Have you recently come across an old stash and are wondering how long does weed last? Are you interested in using older weed to make edibles or wondering if it’s safe to consume? We’ll answer these questions and more below.
How Long Should Fresh Weed last?
How long is weed good for? Does weed expire? Well, all cannabis products have a shelf life, just as fruits, veggies, herbs, and other food products have an expiration date. Thankfully, your cannabis shelf life typically lasts at least a year if you store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark environment to avoid direct sunlight.
Does weed lose potency over time?
While old cannabis usually won’t hurt you, it will absolutely lose its freshness, potency, and flavor over time. While it may still get you buzzed, old weed will never provide the same effects as fresh buds.
Identifying Old Weed
You’ll want to check a few key points before indulging if you find old weed and don’t know how long it’s been in storage.
Ancient, dried-out weed will easily break apart into a fine powder form. Mold can grow over trichomes and looks like a collection of white powder on the top of the buds. You can also locate mold when you break them apart.
Terpenes don’t keep on improperly stored weed. So, if your weed has a pleasant scent, it’s probably acceptable for consumption. Look out for marijuana with a mildew smell, which is a vital sign of mold growth.
Marijuana that is cured and dried will make a snapping sound when you break it apart, whereas old weed will crack and crumble in your hands.
Ways to Identify Moldy Cannabis
Here are some tips to identify the top six types of cannabis fungal infection so that you can avoid the health consequences of smoking moldy weed.
It usually begins with fluffy white growth in the middle or on the sides of your buds. Botrytis is easy to see with the naked eye as the color changes, and it becomes a dry weed texture.
In the early stages of powdery mildew, you can see small circles of white mold on the tops of stems and leaves. As the fungi progress, they will become denser, covering the buds in thick white powder.
Dark spots on the lower leaves will quickly turn the leaves a yellowish-brown color. Visual signs to look out for are leaves that have wilted but not entirely fallen off and droopy stems.
Common mold is found both indoors and outside. Generally dark green-black, Aspergillus spores create a lung infection after being inhaled and can be found in the soil or cannabis buds.
Penicillium mold is predominantly found indoors. Its spores are typically light blueish-green and can ruin crops and harm humans and animals that have been inhaling mold.
It produces a grayish-white coating on its spores and may infect humans with certain health conditions, such as when a person has a compromised immune system.
Can smoking moldy weed make you sick?
While smoking moldy weed may not kill you, it is still not recommended and could have potential adverse effects, especially for those with certain chronic conditions.
If you smoke moldy weed and are allergic, you could potentially experience the following mild effects:
- nausea and vomiting
But, you could also end up with inflammation of your sinuses and lungs, with more severe symptoms like:
- sinus pain
- chest pain
Inhaling certain mold species can have severe health consequences for those with weakened immune systems or lung conditions. Some molds like Aspergillus, Mucor, and Cryptococcus can cause severe infections in the lungs, central nervous system, and brain for people with a medical condition related to the immune system.
How to Avoid Moldy Weed
- Buds should be stored properly in a cool, dry place but try not to refrigerate or freeze them. The ideal temperature for flower is just under 77°F.
- Remember to keep your weed in airtight containers, preferably with darker colored glass. Weed does have an expiration date of approximately six months to one year.
- The ideal humidity level in your storage containers should be between 59% to 63%. You can purchase disposable humidity packs at many dispensaries that can be placed inside your mason jar.
- Less airflow can develop mold, so be sure to provide proper ventilation in the storage room.
- Moldy weed will have a distinct odor. Cannabis products that have been infected by mold will usually smell musty after closer examination. Exposing cannabis to a black light is a good way to see if there’s mold present so you can avoid smoking moldy weed.
Can it be revived?
Unfortunately, you can not do much to reverse the presence of mold or bud rot. You may be able to salvage other areas of the plant if you notice it early; however, that would require carefully removing the moldy parts and hoping the rest of your cannabis plant can bounce back.
Therefore, the only authentic way to fix moldy marijuana is to prevent mold growth altogether, which would require proper storage in an airtight container, fresh air ventilation, and a controlled temperature.
Tips for Storing Weed
One of the vital steps to properly store cannabis is using high-quality storage containers. Glass jars with a tight seal are ideal for protecting your buds from humidity, parasites, climate issues, and mold. There are even jars with a UV-proof finish or a violet/dark brown tint to further protect your weed from the light. Medical marijuana can be stored in a closet, pantry, or drawer will also work.
A proper cure will ensure that your cannabis plant will last longer. They will maintain their flavor and potency longer as well.
Humidity packs can help ensure humidity levels remain ideal for storing buds to keep the weed fresh.
Store buds and cannabis edibles in airtight containers. Mason jars are perfect airtight jars for storing cannabis after the curing process. Plastic bags risk drying and losing the potency of your cured cannabis.
Maintain a dark space with a cool temperature for optimal storage of cured cannabis in an airtight storage container to help the weed stay fresh.
Do I have to Dry and Cure Cannabis?
The trimming and drying process is crucial to enjoying your cannabis buds thoroughly. While the curing process isn’t essential, it’s still an excellent idea to be patient and allow the cannabis flower to cure in a jar. Curing buds enhance their flavor and quality and enable them to be stored for longer.
Things to Consider when Drying Cannabis
Friction, humidity, light, and temperature are the top concerns after harvest. Follow these tips to maintain fresh, safe-to-use buds.
For proper drying, humidity levels must be maintained between 45 and 55 percent. If you are experiencing difficulty with a humid climate, investing in a dehumidifier or a humidity pack could be helpful to allow the individual buds to dry completely before you store weed.
When you dry marijuana buds, you’ll want to keep your drying room temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius. If you have a temperature-controlled air conditioning unit, setting it to 20 degrees Celsius and 50 percent humidity level should do the trick.
If airflow becomes a problem while drying or curing cannabis, investing in a small fan to circulate air while you dry and cure would be an excellent idea; however, remain cautious not to allow the small fan to blow directly on your drying weed.
Not only should the drying room be cool, but it will also need to be dark to dry cannabis. No light should be able to enter the room or touch the drying buds. This will ensure that the chlorophyll is completely removed, leaving room for the flavorful, aromatic, and terpene-rich marijuana flower to shine.
Just like any other plant or herb, weed does expire and loses its effects slowly over time. You can help combat the deterioration by properly curing, drying, and storing your buds in an airtight container. Keep in mind, the darker and cooler the storage area, the longer your weed will last.