Weed, like any other plant-based product, will degrade over time. But this degradation is different from the way chicken would rot on your kitchen shelf or milk curdling.
Weed is a product that does not rot away and becomes lethal for you. Neither is there a set date after which it can be particularly harmful. But, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
In this post, we will tell you when does weed go bad? When should you throw your weed? Does weed lose potency? And more about how to store weed effectively.
When does weed expire?
Stoners often wonder, does weed come with a date of expiry, or is there a best before for weed? Well, the short answer to this question is no. No, there is not any expiry date for weed. But, does that mean your weed will never go bad? Let’s take on this.
Does weed go bad?
The answer to this depends on your definition of “bad.” If by “bad” you mean, moulding, foul-smelling, poisonous, fungi-laden, colour-changing, crass, then no, that does not happen.
But, it does lose potency and might show signs of slight moulding and fungi. The biggest factor that creeps in is the loss in potency over time. Weed will not hit the same after a while.
Are there any estimates you can go by? Definitely, there are. Check out this chart we made from research conducted, to see how much potency weed loses over a given period of time
- 16 per cent drop in THC levels after 1 year
- 26 per cent drop in THC levels after 2 years
- 34 per cent drop in THC levels after 3 years
- 41 per cent drop in THC levels after 4 years
What does a drop in potency mean?
We can understand this with an example. Take a glass of water and add 10 teaspoons of sugar to it. Now, when you taste it, give it a number from 1 to 10 on a sugar scale according to your taste. 1 means very little sugar, and 10 means too much sugar.
Now, take a second glass, add 5 teaspoons of sugar, and repeat the process. You will see that there is a drop in your sugar scale. This is exactly what we mean by a drop in potency. For the same amount of water, you see a drop in sweetness.
If you replace the water with weed and sugar with THC, it will mean that as time passes, there will be a drop in the potency of the weed. This will be reflected in the amount of weed that you have to consume to get high.
As time passes, and the potency of the weed keeps falling, you will require more and more weed to achieve the same high that you used to get easily.
How to tell if the weed potency has fallen?
A drop in the potency of the weed can be figured out by simply smoking the weed. But, is that the only recourse you should take? Or is it a good method of detecting a drop in potency?
Unless you’re a scientist, I don’t think you can measure the THC levels by a scientific method. So, therefore, we will need to think outside the box and find out a different method.
What is this method? It is the naked-eye inspection method. To follow this method, you will need to take your bud and put it under a bright light. Now look for signs of white powdery stuff, or a colour change from green to dark green, brown, etc.
Also, feel the texture of your weed. Fresh weed is a little sticky, moist, and squishy. Whereas weed that has stayed on the shelves for a long time is dry, powdery, and brittle.
One more test you can bring into the naked-eye inspection is the smell test. If you smell the weed and it smells ‘off’ or funny, then that could be a sign that it is long overdue weed.
A combination of these tests and experiences should make you able to tell if the weed potency has fallen.
How to stop the weed from falling in potency?
This question is asked in different ways by the customers. Some ask how to store weed, and others say, how to increase the lifetime of weed. Whatever may the question be, the answer is the same.
To prevent weed from falling in potency, you need to prevent it from coming in contact with, sunlight/heat, air, static, and moisture.
This one’s easy. To prevent the weed from coming in contact with sunlight, store it in a dark place or in an opaque container. Preferably somewhere cooler, such as a kitchen shelf not near the stove.
Why is this important? Because heat can dry out the weed faster than it would naturally.
To prevent the weed from coming into contact with the air, you can try storing it in air-tight containers. This is done because people don’t want the microbes in the air to come in contact with the weed.
Static prevention can be achieved by not storing the weed in plastic containers. Plastic has the ability to keep static on its surface. Static can be destructive for the little trichomes present on the surface of the weed.
These delicate trichomes store much of the THC.
Moisture prevention is the most critical factor for weed prevention. Moisture can accelerate fungi growth, dilute the THC content, allow for microbes to flourish, degrade the weed over time, etc.
Moisture can come from the air or from contact with a moist surface. To prevent this, store weed in a glass container that has been dried out using a cloth towel. Make sure the glass container, such as a mason jar, is preferably opaque so that sunlight does not enter.
Will bad weed make you sick?
Yes, no, maybe. It all depends on how ‘bad’ the weed is. Weed that has lost potency itself won’t make you sick, but if the microbes on it have flourished and are the kind of microbes that are harmful, then definitely you will be sick.
You can get nauseous, vomit, or get a headache from smoking weed that has expired.