Have you ever come across some long-lost bud and wondered if it was still good? Maybe you've got some old flower sitting next to you, and you're wondering if it's safe to light up.
The bad news is, just like food, weed has an expiration date. However, cannabis has a shelf life that can be short to relatively long depending on how it was stored.
There's a good chance that the old bud that you found is still good to go! Continue reading below to find out everything you need to know about weed's shelf life.
How Long Is Weed Good For?
If properly stored, cannabis can last about six months to one year. Of course, there's a lot of factors that play into that number.
Depending on the harvest, moisture control, and light protection, some can last longer while others expire more quickly. The three main things that age any type of weed are high temperature, UV light, and humidity.
Temperature can degrade your cannabis in a few different ways. It's estimated that the ideal temp for cannabis is around 70°F (21°C).
Anything above that number and the environment becomes inviting for bacteria and mold. On top of that, volatile terpenes like myrcene and limonene will evaporate more quickly at higher temperatures.
That means that the flavor and aroma of the cannabis will change if left in the heat for too long.
UV rays can be your weed's worst enemy. UV light can degrade, or break down, cannabis over time.
More specifically, UV rays can degrade cannabinoids like THC. That means if you leave your weed in the sun, the cannabinoids will decrease in quantity and become less potent.
An independent researcher found that cannabis has a 0.5% decrease in potency for every hour of exposure to UV light after harvest.
Humidity and Oxygen
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Humidity control is essential for cannabis because it can't be too high or too low.
If it's too high, there's too much water, and that can lead to contamination with mold and mildew. If there's not enough humidity, then the trichomes can dry out and slowly degrade.
On top of that, too much exposure to oxygen can quickly degrade THC as well.
Can I Smoke Old Weed?
So long as it isn't moldy, then you can still light it up. However, old weed usually feels a bit different than fresh weed.
One thing is certain—old weed will likely be a lot less potent and not smell or taste as good as when it was fresh. It’s estimated that old cannabis loses a whopping 16% of its THC after one year.
Also, many people find that old weed is particularly sedating or relaxing. Some researchers theorize that it's because there's more CBN in old weed.
As we mentioned, multiple factors can degrade cannabinoids. However, sometimes THC isn't completely degraded, but it gets turned into a different form like CBN.
That might explain it, but some researchers think it has to do with the terpenes. Over time, the only terpenes that will still be on old weed are sesquiterpenoids.
Basically, some 'bigger' terpenes like β-caryophyllene will last longer, and old weed will have more of them. These types of terpenes might be more sedating than the terpenes that evaporate out.
How Do I Know if My Weed Has Gone Bad?
First and foremost, let's go over the signs to look out for to see if your old weed is still smokeable. In most cases, it probably still is, but you should absolutely not smoke any weed that has become moldy.
Remember, the nose knows, so take a nice big whiff of that old cannabis. If it still has a pungent aroma or smells like weed, then that's a good sign.
If it's aged a lot, then there's a good chance that the smell is weak or even completely absent. However, you'll want to take notice if it smells a bit musty or like hay.
Next, you'll need to take a close inspection. Look carefully to see if there's any mold on the surface of the weed.
You'll want to be on the lookout for any patches of grayish-white mold. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if there's mold because it can blend in with the trichomes.
Trichomes are shiny and almost glittery, while mold is flatter and looks like a powder. If you find any mold, then it's best not to risk your health by smoking it.
Although it probably won't kill you, smoking moldy weed can cause nausea, vomiting, coughing, long term negative effects in your respiratory system, and will likely be an unpleasant experience.
How to Make Your Weed Last Longer
Perhaps you grew your own weed or bought a nice supply to last you a long time. You'll want to make sure that your weed stays aromatic, flavorful, and potent for as long as possible.
To do that, you need to learn how to store your weed properly. As we mentioned earlier, you'll need to keep your weed away from the wrong temperature, high humidity, and keep it out of the light.
1. Get a Mason Jar or Other Airtight Container
First and foremost, you'll need an airtight container that isn't plastic. A go-to option that's effective and cheap is to use a mason jar.
2. Fill It up With Bud
Fill up the jar most of the way and leave a little room at the top. Don't squeeze the buds together—just let them sit loosely in the jar.
3. Buy a Humidity Pack
Cannabis likes a relative humidity (RH) of 58-63%. To get the perfect humidity, you'll need to purchase a humidity pack like a Boveda.
Simply place the humidity pack inside the mason jar, and voila, your jar has the perfect environment.
4. Store in a Cool and Dark place
Place your jar somewhere that's cool and dark, but not too cold. A basement or at the bottom of a cabinet are both good places.
Never Deal With Old Weed Again
If you follow these tips, you'll never have to deal with old, flavorless weed ever again. Also, if you'd like to skip this whole process and get a potent cannabis experience every time, then perhaps edibles are for you.
If you'd like to try the best of the best, then grab a pack of Baked Bros THC Gummies. These delicious edibles are ready to go and pack the perfect amount of THC in each gummy.
With Baked Bros THC gummies, you'll quickly finish each pack well before their expiration date, and you won't need to deal with old weed ever again!
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