Does Weed Go Bad?
It is a great reward when you feel like lighting up, opening a former weed stash to find that lone “nug” still bouncing around waiting for you. Even though you can’t remember how long it has been there, is it still safe to smoke? Does cannabis expire?
Like anything with an above average shelf life, cannabis can be deterred from going “bad” for quite some time if you store it properly. As cannabis expert and Quebec brand manager at Canopy Growth Corp, Adam Greenblatt, explains, dried pot flowers have more of a “best before” date, ensuring freshness and quality. Cannabis that has been properly harvested and stored should stay fresh and smokable for up to 6 months. It will still be consumable up to the 1-year point, but it won’t taste as good as it did when it was newly purchased. Beyond a year, quality and THC content starts to decrease significantly.
How to Tell if Your Weed Has Gone Bad
We can use our five senses to make a reasonable guess if you should toss your stash and place a new order. The smell of aged cannabis will not have the same bright and powerful scent it did when you smelled it, halfway to your car after pickup.
How cannabis looks with age is noticeable as well, losing its vibrant colour and looking wilted and dry. Weed that has not been stored properly can develop mold. Be on the lookout!
If your weed doesn’t leave a residue on your hands when you touch it and simply feels dehydrated and crumbly, it is time to part ways with it.
Most prominent while smoking cannabis, aging can change the taste to be much harsher, irritating and lacking any taste of freshness.
If you’re able to get past the bad taste of stale cannabis, you may not enjoy the effects it has on your body. THC degradation means it will not produce the pleasant high it did when it was fresh. Smoking old weed can lead to nausea, headaches, and an upset stomach. Further to this, accidentally inhaling mold can lead to serious health issues.
A study on the THC concentration of stored cannabis shows that THC content will decrease by approximately 16% after one year. This degradation in THC continues year on year, with around a 27% reduction after two years, 35% after three years, and 41% after four years.
Preserving Your Goods
The common conception that everything lasts longer in the freezer, does not apply to cannabis. Freezing cannabis can cause trichomes (tiny hairs on the flowers that produce cannabinoids) to become brittle and fall off. A freezer is also a method to introduce moisture into your stash, which can result in mold.
Cannabis shouldn’t go bad, for a while, if you store it properly. By keeping it in a sealed container away from heat, moisture, and sunlight, it should stay fresh and potent for up to a year.
Related: How To Store Your Weed