“Does cannabis go bad?” It’s a question we get all the time. Cannabis flower won’t necessarily go bad in the same way as a food product might, but it can definitely become past its prime. Cannabis is a natural product, and plants eventually start to get a little bit off once they’ve been harvested. This is true even of cannabis buds that have been properly cured.
Older cannabis flower isn’t likely to make you sick in most cases, but you should definitely be checking to make sure it hasn’t gotten moldy. More likely than anything else, you’ll notice that your cannabis seems to have lost some of its cannabinoids. This drop-in THC level is also marked by a change in smell, texture, and taste.
How Long Does Cannabis Last?
The good news is that cannabis can stay really fresh for six months or even an entire year. To make your cannabis last longer, you need to store it properly, so we’ll go into more detail on that in a little bit. Your cannabis will definitely start to lose some of its fresh smell after a while, though, and some research suggests that it also loses THC if you keep it for too long:
- Cannabis flower loses 16% of its THC after one year.
- Cannabis flower loses 26% of its THC after two years.
- Cannabis flower loses 34% of its THC after three years.
- Cannabis flower loses 41% of its THC after four years.
Depending on how you look at it, the good news is that your cannabis flower can still have more than half of its THC left after you keep it for four whole years. Of course, the bad news is that you’re still missing out on a good deal of the cannabinoids you paid for. Cannabis that old would probably also feel extremely dry, smell bland, and taste a little bit on the stale side.
How Can I Tell When Cannabis Is Too Old?
The smell will be the biggest sign that your cannabis is past its prime. The scent might start to change a little bit, or it could just disappear entirely. In some cases, the smell or taste of very old cannabis can start to become harsh or otherwise unpleasant.
Your sense of touch can also tell you a thing or two about how fresh your cannabis is. New cannabis flower should be sticky, and it will feel somewhat soft to the touch even if it comes in dense buds. Cannabis that crumbles apart and turns to dust when you pick it up has definitely aged a little bit longer than it should have. Cannabis this dry has almost certainly lost flavor, aroma, and cannabinoids.
Dry cannabis is still smokeable, but cannabis that feels moist or spongey should probably be going in the trash or in your compost bin. If your old cannabis feels even a little bit wet to the touch, make sure you check it for mold. Moldy cannabis flower is one of the only true health concerns of old buds. Don’t take any chances because moldy cannabis can make you sick.
How Do I Know if Cannabis is Moldy?
Even small spots of mold can be bad for you, so inspect your buds carefully. Mold typically looks like white powder or white fuzz, which may blend in with the shiny crystal trichomes on your premium cannabis strains. Even if your cannabis is still relatively new, you should probably check it out and be aware of the signs of mold.
Researchers from the University of California, Davis, completed a study in which they found that an alarming number of cannabis samples from dispensaries and growers had mold or bacteria. If you’re buying your cannabis from one of the best dispensaries in Denver, this shouldn’t be a problem because they’ll perform excellent quality control. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You can also tell if your cannabis has become moldy by the smell. It will definitely be a bit strange, and some people say it has the musty scent of hay. Small amounts of mold aren’t likely to cause especially serious health problems, but it’s still not worth smoking it. It can lead to nausea, coughing, and vomiting.
Bacteria and other fungi can be even more dangerous, especially for people with immune system problems. Those things can occasionally be harder to spot than mold, which is why it’s important to buy your cannabis from a reputable dispensary. If anything about your cannabis seems off, you’re probably best to play it safe.
How to Store Cannabis Properly
The main enemies of freshness are light, humidity, temperature, and oxygen. Your cannabis is likely to be exposed to all of those things if you just leave it sitting out. Store your flower away from those environmental factors to preserve the taste, aroma, and THC levels.
The first thing you should do to protect your cannabis is to store it in the right container. Most dispensaries in the North Denver neighborhood already put their cannabis in good containers, but you may want to buy a special storage device if you plan on keeping your flower for a while. Even the best plastic containers can still become staticky in some situations, which can pull trichomes off your flower and onto the container.
Glass jars with airtight seals are good, accessible options. You can pick up a mason jar or two in a lot of different stores, and these little containers are excellent at keeping air out. Since they’re made out of glass, they don’t have any static. Next, just store the container where it won’t get too hot or get too much light. Avoid humid conditions that could cause condensation, too.
If you really want to go the extra mile, invest in a special container for keeping cannabis fresh. Some of these containers are even designed to keep cannabis at the ideal humidity for optimal freshness. Humidors and humidity packs might be worth the investment if you want to keep flower for an especially long time, but they aren’t necessary for most people.
Should I Refrigerate Cannabis?
Storing some items in the refrigerator or freezer can prevent them from going bad, but that isn’t something we’d typically recommend for cannabis. Putting it in the refrigerator can cause it to dry out and start dropping trichomes. Since the trichomes are where cannabinoids and terpenes live, this isn’t ideal. Shoot for a closet or cabinet where there’s no direct sunlight and the temperature is below about 75°F.
Just Want Fresh Cannabis? Get Over to OG Medicinals Today!
Here at OG Medicinals, we take pride in working with the best growers in Colorado. We use strict quality control measures to confirm the quality and freshness of our products. Visit us when you need fresh cannabis flower, then store them properly to keep the buds from aging prematurely. Our location is especially convenient for residents of Montbello, Northfield, Morris Heights, Stepleton, Green Valley Ranch, and the Park Hill area. Stop by today!
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