Let's imagine you just found a stash of weed that you left somewhere and completely forgot about for months. What are you going to do? Smoke it or throw it in the trash? Whatever decision you make depends on a few factors – where did you find it, how long do you think it has been lying there and is it still good? Can weed expire?

To enjoy the full benefits of marijuana and its most desirable properties, simply put, it has to be fresh. In addition to this, since weed is a substance you take into your body, you must learn how to tell when it's still safe for consumption.

As always, Elevate's got your back on all marijuana issues, including this. Let the class begin.

Elevate Holistics logo next to budding cannabis flower. Can weed expire
Can Weed Expire?

Can Weed Expire?

There are a lot of varying opinions on how long cannabis can last after you purchase it. While some people might believe that weed has an everlasting shelf life, the truth is, weed is a plant, plants are living things, and obviously, all living things expire.

Since weed is not exempted from this cycle of life, it will eventually expire, too.

However, unlike other organic products like meat, milk, eggs, and fish, marijuana can retain its freshness for about six months and, in most cases, up to two years, only if stored properly.

Weed loses many of its calming and healing benefits alongside its flavor, aroma, and potency when not stored correctly. This poor storage can be problematic if you depend on marijuana as a medication. Ultimately, the key is to keep your weed safe so you can consume it for at most two years.

What's The Best Way to Store Weed?

The best way to preserve your weed and elongate its life span is by storing it in airtight containers, away from direct sunlight, and in a cool, dry place. Weed could lose its freshness to factors such as humidity, light, temperature, and air.

You might be thinking, would my Ziplocs or plastic containers work? Sure they can, but only for a very short period. You can use these to collect and move around with your weed, but keeping it there for long could mess with its potency.

What you need to preserve your weed are glass jars with airtight seals like mason jars. These jars do not hold a static charge like plastics do. Instead, they limit oxygen, are easy to open, affordable, and accessible. In addition, most dispensaries sell containers that help keep weed fresh for as long as possible, so you should keep your‌ ‌eye‌ ‌out‌ ‌for‌ ‌those.

When‌ ‌stored poorly, your marijuana eventually grows mold and rots. And, trust us, you don’ wanna smoke moldy weed.

Have more MMJ questions?

How Do You Keep Your Weed Fresh Longer?

Usually, dried cannabis could last for six months to a year without losing its potency and quality. However, as it stays longer, your buds start to lose their aroma, flavor, and strength. This study by the United Nations mentions that marijuana begins to lose about 16% of its THC after one year, and this value keeps dropping every year.

Because of this, you want to do everything in your power to keep your bud fresh, tasty, and potent. Here are some simple tips you need to keep your weed fresh for a long time:

  1. Store in a cool, dry place: When we say cool, dry areas, unfortunately, your refrigerator does not count in this case. Putting weed in the fridge could expose it to moisture, and then it could begin to grow molds. So instead, you should store it in a cupboard or cabinet that is dry to give it a suitable temperature.
  2. Use tightly sealed containers: Using containers that aren't tightly sealed allows air to enter, causing your leaves to dry out. So, glass jars are what you need to store your marijuana for longer and lock in all its freshness. Also, it would help if you opened the container from time to time to prevent it from getting humid.
  3. Keep it away from direct sunlight: Excess heat can also destroy the terpenes and damage cannabinoids which causes your weed to break down. When this happens, all you have is the chaff that might make you sick if you use it.

How Do You Tell if Your Weed Has Gone Bad?

Now that you don’t have to wonder, “Can weed expire?” You can keep an eye out for signals of not-so-fresh bud. There are always noticeable signs you can use to know when your weed is no longer fresh. However, you have to look closely and meticulously to find them.

First of all, the smell is always a giveaway; Older weed smells different because it would have lost its terpenes. So, if your weed smells musty, it's no longer safe for consumption. If it also looks dry, spongy, and crumbles when you touch it, that's another sign that it is expired.

Furthermore, expired weed has molds that you need to look closely to find, and smoking or vaping will only make you sick. For people with a weakened immune system, inhaling smoke or vapors from weed containing bacteria or fungi could cause severe illness.

Turning to Elevate for Canna-Guidance

So, while it could be tempting to use the stash you just found, check for these signs discussed above. If it looks off or smells off,  you have to throw it away — don’t bother wondering if your weed is expired or not. It’s simply not worth it! Your best option is to get a fresh and effective batch from the nearest licensed marijuana dispensary near to you, and Elevate Holistics can help you with that.

We specialize in simplifying the process for medical marijuana patients to get their medication. By booking an appointment on our website, you will be able to talk with a doctor who will give you every info you need and get you on track for your medical marijuana card. This way, you don’t have to worry about using that stash you lost last year.

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