Does Weed Go Bad?
Sometimes we forget about the weed we stored in the back of our pantry all those months ago.
Luckily, weed doesn’t tend to go bad. At least, not in the traditional sense, and not if it’s stored correctly. However, whether your weed is “bad” or not depends a lot on what you define as “bad”.
Unfortunately, there are some negatives to storing weed for too long, and for some people, this may be a complete no-go. But others may not be so worried.
Regardless on your definition, let’s get into what exactly happens to your weed while it’s in storage…
How long does weed stay fresh?
If you’ve stored your weed properly, then you should expect it to stay fresh for up to 6 months – or in the best cases, a year! Over time, weed will begin to lose its potency and aroma, though. So, watch out for that.
After one whole year of storage, here’s what you can expect in terms of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) potency:
- Up to 16% lost after one year
- Up to 26% lost after two years
- Up to 34% lost after three years
- And a staggering 41% lost after four years
With figures like these, you can understand why you may be urged to consume your weed sooner, rather than later.
What happens to old weed?
Aside from losing some of its potency, we’ve already discussed that weed doesn’t necessarily go “bad”. It’s unlikely that old weed will cause you any harm when consumed, unlike what you’d expect from food.
Cannabis that has been cured and dried properly (find some tips on this here!) isn’t a desirable breeding ground for the microorganisms you’d expect to find in old food. However, there are a few things that may occur.
For a start, your weed will not look as aesthetically pleasing as it did when it was first stored. The bud will be brown, discolored, and disheveled. This, for some, can make its consumption a little less than ideal.
So, if you’re in a position to, you may find that purchasing new bud would be more worth your time.
There’s an exception for edibles!
While old, dried cannabis is perfectly safe to consume, the same cannot be said for edibles! But it’s important to note that this isn’t the fault of the cannabis content.
It’s the other ingredients present in most edibles that can make them unsafe. Eggs, milk, and anything with an expiration date will spoil if left for too long. To avoid any uncomfortable situations, please make sure that you throw away anything that you know has been left for a little too long.
No one wants their edibles to make them ill.
How should weed be stored?
While weed won’t spoil, per se, it’s still important to store them correctly. Doing so will ensure that your weed stays fresh for longer.
The most important thing to remember is that cannabis should be stored in an airtight container. Many cannabis users will recommend using a clear mason jar or glass container of some sort. This ensures that there’s no change to the flavour as a result of the storage method. However, any airtight container will work!
You should also make sure that your weed is stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. You want to keep your buds away from those harmful UV rays and any moisture, after all. If you’re looking to go the extra mile, investing in humidity packs can also be beneficial in helping remove moisture from your weed.
You can even vacuum seal your weed if you know it’s in for an extended time in storage!
What if your weed gets moldy?
If you spot any mold on your weed, you should consider not using it. Seriously.
Moldy weed is a sign of improper storage and too much moisture. Besides being an incredibly unpleasant experience, it can also be a dangerous one (especially for those with health problems).
If you’re worried that your weed may be moldy – simply check it! Mold can be difficult to spot sometimes, so just take a long, hard look for any white, fuzzy spots on your weed. If you’re unsure just by looking, then fear not – moldy weed can also have a musty smell that almost resembles hay. Not something you’re likely to want to start smoking. And, in the very worst case, you’ll be able to tell something’s off when you start smoking it – so, if it tastes a little “off”, stop!
It’s always best to check your weed, even if it isn’t that old. Mold can develop in even the newest batches of cannabis if it isn’t stored well.
You be the judge…
At the end of the day, what constitutes “bad weed” will differ from person to person. If you’re okay with lowered potency, then it’ll be fine for you.
Just make sure to check your storage methods – if you’re not using an airtight container in a cool, dry place, then start doing so! It’ll only help your weed last longer.
For the most part, smoking old or low-quality weed won’t harm you… It’ll just be a less enjoyable experience than getting your hands on the fresh stuff.