Back in the days before the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis, consumers would seek out their connection and purchase enough marijuana to last until the next time they could meet up with that person.
It may have been enough to last a couple of weeks or maybe a month. Then you would repeat this process as soon as your stash got low. You really didn’t have to worry about your weed getting old or expiring because you would often finish it before it had a chance to go bad.
Today, consumers enjoy much easier access to cannabis as a result of its expanding legalization across the country. With this comes the luxury of being able to stock up on our favorite strains to make sure we have enough for a rainy day, so to speak.
Naturally, this brings up questions like:
- How long does weed last?
- Does weed get old?
- Does weed expire?
- Do vape carts go bad?
- How can I preserve my weed?
So, if you like to accumulate and store your weed – to enjoy at a later date, we’re going to share some tips on how to maximize the life of your cannabis products. Let’s begin by answering the question: does weed get old?
Does Weed Get Old?
It is the flower of the cannabis plant that is rich in THC. It’s this cannabis flower that’s commonly referred to as weed. And just like any other type of flower its shelf life is limited.
There’s a time after harvest, when cannabis flower will be at its peak when it comes to flavor, freshness, and effects. Then, as time passes, its potency, flavor, and potential health benefits will slowly be degraded.
Does Weed Expire?
Yes, cannabis flower can reach a point where it is considered expired. After some time, your weed will degrade to the point where it will provide little, to no, medicinal or recreational benefits.
The same is true for various types of cannabis products. Some last longer than others, but ultimately, all cannabis products will reach a point where you are better off throwing it away and buying some fresh stuff.
How Long Does Weed Last?
If you take the steps to properly store your cannabis flower, it is possible to extend the life of your weed. This would require that you store it in an airtight container. You’ll also want to keep that container in a place where your bud is protected from sunlight, heat, and moisture. We’ll talk about the best types of containers in a bit.
If you store your weed the right way, it is possible that it could retain most of its flavor and effects for up to six months. After that it will begin to degrade. As far as how quickly this happens, here’s what research has to say.
In 1999, researchers at the University of Mississippi found that the THC in cannabis loses about 16% of potency after one year, and 26% after two years. After four years, the potency of cannabis drops by 41%.1
What Are Some Signs of Old Weed?
Let’s say you’ve held on to your weed for a bit too long. Now, you might wonder if it’s still good. Here are three things you can consider to help determine if your weed is expired.
How Does It Smell?
If you open your container of cannabis flower and notice a pleasant aroma, that’s a good sign that your weed is still good. If you open your cannabis container and don’t smell anything, then it’s possible your weed has expired.
How Does It Look?
If your weed looks yellow or brown, or has a dull look to it, that’s a sign your cannabis may be old. If your weed has a dull gray or white powdery appearance, that could be an indication of mold. If you think this might be the case, give it a quick sniff. If it smells like mildew or hay, you may have moldy weed.
How Does It Feel?
Your cannabis flower should not be dry and brittle. If you give your flower a gentle squeeze and it crumbles, that’s a sign your weed might be expired.
Can You Smoke Old Weed?
Sure, it is possible to smoke or vape your old weed but you probably don’t want to do that. Here’s why.
Not only will this old weed provide a poor cannabis experience, but you’ll also miss out on the potential health and recreational benefits of the cannabinoids and terpenes in your marijuana. You’ll likely end up with some harsh smoke that has no flavor and leaves you feeling tired.
It’s not uncommon for those who smoke old weed to get headaches. Even worse, you could end up smoking some moldy weed. So, when in doubt – throw it out!
Do Edibles Expire?
Yes, cannabis infused edibles do expire – especially baked goods which contain milk and eggs. If you make your own cannabis cookies or brownies at home, they can expire after a few days. The cannabis-infused baked goods you buy at the dispensary may last a bit longer, due to the use of preservatives, but will also expire. The expiration date will usually be listed on the product wrapper or package.
Other types of edibles, like candies and gummies, will last longer. Generally, you can expect your THC gummies and candies to be good anywhere between six months to a year. Time to expiration will vary according to product, so be sure to always check the expiration date of your edible before consumption.
Do Carts Expire?
The term “carts” refers to cannabis vape cartridges. Other names for vape cartridges include THC carts and weed carts. These cartridges are filled with cannabis infused oils and concentrates that have a much longer shelf life than cannabis flower or THC edibles.
Do Weed Carts Expire?
Although cannabis vape cartridges, or vape carts, have a longer shelf life than flower – they can still expire. If stored properly, the oil or concentrate in weed carts can last anywhere from two to three years. This is for vape carts that are properly stored and have not been used. Once you start to use your weed cartridge, its shelf life can be much shorter.
Learn more: Why Does My Vape Cart Oil Turn Dark Brown?
How to Store Weed
One of the best things you can do to extend the life of your cannabis flower is to pay attention to how you store it. The main goals – when it comes to proper weed storage – are to protect it from: air, moisture, heat, and sunlight.
Many dispensaries package their cannabis flower in plastic containers. These containers do a decent job of keeping air and light out, but aren’t best for storing your buds over the long term. That’s because plastic has a static charge that can affect the trichomes in your bud.
Trichomes are those little hair-like structures you see on your flower. The static charge can attract trichomes and cause them to fall off your flower and stick to the plastic. This static charge can also degrade the THC in your flower.
How to Preserve Weed
If you plan on storing your cannabis for longer than a few days, you’ll need to find a better option than those plastic containers many dispensaries use. As we mentioned earlier, the main goals when storing your weed are to protect it from air, moisture, heat, and sunlight.
Best Weed Jars
Storing your cannabis in glass mason jars with an airtight lid is a great way to protect it from air and moisture. Besides glass, ceramic containers with air-tight lids can also be a great option. One nice thing about ceramic containers is that they can also help to block out sunlight.
