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Does Cannabis Go Bad?

Many people are curious about does weed goes bad? The answer is that it does not, but it does lose potency over time. 

The good news is, if stored properly, it’s possible to keep it stay fresh and can prolong shelf life. This way, you can prevent yourself from smoking moldy weed.

This article will teach you how to keep your cannabis properly so that the quality does not degrade, and you can be sure to have a good experience every time!

Does Weed Lose Its Potency Over Time?

Does weed expire? According to United Nations Office, weed ages according to this time period THC degradation: 

  • 2 years, 26 percent of THC lost. 
  • 3 years, 34 percent of THC lost. 
  • 4 years, 41 percent of THC lost.

These numbers might seem like a lot, but it does not mean that your weed is completely useless. It does not mean that you’ll only have a small amount of THC left in your weed. The numbers above are based on the assumption that all cannabinoids and terpenes were introduced to light, heat, oxygen, and air when it was first stored.

While cannabis will lose THC over time, it’s not a total waste if your bud goes bad. Keep reading for additional insight on what you can do if you break up your weed and notice it’s not so fresh.

How Do You Know if the Weed Is Bad?

Marijuana doesn’t come with an expiration date. But these are what you should look into when spotting good weed and bad weed. 

Old marijuana lacks a sharp scent, it makes a sound when breaking apart, and if you feel it’s too moist and may develop mold, then the weed is bad.

Moldy marijuana is not good for your health, so do not smoke it! Some people recommend making it into edibles. But many others argue that moldy buds don’t make great consumables.

However, if you don’t want to toss it, you can always try making something out of your moldy bud.

If you are buying weed from the shop, make sure you buy it from a licensed dispensary. That way, if your cannabis is moldy when you arrive home, the reputable operation will likely be willing to take it back.

Never seen bunk bud? Here are the things you can look into if the weed is bad:

Brown Color

The weed is good if the color is still green, and it should not have any black spots. If you’ve ever had fresh flower, you probably know what it should look like. Thus, if it looks overly funky and not so fresh with a tinge of brown, you already know what to expect.

Dry & Crusty

Dry weed does not go bad. However, when it is exposed to moisture, its original scent and flavor might be altered. The change in taste does not happen if the plant material has been properly harvested, stored correctly, or smoked right away. 

If your weed starts to turn brown or dry out, you know it’s time to try reviving it or toss the batch.

You’ll also notice that when the marijuana has gone bad, it becomes crusty and easy to break up with your fingers. While it might seem nice not to have to use a grinder, this won’t smoke so well.

Odorless

If your weed smells like hay or when you grab the marijuana bud and smell it, if there’s a funky or sour scent coming off of the flower that means better to move on!

Can Be Ground Easily

When the weed goes bad, you can hear the cracking sound. Good cannabis does not make that sound. You can easily grind them into powder which means that the weed is not good to smoke.

Mold

If there are any signs of mold or mildew on your buds, then they should be discarded as well because those can also cause an unpleasant experience if you smoke them.

A Bit Moist or Even Wet

If cannabis becomes wet, it will have a moldy smell and may feel moist or slimy to the touch. Cannabis that has become wet should be dried as soon as possible before any mold develops on the leaves or bud of the plant.

How Do I Know if it’s Fresh Weed?

Fresh weed is full of the cannabinoids CBD, CBC, THC and should have a sharp odor. Fresh weed doesn’t crumble when breaking it off, and when you smoke it, it doesn’t give off harsh smoke.

Best Ways to Store Your Cannabis Buds

The best way to store weed buds in your home would be a small glass jar with an airtight lid tucked away in a cool dark place.

When storing weed, you may consider investing in humidity packs to keep your cannabis fresh for at least six months. Whatever methods you use, the idea is to store your cannabis in a sealed container.

For people who need their weed for medical reasons, long-term storage is critical. The best way to store your weed for the long term would be in a freezer, where there does not happen to be any moisture present.

Ways to Keep Weed Fresh 

The potency of cannabis also depends on where it is stored. If properly stored, marijuana won’t give you major health problems. 

Storage does have an impact on the potency of your cannabis as it degrades over time and if there is exposure to heat or direct sunlight, which will reduce THC levels, causing a loss in psychoactive effects.

Below are tips on how to store your marijuana properly.

Keep Cannabis Away from Heat 

If you are going to be out for a day at work, place your weed inside an insulated lunch box with ice packs so that it does not get too hot and lose its potency while stored. 

Put in a dark and away from UV light, cool environment with any container less exposed to the air. Try to use mason jars or glass jars containers instead of plastic bags to limit oxygen exposure. 

Keep the humidity low and make sure it is dry. Humidity will cause mold growth on any type of plant matter. If you live in a humid climate, invest in a dehumidifier. 

Pack your marijuana loosely so that if it does get wet while you are transporting it, there will be extra air to keep mold growth at bay.

