Storing dry herbs properly isn’t difficult, but many smokers overlook the importance of proper storage techniques. While herbal smoking materials tend to be quite resilient, they can dry out, lose potency and flavor, and even grow mold if you don’t take steps to preserve them. Read on to discover the most effective short and long-term storage solutions.
Why Proper Storage Is Necessary
Like any plant, your smoking material is going to degrade naturally over time. In addition to ruining what would have been a pleasant smoking experience, smoking old, moldy herbs can be harmful to your health. With that fact in mind, your goal when storing dry herbs is to create an ideal environment that prevents degradation and mold.
The Ideal Temperature Zone
If you store your smoking material within a temperature range of 77° and 86° F, you’re risking mildew and mold growth. Try to find a dark, cool place with a temperature that’s lower than 77° F. You may be tempted to store your smoking material in the fridge or freezer, but that can cause the pollen to separate from the rest of the plant, resulting in a loss of potency.
A sealed glass jar is the most common storage receptacle because it prevents air from drying out the herbal material excessively. Whether you’re planning on storing dry herbs short-term or long-term, an airtight glass jar—the kind used for pickling is a great choice— should do the trick. For long-term storage, you may want to use a vacuum sealer to eliminate air exposure entirely.
Most experts recommend between 59% and 63% relative humidity (RH). Of course, the average smoker isn’t going to be able to measure humidity. That said, passionate smokers or growers may choose to use a hygrometer to monitor humidity fluctuations.
When it comes to long-term storage, a simpler solution is to add a humidity pack or two to the jar. These handy packs help to regulate the humidity inside the jar. You can find them online or at your local smoke shop.
Block UV Rays
The sun’s UV rays can degrade your smoking material. Have you ever noticed how some plants turn brown when exposed to too much sun? It’s the same principle. When storing dry herbs, you should always keep your herbs in a dark place such as a drawer or cabinet.
Another option is to use a brown jar instead of a clear one. There’s a reason why beer brewers don’t usually use clear bottles: the contents inside of the bottle are affected by the sun. Using a brown jar is a simple solution that’s especially helpful if you want to have quick and easy access to your stash.
If you have different types of herbs, it’s important to keep them separate. Each plant has its own terpenes that provide their characteristic scents, flavors, and effects. Although storing dry herbs together won’t cause any degradation or mold, they will lose their unique profiles. It’s better to use multiple jars and label them.
If you plan on smoking your dry herbs within a few days or even weeks, you shouldn’t need to worry about storage. Of course, best practice is still to follow the procedures above, but there’s nothing wrong with keeping your smoking material in a grinder or dugout so it’s always ready to smoke when you are.
Shop Portable Storage Solutions
Our all-in-one dugout kits are perfect for short-term storage and for bringing your smoking material on the go. You should be storing dry herbs in an airtight container when you’re not enjoying them, but it’s nice to have a handy, pocket-sized storage solution while you’re out and about or just relaxing at home.
Our Storage Soles also offer a clever and discrete solution for bringing your stash with you. The comfortable soles slide right into your shoes, and they have a pocket for storing any small valuables that you want to stay hidden. Shop our portable storage solutions now, and see why seasoned smokers use Smokit products.