Superchiller: Thanks so much for the information. I have a couple of replies for you to consider.
#1: How would crushing the buds in a vacuum seal bag be a problem? I'm going to grind it up a lot so I can vape it, so crushing it a bit seems tame compared to the violence done when grinding.
#2: If you vacuum seal (either bag or can) freezer burn CAN NOT take place. It's like having fire without oxygen. So not freezing due to freezer burn is bunk in my opinion. There may be other reasons, but freezer burn can't be a reason, if vacuum sealed properly.
#3: I'm wondering if I can put my stuff in a sturdy yet intentionally leaky box. Maybe a plastic box with small holes drilled here and there. The air would be still sucked out, but the structure of the box, inside the bag would keep the buds from being crushed.
I'm going to do some more research on freezing weed in a vacuum... I really can't logic it hurting it... yet I'm a newbie at this, so maybe I'm wrong.
Sure no problem. As for your points:
1: - When you smash the buds flat, you really do damage them. Believe me, I've used the vac bags in the past, and though it technically keeps the buds away from air, they end up being sad and super flat when they come out, UNLESS you can figure out an internal shell in the vac bag to prevent crushing. I prefer the canisters, since they allow the buds to stay perfectly fluffy and undamaged.
2: - The vac canisters are not meant for freezers at all, so you're left with the vac bags only for that purpose. There has been some information pointing to freezing as damaging to the trichromes (bursts them), which could reduce potency, and if a leak should occur in the heat seal (it happens), you could have freezer-burned weed after some time. If the sealed items are kept in a very cool place (i.e. 50s-60s) this would slow deterioration without worry of freezer burn.
3: - I've thought about exactly that approach regarding the vac bags. But you should be aware, the vac seal is so strong that it can crush many containers. I once put small and medium pyrex glass containers (2cup and 4cup) into a sealing bag, with holes punched in the lids, and the 4cup pyrex lid caved in from the pressure, over time (not immediately). The 2cup container held up, but it still concerned me (and it doesn't hold much anyway), so I eventually gave up on that approach.