Cannabis potency depends greatly on how well you protect your precious trichomes, which require proper storage and some tender loving care.
Have you ever stared intensely into a cannabis bud? Like, trained your focus entirely on a juicy nug of fluffy weed, getting completely lost in the beautiful maze of minuscule leaf-like structures, tiny red tendrils, and translucent, dew-like stubble?
If you’re as cannabis-obsessed as we are, you probably have. In fact, your fingers are probably still sticky from the remnants of a close, visual bud inspection. Part of the appeal of cannabis—along with the taste, aroma, and effect—is the natural artistry of its appearance.
Those stunning good looks aren’t merely superficial. But, of course, looks aren’t everything, but in the world of weed, they can tell you a lot about the quality and potency of your bud.
What Does Good, Fluffy Weed Look Like?
Before we list how to keep your weed fluffy and potent, let’s hash out what good-quality cannabis actually looks like. Most of us know bad weed when we see it—brown, limp, devoid of character, and just generally sad. But high-quality buds brandish a few traits that are a surefire sign you’re dealing with some top-notch nugs.
Fresh, potent cannabis boasts many striking visual cues. In terms of color, it should always be some shade of green—or mostly green. Extra desirable dank weed hits other sections of the color wheel, including shades of red, blue, orange, and purple. But your pot should never—ever—reside in brown town. Brown buds are a sure sign of oxidation, a process that breaks down cannabinoids, terpenes, and other crucial chemical compounds.
As opposed to fresh buds of fluffy weed, old marijuana is not only less attractive; it’s also less potent. The science at work here is simple: When cannabis ages and is exposed to oxygen, the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) degrades into another compound called CBN (cannabinol). While CBN does flash some brilliant health benefits, it’s not psychoactive like THC. That’s why old weed is more likely to send you to bed than to another plane of existence.
Brown buds are also more harsh, burning the throat and leading to coughing fits for even the most seasoned smoker.
Remember the translucent, dew-like stubble we mentioned earlier? Those are called trichomes, and an ample presence of them reveals your cannabis is potent and well cared for. Trichomes amount to a white crystalline resin that coats the outside of high-quality buds. A sparse spread trichome equals less powerful weed, while a thick, proud layer means you should probably clear your schedule.
In a perfect weed world, trichomes should be white and milky, with a crystal shine you can see under a microscope or magnifying glass. You can see many trichomes with the naked eye on ultra-pure, top-quality bud, but a magnifying glass is always a handy tool for an extra-close inspection of the visual wonder.
Trichomes must be handled with care, as these structures contain most of the terpenes and cannabinoids responsible for the high you seek and the taste you crave. If the buds are mishandled or generally not cared for correctly, some of the trichomes will inevitably rub off, resulting in decreased potency.
No one likes to find hair in their weed. Ugh, gross. But if you see a colony of orange hairs growing on your cannabis, good times are on the way! The orange hairs on your bud are called stigmas, and they relate to the female cannabis plant’s reproductive system. Stigmas collect pollen from the plant’s male counterpart to grow new seeds.
The high-quality, smokable pot everyone knows and loves comes only from the unpollinated female plants, which sport the amber-tinged hairs. Orange stigmas are a sure sign that your cannabis was picked at the optimal moment and is ready for your joint, bowl, bong, etc. These hairs also add body to the bud, resulting in pillow-like, fluffy weed. If you see brown stigmas, that means your bud is past its prime.
How Should I Store My Cannabis: 11 Ways To Ensure Potent & Fluffy Weed
Protect your stash no matter what! Proper storage keeps the elements from wreaking havoc on your marijuana, acting as a safeguard against the deterioration of your precious trichomes. Cannabis storage plays a huge role in flavor and potency, despite the amount of time you’re storing it.
- No More Plastic Baggies
Can’t we just put our pot in a sandwich bag and call it a day? No! What is this, 1973? Plastic wrappings of any kind—from broadsheets to sealable bags—are no longer ideal for cannabis storage. Plastic naturally rubs against the sides of your bud, destroying trichomes and decreasing potency. Not only that, plastic tends to have a static charge that shocks trichomes to death. Oh, the humanity!
