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Does Weed Go Bad? How to Properly Store it!

Is your bud still good? How to tell if it’s past its prime

Cannabis doesn’t go bad like your other groceries can. Weed can be a little off sometimes, though, as well as susceptible to mold. 

We want to look at exactly how to tell if your bud has gone past its prime. Likewise, we’ll show you how to properly store your flower and other precious product so you don’t have to worry about losing freshness and potency ever again. Whether you’re a dispensary, smoke shop, marijuana grower and/or processor, you can take advantage of this info yourself and pass it onto your customers. Important advice like this breeds brand loyalty that keeps them coming back!

How to Tell if Cannabis is Old

Weed that’s aged will have a much less potent smell. If anything, it will be faint and no longer pungent. If it’s especially old, it may not have an aroma at all. While this isn’t necessarily a sign to throw it away, the hits will simply likely taste harsher than they would have had the strain been fresh.

The appearance of the flower can play a huge role in telling how old it is too, however. If it crumbles easily or feels spongy when you break it off, it may also be old. It could be too dry or too moist, having sat too long in different containers with varying degrees of air control.

Caution: Is it still safe to smoke?

The good news is, you really don’t have to toss your bud even if it’s past its prime. Consuming older weed shouldn’t cause any harm, but there is going to be a big difference in the potency and overall texture of the strain, as well as the taste.

The only exception when you should NOT smoke older weed is if you can see any sign of mold. When cannabis has grown mold, typically due to having too much moisture and exposure to air, it can become dangerous when consumed. Regardless of whether you smoke or plan on turning it into edibles, moldy weed can potentially make you sick, so definitely can it if it’s growing mold.

What happens if you smoke moldy weed?

Mold on weed is unlikely to cause any sort of severe health problems if it happens to be smoked. It can lead to coughing, vomiting, and nausea. However, in people that have weakened immune systems, inhaling the bacteria or fungi from mold on bud can be much more serious. As such, it’s important to check for mold on every strain purchased!

How to Check for Mold on your Bud

You’re not going to like this, but -- carefully. Check for mold on each and every one of your buds very carefully, especially if they were exposed to air for any long period of time, have been particularly moist, or showed signs of extreme age. Even if your cannabis doesn’t particularly look old, though, it’s always good to do a mold inspection.

Mold is not the easiest to spot, so make sure you have excellent lighting and take a good, close inspection of each bud. It can appear as fuzzy or white powdery spots, which can be especially small depending on the size of the nugget you’re examining.

Other signs that it might have mold is the smell or taste of the cannabis. Weed that’s moldy may smell musty, or have an “off” taste.

How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?

If cannabis is stored properly, it can keep for 6 months to a year, depending on how often it’s exposed to air, the strain, the elevation in your area, and more. Over time, though, the weed will begin to lose its potency and aroma.

Though the research is a bit older now, created in 1999, it was observed that bud loses roughly 16% of its THC after the first year. It loses 26% THC after the first 2 years, 34% after 3, and 41% after 4.

How to Store Your Cannabis the Right Way

There are actually a lot of factors that go into storing your weed properly: oxygen/air, temperature, humidity, and light, just to name a few. Each of these variables play into the potency, taste, and overall aroma of each bud.

Let’s look at everything that goes into storing your cannabis the right way.

Seal it properly

First, make sure you pick the right container for the job. The plastic baggies and thin containers are porous and make you lose your bud’s precious potency. Plastic can affect the delicate trichomes in each strain by holding static, which ultimately lessens potency and makes it lose its smell and flavor significantly faster.

Glass is truly king when it comes to sealing your bud away in a container that will help the strain maintain its freshness. Mason jars reign supreme here for most smokers, as they help limit oxygen exposure and don’t have a static charge. Many dispensary supplies like glass jars are sold in dispensaries to help keep cannabis fresh for as long as possible.

Keep it in a dry, dark, cool spot

Under light, especially sunlight, your weed’s potency is harshly being degraded. It’s important to keep your cannabis in a cool, dry spot that’s away from any sunlight to ensure it doesn’t break down from UV rays. Too much heat and light can also cause the bud to hold in moisture, making it more susceptible to mold.

However, notice we say “cool” and not cold. Keeping it in a place that’s too cold can cause it to dry out and still make you lose precious trichomes, so it’s best to keep it store in a closet or cabinet. Preferably, it’s ideal at most temperatures below 25°C (or 77°F).

Try to keep watch on the humidity

Cannabis is a temperamental kind of plant, even once it’s flowered and has been harvested and cured for consumption. Even after this, it’s best to keep most strains between 59 to 63 percent humidity. Any lower than this can cause the weed to dry out, but any higher can cause it to grow mold as it traps moisture.

Adding humidity packs to your stash can up your game completely. If you really want to get fancy, you can store your weed in a humidor (they make some specifically for cannabis) and truly control its humidity levels.

Does Weed Last Longer in the Freezer?

Again, cooler is not always better. It’s recommended you keep your bud stored in a dark closet or cabinet instead of in the fridge or freezer. Freezing your weed can cause the precious trichomes across it to become brittle and break off. While this is a neat trick to collect kief quickly, it lessens the potency of the bud itself.

Wrapping Up

There’s a lot involved when it comes to storing your weed in an efficient, productive manner, but it can be simplified once you get the basics down. 

With these valuable tools, you have the knowledge you need to not only keep your bud stored properly before it gets handed off to your customers, but how to pass that knowledge on to your customers so they’re coming to you for more than just products. Give your valued clientele everything they could need with the valuable tips in this guide on cannabis storage.

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