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. 

A three-tier grinder prepares your flower for your blunt, joint, or pipe. It also catches kief, the potent dusting of trichomes that can be sprinkled into flower for future use. (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

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. 

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.

Keep in mind that your body develops a tolerance for cannabis. Your body will need more potent doses of cannabis the more frequently you consume, as your body “downregulates” the introduction of cannabinoids.  (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

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.