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How long does weed last? Does weed go bad?!

moldy weed | how long does weed last | does weed go bad | how long does it take for weed to go bad | when does weed go bad

Not many people are aware of the nuances surrounding their weed’s shelf-life. Many people leave their weed in the original packaging or store it in a cheap container supplied by a local dispensary. Whether it’s a standard medicinal container or branded plastic, glass or metal tins, we assume (or hope?) our weed will stay fresh as long as it’s sealed. But weed does go bad and there are many things that contribute to its degradation. Here at FreshStor, we’re masters of weed storage. We do our best to answer common questions like, how long does weed last? Does weed go bad? When does weed go bad? How long does it take for weed to go bad? Is there such thing as moldy weed? We believe it’s important for consumers to know what we have spent years learning and testing — the best way to prolong the shelf life of cannabis flower and how to revive old buds. It’s all about enjoying your cannabis products at their best.

If you’ve ever found an old, dried-out nug laying around and smoked it, it’s likely that both the flavor and aroma was off, it was harsh on your throat or you barely felt any effects. This is because over time, cannabis and the cannabinoids within it degrade. Cannabinoids like THC are responsible for eliciting the high we all know so well. THC is a compound present in cannabis, but it’s only activated when it’s exposed to heat. This is called decarboxylation. If your cannabis flower is laying around for weeks or months, the active cannabinoids within it, including THCA (THC’s acidic precursor), slowly turn into CBN, a non-psychoactive, sedative cannabinoid. Simply, your old weed will do nothing but make you a bit sleepy. So what can we do to combat degradation and exactly how long does it take for weed to go bad?

How long does weed last?

So exactly how long does it take for weed to go bad? If your cannabis has been properly harvested, dried, cured and then stored, you can expect it to stay fresh for anywhere from six months to a year.

If you’ve done a really good job of storing your weed, you may be able to stretch that timeline even further. But for most people, this is unlikely. This is because many consumers still are not using humidity-controlled storage containers, and since most of our homes experience a spectrum of temperatures and lighting, we can’t really expect to get a full year out of our cannabis.

A general rule of thumb for the industry is to consume your weed within six months of purchase. However, if you’ve invested in high-quality storage equipment, like FreshStor’s personal CVault storage containers, then you can push it out for a year…or longer.

How long does weed last?

Unfortunately, all of the chemicals that make up cannabis break down. Over time, many of these chemicals, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, slowly break down and lose potency. As the terpenes break down, your weed will lose its flavor and scent. Sometimes, old weed will end up tasting harsh and unpleasant.

Similarly, cannabinoids also break down over time. Old weed is often not as potent because a lot of the THC and other cannabinoids will have broken down and dissipated. As per research by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, on average, cannabis plant matter loses THC potency at this rate:

  • After one year, weed loses roughly 16% of its THC.
  • Two years in storage results in a loss of 26% of its THC.
  • Weed loses 34% of its THC after three years.
  • After four years in storage, weed loses 41% of its THC.

When does weed go bad? Factors that contribute to degradation include exposure to heat and light, as well as prolonged exposure to air. If weed is kept out in the open or exposed to humidity, microbes from the air could cause moldy weed, which can cause sickness if ingested. And there is nothing worse than moldy weed (except maybe no weed!).

When does weed go bad?

  • Is it moldy? If your weed was exposed to moisture and humidity, it may develop mold. Do not smoke moldy weed.
  • Is it dried out? If your weed feels crumbly or dusty, it may be too dried out to be worth the harsh hit.
  • What does it smell like? Old weed lacks the pungent smell of fresh bud.
  • Does it break apart? If it is spongy, it might be damp and moldy. If it instantly breaks down into sandy particles, it’s too old.

How to properly store weed

Different cannabis products have slightly different requirements to maintain freshness, but here’s a quick overview of how to keep flower fresher for longer:

To keep flower fresh, store it properly and limit exposure to light and open air, ensuring that it is not exposed to too much humidity (think over 65%). Get the most out of your weed by storing it in a container with a tight sealed lid, avoid opening the container as often as possible and keep it in a cool dark place.

If you’re looking for a top-quality cannabis container that won’t break the bank, check out our personal CVaults. It doesn’t matter if you store a gram at a time or over an ounce, we have a CVault that works for you. To keep the humidity at the perfect level, insert a Boveda pack into the packholder in the CVault lid.

Investing in safe, secure and sanitary cannabis storage containers won’t only keep your delicious buds in the optimal environment, but your stash will last longer and taste better over time. Shop our personal CVaults and check out the new CVault “twist” line for on-the-go use. 

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