Weed is a natural product and therefore does not have an unlimited shelf life. This means that the THC in weed also has an expiration date. But how long will your weed last for exactly? If you store the buds and concentrates properly they can last a considerable time. The effects of the THC and the taste will diminish as time goes by. Read below for the best way to store your weed and how you can extend its storage life.
How long will weed last: the expiration date
You have undoubtedly asked yourself whether a bag of weed you found somewhere has now expired. Do the contents of the bag look a bit brown or crumbly? If so, you can simply turn this weed into a joint to smoke. Keep in mind that the taste or the high will not be quite the same as when you just bought the bag though.
Breakdown of THC occurs gradually
Both marijuana buds and concentrates decline in quality as time passes. But how long your weed remains usable depends on a number of factors. This is because in order to preserve the cannabinoids in the weed, it is very important that you store the buds properly. Has your weed been in contact with moisture and has it been lying around for a year? Then you can assume that the expiration date has passed. But if you have kept it in a cool and dark place the trichomes may still contain enough of the THC. It would then be worthwhile smoking the weed.
If you store your weed in the correct manner, then the breakdown of THC will proceed very gradually. In general it can be said that after one year there is 16% less THC in your weed. After two years this has already decreased by 26%. After three years this has increased to a reduction of no less than 34% and after four years your weed contains 41% less THC than when you bought it in a coffeeshop. Weed cannot be kept indefinitely, but weed will last for a reasonably long time if you store it properly.
How do you recognize whether weed is still usable?
Fortunately, you can easily recognize whether or not you can still use the marijuana. Buds that are a bit older usually look less full, acquire a brown color and become a bit drier so that they crumble a bit. This is a natural process and does not make the weed unusable. You can still smoke this weed. Have you noticed that the buds have gone mouldy, are damp or have gone black? Then your weed has become unusable and you would be wise to dispose of it as soon as possible.
The smell of weed can also tell you something about its suitability for use. Over time, the weed will start to smell less strong, but it will still be usable. The moment the weed has developed another unusual odor, it means that the product has been compromised and is no longer usable.
When you smoke weed that has become less potent you will not be affected by this. The only thing you will notice is that the high effect is not as strong as you are used to. Therefore you can still use this weed. Especially when you are in need of a relaxing high. However, is your weed moldy or otherwise affected? If you decide to smoke it anyway, it could make you sick. So always throw these buds away and don’t take any chances.
Storage life of wax
Like the buds, THC concentrates also have a limited shelf life. Dabs and wax have an even shorter shelf life than marijuana buds. In general, concentrates have a shelf life of about 6 to 8 months. During this period the concentrates retain the quality you are used to. After 8 months the shelf life begins to decline. This degradation does not mean that you cannot smoke the concentrates anymore.
With concentrates you have to deal with nucleation. Nucleation is the process by which a substance crystallizes. After nucleation cannabis concentrates will have a sugary appearance. These concentrates by themselves are still usable after nucleation. In contrast, the lipids used to make concentrates can be harmful to smoke after nucleation. The accumulation of these lipids can be dangerous when inhaled. The moment you notice these white crystals on the concentrate, it is best to stop using this product. Inhaling these crystallized lipids can be harmful to your health.
The best way to store your weed
Do you want to store your marijuana in the best possible way in order to guarantee the quality of the product for a longer period of time? Therefore it is best to store the weed in airtight, non-transparent jars or containers. Store them in a cool place so that the buds retain their strength and last longer. This also prevents the buds from going moldy and you having to throw the weed away.
Curing cannabis buds
There are ways of improving the hardening of your weed that will also make it last longer. Curing weed involves drying it in such a way that you get the most out of the terpene profile. You will then get an optimal concentration of THC or CBD. The best way to do this is to let the weed dry in the open air for a few days to weeks in a controlled manner and then let the buds cure further in a sealed jar.
Concentrates are also best stored in airtight, non-transparent jars or containers. But even when you store concentrates properly you cannot prevent processes like nucleation. However, you can make sure that this process is prevented for a longer period of time. If you want to extend the life of your concentrates, you could consider winterizing them. This is a process in which you remove waxes and lipids from a concentrate. This slows down the process of nucleation and keeps your concentrate usable for longer.
Would you like to know more about storing your buds or concentrates? Our staff will be happy to explain how you can extend the life of your products. This way you can enjoy your favorite cannabis varieties, available in our coffeeshop in Amsterdam, even longer. We are currently open from 08.00 to 00.00 hrs (but please note that this can change). Will we see you soon?