Have you ever wondered does weed go bad? Does weed become “off,” and is it bad to smoke bad weed?
Marijuana is not like other foods, as it does not go bad. However, poorly dried or cured weed may turn moldy and won’t be good to consume. Many growers dry their supply carefully and do their best to keep weed in quality containers, and this is why it’s something out of the ordinary when weed goes bad. One thing’s sure though; old weed can be less potent than recently dried weed.
How long will weed remain fresh?
Typically, weed is sold in packs or small canisters. This way, the dried and cured buds are kept from moisture, light, and air. But even if weed is kept in this careful manner, it can eventually lose its potency as well as its flavor.
Based on reports made by experts, weed can lose around 16% of THC after a year. After a year, the drop continues 26% after two years, 34% after three years and 41% after 4 years, and so on. If you just store weed without consuming it, you could end up with flat-tasting weed with absolutely no effects after ten years!
Does weed go bad? How can you tell if you’re consuming old weed?
The most obvious clue is the smell. A weed that’s too old will smell very different from fresh weed, and sometimes, it may completely lose its aroma. Some strains will eventually develop a harsh flavor when kept in storage for a long time.
You can also tell that weed is too old when you first see it. Fresh weed will never crumble and will not look and feel spongy. If you find that weed has become spongy when you’re trying to break the buds, then it may be too moist or moldy.
Although it’s kind of odd, consuming old weed is not dangerous as long as you don’t have any underlying illness. But be ready to taste something extra-ordinary as it will taste and feel, unlike fresh weed you have had before. Do not consume weed that has been infested with mold! Never take for granted mold as consuming anything moldy can make you very sick.
So how can you tell that weed has mold? It’s often very hard to spot mold in weed as these would often develop in the inner folds of buds. But you can detect these by examining each bud very closely. If you see any kind of white and powdery substance with fuzzy areas, then this is mold.
Mold smells odd, musty, and icky. The taste will be off, but of course, don’t consume anything you suspect of having mold! Researchers say that it’s also best to check for molds even if your weed is not that old. Mold and mildew often develop in areas with moisture, and the folds of newly-harvested weed can be good places to start.
Mold may not cause illness when ingested, but it can cause vomiting, nausea, and coughing. It can also lead to stress and restlessness, especially after knowing you’ve ingested moldy weed. Those with poor immune systems may find it hard to breathe when they inhale smoke from moldy weed. Also, weed may contain bacteria, not just mold or fungi, and this can lead to terrible complications, even serious illness, and death.
So as a rule, anything that looks off or smells off, just get rid of it. Also, don’t leave any moldy weed behind as other people may mistake it for fresh weed and consume it.
How to store your weed to keep its freshness?
Different factors can affect the freshness of weed: temperature, humidity, oxygen, and light. If any of these factors are overlooked, it will result from weeding with a different aroma, taste, and potency. Remember the following when storing weed.
1. Commercial packaging is best
Think of the tiny packaging where your weed is kept when it’s sold in dispensaries. This is the best way to keep your weed IF you’re not yet going to smoke or consume it. Some brands use a special material that keeps weed fresh and retains its flavors longer. These packs are often vacuum sealed and thus will make weed last for many months to years.
Take note that when you open the packaging where weed is contained, everything, every factor starts to kick in. If you’re not going to consume your stash, better wrap it up in the same container and keep it until you’re ready to consume. Use tape or staples to keep the bag closed. Always check the best before label for weed as just like all food items, manufacturers are advised to place this on the label. Never consume weed that’s past its due.
2. Choose the ideal container
The best container has to be a well-sealed, opaque container so you can protect your stash from direct light, changes in humidity, and extreme temperatures. A glass container is better as plastic ones as plastic containers can reek chemicals. Also, glass containers look very professional. It’s like you’re keeping weed in a dispensary! Just don’t forget to label your weed as you keep them. Please include the date it was harvested and dried, the name of the strain, and other important information.
3. Always consider humidity
High humidity can lead to the growth of molds and mildew, so keep your stash in rooms with low humidity. You may also try a humidor, a special humidity-controlled wooden box made for storing cigars and cigarettes. A humidor will keep your weed in the best humidity levels. You may also keep cannabis seeds and newly-rolled joints this way.
You may also use a humidifier to accurately control the humidity levels in a room. A humidifier will keep the humidity constant and will correct any changes right away. And since this is an electronic device, it will accurately measure humidity and detect even very slight changes.
4. Pick a cool, dry and dark area
After selecting the right container, we recommend placing your containers in a room that’s dry, dark, and safe. You can use a spare room or a cabinet as long as you maintain the conditions inside the room. Consider placing the room under lock and key to prevent anyone from accessing it.
5. Freezing is not always the best way to keep everything fresh
Freezing food helps keep it fresh, and although this can also work with cannabis, it may not work well for your buds’ trichomes. The trichomes in weed are the structures that produce resin, and it’s in the buds’ resin where there is the highest concentration of THC.
When trichomes are exposed to freezing temperatures, these will also freeze up as these have liquid in them. When this happens, the trichomes become brittle and eventually break. So when you freeze your stash, there’s a chance you’ll get weed with poor potency, flavor, and aroma. So leave the freezer to food and not for cannabis.
6. Stay away from direct sunlight
Sunlight can destroy cannabinoids, especially THC. Take note that when THC is destroyed, weed can lose its potency, taste, and flavor when the buds are left under the light. So no matter what kind of container you use, keep it in the dark and dry area and not under the sun.
7. No to the back of home appliances
Most people keep their stash at the back of appliances as a way to hide these from plain sight. However, the heat of running appliances like radios, receivers, microwave ovens, and computers can easily destroy THC and other components of weed.
8. Store and label weed
Store weed but don’t forget to label it. Use a special sticker to place your name, the weed strain, and the date it was harvested. This way, you can keep tabs on important information as you gradually consume your weed.
9. Vacuum seal weed
A special food vacuum-sealed bags and sealer can also help keep your weed in good shape. To use this technique, separate weed according to strain and place each on in individual containers and vacuum the air out. This will keep your buds fresh for many months to come.
10. Store strains separately
If you have more than one strain to keep or stash away, keep each one in separate containers. If you overlook this, the flavors, smell, and taste of your weed may be affected. So, never keep your weed all in one container.
Does weed go bad? Yes, weed can go bad, but compared to food, it will also lose its potency. If you grow your supply, it’s best to dry and cure your weed very well to preserve its freshness. Don’t be in a hurry to dry or cure weed, as even incorrect drying can affect the overall quality of your weed. If you buy your stash, buy fresh. Buy only the amount of weed you can consume for a few days to prevent weed from going bad.