How to Tell If Cannabis Is Past Its Prime
Weed doesn’t go bad the way a jar of mayo or some other food product might, but it can definitely be “off” or even moldy.
Old weed likely won’t lead to any serious health issues if you don’t have any underlying conditions.
It can, however, have a noticeable drop in potency, which can be a big deal if you’re using it for medical purposes. Older weed can also undergo changes in taste and texture.
When stored properly (more on this later), dried cannabis keeps for 6 months to 1 year. Over time, it begins to lose its aroma and potency.
According to some older research, weed loses roughly 16 percent of its THC after 1 year, and it just keeps dropping from there:
- 26 percent THC lost after 2 years
- 34 percent THC lost after 3 years
- 41 percent THC lost after 4 years
It’s mostly in the smell. Weed that’s past its prime will smell different or lose its aroma entirely. Some weed might even smell and taste harsh when it’s been sitting too long.
Its appearance can also give you a clue as to whether or not it’s old. Fresh weed shouldn’t crumble or feel spongy when you break it off. If it does, it’s old and either too dry or too moist.
Consuming it shouldn’t harm you, but be prepared for changes in texture and potency. The exception is weed that’s grown mold, which could potentially make you sick.
Mold is often hard to see unless you look very closely. It typically looks like white powdery or fuzzy spots, some of which can be pretty small.
Moldy weed usually smells musty, kind of like hay. It also tends to have a bit of an “off” taste.
Even if your weed isn’t super old, it’s best to do a mold inspection. A study by researchers from University of California, Davis found bacteria and mold on 20 cannabis samples bought from dispensaries and pot growers in Northern California.
Mold on weed isn’t likely to cause major health problems, but it can lead to nausea, vomiting, and coughing.
In people with weakened immune systems, inhaling smoke or vapors from weed containing bacteria or fungi could cause serious illness or even death.
If it looks or smells off, then you’re better off tossing it, even if you just bought it.
Light, humidity, temperature, and oxygen can all mess with cannabis and affect its aroma, taste, and potency potential.
Here’s what to consider when storing weed to help keep it fresh and maintain its quality for as long as possible.
Choose the right container
Ditch plastic baggies and containers. Plastic holds static that can affect delicate trichomes — the tiny, crystal-like hairs on flowers that produce cannabinoids and terpenes — and mess with potency.
And forget those funny little tins, too, because they let in too much oxygen.
Glass jars with an airtight seal, like mason jars, are the way to go. They don’t have any static charge and limit oxygen exposure. Plus, they’re inexpensive and easy to find.
Most dispensaries also sell containers designed to keep weed fresh for as long as possible.
If you have kids or pets in your household, invest in a child- and pet-proof container.
Watch the humidity
Weed is best kept at a relative humidity of 59 to 63 percent. Any higher and you run the risk of trapping moisture, which can lead to the growth of mold. Anything lower can cause your weed to dry out.
To help you preserve your stash, you can add humidity packs to your containers if you really want to get fancy. You can also go the extra mile and store your weed in a humidor made specifically for cannabis.
Keep it cool, dark, and dry
Keeping weed in a cool and dry spot away from sunlight is as important as the container you use, if not more so.
Direct sunlight can cause cannabis to break down, and too much heat can hold moisture and lead to mold.
Keeping it somewhere too chilly, on the other hand, could dry it out and lose those precious trichomes, which is why the fridge and freezer aren’t recommended.
Aim to store cannabis in a dark place, like a closet or cabinet, with a temperature below 77°F (25°C).
Weed doesn't go bad in the way perishable food does, but it can definitely degrade over time. Here's what to look for.
Why Smoking Reclaimed Cannabis Resin Isn’t a Good Idea
Cannabis is quickly becoming legalized in many areas of the United States, and many newly introduced people are curious about the preparations of this psychoactive plant.
Cannabis resin, or reclaim, is a byproduct of smoked cannabis. It’s commonly found on the inside of smoking tools.
Although seasoned users may be familiar with reclaimed cannabis resin, many are still unaware of the potentially harmful effects of using this cannabis byproduct.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the different forms of cannabis resin, what reclaimed cannabis resin is, and what you need to know about smoking reclaimed cannabis resin.
Cannabis resin is a substance that’s naturally produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant.
This natural substance contains many of the active compounds that cannabis is known for, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
What are trichomes?
Trichomes are exterior growths on plants that protect them from dangers, such as fungus, pests, and ultraviolet rays.
The resin found in cannabis plants appears as either a sticky secretion or a powdery substance and can present in a variety of colors.
Cannabis resin can be extracted directly from the plant or from the tools used to smoke the cannabis plant. This resin has different names depending on how it’s extracted.
Some of the most common cannabis resin preparations include:
- Hashish. Also called hash, this is cannabis resin that’s extracted from the plant and dried into a pressed powder.
- Rosin. This is cannabis resin that’s extracted from the plant using heat and pressure.
- Resin or reclaim. Also called weed tar, this is cannabis resin extracted from tools, like a pipe or dab rig, after smoking.
When discussing cannabis resin, it helps to understand the distinction between the various types of resin, what they’re called, and how they’re used.
Hash and rosin
Hash and rosin aren’t usually called “resin” because they’re extracted directly from the plant.
Preparations like these are a popular choice for people who are looking to smoke or vape something more concentrated than dried cannabis leaves.
Hash and rosin are often stronger and have a longer-lasting high than traditional preparations.
Leftover resin or reclaim
Leftover resin, or reclaim, is often simply called “resin.” People usually only smoke it to avoid wasting any cannabis that may be left over in the pipe.
In fact, most people dispose of the reclaimed resin when cleaning out their tools rather than smoke it.
Cannabis resin or reclaim is the sticky byproduct that can be found cannabis pipes or dab rigs. Unlike fresh resin products like hashish and rosin, reclaimed cannabis resin is a harsh product that can irritate the throat and lungs. Learn about the side effects of smoking cannabis resin.