We’ve all been there. You buy a large quantity of weed and store it away somewhere safe until you need more. Or, you stash it away for safekeeping and forget where you stored it all together!
Both scenarios are quite common and leave many cannabis users asking the question, does weed go bad? And if weed does have an expiry date, what are the signs that its gone bad?
The simple answer to this question is yes, weed does go bad. This is especially true if it has not been properly stored. If weed is improperly stored and left for a long period of time, the bud can become stale or lose its THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) potency. THC is the cannabinoid that gets you high. So, yes, weed can go bad.
Why Does Weed Go Bad?
Now that you know the answer to the question “does weed go bad?”, you’re probably wondering what causes it to go bad. You’re also wondering: how long does it take for your stash to dry out?
The main cause of your weed going bad is because of improper storage. But, before we talk about the importance and different methods of properly storing your weed, you should understand a little bit about the chemical compounds that are in marijuana and how these compounds can change if they’re exposed to certain environments.
The cannabis plant consists of a wide variety of compounds including cannabinoids and terpenes. Both compounds serve specific purposes. In addition to this, when they’re combined, they produce a unique high.
As the cannabis plant grows, it produces a substance called cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) This substance is then synthesized by enzymes in the cannabis plant and is turned into one of three major cannabinoids: THCA, CBDA or CBCA. These cannabinoids are then cured (activated by light or heat) to create the THC or CBD (Cannabidiol) that we are all familiar with!
The potency of cannabis largely depends on the strain of weed, how it is harvested, and the process of how it is cured. If cannabis is exposed to excessive heat or light during storage, the chemical oils are broken down and the weed becomes less potent. This is because the THC content is broken down.
This effect also occurs to weed naturally over time if it isn’t stored properly— the oils in cannabis evaporate or lose their potency if they are exposed to heat or light. Dried cannabis is like other dried herbs, in that the herb’s natural content will continue to break down. This is especially true if the cannabis isn’t stored at the right temperature or away from natural light.
So, does weed go bad? Yes, weed can go bad if the compounds in the cannabis are altered in any way. When this happens, the potency of THC will be reduced, and, in some cases, the oils will evaporate. This means you won’t receive the same high that you would have if you had smoked the bud fresh!
Signs That Your Weed Has Gone Bad
Now that we’ve covered the answer to the question “can weed go bad?”, let’s talk about what signs to look for to know if your weed has gone bad.
There are some telltale signs to look for. The most common ways to test if your weed has gone bad involve the following four factors: look, smell, taste, and feel.
- Look: Good quality weed should be green in colour with flecks of orange, and sometimes purple. If your weed is brown, or dull looking, your weed could be stale and dried up. Another thing to look for is mold! Keep an eye out for grey and white clusters of mold (yuck!).
- Smell: We all know the fragrant smell of fresh weed, which is partly in thanks to the terpenes in cannabis. If your weed doesn’t have a variety of flavorful smells or if it has no smell at all, there’s good chance that your weed has gone stale. If your weed smells musty or anything like mold, toss it away!
- Taste: Like smell, if your weed has gone bad, it won’t taste as flavorful as it should. It won’t hurt you to smoke the weed— but it won’t taste as good and may not get you high (the THC content will be low if the weed is stale).
- Feel: Handling your weed is a good way to know if it has gone bad. If your weed is crumbling into pieces, the oils have all dried out. If it is heavy and moist, the weed has been exposed to too much moisture and could contain mold.
So, the next time you or someone that you know stumbles upon a stash of old weed and asks “does weed go bad?”, you can use this checklist to test it.
How to Properly Store Your Weed
Now that you’re no longer wondering “does weed go bad?”, let’s talk about how you can prevent your weed from going bad. The obvious way is to smoke it quickly! (Which isn’t usually a problem for most of us.)
But, if you’re left with a large stash of weed and need to store it away for a while, make sure that you properly store the weed so that it stays fresh and retains the THC content.
According to Hightimes.com, the best way to store your weed is in an airtight container, either in a glass jar like a mason jar or in a solid container. If you prefer to store your weed in a glass container, make sure that it is kept in a dark space and away from any light source or humidity. Light degrades the content of THC and will drastically reduce the potency of your weed over time.
For long-term storage, an opaque, dark coloured jar is the best option it keeps both light and moisture away from the weed.
It’s recommended that you don’t store your weed in a plastic bag. This is because weed can absorb the smell and taste of the plastic and can alter the quality of the product.
Another important factor to consider when storing your weed is to make sure that no air can get at it. This is because it will dry out the bud (through evaporation).
Does Weed Go Bad in The Fridge or Freezer?
Although it’s a popular way to store weed, you should never store your weed in the fridge or freezer. The temperature and humidity levels fluctuate too much and you run the risk of your weed becoming moldy with the added moisture.
Some people still believe that this technique slows down the aging process and keeps your weed fresh, but it actually does the opposite. Check out Herb.co to find out why.
We hope this has answered your question “does weed go bad?” and has explained how the chemical compound of weed can change over time.