Does weed expire? Absolutely! Even when properly cured, marijuana has a limited shelf life. Typical estimates for how long weed lasts range from one to two years.
A one to two-year estimate presumes you know how to store weed properly and that you use adequate weed containers. Otherwise, you could quickly find that your bud has grown a crop of mold. Or, your weed will become less potent as a result of exposure. THC gradually breaks down into CBN (cannabinol), which makes you intensely sleepy rather than mentally stimulated. Heat, exposure to light, and excess oxygen will all quicken this decomposition.
To protect your cannabis, you will need to know about the best way to store weed and all the factors that can hurt its freshness.
How Does Weed Expire? The 4 Factors You Have to Worry About
There are four main factors that can ruin your stored marijuana:Humidity
Humidity allows mold spores to grow which can be toxic when smoked. Too high humidity causes this to happen quickly.
Extreme temperature differences can also cause air to release its moisture, making mold more likely to grow. For this reason, controlling humidity and avoiding temperature contrasts are both important.Light
Sunlight is the single most destructive thing that can happen to marijuana and its prized cannabinoids. You can see how much damage light does to a car seat or a piece of furniture that has been exposed day in, day out for years. That same damage causes cannabinoids to oxidize or break down from heat.
Luckily, keeping your weed out of the light is as simple as finding an opaque container or storing it in a drawer.Temperature
Hot temperatures can rapidly break down cannabinoids, turning your THC into CBN. Ideally, your bud will be stored around 20 °C to 30 °C to avoid this problem.
Also, remember that keeping marijuana in too cold conditions can lead to temperature differences that encourage mold to grow. Freezing temperatures will cause your trichomes to break off and can damage the chemical composition of cannabinoids.Air
Air is critical for curing weed, but after it is cured, too much air can be a bad thing. Oxygen has a habit of stealing electrons from materials, causing deterioration like rusting or dry rot. It will also dry out the oils that carry weed’s cannabinoids, making them taste harsh and lessening their potency.
You either want a small amount of dry oxygen within sealed weed containers or no oxygen by way of a vacuum sealed container.
How to Keep Weed Fresh and Avoid the Big 4 Damaging Factors
When wondering “does weed expire?” realize that your expiration date will be a lot farther away when you know how to store weed the right way.
Here are five tips to help you learn how to keep weed fresh and the best way to store weed:
- Ensure your weed is completely cured – If you get weed that is still “wet” or fresh, hang it upside down for three to four days. Then, place it in a sealed container and “burp” the container by opening the lid every two days or so, which releases the humid air.
- Get a relative humidity monitor – The ideal relative humidity (RH) range for cured cannabis is between 59% to 63%. You can maintain this level using desiccant products or by purchasing a special humidor-type container.
- Keep your weed in a sealed container – The last thing you want is air exchange. Keep air sealed in tight with a jar or other types of weed containers that lock in freshness.
- Don’t use plastic or cedar – Glass is the best material for storing weed, since it’s easy to seal and doesn’t transfer bad flavors, unlike plastic or wood containers like a cedar cigar humidor.
- Store in a cool place without light – Most people stash their weed out of sight, which is great. Opt for a closet or drawer on a lower level of the house. Higher levels tend to collect heat. Also, avoid proximity to electronics or other heat sources that can cause temperature differences.
What About the Best Way to Store Weed Concentrates and Hemp Seed Products?
Cannabis concentrates like CBD oil has less organic material than plants and they also tend to prevent oxygen from touching everything but the surface. These properties make them far less vulnerable to factors like oxygen and humidity but they aren’t invulnerable. You want to keep them airtight, out of sunlight, and within a good temperature range for maximum shelf life.
As for products like hemp seeds, use the same storage practices you would for weed. Whole hemp seeds are especially vulnerable because they contain oils and fats that can go rancid after prolonged exposure to heat, light, or oxygen.
Now that marijuana will be legal for recreational use in Canada on October 17th, 2019, knowing how to keep weed fresh is more important than ever. Preserve your product to save your money and enjoy the best quality cannabis and a cannabis-rich lifestyle.
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