Have you ever used a hiding spot for your stash that was so good, you completely forgot you had weed there? Maybe some months or years went by, then you opened up that hollowed out copy of Infinite Jest and discovered you still had a few grams tucked away. It’s the stoner equivalent of finding $20 in your winter coat. Finding surprise weed is a lovely gift from your past self, but it may leave you wondering if it’s still good. How long does weed last, anyway? Can it make you sick? RYOT has the answers!
Does weed go bad?
Yes and no. It depends on the quality of the weed and how it was stored. Weed that has been fully cured/dried that’s stored in an airtight container can last nearly indefinitely. On the other hand, buds that aren’t fully cured or were exposed to moisture and were stored in a container that left them exposed…you may want to throw those buds out. Weed that’s damp and exposed creates an ideal environment for bacteria and mold to grow in, which means you definitely don’t want to smoke it.
Will I still get high?
Now we’re getting down to business. Yes, a weed that’s quite old will still get you high, though you may notice the potency drops off as time goes by. You may also notice that the quality of the high changes. This is due to the slow degradation of the terpenes and cannabinoid compounds that affect your high. As these chemical compounds diminish or become slightly altered, so will your high.
You will also notice a definite change in the flower’s texture and smokability. It may become more brittle and difficult to roll. This is usually due to the time the weed has spent drying out. In addition, old flowers will burn much more quickly, much hotter, and much more harshly than fresh flowers. A fine grind and packing your bowl, joint, or one-hitter tightly will keep it from burning quite so quickly, as you limit the amount of oxygen available to burn through your old weed. Tight packing also makes it more difficult to get a good draw as you smoke, so you may need to pull a little harder on your spliff, pipe, or bong.
We find that smoking old herbs works best through a cool, refreshing bong. It cools the smoke and takes away much of the harshness that comes with old, dried-out buds. Alternatively, you can throw it into an herb vape, which will simply convert the THC into vapor without combusting the herb itself. Using a portable vaporizer skips all the fuss while delivering the same high.
What’s the best way to store bud?
This depends on your intention. How much, bud, and for how long? Do you want to maintain the flower, or are you comfortable with extracts? How much work are you willing to do? If you just want to store a few grams while you’re away on a long vacation, an airtight stash container is the best way to seal in your weed’s freshness. Mason jars are popular, as they come in a variety of sizes and are easy to organize.
For large amounts of flower, such as ounces and pounds, it’s difficult to find airtight jars large enough to handle that kind of volume. Your best bet would be bags designed for long-term storage. You can use vacuum sealer machines and compatible bags, which are sold in most kitchen supply stores. These machines will remove any air from your stash and protect it from humidity, bacteria, and bugs. The downside to vacuum sealing is that the pressure tends to crush the flower, somewhat affecting the way it breaks down. On the other hand, flat, vacuum-sealed bags of weed are stackable and slide easily under beds or into pantries, drawers, and crawl spaces.
For the ultimate storage and discretion, check out our smell-proof bags. You can’t see through them, and you can’t smell what’s in them, either. They come with SmellSafe technology that is perfect for locking in aroma and maintaining the integrity of your stash.
When do I call the extraction team?
If you have multiple pounds of cannabis to store, you’re either a weed professional or you throw incredible parties. Either way, it’s time to consider processing your weed for better long-term storage. You can try your hand at making hash with a pollen press, or you can experiment with making extracts. While flower that’s gone stale in storage isn’t readily marketable, extracts and oils are nearly non-perishable and can be saved and used indefinitely.
If you’re a little nervous about making extracts that are actually safe for human consumption, it’s best to use a solventless approach. Solventless extraction methods use heat, pressure, and mechanical agitation to remove THC from your weed.
Presses, bubble bags, and even hot irons are all straightforward ways to make extracts at home and save your highs for another day. Solvent-based extracts are more complex and require some definite scientific know-how to get up and running. If you get to the point that you’re running a butane honey oil lab, give us a call. We’d like a tour.