How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?
Believe it or not, your weed has enemies. These enemies want to rob you of your stash and sour your cannabis experience. Who are these enemies, and how can you prevent them from ruining your marijuana? The team at Fast Slice wants to help you keep your stash fresh and prevent it from spoiling. Yes, weed can go bad, and when it does, it can ruin the taste and texture of your marijuana. Spoilage can also lead to other undesirable consequences. How long does weed stay fresh? We have the ultimate guide to help you preserve your favorite cannabis products.
Understanding Cannabis Freshness
Yes, cannabis has a shelf life. Although popular culture would have you believe that you can still smoke that weed you hid in your sock drawer years ago, the truth is marijuana has an expiration date. Weed past its prime can taste and smell sour or “off.” It can also significantly lose its potency. Not only can the quality of marijuana degrade over time, but with improper storage techniques, it can also potentially make you ill.
Factors Affecting the Shelf Life of Cannabis
Your weed has natural enemies. These enemies can degrade the potency and quality of your marijuana products and cause spoilage and mold. What causes weed to spoil? The answer is air, moisture, light, and heat.
Do you know how an apple turns brown when you cut into it, and the flesh is exposed to air? The process is called oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction between oxygen, certain enzymes, and phenols. Oxidation degrades the quality of numerous food products, including marijuana, and can cause off-flavors and odors.
Moisture and humidity can also degrade the quality of marijuana. Ideally, it would be best if you stored marijuana flower at about 59 to 63 percent relative humidity. When there is excess humidity or moisture in the air, it promotes the growth of mold.
Light is another enemy of freshness. Storing marijuana in direct sunlight breaks down the flower, causing it to deteriorate and lose freshness and potency. Keeping marijuana in a hot environment can also degrade the quality of your product.
The Shelf Life of Cannabis
So, how long is the shelf life of cannabis? It depends on how you store it. Under ideal storage conditions, marijuana flower remains fresh for between six months to a year. Beyond one year, the potency of the weed begins to degrade along with flavor and aroma.
Edibles are an entirely different story. Since these are food products, these items spoil much faster than flower. Some edibles, like gummies, can stay fresh for three to six months when kept in an airtight container. Other edibles like cookies or brownies tend to spoil much faster.
Vape cartridges are more shelf-stable than flower and significantly more shelf-stable than edibles. The shelf life of most carts is between six months to two years when stored properly.
How to Tell If Your Weed Has Gone Bad
How can you tell when you’ve got bad weed? These common signs can alert you that your marijuana has spoiled or gone bad.
- Loss of aroma or “off” odor
- Dry or crumbling flower
- Visible mold or a musty smell
Fresh marijuana should never have an off-putting odor or crumble between your fingertips. Any marijuana that gives off a musty aroma or has visible signs of mold growth should be tossed immediately.
Testing the Freshness of Your Weed
Fresh weed should feel soft to the touch, never dry or brittle. Fresh cannabis should also have a potent aroma that hints at the flavor notes of the strain you purchased. For example, Hindu Kush should smell earthy and almost spicy. Sour Diesel should give off an intense aroma of pepper and diesel.
Health Risks of Old Cannabis
Most of the time, consuming old cannabis won’t hurt you. It has simply lost its potency, aroma, and flavor. At best, consuming old cannabis makes for a lackluster and disappointing experience. However, consuming moldy cannabis can cause significant health complications, especially for those with compromised immune systems.
Consuming moldy weed can lead to nausea, vomiting, and coughing. Inhaling smoke or vapors from moldy marijuana can lead to severe respiratory illnesses and potentially death. Smoking moldy week can also trigger an allergic reaction in certain people.
Best Practices for Storing Weed for Longevity
Want to keep your marijuana fresher longer? Start by storing it in the correct type of container. Ditch the plastic kitchen baggies and opt for containers like glass jars with an airtight seal. You can also store weed in bags with resealable zipper seals. Weed is best kept in a cool, dark, and dry location. Use resealable bags made from mylar with a dark coating to keep out the light. The same is true for jars. Although clear glass works, you can also find airtight jars made with tinted glass or that feature a dark coating on the glass.
Preserve your stash and avoid storing it near sources of moisture or in areas with high humidity. If you live in a humid environment, you may want to consider using humidity control packs or cannabis humidors. These products help maintain ideal humidity levels to help prevent mold growth.
What to Do If You Suspect You Consumed Non-Fresh Weed
Always check the manufacturer’s expiration date on the package before ingesting or smoking anything. If you aren’t storing your weed in the original packaging, pick up labels and write the expiration date on the label before adhering it to your storage container.
In most cases, consuming old weed won’t cause any significant or long-term damage. However, if you have a compromised immune system, auto-immune disease, mold allergy, or other health condition, talk to your doctor. Consuming moldy weed can cause potentially life-threatening complications in some people. Better to be safe than sorry. Seek medical attention.
Grab a Slice
You’ll never have to worry about consuming old weed again when you have Fast Slice at your disposal. Fast Slice is D.C.’s premier cannabis delivery and curbside pickup service. We have the freshest products and can discreetly deliver them to your door! Call us today.