How Long Does Weed Last: The Basics
If you are a cannabis lover, you will wonder how long your weed can stay fresh. Weed is organic matter, and like all things natural, it has a shelf life after which it is no longer fit to consume. However, the good news is that your cannabis can stay relatively fresh for an amazingly long time under ideal storage conditions. If being correctly cultivated, dried, cured, and stored, it will remain fresh for six months up to a year.
What Happens To Marijuana Flower As Time Goes By? - Authoritative Answer
Different cannabis varieties have different shelf lives. However, all marijuana flowers age based on the same scientific principle of biodegradation. Made from plant material, marijuana is an organic compound that will break down and decompose as time goes by. When the terpenes in your weed break down, your bud will start to lose its flavor, fragrance, and potency.
If you smoke the bud that has been put aside for several months, you will notice a significant difference in odor, the high you get from it, and the overall smoking experience.
How long is weed good for? Once your weed plant is harvested, it is finite on its freshness and potency. This happens because the weed plant is no longer attached to the root network, so it cannot feed on new nutrients and replenish itself. As cannabinoids break down, the THC found in your cannabis will also decompose. So the longer you wait before you smoke the weed, the less powerful the experience will be.
For a more authoritative and scientific answer to this question, we can turn to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Their research found that, on average, cannabis plant matter loses its THC potency at this rate:
What Makes Weed Go Bad?
It is recommended that you store the marijuana at a temperature not exceeding 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures higher than this limit will weaken the quality of the buds, as the cannabinoids start to break down and decarboxylate to release carbon dioxide during the process.
Moisture content is another factor that impairs the quality of cannabis flowers. If your weed is stored in a humid environment, the air that carries water vapor is likely to reintroduce moisture into your weed. This interaction is hazardous because moisture provides an ideal environment for fungal diseases like mold.
However, an environment with too little moisture is not suitable for weed either. Lack of moisture will inhibit air circulation. The buds will become ammoniated and brittle, and then the flavor and structure of the buds will also be changed.
Most forms of light pose no threat to the quality of cannabis flowers. If there is a fluorescent bulb or grow light in your storeroom, don't worry too much about them harming your cannabis flowers.
The problem lies in the part of the spectrum which is excited enough to knock electrons off the atoms and lead to ionization. Ultraviolet rays from the sun belong to this type of radiation and can accelerate the decomposition of THC content in flowers.
Please note that prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation will cause the most severe degradation of weeds. To avoid this rapid decomposition, you have to limit sunlight exposure.
Does Weed Go Bad? - How To Judge
Dryness - Can weed get old? If your weed looks like dried-out ashes, it’s too old to use.
Mold - When your weed is placed in a damp place, it is likely to grow mold. If you discover a grayish-white coating on the weed, it may be mold. Usually, moldy weed smells musty, something like hay.
Smell - Does weed get old? Too old weed won’t have the pungent, fragrant smell of fresh weed.
How To Keep Weed Fresh For Longer？
Now that you have understood the effects of temperature, humidity and sun exposure on the degradation of cannabis, you must want to know how to store cannabis flowers to keep them fresh for longer, so please read on.
Keep cannabis storage in air-tight containers.
Remember to store your cannabis in air-tight containers or ceramic jars to prevent moisture from interacting with your bud. In this way, oxygen exposure is reduced, and the chances of oxidation is minimized.
Mason jars with tight-fitting lids are an excellent weed container if it has been dried well before storage. It is necessary to keep the jar in the dark, cool place as much as possible. The less air held in the jar, the better it is for your weed. It is said that weed stored like this can be kept for up to 2 years. It is better to use a humidity pack inside the jar to ensure the humidity is controlled to avoid mold.
Black glass jars are another good choice. You can purchase these weed jars online or at head shops. They are specially designed with dark glass to block UV light.
Stash Boxes for weed are also ideal as most are smell proof and come with jars that help keep out humidity.
If you have no such containers, make sure that it is stored in a dry yet well-ventilated space.
Put it in a temperature-controlled environment.
You'd better keep the storage temperature to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't store your weed in a freezer or refrigerator because doing so will cause fluctuations in temperature, which will increase the chances for mold and mildew. Cold buds will attempt to seek water from the air, which may cause them to lose their flavor and weaken their potency.
Avoid plastic bags.
Plastic containers will threaten the quality of your buds because static will attract trichomes. Moreover, plastic can get heated more quickly than organic material and stick to your flowers. You may store your weed in plastic bags and containers temporarily, but do not leave it there for weeks.
Vacuum sealing weed is another method to keep your weed in fresh condition for longer. Once the weed is vacuum-sealed, air will be removed so that the weed will get neither too dry nor too humid. However, it will always be best to put weed in a dark, cool place.
Does Weed Expire - Wrap Up
You should have developed a systematic understanding of the preservation of cannabis weed now. Most importantly, remember that heat, light, and air are not friends with your weed. So, how do you plan to store your favorite cannabis weed? If you find this article helpful, take a look at our other blogs for more guides.