Weed can stay good for longer than you would expect, but it certainly can't stay good forever.
Because weed, unlike milk or other food products, can degrade over time through a variety of factors. Maybe it can get some humidity in your storage container, causing it to get moly. Conversely, maybe it is left out in excessive heat and dry climates that burn off all of the THC and all the other desirable elements in the flower.
There are a TON of factors that determine how long does weed stay good and it's important to pay the shelf life of it a fair amount of mind after you've made your weekly pickup from the dispensary.
And while there is no serious health risks that may come about from smoking bunk cannabis flower, its drop in potency could mean you're not getting as much bang for your buck.
Does Weed Lose Potency Over Time?
This can be a tough question, mostly because there are so many variables that go into preventing your stash from losing that fresh weed flavor.
While it’s true that weed does lose some of its potency over time, the amount it loses depends on how you store it. If you keep it in a cool, dark place, it will last longer. If you keep it in a warm, humid place, it will spoil faster. If you store your weed properly, it can last for years without losing much potency at all.
However, if you don’t store your weed properly, it can lose its potency in just a few months. In fact, studies show that weed loses about 16% of its THC in only one year after being harvested. After that, it can lose up to 26% of its THC after 2 years, 34% of its THC after three years, and almost half of its THC after four years.
To ensure that your weed stays as potent as possible, you should store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. You should also avoid exposing your weed to light or heat, as both of these can cause it to degrade more quickly.
What Makes Weed Potency Last?
Weed potency is determined by the concentration of THC in the plant. So the higher the concentration of THC, the more potent the weed will be. Higher concentrations of THC will always increase the shelf life and keep it fresh and potent for six months to a year.
However, there are other factors that can affect the degradation of its potency over time, such as how the weed is grown and how it is consumed. Weed that has been processed and distilled down to oils and tinctures, for example, will stay fresh for far longer than flower ever will.
How Long Do Cannabis Products Last?
Cannabis products have a wide range of shelf lives.
For example, cannabis seeds can last for years if stored properly, while dried flowers only last for a few months. So a general rule of thumb is to always keep your cannabis, flower, seeds and more in ideal storage conditions (a few ways you will want to store your weed will be discussed momentarily).
Here is a general rule of thumb for how long different types of cannabis products last:
- Cannabis Seeds: 2-3 years
- Dried Flowers: 3-6 months
- Concentrates (e.g. hash, wax, shatter): 6-12 months
- Edibles: 6-12 months
- Topicals: 6-12 months
3 Ways To Keep Weed Fresh While On The Go
There are a few ways to keep your weed fresh while on the go. One way is to store it in an airtight container. This will keep the air out and prevent the weed from drying out. Another way is to store it in a cool, dark place. This will help to keep the weed from getting too hot and drying out. Finally, you can try storing it in the fridge. This will help to keep the weed from getting too warm and drying out.
1. Store In A Mason Jar That Has A Lid
Glass jars are a solid, affordable option for weed storage. They create an airtight environment that prevents any microbial growth from external factors. The same cannot be said about storing weed in plastic jars, as the plastic baggies hold static that can actually remove the trichomes from the flower and affect the flowers potency in a matter of weeks. On top of this, plastic bags are terrible for the environment and the last thing you want to do is leave a massive carbon footprint when you hit your next music festival.
In other words, no air can get in or out of the jar. Jars that come with rubber seals are even better because they close tightly.
Empty medicine bottles are yet another smart way to keep your pot fresh. Medicine bottles are designed to keep their contents dry and safe from contamination.
Keep a few things in mind before storing marijuana. Make sure the bottle/container is properly sanitized and dried. However, these bottles are not much help when it comes to odor control. So if that's your concern, the choice is yours.
2. Keep The Light At Bay
Always prefer a dark, tinted container over a transparent one. More exposure to light, less are the chances of buds staying fresh. One of the main reasons being, cannabis is essentially an organic substance. Hence it is prone to decay by environmental factors. High level of exposure to light dries out the terpenes present in cannabis and over time, your bud loses aroma.
While out at music festivals or camping on the go, try keeping your glass jar container under wraps and out of sunlight. Leave it in your tent, car, backpack, or other dark place to ensure the weed won't become stale. I personally wrap reflective duck tape around my mason-jar container while out at festivals which helps reduce the heat by reflecting the sun and also prevents light from degrading the flower; keeping my weed fresh for longer while out in the wild.
3. Avoid Heat
Terpenes largely affect the aroma, flavor and even the color of the cannabis plant. At higher temperature, the cannabinoids and terpenes start boiling which can degrade their potency fairly quickly.
The leaves curl up and develop brown/yellow spots at places. These are the first signs of heat stress. Similarly, extreme cold conditions affect the Trichomes and make them brittle.