- Metal Was A Bad Choice
Much like plastic, metal might be OK for extremely short-term storage, but that’s it. You don’t have to lick metal to know that it’s unpleasant on the palate. When you store cannabis in a metal container, the metallic compounds will eventually leach onto your bud, altering the taste and seriously compromising the delicate aroma.
- Go With Glass
Airtight and nonporous, a glass container of some kind is the way to go when storing fluffy weed. It’s not static like plastic and won’t make you feel like you're sucking on a battery like metal. So whether you’re using little screw-top glass jars, large mason jars, or old salsa jars (thoroughly cleaned, of course), glass is the kindest way to store your bud.
- Turn On The Dark
While glass is excellent for keeping oxygen out, it’s also really good at letting light in—and that is a bad thing when it comes to pot potency. The same way UV light fades your favorite pair of jeans or ravages your skin with sunburn; it also fries the cannabinoids and terpenes in your bud. So store your containers in a dark place and never in direct sunlight.
- Be Cool, Man
Much like light, high temperatures will cook your cannabis, drying it and evaporating the terpenes. So keep your weed far away from the heater, water system, or windowpane. But that doesn’t mean your freezer is an excellent place to store cannabis either(more on that later). Stick with a closet, kitchen pantry, sock drawer, and the like.
- Dry and High
Do you want moldy weed or clean, fluffy weed? We think we know the answer to that. Too much moisture will render your bud unsmokable with a devastating outbreak of mold. On the other hand, of course, too much dryness can sap your cannabinoids and terpenes of their psychotropic effects. So the answer lies in the middle, with a proper humidity level between 59 and 63 percent RH (relative humidity).
- Keep It Clean
Before encasing your cannabis in its new glasshouse, ensure the container is clean and free from dirt and grime. Any foreign substances or organic residue that comes into contact with your weed can spur the growth of bacteria or mold spores.
- Give Your Weed Some Space
There’s a reason why “brick weed” died with disco in the 1970s. Typically wrapped in plastic, brick weed packed an insane amount of weed into one brick-sized chunk. It was the primary way cannabis was stored back in the day, and it gave birth to a dry, weak product that was harsh, crumbly, and unfit for the masses. Don’t cram too much pot into one jar if you want seriously fluffy weed.
Some so-called experts want you to believe that storing pot in the refrigerator or freezer is the best way to maintain freshness. Stop hanging out with people who tell you to do this—they do not have your best interests in mind! Storing weed in a refrigerator can actually encourage mold to grow due to constant changes in humidity and temperature. A freezer, meanwhile, can lead to freezer burn, which is not at all hospitable to weed!
- Smoke It, Don’t Hoard It
With the mass availability of cannabis on the open market, there’s no reason to keep more weed on hand than you’ll ever have the chance to smoke. As we talked about before, old weed degrades drastically over time, no matter how it’s stored. So don’t be a pot hog—share your stash with like-minded individuals to ensure the pot lives up to its potential.
- Mill, Don’t Grind
Grinders have remained popular with generations of pot smokers, but the jagged teeth inside these canisters are a veritable torture chamber for cheeba. Conventional herb grinders violently shred your weed, decimating your trichomes before they have a chance to impart their wisdom on your system. A cannabis mill, on the other hand, gently crumbles buds, leaving you with fluffy weed that’s ready to roll.
How Is Fluffy Weed Different Than Ground Weed?
Sure, you can smoke a whole bud of weed, but it’s not exactly the most efficient way to get high. Working with weed that features a finer grain improves airflow and elevates the entire smoking experience. It’s all made possible by stoner ingenuity and the invention of the cannabis grinder. But cannabis that’s been put through the grinder is not exactly ideal either, as it’s often uneven and more difficult to handle.
The better option is a tool built to bestow weed that’s fluffier, more aerated, and softer to the touch. Flower Mill lightly crumbles herb until it naturally breaks apart, a separation technique that gives you fluffy weed and preserves the trichomes you’ve tried so hard to protect.