You open up your grinder, and what do you find? Nothing. You check your watch, but the stores have all closed by now. You text your buddy John. He doesn’t respond. Fuck. You start searching through all your hiding spots, hoping you can find something. What’s that? You spot a plastic ziplock with some nasty looking brown weed. Is it still ok to smoke? How long has it been there? How long does it take for weed to go bad? Most importantly, how did you manage to hide weed from yourself?
Does weed go bad?
Just like with any natural product, it depends how you store it. If you leave the milk out it will go bad. If you leave bread out it will go stale. And you know that if you leave meat out then your dog will eat it. Temperature, humidity, airflow, and sunlight will all affect how long your weed can last.
If you had been hiding your weed, then it probably was not left out in the sunlight. You also probably had it in some form of an anti-dank container. Already you have checked off two key factors for why your weed could go bad.
What does it mean for weed to go bad?
I’m sure some of you have already found what your weed tastes like after it goes bad. But, do you know what’s really happening? Terpenes are what give your bud its smell and flavor. They are a natural part of a cannabis plant, but are not unique to cannabis. Terpenes can be found in many other plants.
Over time, the terpenes begin to break down. As they do, your bud will slowly begin to lose flavor and scent. This is why, if you have ever tried old weed, it tastes like shit (harsh and nasty).
You may have also noticed that it doesn’t get you that high. This is because the cannabinoids also begin to break down. Cannabinoids are chemicals that act on your cannabinoid receptors. Did that description not help? Thank google for that marvelous description. Your cannabinoid receptors are located throughout your body. The best visualization would be something similar to your nervous system. All you need to know is that at least one of these cannabinoids gets you high.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one the cannabinoids that creates cannabis’ psychoactive component. As these slowly break down, their ability to get you high fades. Researchers found that cannabis loses its THC potency at the following rate if stored properly.
- After one year, roughly 16% THC loss.
- Two years, roughly 26% THC loss
- After three years, roughly 36% THC loss
- After Four years, roughly 41% THC loss
Is it still safe to smoke?
Now this is what you should actually look out for when attempting to smoke your old weed. Not only can weed lose its taste and potency, but it can also grow mold. I shouldn’t have to tell you the mold isn’t safe to smoke.
Moldy weed can occur when you don’t store it properly. If it is too humid, moisture will get into your container. Make sure to check your weed before you smoke it. If it’s moist, then the weed probably has mold on it. Mold can be hard to spot, and there are many types of mold that can grow on cannabis. If you see discolored spots, or a white, fuzzy substance, then it’s probably mold. Even if you don’t notice anything, you should smell it as well. If it smells nothing like weed should then you are probably dealing with mold.
Humidity is tricky to maintain, and weed can be seriously annoying if it’s not kept in the right conditions. If it isn’t humid enough, your weed will dry out. This can basically turn your weed into dust when touched. You might think that you now have some pristine kief. Well, you are wrong.
What you have is the prime ingredients to coughing non stop for the next ten minutes. This will be harsh, flavorless, and will not get you anywhere near high. If your weed is at that point, it is definitely too old to smoke.
How to store your weed
Most of you probably keep your weed in a smell proof container, so that’s the first step. Next, make sure you have an area that is out of any sunlight entirely. Think of it kind of like storing canned food. You should keep it in a cool, dry, and dark location. You should try to keep the humidity around 54 to 63 percent.
Airtight glass mason jars are the most optimal for storage. You shouldn’t open the jar unless you are going to use your weed. Make sure to mark when you begin storing your weed. You don’t want to forget about it again. I’m not sure many people are buying in bulk, so you will probably only be doing this when you go off on a trip somewhere.
Thinking about your own grow op? You should consider investing in a proper climate controlled facility. This will allow you to store your weed in the right conditions without having to sell all your product within a week.
Edibles should be stored in a similar way. If you can, leave them in their original packaging. If you have made your own, then seal it up like you just did with the rest of your weed. Again make sure to not leave it in sunlight. If you have hard candies they could easily melt. Good luck knowing your dosage after that.
The same goes for vapes and concentrates. Store them in cool dark places. Make sure your vape pen is upright so that there is always liquid on your coils. This will stop it from leaking as well as drying up. You may be able to find specific containers for dabs. These usually are glass or silicone.
How long will it last?
If this is all done right you should probably expect it to last for six months to a year. If you store it really well, maybe even two years. Just remember, the longer you leave it, this less potent it will become, and the more harsh and less flavorful it will be. Look out for mold. Happy harsh smoking!