Sure weed can get old, but does the potency of the THC content remain with age? Canopy Growth’s cannabis expert, Adam Greenblatt believes dried pot flowers in fact have a “best before” date. This ensures the quality and freshness of the weed. Although dried flowers have a long shelf life if stored correctly, but within a year it will start to lose its smell. The potency of the weed itself – the THC for example – doesn’t degrade so quickly, but other compounds however do. If you have read my article on terpenes, you will know the skunky infamous smell of weed is due to the presence of the terpene composition of the plant. Greenblatt mentioned, if the smell disappears after a year we could confidently say the compounds have degraded. However, whether there should be an “expiry date” on weed is still a question.
Weed does not expire like how meat or milk does, or age finely like how wine does. Depending on how well you store your weed, it can last a very long time – most say ideally one year to two-years max. If you store it well, you will not have mold growing on your weed and can still ideally preserve the taste. Mold growth often time happens when there is moisture, heat, exposure to light and excess oxygen source.
Moist and warm temperature can cause mold spores to spread making your weed very toxic if smoked. Extreme fluctuation of temperature differences can also cause mold to grow. By managing the environment you store your weed in, will significantly improve shelf life of your weed. One way to ensure you are monitoring the humidity is by installing a humidity monitor. The optimal humidity (RH) range for cannabis is 59%-63%.
Light can cause serious damage to cannabinoids. It can cause cannabinoids to oxidize and break down. The simple solution is to keep your weed in a sealed container and away from light. A closet or drawer on a lower level of the house will ensure no light and heat sources
As you know already, temperature is a very important factor in which heat can rapidly breakdown cannabinoids to its active form. It is said that an ideal environment to store your flower buds are in temperatures around 20oC to 30oC. Likewise, keeping your weed in very cold temperatures can also maximize the risk of getting molds. It has been said that trichomes tend to break off when marijuana buds are frozen and damage the cannabinoid compositions.
Curing your weed with air is important, but too much air can be bad also. Too much oxygen can cause oils to dry out, deteriorating the cannabinoids in the weed product. This would result in a bad taste and also lessen their potency. The easiest solution to prevent your weed from exposure to extensive air is to store them in a sealed container.
CBD oils are less vulnerable than plants as they have less organic material. However, this doesn’t guarantee that your weed can’t expire. It is best to keep the products sealed, away from excessive air, away from the sun and in an area with maintained temperature range.
Hemp seeds are also similar to CBD oils. Following the same storage practices mentioned above can ensure a longer shelf life.