It’s time to answer the age-long question of, “How long does weed last?” Many smokers have often wondered whether their weed goes bad. In general, marijuana flowers have a long shelf life and can be smoked even years after they’ve been harvested.
So, if you find an old bag of weed in your closet or cupboard, can you still smoke it? Is it still safe to smoke and — more importantly — will it still give you that high that you are craving for? If you’re using weed as medication, will the cannabis flowers still be effective, and what does it do to one’s endocannabinoid system?
Let’s find out the answer to these questions below!
How Long Does Weed Last?
Studies conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime have looked at how long THC, CBD and other terpenes last. These drug tests found that:
- THC degraded by 16.6% after one year, 26.8% after two years, 34.5% after three years and 41.4% after four years. Anyone who tries to smoke weed that’s been sitting for over four years is not likely to get much of a weed high from the smoke.
- The CBN to THC percentage ratio was also affected. It was at 2.5 after one year, 6.7 after two years, 9.4 after three years and 14.2 after four years.
The amount of THC and CBD found in the weed would affect how long your high would last. It would also affect the body processes that are affected.
It’s important to note that the terpenes in weed also degrade with time. The longer that you store weed, the less flavorful it becomes. Terpenes also offer many health benefits as well. For example, Limonene which is often found in marijuana with a citrus scent and taste can help treat depression.
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How Do You Know If Your Weed Has Gone Bad?
If you’ve found an old bag of weed hidden in the back of a closet or in a cupboard, how can you tell whether the kush is still smokeable or whether you need to throw it out? Here are several factors that affect the shelf life of marijuana:
- Is there mold on the weed? If the kush was stored in an environment that is too humid, it might start to get moldy. There are many different ways that you can use to determine if your weed is moldy, but if you’re a cannabis connoisseur, you’ll likely be able to eyeball it. Tokers need to be on the lookout for two things: powdery mildew (PM) and mold. Mold will often look like cobwebs within the buds, and PM will look like dusted starch or powder. Smokers should also keep an eye out for dark spots, yellow or gray fuzz and even slime. Another way to tell if weed is moldy is to smell it. If it smells like human urine or even sweat, that’s a good sign that the weed needs to be tossed out. Never smoke moldy weed.
- Is the ganja dried out? If it crumbles into dust when you’re trying to break it apart, that’s a sign that it needs to be thrown out. It’s simply too old. Technically speaking, you can still smoke dried out marijuana. It’s bad in the sense that you won’t get much out of it. It’s not something that we’d advise though.
If you’re ever on the fence, ask someone who is a more seasoned toker for their opinion. If you have any further questions, you can even contact us, and we’ll try our best to help!
The Dangers of Smoking Moldy Marijuana
It’s never a good idea to smoke moldy weed. Those who smoked marijuana that’s moldy will often experience negative side effects and consequences. Those who smoke moldy weed are consuming tens of thousands of nasty microbials.
In the worst case scenario, you could end up hospitalized with a serious lung infection. Other symptoms of smoking moldy buds include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulties breathing
- Gastrointestinal issues
The effects of smoking moldy weed is especially dangerous for older patients and those with a weakened immune system. These individuals may not be strong enough to fight off the infection. If you fall into one of these demographics, know that the effects of smoking moldy weed stays in your system for quite some time.
What You Can Do to Make Your Cannabis Buds Last Longer
If you’ve ever taken advantage of one of our bundle deals, like our AAA Quarter Pound Mix and Match, you might have a lot more cannabis flowers on your hands than you can finish. Even if you’re a daily smoker, it can take some time to put a dent in that much weed.
So, what can you do to make sure that your buds stay fresh and potent? Let’s take a look at several suggestions.
Boveda packs can keep the cannabis buds potent and good to the last nug. You can prevent the terpenes from degrading by merely adding a boveda pack to your jars when storing them.
Boveda packs use a reverse osmosis membrane to control and maintain the relative humidity within the jars to anywhere between 58% and 62%. That’s the sweet spot for keeping your nugs fresher for much longer.
Even if you’ve purchased a large quantity of the same weed strain, it’s always a good idea to store your cannabis in multiple jars instead of one big one. The reason for this is that you want to eliminate and reduce the amount of airspace that is within the jar. Air will oxidize your stash and degrade the terpenes and chemical profile of the weed. Separating your stash into smaller jars will help keep your nugs fresher for a longer amount of time.
When choosing a jar, make sure that you look for one that’s airtight as well. Glass is king when it comes to marijuana storage, and Mason jars will do a great job at ensuring that your cannabis stays fresh. Mason jars will essentially vacuum seal the weed. Glass is not your only option. Many smokers claim that either glass or ceramic will do a good job of storing cannabis products.
Storing different strains of weed in different jars will also ensure that there’s no cross-contamination in terms of flavor and odor.
Be mindful of where you store your marijuana flowers. Studies have shown that CBD and THC will last longer and will degrade slower when stored in dark environments and at low temperatures. These two factors will affect how long your weed last.
There’s a reason why marijuana smokers like to store their weed in their cupboards or at the back of the closet! It not only keeps their stash away from prying hands and mooching hands, but the cool, dark environment also keeps the cannabis more potent and fresh for a longer period of time.
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To sum it all up, it is possible for weed to go bad. With that said, marijuana has a long storage period. You can keep it for a fairly long time before it’ll even start to go bad or degrade.
To prevent your weed from going bad, make sure that you store it properly. With a little care and diligence, you can preserve the integrity, quality and condition of various marijuana strains for a longer period of time.
If you have any questions about storage, please don’t hesitate to reach out to CannabudPost. We are one of the top mail order marijuana (MOM) dispensaries in Canada, and can help you figure out whether your weed is still good to smoke.