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How Long Does Weed Stay Good and Does It Expire?

by in Medical Cannabis News, Medical Marijuana July 20, 2022

All-natural products are susceptible to losing their quality and potency over time. There are a variety of different factors such as being exposed to sunlight, air, and high humidity that are known to accelerate this process.

Weed is no exception to the rule since it is a natural product. Although it can stay good longer than most products, such as milk which turns sour quickly, weed does expire, losing some of its THC and CBD content over long periods of time. When marijuana is devoid of its essential cannabinoids, you will miss out on the beneficial effects people usually experience.

In that case, cannabis should be stored with diligence like other natural products in order to preserve its natural composition.

How Long Does Weed Stay Good?

When stored like it is supposed to, dried cannabis can usually stay good between 6-12 months. After a full year of storage, the weed starts to lose around 16 percent of its THC content. THC loss increases over time. Here is a breakdown of how much loss usually occurs:

  • After 2 years, 26% of THC is lost
  • After 3 years, 34% of THC is lost
  • After 4 years, 41% of THC is lost

This translates to less potency and diminishing potential benefits from medical marijuana. If you’re not properly storing it, this process can cause your medical marijuana to go bad even quicker and cause more THC loss over long periods of time.

Important Signs Your Weed May Be Going Bad or Has Expired

There are many ways to check if your cannabis has gone bad. The first way you can tell if your weed is going bad is if you start to notice fuzzy white or grayish spots or some significant discoloration. These spots are mold, which can grow if the marijuana has been exposed to high moisture. Unfortunately, you will have to get rid of your weed in this case as inhaling or smoking mold can be a serious health hazard.

In other cases, you should check the smell and texture of your weed. Sometimes your weed may simply have gotten too dry. You can tell if this is the case if it crumbles between your fingers. On the other hand, if it feels too spongy, it could mean it has picked up some moisture and might be on its way to becoming moldy and unusable. Moving it to a dry, air-tight location as soon as possible could give you the best chance of saving it for a longer period of time. You may also consider using any that you currently have and getting a new batch.

Another sign that your marijuana is losing potency is if it doesn’t smell as strong as it did when you initially bought it. This signals that there has been a loss in the natural terpenes that give each strain of marijuana its distinctive smell.

With the exception of moldy weed, marijuana can still be consumed even when you do notice some of these signs, although it will be less potent and have milder effects. In fact, older cannabis is higher in CBN, which is an oxidized form of CBD that increases sedation.

How to Keep Your Cannabis Fresh

There are many ways to help prolong marijuana shelf life. The main thing is to control the factors that accelerate the decomposition of cannabis. These factors are temperature, humidity, oxygen, and light. 

Under normal circumstances, you don’t need to invest big to have the perfect container for your buds. A nicely sealed, airtight glass jar or container kept in a cool place away from sunlight does the job and is your best bet to make sure your weed stays good. Most dispensaries will give you directions on how to store your marijuana for long periods and provide you with containers. However, jars of this quality are widely available and are traditionally used to store other herbs or similar products.

Keeping marijuana safe from the effects of humidity might be a nuisance for people who live in an environment that is very humid, but it does make a big difference in how fast the products expire. Weed is best kept at a humidity level between 59 and 63 percent. Higher levels might cause molding. Using humidity packs is a simple solution to control humidity. However, if you need to go the extra mile for humidity control, there are some humidors designed to store marijuana at optimal humidity levels to improve the shelf life. High temperature can also get to your weed since heat can dry out your cannabis. The ideal recommended storing temperature for weed is below 70 degrees. Freezing temperatures can damage the precious trichomes, which are small hairs that hold cannabinoids and terpenes on your cannabis. 

Light and oxygen are also major agents of decomposition, so make sure you leave your cannabis in a closely sealed container and in a dark place where direct sunlight cannot penetrate. Lastly, opt for containers made of glass rather than plastic ones. The chemicals in plastic might get infused into cannabis and cause a change in the taste and smell. Plastic also holds static electricity, which could harm the delicate trichomes on your buds.

Keep It Stored Properly

For a better medical marijuana experience, you should make sure to take care of your weed and always keep it stored properly so that it stays good for as long as possible. Marijuana does have a pretty good shelf life, but it can still expire if you’re not careful. How long it lasts depends on a number of factors, with storage being the most important. The decomposition process can cause your weed to lose its pleasant taste and smell and, worse, cause you to miss out on some of the beneficial effects. Not getting these benefits would defeat the purpose of getting medical marijuana in the first place. 

Discover the world of Ozark MMJ Cards for more information on medical marijuana. If you have any questions or are looking to get treated for a qualifying condition, contact us to start your certification process today to receive your medical marijuana card.

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