Certain mason jars have an anti-UV coating that can block sunlight. Although they might cost a little more than regular mason jars, they do a good job of protecting your weed from the sun’s UV rays, which can degrade the potency of your cannabis.
If your glass mason jar doesn’t have a UV protective tint, you can store your jar in a dark closet or wrap a towel around it to protect it from sunlight.
Failure to protect your weed from sunlight can lead to the THC in your cannabis being degraded into CBN (cannabinol). If that happens, instead of enjoying the uplifting and medicinal benefits of your weed, you’ll probably just end up feeling sleepy and tired.
Besides UV light, something else that can degrade the quality of your weed is heat. So, make sure you store your weed somewhere cool away from the heat and light, like a dark closet. The ideal temperature is said to be between 60 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, make sure that the air-tight seal for the lid of your jar is in good working order and secured properly. If there’s a crack in the seal, or if the lid is not secured correctly, this can let air and moisture into your jar.
If you’re thinking of using a metal tin instead of a glass or ceramic container, keep in mind that metals can negatively impact the flavor of your bud. Airtight glass or ceramic containers, on the other hand, can preserve your weed – without impacting its flavor.
Can You Freeze Weed?
Putting weed in the freezer could be a good option for those looking to preserve their cannabis flower. In fact, that 1999 study by researchers at the University of Mississippi found that freezing your weed can reduce the degradation of THC to only 4% in a year, compared to the 16% degradation for flower that is not frozen.1
Freezing cannabis flower should only be an option if you’re looking to store it for a month or two – any longer can result in freezer burn. Before placing your bud in the freezer, you’ll need to store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container.
It’s also a good idea to make note of the date you froze your cannabis flower on your freezer-safe bag or jar. Once you place it in the freezer, you’ll want to leave it there until you’re ready to enjoy it.
Avoid freezing it and then removing it from the freezer to break off a few nugs – then placing it back in the freezer. This kind of back and forth action – where your marijuana is thawed and refrozen – is a sure way to accelerate its degradation. That’s because when you open your container, you’re reintroducing oxygen into the container. And oxygen can be a cause of freezer burn.
When you’re ready to defrost your cannabis, gently remove the container you have it in from the freezer. We say gently, because at this point your frozen weed will be brittle and any rough handling can cause precious trichomes to get knocked off your cannabis flower.
Remember, trichomes are those tiny crystal hair-like structures you see on your cannabis flower. Not only are trichomes rich in cannabinoids – but they’re also rich in terpenes.
Why are terpenes so important?
Because consuming the right mix of cannabinoids and terpenes could be the key to unlocking an enhanced cannabis experience known as the entourage effect.
The Entourage Effect In CBD, THC, and Weed
Don’t Rush the Defrost Process!
Take your time and let your cannabis flower fully defrost at room temperature before touching it. Do not try to rush this process.
You’ll want to ensure your flower has enough time to completely defrost and dry out so you can avoid mold, mildew, or other moisture related issues. Get this wrong and you’ll have done all this for nothing. Instead of preserving the quality of your weed, you’ll end up with moldy weed that’s unsafe to consume.
Is Freezing Necessary?
Proper storage of your cannabis flower in air-tight glass or ceramic jars that are kept away from sunlight, heat and moisture should be enough to preserve your cannabis flower. But if you feel that placing your weed in the freezer is best for you – take the time to do it right. Otherwise, improper freezing and unfreezing techniques could cause more harm than good.
What Should You Do With Old Weed?
If you’ve determined that your cannabis flower is past its best use date, we feel it’s best to throw it away. When in doubt, throw it out – and get a fresh supply at your local dispensary.
If you can’t see yourself throwing out your old weed, then perhaps you can use it to make some pot brownies or cookies. Just make sure your old weed is not moldy. If you think this might be the case, throw it away! This is non-negotiable.
How to Evaluate Weed Quality
Field Trip Is Your Friend with Flower
Trips Are Better with Buds – So, Hop on Board!
Our sister company, Field Trip Flower, would like to invite those who are 21 years of age and older in Missouri to try their premium cannabis flower and pre-rolls.
Field Trip is inspired by the magical moments that occur when we slow down to enjoy the journey. Whether it’s their Missouri Thunder, Cement Shoes, Ozark Hash, Super Lemon Haze, or Baby Banner – with Field Trip, all roads lead to elevated states of bliss.
Check Out Their Premium Cannabis Strains!
A joint venture between expert cultivators and some of Missouri’s finest cannabis genetics, Field Trip Flower features 100% whole buds that are always hand-trimmed to perfection. The care that goes into cultivating each and every strain ensures Field Trip Flower delivers unrivaled taste, quality, and effects every time.
Field Trip’s Flower and Pre-Rolls are now available at Bloom’s cannabis dispensary locations in Missouri.
Missouri Bloom Dispensaries:
Cape Girardeau Dispensary:
Maryland and Ohio Dispensaries
Although Bloom’s Ohio and Maryland dispensaries don’t carry Field Trip Flower and Pre-Rolls yet, they do have a wide selection of premium cannabis flower, oils, concentrates, and edibles.
Ohio Bloom Dispensaries:
- Bloom Dispensary in Akron, Ohio
- Bloom Dispensary in Columbus, Ohio
- Bloom Dispensary in Maumee, Ohio
- Bloom Dispensary in Painesville, Ohio
- Bloom Dispensary in Seven Mile, Ohio
Maryland Bloom Dispensary:
Starting July 1, 2023, Bloom’s dispensary in Germantown, Maryland will open its doors to adults over the age of 21 as a result of recent changes to Maryland’s Constitution which legalized adult-use recreational cannabis in Maryland.