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Does Marijuana Have An Expiration Date?

Take care of your weed like you do other drugs and valuable items in your home by storing it properly. Here’s how.

With so much information about the critical role and impact cannabis has on our health and general well-being, everyone wants to know if it expires. Well, weed doesn’t go bad the way your bottle of milk and other food items go bad, but it can be “moldy” sometimes.

Moldy and/or old weed, when taken, may not lead to damaging health issues, but it can affect you if you have underlying health conditions. If you are 100% healthy, you will observe that it isn’t as potent as when it was still fresh. Older weed also has a different feel, taste, and texture, making it quite unappealing to users. You wouldn’t like such moldy weed hence the reason it is advised that you don’t keep your weed for too long. So how long should you store your weed? And how long does weed stay fresh?

How long does weed stay fresh?

If you store the weed properly, it can remain suitable for six months to 1 year. After this stated period, the dried weed starts to lose its potency and aroma. Works of research suggests that weed loses 16% of THC when it is left for an entire year, and it continually drops from there.

From 16% at one year, it gets to 26% THC lost in two years, and 34% THC lost in three years. If you leave the weed for more than four years, you will lose 41% THC. What’s the purpose of weed without THC? Why would you keep the weed for that long?

In some cases, it is possible that you unintentionally left the weed; maybe you traveled for a long time or forgot that you had weed. Regardless of the reason, you should be intentional with how you use your weed such that if you will not use it within six months, don’t buy it.

How can I tell if my weed is old?

The smell

The first sign that your weed is old is its smell. The weed that has stayed for too long will have a different scent and an entirely different aroma from what you initially bought.

Some weeds may also have a harsh smell and taste, which can be a significant turn-over for anyone. Please pay attention to your weed’s aroma when you first buy it so you can tell the difference between a fresh weed and a thick weed.

The appearance

Next are the weed’s outlook and appearance, which gives you an indication that it is too old. Fresh weed doesn’t crumble or look spongy when you break a part of it: if any of these happens, it is too old. If it seems too dry or even too moist, it has become too old for use.

Feeling sick after consumption

We hope you don’t get to this third sign because it is unpleasant, but it is also a sign of old weed. If you consume old weed, you might feel unwell afterward: the primary symptom will be an upset stomach. If you are unsure how long you’ve left the weed, please don’t consume it to avoid this unpleasant experience.

Cannabis 101: How To Tell If Your Marijuana Is Moldy
Photo by Flickr user Thomas Bresson

How can I check for mold on my weed?

When searching for molds, you must do it carefully as it is possible to miss the molds. Molds can be hard to see unless you take a more careful and closer look. You will see small, white fuzzy spots on the weed that has a powdery feel when you look closely. Molds also have a musty smell that will remind you of hay.

RELATED: Cannabis 101: How To Tell If Your Marijuana Is Moldy

Now, if your weed is not very old, it is still advisable that you do a mold inspection as sometimes molds appear on weed even when they are not very old. If you consume the molds on weeds, you will experience coughing, vomiting, and nausea.

For those with a weak immune system, inhaling the smoke or vapors of mold-infested weed can cause damaging illness and sometimes death (when it is taken excessively). Generally, if it looks or smells terribly, please toss it (even if it isn’t old).

How can I store my weed properly?

Now we need to learn the correct way to store weed, and there are some things you should know. Oxygen, temperature, humidity, and light affect your cannabis immensely, from its taste to its aroma and even potency.

Therefore to store weed safely without the negative impacts we’ve discussed, you should do the following:

Purchase the right jars

Please don’t use plastic bags to store your weed because they have static that affects the weed’s trichomes. Trichomes are the parts of the plant that produces cannabinoids and terpenes, and without these properties, the weed will lose its potency.

RELATED: Cannabis Pro-Tips: 8 Ways To Properly Store Marijuana For Freshness

The best storage option for weed is a glass jar: this is airtight, it doesn’t have a static charge, and limits the weed’s exposure to oxygen. Glass jars are also inexpensive and easily accessible for purchase.

marijuana is a lot more than just thc
Assorted cannabis bud strains.
Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com

Observe the humidity of your location

When you store the weed, monitor the location’s humidity: it should be at 59-63% and not more than this. If it goes beyond this percentage, you will trap too much moisture inside the container, thus encouraging mold growth.

If you are unsure about the humidity, please get a humidity pack for the containers you use, one meant for cannabis, and you would get it right.

Keep the weed in a cool, dry, and dark place

Weed should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place away from sunlight. If you place the weed under sunlight, it will break down, and molds will start to grow on it. Keep it in the dark place like a cabinet at a temperature below 77°F.

Don’t keep it in the freezer

Your weed will become brittle and easily break off if you put it in a refrigerator. The refrigerator also exposes the weed to excess moisture, which leads to molds’ build-up, so avoid refrigerators.

Bottom line

Cannabis is fast becoming a treasured product because of its versatility to us both as a medicinal agent or recreational product. Take care of it like you do other drugs and valuable items in your home by storing it properly. Keep weed in a sealed container, safe from heat, sunlight, and moisture. With these safety tips and strategies, you can have very fresh and potent weed that can last up to a year.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

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