a somewhat upscale niche product, cannabis humidors are also aimed squarely at enthusiasts. – they can enhance your storage process if you use a lot of flower, and can certainly elevate a cannabis-centered smoking room or corner cannabis setup. On the flip side, those who casually partake or who normally use cannabis in one of its many non-flower forms – like oils or edibles – won’t be missing anything.
Storage Sans Humidor
Even if you do prefer flower (and if you do, Mistifi has some pretty good news lined up for you), you can preserve your weed’s lifespan and efficacy with tried-and-tested storage methods without investing in a cannabis humidor:
- Stick to cool, dark places away from direct sunlight (the type of environment a weed humidor simulates).
- Avoid excessive heat; keep the temperature between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ideally, choose a spot with relative humidity between 58% and 63% ( pick up a hygrometer to measure RH).
- Go with vacuum-sealed containers to cut down on oxygen exposure.
- Choose glass or stainless steel storage options where possible to help keep your flower’s flavor profile intact — even the essential oils found in wood can influence the taste of stored weed over time.
As for the “don’ts” of cannabis storage, avoid common mistakes like storing your bud in the fridge or freezer or keeping your leaf in plastic for the long haul, as plastic can have a negative effect on cannabis trichomes.
No Special Storage Needed
As a relaxation aid, de-stressor, and experience enhancer, using cannabis should be easy. If all of those moisture percentages and cannabinoid levels sound like too much of a hassle, our current cannabis renaissance means that you can partake in your choice of more low-maintenance delivery methods. As food products, edibles of course adhere to a wide range of pantry- and fridge-friendly storage guidelines (always adhere to the manufacturer’s storage instructions), while tinctures and cannabis concentrates have less biomatter content, which makes them far less finicky, storage-wise.
Or for put-it-in-your-drawer (or handbag, or pocket, or gym duffel, or coffee table) convenience, our Mistifi pen stores 200 always-ready pulls of Hi-Phi premium cured resin. You don’t even have to recharge it, let alone regulate its humidity levels – and just like a premium cannabis humidor, it looks pretty damned stylish doing its job, too.
Dan Ketchum splits his time between Dallas and LA as a freelance lifestyle, fashion, health, and food writer with more than a decade of experience. He’s been fortunate enough to collaborate and publish with companies such as FOCL, Vitagenne, Livestrong, Reign Together, Out East Rosé, SFGate, The Seattle Times, and more.