marijuana storing

The Impact of Long-Term Storage on Cannabis: how long does weed stay good?

July 21, 2023

Let's dive into a topic that interests many of you—how long does weed stay good? When cannabis is properly harvested, dried, cured, and stored, it can remain relatively fresh for quite a while.

Under ideal conditions, you can expect your weed to stay fresh for around six months to a year. If you've done an excellent job of storing it and have a bit of luck on your side, you might even stretch that timeframe to nearly two years.

However, most of us don't have perfect storage conditions, so we can't expect our weed to last that long. Without proper humidity control and exposure to light and temperature fluctuations, you might not get a full year out of your weed.

So, for the best experience, try to consume all your weed within six months of purchasing it. But if you have invested in high-quality storage equipment, you might be able to enjoy it for up to a year.

How Long Is Weed Good For: The Scientific Answer

Now, let's delve into the more scientific side of how long weed stays good. As weed ages, its special compounds start to break down. Over time, the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis slowly lose their potency.

The terpenes breaking down can cause your weed to lose its flavor and scent. This means that old weed might taste bland and lack the distinctive smell that fresh weed is known for. Sometimes, old weed can even taste harsh and unpleasant. In any case, when the terpenes break down, your weed won't have the same taste or smell as it should.

Equally important, cannabinoids also break down over time. THC, the compound responsible for the "high," will diminish in potency in old, worn-out weed.

Here's a precise breakdown of how THC potency decreases over time:

  • After one year, weed loses about 16% of its THC.
  • After two years, THC potency decreases by 26%.
  • Weed loses 34% of its THC after three years.
  • After four years, weed loses 41% of its THC.

The Impact of Long-Term Storage on Cannabis

When you keep cannabis buds in a closed jar or bag, especially if they're exposed to sunlight, something interesting happens over time. The cannabinoids and terpenes in the buds start to change. Let's break it down:

  1. Cannabinoid Degradation: One of the key cannabinoids in cannabis is THC, which is responsible for the "high" feeling. But as time passes, THC interacts with the air in the jar or bag and transforms into another cannabinoid called CBN. Unlike THC, CBN doesn't make you feel high; instead, it has a calming and non-psychoactive effect.

  2. Terpene Evaporation: Terpenes are the compounds that give cannabis its unique smell, taste, and effects. Unfortunately, when buds are stored for a long time, these terpenes start to evaporate and break down. As a result, the cannabis loses its distinct aroma and flavors, and its effects become less potent.

Related article: What Is CBN? and How Is It Different From CBD?

The end result of long-term storage is that you'll have cannabis that's not as fresh and enjoyable to smoke. That's why it's essential to know when the buds were harvested. Having access to the harvest date can help you make sure you're getting a fresher and more potent smoking experience. So, keep an eye on those dates and enjoy your cannabis to the fullest!

How Long Does Weed Last: Is Your Weed Bad?

Now, let's talk about how to tell if your weed has gone bad. Here are some things to look out for:

  1. Mold: If your weed is moldy due to being too moist or humid, don't smoke it. Moldy weed is not safe to use.

  2. Dryness: If your bud crumbles into dust, it's too old and won't be effective.

  3. Freshness: Old marijuana lacks the crisp scent of fresh weed.

  4. Texture: If it's spongy and doesn't make a sound when you pull it apart, it might be damp and moldy. If it turns into dry dust immediately, it's too old.

If your weed has gone bad, technically, you can still smoke it, but it won't taste very good and won't be as potent. Avoid moldy marijuana, as it can make you sick.

Keeping Cannabis Fresh: Essential Storage Tips for Different Products

Different cannabis products require specific care to keep them fresh and potent. Here's a breakdown of how to preserve different cannabis products for longer periods:

1. Flower: To maintain the freshness of cannabis flower, proper storage is crucial. Limit its exposure to light and open air, and maintain a humidity level between 54 percent to 63 percent.

Store your bud in a small glass Mason jar or a container designed specifically for marijuana. Keep the lid tightly sealed, avoid opening it frequently, and store it in a cool, dark place.

For humidity control, consider using a humidity control pack such as Boveda, Integra BOOST, or a similar product. Alternatively, if you want a more professional approach, store your weed in a dedicated cannabis humidor like the Apothecarry, Cannador, or a similar product.

2. Edibles: To keep edibles fresh, leave them in their original packaging and store them away from open air and direct light. Ensure they are in a cool location, especially for items like hard candies and gummies, as they can easily melt.

3. Concentrates: For concentrates, the best way to maintain freshness and potency is to store them in small containers specifically designed for dabs. These containers are typically made of glass, silicone, or a similar material. Make sure to keep the lids tightly sealed and store the containers in a cool, dark place.

4. Vape Pens: When it comes to vape pens, it's best to keep them away from direct light. Since the cannabis oil is already inside an airtight cartridge, you don't need to worry much about humidity or exposure to air. A helpful tip is to store your vape pen standing upright, as this keeps all the oil at the bottom of the cartridge, ready for immediate use.

By following these storage guidelines, you can ensure that your cannabis products stay fresh and provide you with the best possible experience when you decide to use them.

Related article: Storing Cannabis: How to Keep Your Green Fresh and Potent

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