How Long Does Weed Stay Good and How to Properly Store Marijuana
It turns out that the producers of medical cannabis put a lot of effort into keeping the results of their work for as long as possible. To extend the shelf life of any herbal product, it is necessary to create optimal storage conditions. Marijuana is no exception. According to the producers, cannabis will retain its original properties for a long time if kept in a dark, cool place, away from direct sunlight. But still, does weed go bad over time? Today we will try to understand such questions as to how long does weed stay good, and does weed go bad? Read on to find out how long does weed lasts before it goes bad. You will also find here some tips on how to store your cannabis.
How Long Does It Take for Weed to Go Bad?
How long until weed goes bad? Dried cannabis may last 6 months to a year if handled correctly (more on that later). It begins to lose its scent and power over time.
Weed loses around 16 percent of its THC after a year, according to some earlier data, and it simply keeps lowering from there:
- 26 percent THC lost after 2 years
- 34 percent THC lost after 3 years
- 41 percent THC lost after 4 years
What Can I Do If I’m Not Sure If Mine Is Old?
It’s largely due to the odor. Weed that is past its peak will have a distinct scent or will be completely devoid of it. When cannabis has been sitting for too long, it can develop an unpleasant odor and flavor.
Its look might also offer you a hint as to how old it is. When you tear off a piece of fresh cannabis, it should not crumble or feel spongy. It’s old and either too dry or too damp if it does.
It won’t hurt you if you eat it, but be aware that the texture and potency will change. The only exception is cannabis that has developed mold, which might make you sick.
What Is the Best Way to Check for Mold?
Be very careful!
Mold can be difficult to see unless you examine it extremely closely. White powdery or fuzzy specks, some of which might be quite little, are the most common symptoms.
Moldy weed generally has a musty, hay-like aroma. It also has a somewhat “off” flavor to it.
Even if your weed isn’t very old, a mold examination is recommended. Bacteria and mold were discovered on 20 cannabis samples purchased from dispensaries and pot farmers in Northern California, according to researchers from the University of California, Davis.
Mold on cannabis is unlikely to be harmful to your health, but it can produce nausea, vomiting, and coughing.
Inhaling smoke or fumes from cannabis harboring germs or fungus can cause significant disease or even death in persons with low immune systems.
Even if you recently bought it, if it looks or smells wrong, it’s best to trash it.
In Any Case, How Should I Store My Weed?
Now we will look at the key points of marijuana storage, which are worth paying attention to:
1. Ideal Temperature
Mold, fungus, and other microorganisms that can spoil marijuana actively develop at a temperature of 25-30 °C. In addition, heat can dry out plant material, rapidly evaporating cannabinoids and terpenes (the active ingredients in cannabis). The evaporation of essential oils also negatively affects the quality of cannabis: the smoke from such a product will be very caustic and unpleasant.
Hence, one of the main rules for storing marijuana: the temperature should not exceed 25 °C. But putting cannabis in a cold environment is also not recommended, because. Cold slows down the process of decarboxylation (during which THC is transformed from an acidic form to a final one). Under such conditions, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid breaks down over time and forms cannabinol, which does not have psychoactive properties (and, therefore, is less desirable).
2. Humidity Is an Important Factor
Humidity control is paramount. Even at the optimum storage temperature, the humidity of the environment can lead to the active growth of fungus and mold, which will hopelessly ruin marijuana. Creating a controlled environment with sufficient, but not excessive, levels of air humidity is a difficult task. But if it is successfully solved and a moisture content of 59-63% is achieved, the original texture, aroma, color, and taste of cannabis can be preserved.
If the air humidity is kept below 65%, this will reduce the risk of mold to a minimum. But if there is too little moisture, the essential oils from the plant material will evaporate and the trichomes will become brittle.
3. Optimum Lighting
Ultraviolet rays are the main enemy of the long-term storage of anything. Even synthetic materials are kept away from direct sunlight, let alone organic ones. Just as the lawn turns yellow at the end of a sunny summer or the paint on a car fades, cannabis also loses its properties under the influence of UV rays. Back in the 1970s, a study was conducted at the University of London, according to which scientists called ultraviolet light the main factor leading to the degradation of cannabinoids. Therefore, the optimal lighting of a room where cannabis is stored in the absence of lighting, especially natural.
4. Air Control
While hemp grows and matures, it needs oxygen. But when it comes to marijuana storage, the amount of air in the container should be limited. There must be enough air to keep the grass fresh and retain its original properties. Lack of air in the container can lead to an increase in humidity, especially if the plant material has not been sufficiently dried. In such cases, it is recommended to periodically open and ventilate the container so that moisture does not accumulate inside.
On the other hand, if there is too much oxygen, cannabinoids degrade faster. The risk of oxidation can be minimized by using sealed containers or special equipment equipped with a pump.
So, given the factors affecting the safety of marijuana, industry experts have formulated several basic rules:
- Store marijuana in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- Use containers made from materials that cannot store static charge (e.g. glass jars).
- Measure and control air humidity with a hygrometer or other equipment.
- Use airtight jars and containers to minimize exposure to oxygen.
- Store marijuana of different varieties separately to preserve the individual taste characteristics of the product.
- Keep track of market novelties. The cannabis industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth, and manufacturers of related products regularly release new products that make it easier to store marijuana.
Here Is What Is Not Recommended:
- Store marijuana in the refrigerator. Sharp fluctuations in temperature and air humidity only increase the risk of mold and mildew.
- Store in the freezer. Freezing has an extremely negative effect on the condition of trichomes, they become brittle and fragile.
- Use plastic bags and containers. Plastic accumulates static electricity. The electric charge attracts the trichomes, and as a result, most of them will remain on the walls of the container. Therefore, plastic bags and plastic containers are only good for the short-term storage of small amounts of marijuana.
- Store near electronics or home appliances that generate heat during operation. A kitchen cabinet or a shelf above the TV is not the best place for a stash.
- Store pipes, grinders, and other accessories with marijuana. On the surface of such a device, there is a certain amount of tar, ash, and other combustion products that have an unpleasant odor. Such a “neighborhood” will almost certainly harm the taste and aroma of marijuana.
These recommendations are only effective when it comes to storing cannabis in its traditional form. Concerning food products with cannabinoids, they cannot be stored for a long time, because. Most of these goods are perishable. It is necessary to follow the recommendations of the manufacturers indicated on the packaging. Most often, the storage conditions and shelf life of products with cannabis are the same as for analogs (regular cookies, lollipops, chocolate, etc.).
Concentrates (tinctures or oils) are not afraid of mold, which somewhat simplifies their storage. But manufacturers tend to play it safe and store them the same way as regular marijuana to preserve the original properties and avoid contamination of the product.
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The content on this channel does not form a professional opinion, recommendation, substitute for consulting a specialist, or receiving medical advice. Cannabis is a dangerous drug, as defined in the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, for all that assumes. Four Hundred and Twenty does not encourage or recommend consuming any substance and will not be responsible for any such use.
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