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How to conserve your weed

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Contents

  1. Get the right gear
  2. Store your cannabis properly
  3. Invest in quality
  4. Smoke less

There are many reasons you might want to get the most out of your cannabis flower: to save money, minimize dispensary visits, or simply to stretch out your supply during a dry spell. Whatever your reason for wanting to conserve your stash, there are steps you can take to stretch your weed dollar further. This guide will walk you through how to properly conserve your weed.

Get the right gear

Having the right gear for cannabis consumption can go a long way towards conserving your cannabis. Joints and blunts are the least efficient consumption methods for flower, as the burning tip burns off the cannabinoids even when you’re not inhaling. It also takes a lot of flower to properly pack a joint or blunt, which means much of your stash is going into a single experience. If you love your joints, remember, you don’t have to smoke it all at once.

Glass pieces, such as pipes and bongs, feature smaller bowls and prevent you from loading too much bud at once. If you smoke the whole thing and you still want more, you can just pack another bowl. Bongs are also a good way to maximize your flower, as the long chamber allows you to consume all the smoke from the burning cannabis and take fewer hits to get the same experience.

Glass pieces, such as pipes and bongs, feature smaller bowls and prevent you from loading too much bud at once. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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To get the most mileage out of the flower you use in blunts, joints, or glass, use a proper three-tier grinder and save the kief, which are the resinous trichomes that fall off the flower during the grinding process. You can reuse this very potent dust to sprinkle on top of future bowls and add to their potency.

Vaporizers are also a great way to stretch out the viability of your dried cannabis. Vapes heat cannabis at lower temperatures and burn off less of the cannabinoids in the bud, which means you get more THC by consuming less cannabis.

Store your cannabis properly

The proper storage of cannabis helps ensure your cannabis stays fresh and potent for as long as possible. To extend the shelf life of cannabis, it should be kept in a cool, dark place at or slightly below room temperature. The ideal storage temperature for weed is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 degrees Celsius. The darkness and cool temperature prevent moisture from changing the integrity of your flower and stop mold or mildew, which love light and warmth, from growing.

To extend the shelf life of cannabis, it should be kept in a cool, dark place at or slightly below room temperature. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Light and oxygen are the main culprits when it comes to degrading flower. According to a study that explored the stability of cannabis in various storage conditions, light is the single largest contributor to the loss and deterioration of cannabinoids. Carefully stored cannabis can stay reasonably stable for 1-2 years in dark, room-temperature conditions.

Ultraviolet light will also degrade your cannabis, so use dark and airtight glass jars to preserve your flower’s THC and prevent it from degrading into cannabinol (CBN), a cannabinoid that doesn’t have the same intoxicating properties as THC.

Invest in quality

There’s something to be said for investing in higher quality cannabis. Levels of potency, terpene profiles, curing and drying processes, and growing conditions all play into the experience of smoking a particular flower cultivar. If you can afford to spend a little more on high-quality flower from a reputable source, the potency may encourage you to consume less. Be aware, however, that research indicates those who routinely consume highly potent weed develop a tolerance over time, in which case the best method for conservation is to cut back on frequency.

Smoke less

As you increase the regularity of your consumption, the body builds up a tolerance to THC. Tolerance increases with many substances, such as caffeine, due to a biological process called downregulation in which cells decrease their sensitivity to particular molecules. More THC in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) overwhelms the CB1 receptors, and in turn, the cells reduce their sensitivity to THC. With this negative feedback loop, a consumer must smoke more and more cannabis to achieve the same experience they could when they first began consumption.

Your body will need more potent doses of cannabis the more frequently you consume, as your body “downregulates” the introduction of cannabinoids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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When you intentionally regulate the amount of cannabis you intake, your body’s tolerance adjusts and you soon will be able to achieve your desired experience with a lot less green. Little habit adjustments go a long way: lightly pack a smaller bowl; roll narrow joints, called pinners, instead of fat joints; or invest in a one-hitter or snap bong piece designed for the smallest hit possible.

Already have a high tolerance? Never fear — a study from the Yale School of Medicine found that “significant CB1R upregulation begins with two days of abstinence and continues over four weeks.” In other words, when a cannabis smoker takes a break, CB1 receptors begin to bounce back after two days and return to almost normal levels after four weeks.

How to conserve your weed Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Get the right gear Store your cannabis properly Invest in quality Smoke

PSA: Don’t Smoke Those Stems

These are crazy times, so it’s not that weird that you’re looking at your bowl of weed stems and contemplating smoking them. Waste not, want not, right?

As nice as it is to reduce waste and be resourceful, smoking stems isn’t the way to go.

If stems are all you have left, then you’ve already smoked the good stuff.

Stems contain almost no THC. What little may be in there doesn’t even come close to being enough to produce a high.

The negligible amount of THC in stems isn’t worth the unpleasant effects and risk to your lungs that come with smoking.

Inhaling smoke harms your lungs. It doesn’t matter if it’s bud, seed, tobacco, or burning wood. Toxins and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) are released from the combustion of materials, even stems. This damages your lungs and increases your risk for cancer and heart and lung diseases.

Smoke effects aside, smoking stems can cause:

  • a raging headache
  • a sore throat
  • coughing

It’ll also taste like you’re smoking wood chips.

Some people on Reddit and other forums who admit to having smoked weed stems also reported uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea and abdominal pain.

Nope. You shouldn’t smoke those either.

Marijuana seeds aren’t going to get you high no matter how many you crush and smoke. There’s just not enough THC in the seeds to produce any effects.

Lighting them up will create a lot of snap, crackle, and pop. The acrid smoke will irritate your throat and damage your lungs like other smoke. But that’s about it.

Stems and seeds aren’t worth smoking, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely useless. You may be able to use lingering stems and seeds. Exactly what you can do with them depends on how many you have.

If you just have a few seeds kicking around, you could plant them and try growing your own stash (if you live in an area where this is permitted, of course).

Have an abundance of stems and seeds to play with? Consider eating it.

Here are some ways to make it appetizing.

Brew some stem tea

Before getting your brew on, you’ll want to bake the stems on a baking sheet in the oven for around 45 minutes at 225°F (107°C). When done, let the stems cool, and then grind them up.

Put your ground stems in a tea diffuser and let them steep in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can steep your ground stems in a pot of boiling water and then place a coffee filter over your mug and pour so it strains your brew.

Make stem butter

Who doesn’t like butter?

Just like when making tea from weed stems, you’ll want to bake your stems in the oven at 225°F (107°C) for 45 minutes and let them cool before grinding.

Place some butter in a pan and melt over low heat. Once the butter’s completely melted, add the ground stems and let simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring often.

To strain it, cheesecloth works best. Just secure the cheesecloth over a glass jar with a rubber band, and slowly pour the butter over the cloth. Let the butter cool and — voilà — stem butter!

It might be tempting to smoke all those stems that are gathering dust in your jar, but you may want to think twice before lighting up.