How do you tell if weed has gone bad? That question is in the back of the mind of many smokers who keep their stashes for extended periods and like to collect and keep nugs of different varieties. If you’re wondering how long weed lasts before it loses potency or how to make your weed last longer, then this guide should be helpful to you.
If you’re not sure how good your cannabis is, that means you’re worried that it’s losing strength or that it may even be bad for you to smoke. There are plenty of reasons to want to know how long weed lasts. At some point, many stoners find themselves either discovering or ending up with some cheap old bud and wondering what kind of quality it's in or if they should even smoke it. Let’s take a look at how long weed keeps potency, what’s the difference between old and fresh weed, and how to make your weed last longer.
Does Weed Get Old
Weed changes as it ages. When fresh nugs are harvested, they are juicy, sticky, and not ideal for smoking because not all trichomes have aged enough to crystalize into pure Delta-9 THC. Harvested plants are dried out to let the buds mature into nugs ideal for grinding and smoking.
As those nugs are moved through the market, they age, and the cannabinoids and organic makeup of the cannabis changes with time in particular ways. Fresh nugs are rich in flavorful terpenes and THC with minor CBD and other cannabinoids. As the nugs age, the THC will slowly change to CBN, which has different qualities. Also, as the organic matter of the nugs changes, they will lose flavor and moisture, which directly affects the smoking experience.
For weed to go bad, it means that the nugs have aged to the point that there is little THC left and trace amounts of terpenes to add flavor and nearly zero moisture which means it will combust too quickly. Old weed tastes bad, burns quickly, and doesn’t get you very high.
Weed can also go bad from too much moisture. In this case, the weed may look good, but the smell will be off, and there may be mold on the nugs that the untrained eye may mistake for more trichome crystals.
How Long Before Weed Loses Potency?
Weed loses potency over time no matter what, but it will do so faster if stored under sub-optimal conditions. If weed is exposed to light, warmth, and oxygen, it will degrade quickly. Also, if your nugs are exposed to the open air and moisture, that is a recipe for disaster.
When Weed is Left in the Open
Weed stored in the open probably only has about a month before it degrades significantly. However, there are many ways to prevent the degradation of your weed.
When Weed Is Stored Properly
If your cannabis is stored in a dry, cool, and airtight space with as little oxygen as possible, then it can last much longer. Properly stored weed can last 6-months to a year without suffering from significant THC loss.
How to Tell if Weed is Bad
Weed that has spoiled or lost potency can look obvious or completely normal depending on what's wrong with it. Here are some signs that your weed is not in prime condition. The primary indicator is color. Fresh nugs still have a vibrant green color sprinkled with the occasional purples and even oranges. Old nugs have entirely lost their green colors and are brown and drab. The smell is another prime indicator of old weed. If the scent is light, peppery, or just plain doesn’t smell like anything, the chances are that the terpenes and cannabinoids have significantly been reduced with age.
It may appear normal if your weed has gone bad due to moisture, but you will notice what can go wrong for prolonged moisture upon closer inspection. If you see white spots on your nugs that are random instead of uniformly spread out like trichomes should be, then this may be mold. Also, when you tear open a nug and notice that the interior has a white color, that is a mold sign.
Can Old Weed Make You Sick?
Old weed not only tastes terrible and doesn’t get you high, but it can also make you feel bad. Moldy weed can make you sick, especially when vaporized. The taste of moldy weed is different as well. It adds a musty or sour flavor to your smoke.
Brown and dried-out weed or low-quality dirt weed can also irritate your lungs when smoked. Old weed can have nearly zero moisture in it, which will cause it to immediately and quickly combust when you try to smoke it. The faster weed burns, the harsher the smoke will be when it's inhaled. Intense smoke will irritate and inflame your lungs and make you cough harder.
How to Properly Store Weed
Choose an Air-Tight Container
We recommend separating your daily stash from your long-term storage into different sized 420 Stash Jars. Short-term and long-term storage involves minimizing the air and light reaching your buds. You should occasionally open your jar to introduce some fresh air now and then. Controlling the amount of oxygen and light that enters your buds helps preserve their potency and maintains their cannabinoid and terpene profiles.
It’s also a good idea to have a few different 420 Jars in your collection so that if you have different varieties, you can keep them all separated. This is important not only to keep everything organized but also to maintain the unique flavor profile of a specific strain.
Monitor the Humidity
The best way to prevent mold exposure on your cannabis is with the help of a 420 Jar and humidity regulating pack. Humidity packs are available in both 8-gram and 67-gram packs, both of which, when used together, can help to make sure that your product is stored safely and protected from higher humidity levels and unwanted mold growth. Additionally, the humidity packs come with indicator strips that let you know when the packs need to be replaced to help guarantee that the quality of your cannabis is protected.
Where to Store Your Stash
Of course, you need a place to put all those 420 Jars to ensure that they are protected. An airtight locking storage container is ideal for keeping many small jars in. If you just want to keep your whole stash, pipe, and tools together, then something like a locking stash bag would be good. We have many options for weed humidors and stash bags.
Keep Weed In a Cool Dark Place
Harmful UV rays break down many organic and synthetic materials. It only makes sense that storing your cannabis in a 420 UV Screw Top Jars will help keep control over the temperature of your stash and keep it out of the way of those dangerous UV rays. You wouldn’t want to unnecessarily expose yourself to UV rays, so the same rule should apply to your stash.
What Happens if You Put Weed in The Freezer
Keeping foods in the freezer for long-term storage can be a good idea for meets and pre-frozen veggies, but weed should not be kept in the freezer. The trichomes can freeze and shatter when you store cannabis in the freezer, shedding valuable THC. Freezing weed can also lead to it spoiling faster when it thaws due to ice crystals penetrating the cells of the organic plant matter.
Looking for High-quality Storage for Your Weed?
If you want your weed to last a long time and be potent and flavorful, then store it in a 420 jar in a cool dark place away from sunlight. We have everything you need to keep your cannabis fresh and tasty for months on end. Check out our wide variety of 420 Jars, stash bags, and locking storage containers.