Use Glass Jars for Storage

Jars keep the airtight seal polyethylene plastic bag does. However, the mason jar does not allow much oxygen to enter and get into your marijuana.

Airtight glass jars or containers are going to be best for proper storage because these materials do not let any light in which means that there’s no need for extra protection from UV rays.

Freeze Cannabis for Long Term Storage

You can freeze the weed and keep it for long periods. This will protect your marijuana from any mold growth that could occur, as well as keep its potency fresh inside of an airtight container!

If the bud has a bit of white powder on it, that means you likely have mold. Give it the sniff test and if it seems moldy, it probably is.

Will weed go bad if it’s packed away right?

Perhaps. If you’re not buying for immediate use, it’s best to keep it away from humidity and locked up tight.

Make sure if moisture does happen to be present when storing that it dries out before placing your weed inside of the container.

What to Do with Old Weed

These are effective ways to re-use your old cannabis. Whether it’s been sitting around in open air and dried out or doesn’t taste quite right, here are some ways to use your aged buds and cannabis products:

Edibles

Edibles are easy to prepare by adding cannabis-infused ingredients to a recipe that calls for a fatty substance, like butter or oil. Its potency increases while also thinning out to allow for easier consumption.

The main psychoactive ingredient in THC cannabis is absorbed using a fatty substance.

If you have cannabis loose, you can use a food processor to blend it up into butter or oil.

You can also add the bud to a slow cooker with butter or oil on low heat for hours, in a crock-pot.

Kief /Keef

Popularly known as ‘keef’, the glorious trichome crystals on the buds. Kief can be a great way to consume cannabis with a high concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids and can be made from old and dry marijuana buds. 

Once you have your material sifted, sprinkle it over your bowl of wrapped cannabis.

Some people like to make kief into hash. Hash is particularly potent, and all the oil that contains it is exactly what many old-school consumers love!

All things cannabis is made better with a bit of kief. And some online shops sell small containers designed specifically to collect it!

Is It Safe to Smoke Old Weed?

It’s okay to smoke old cannabis. However, it does lose its potency over time which means you may need to smoke more and more of it in order to experience the same effects. 

This is because THC degrades with exposure to air, light, moisture, and heat. 

Smoking older cannabis will result in a higher likelihood of getting a headache or anxiety attack due to the lower concentration of THC as well as other cannabinoids like CBD, which have antipsychotic properties that are also diminished when cannabis ages. 

Additionally, smoking old weed can cause your lungs to become inflamed by irritating sensitive cells in the respiratory tract lining called cilia, which help clear out mucus and bacteria from the bronchial tubes. 

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you never smoke old weed. However, every related story ends with the consumer enjoying cannabinoids, although the taste differs from fresh buds.

Vape pens can also age bad. If you buy a pen and it’s expired, it might not be good to vape. However, your bud should be fine if it’s a bit older.

Tips for Keeping Old Weed Fresh

If your bud is looking dry, try putting it in a jar with a small slice of carrot. This will rehydrate your bud.

But be careful. While a piece of carrot can bring your bud back to life, if you leave it in too long, it could become overly moist.

For those who use edibles, make sure you keep an eye on the date on your weed because that does go bad.

If you need to store cannabis for a little while, then make sure it is in a sealed container. Then, take out your buds right before you plan to smoke. The buds should still smell fantastic and potent. Otherwise, you might need to make further changes to the way you plan to consume.

Use common sense when consuming cannabis. If your vape pen cartridge has turned black, you probably shouldn’t taste it. Health issues can occur if you’re not careful, so use common sense with every cannabis product you consume.

Final Thoughts

Cannabis does not have an expiration date, but it does go bad. There are a few things to look out for if you’re wondering if your old cannabis is still good. If the weed has brown coloration or feels dry and crusty, then it’s probably time to get rid of it! 

Another way to check its freshness is by smelling. Does your cannabis smell like anything? If there’s no scent at all, that could be because the terpenes in marijuana degrade over time as well as THC, so chances are you’ve got some pretty stale bud on hand. 

One final thing you can do before smoking any old weed: grind up a small amount first and try lighting up. This will help determine whether or not your weed is fresh or old.

Whatever methods you use to store your cannabis, make sure you keep your weed properly away from UV light, avoid storing it in plastic baggies, and do a mold inspection using a magnifying glass.

Unlike fine wine, weed loses its potency over time but depending on the storage methods you choose. It is possible to keep your weed as fresh as the day you bought it.

An experiment found that weed stored in a container that less expose to UV light, and air can last for about five years.

When does weed go bad? That depends.

If you’re talking about the cannabis plant, it does not get old and cannot be “spoiled” like other food products can. Cannabis does degrade with time, though, and becomes less potent over time if it is exposed to air or heat. 

This degradation does nothing to alter the cannabinoid content of the flower but will affect how fast they degrade in your body after ingestion which can lead to a more intense high.

If you have any more questions about does weed goes bad or if you need help with anything else related to weed, please feel free to leave us the comments below.

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