If you’re cleaning out your old drawers and come across an old stash of weed, you might be wondering how long weed lasts. The shelf life of weed varies across strains, types, and forms, but most importantly, how you store it. Weed might not come with an expiry date, so you might forget that as a plant, cannabis doesn’t last forever.
When storing weed for long periods of time, it’s important to know the tricks of the trade and understand how to keep weed fresh. After all, you don’t want your perfectly good stash going stale. Once it goes stale, it’s still smokable, but won’t taste, smell, or hit as good as well-stored marijuana.
How Long Does Cannabis Last?
You might be wondering how long can you store weed. If you’re a frequent smoker, it might make more sense to buy in bulk. The general rule of thumb within the stoner community is that cannabis will retain its overall potency and flavor from 6 months to a year when stored properly.
The key word here, however, is proper cannabis storage. Make sure you take the time to learn the ins and outs of extending your weed’s shelf life and keeping your weed fresh for as long as possible.
Does Weed Expire / Go Bad?
Most beginner stoners will wonder the age old question: does weed god bad? For better or for worse, weed is technically incapable of going bad or expiring. Instead, after a certain amount of time, it will simply lose its level of potency. Past research has found that weed will lose approximately 16% of its THC after a year of being stored unused.
Doing some quick maths will help you figure out as well how much THC exactly is lost over time since each additional year will mean 7% less THC. For instance, after 2 years, 26% of the THC will have dissipated from your stored weed. After 3 years, it’ll be 34% THC gone and 41% percent by the 4th year.
Aside from the decrease in weed potency, old weed simply doesn’t hit the same as fresh weed. The natural aromas and flavors will slowly disappear over time and it can also be quite uncomfortable to smoke and inhale. When passing around a bong with a group of friends, you definitely don’t want to be the guy who brought old, dried out weed.
Because of this, it’s recommended to keep weed stored for a maximium of 6 months to a year. Lighting up fresh bud is surefire way to enhance your smoking experience.
How To Tell if Weed is Old
Coming across a rather old stash of weed might leave you questioning if the weed has gone old. Luckily, there a few ways to tell if the weed you found is old or still relatively fresh.
If you’re a seasoned connoisseur of maraijuana, you’ll easily recognize the distinct scent of fresh cannabis. When weed has been stored unused for far too long, these strong aromas won’t be as noticeable anymore. Simply take a whiff of the stash of weed and you’ll be able to decide for yourself if the weed has gone stale.
You can tell if your weed is old by checking for its texture. If it’s extremely brittle to the touch, then it’s very likely to be old and dried out at this point. You can attempt to salvage the stash if it’s only slightly dried out, but once it resembles dust, it’s way past usability at that point.
This might seem quite obvious, but the fuzzy nature of mold makes it nearly invisible at times. You’ll want to make sure there are no small white spots hiding in the crooks and crannies of your unearthed weed treasure. Accidentally smoking moldy weed is not something you want to be doing.
How Long Can You Store Weed?
The guidelines on storing weed are not as cut and dry as it seems. It varies based on the type of product and strain you’re storing. For instance, flower can be safely stored up to 8 months whereas ground weed won’t last as long.
Most experts say that ground weed should be smoked within a month of storing it. If you prefer grinding up your weed for easier storage, then make sure you remember to use it up as soon as you can.
When it comes to pre-rolled product, the rules apply a little differently. You’ll want to use up your saved pre-rolls by the third month of storing it, otherwise, you may be inhaling flavorless smoke that can barely give you a hit.
Best Ways To Store Cannabis
The best way to store marijuana is in an airtight container, such as glass jars or mason jars. You can pick these up at any local department store or even at your favorite dispensary. It’s important that these jars are airtight since it’ll help preserve your weed for much longer. This also helps the smell from escaping from inside the jar. After all, you don’t want any unwanted visitors sniffing around your room.
Plastic Tupperware with Parchment Paper
While this isn’t the most recommended option for long-term storage, it makes for a safe alternative while your glass jars are on the way. Simply line up your Tupperware with parchment paper to prevent the bud from touching plastic and wrap the bud in a second layer of paper.
Doing so makes sure that your cannabis is safe from harsh environmental factors, while still protecting it from the harmful effects of plastic on bud.
Where Not to Store Your Cannabis
A foolproof way to ruin the natural flavors of your marijuana is to keep it in any metal jar or container. Without getting into the scientific side of it, all you need to know is that metal is known for negatively changing the natural smells and taste of your weed. Smoking weed stored in a metal container will leave you with a hint of metal in your mouth.
While you might be used to carrying your stash around in a plastic baggie, it doesn’t make for good storage. Keeping weed in plastic for long periods at a time can decrease its potency due to static.
Essentially, cannabis flower have trichomes that produce terpenes, and static has the capacity to affect the amount of terpenes produced, thus ruining your hit. These baggies are also incredibly prone to spillage, and you wouldn’t want to waste any perfectly good weed, right?
When traveling with marijuana, you might want a custom fit 420 Travel Kit as it comes with everything you need to smoke on the go--rolling papers, grinder, lighter, and an airtight container. Now you can safely carry around your weed without worrying about damaging your bud.
While aluminum foil makes for a great emergency pouch, using it as cannabis storage is bound to decrease its organic flavors and potency. The rough texture of aluminum foil is generally harmful to the delicate nature of bud, which makes it a poor choice for storage.
Conditions That Keep Weed Fresh
Aside from the natural shelf life of weed and storage containers, you’ll need to know the different environmental factors that can mess with your weed’s potency. While it might seem overwhelming to constantly take note of, it’ll become much easier to manage once you find the perfect spot to store your weed.
This one might be the most obvious factor, but many underestimate how harmful light can be to your weed. When weed is exposed to direct sunlight, your cannabis starts degrading and breaking down. Due to extreme heat or light exposure, your weed may become uncomfortable to inhale and can even cause headaches and other physical symptoms.
In order to protect the natural terpenes and cannabinoids present in your marijuana, you’ll want to keep your weed at a temperature of 70 Farenheit. If your weed is kept in a room that’s much hotter than it is, then you run the risk of drying out your weed.
Like mentioned earlier, keeping your weed in an airtight container prevents any loss in potency. This is also why containers such as baggies can be risky to store your weed in since a slight opening is enough to cause your weed to deteriorate or dry out.
You might want to remember your old science classes for this one. Essentially, humidity refers to the amount of moisture present in the air at any given time. Stoners who know how to keep weed fresh live by the rule that humidity levels should not go any lower than 55 percent and nothing higher than 65 percent.
These numbers are significant since a room that is too humid can actually initiate mold growth on your weed. This is because when there is too much moisture in the air, it provides the perfect conditions for bacteria to spread and grow into nasty mold.
If the room is too dry, however, then you might be drying out your weed as well. If that seems to be the case, then humidity packs are available to preserve the freshness of your cannabis.
Final Key on Keeping Weed Fresh
Overall, knowing how to keep your weed fresh is a skill that most stoners should know by heart. Otherwise, you’ll be burning through your stash (and cash) before you even know it.
Another simple tip is to keep track of the harvest date of the weed you’re buying. It pays off to befriend your local budtender or dispensary so they could let you know when fresh inventory comes in.
Other than that, investing in good containers and setting up the perfect environment for your weed stash is a foolproof way to enjoy your weed for much longer.