How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?

How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?

Every grower wants a huge yield. You always want to get the best out of your grow space—the bigger the yield, the merrier. However, keeping your weed fresh for long is as important as growing it. You don’t want to lose your potent buds to mold infestation or reduce its quality due to poor climatic controls. In this article, you’ll learn how to keep weed fresh for long without losing its potency.

How long does weed stay fresh? Weed has a long shelf life. If kept in the right condition, weed can stay fresh for even 2 years. While most people prefer to deplete the zoot within six months, with good curing, good packaging, and superb control of temperatures, humidity, and light, your weed can stay fresh for long without losing potency.

However, maintaining the right conditions for long takes commitment, the right instruments, and a keen eye. You have to inspect your stock regularly. Any slight change in humidity, temperatures, and exposure to light can severely degrade your cannabis in no time.

If kept in a damp place, the weed will degrade even if you manage to keep the mold out. Unsavory conditions foster decomposition of your flowers. As they decompose, the CBD and THC will form a new compound, CBN, which makes you drowsy when you smoke the weed. This compound is formed by oxidation of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A).

The formation of this CBN indicates lower potency. This weed loses not only the medicinal and the psychoactive properties but also the aroma as the terpenes also break down. Have you ever smoked weed that lacked the distinctive cannabis flavor? Well, it must have been kept for too long under not-so-good conditions.

How to Keep Cannabis Fresh for Long

How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?
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Though cannabis has a long shelf life, it is highly susceptible to mold infestation. But that’s just part of the problem. Weed that’s not kept in the right condition will become too dry and crispy— this kind of weed isn’t only degraded but also harsh when you smoke it.


If you want to smoke weed of the highest potency, even if kept for long, you must begin right from harvesting. Immediately you cut the plants, they begin losing the phytochemicals that give them quality. Once you cut them, hung them upside down and let them dry in a dark room. The drying process should take between three to seven days before you put the flowers into the storage containers.


The next stage involves curing the flowers. This is an essential procedure because it improves the aroma and quality if your weed. Much like wine, storing weed in the right conditions can embolden its taste, smoothen it, and give it the distinct aroma that wafts when you open the lid.


Weed continues to dry in the containers. You’ll have to cure the flowers so that they retain just enough moisture to keep them from drying out into crisp-like, crunchy buds that irritate the throat and make you cough when you smoke.

If you haven’t known how to dry and cure cannabis the right way, I wrote a detailed guide on drying and curing weed. Read it, you’ll get a step-by-step procedure to do it the right way. Here are tips to keep your weed fresh for long;

Maintain the Right Humidity

Maintaining the right humidity level for storing weed is perhaps the most crucial part of the process. When the humidity is too high, you risk attracting mold and mildew on your cannabis. Keep the relative humidity between 60-65%. Use a vacuum sealing if necessary to keep humidity within range.


Also, you can toss humidity control packets into your storage jars to help keep it in check.


Any moisture above 65% makes your weed more susceptible to mold infestation. And you know what to do with moldy weed?  Trash it!

Keep the Temperatures in Check

How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?
Photo by Timo Müller on Unsplash

To keep your weed in a healthy state for long, you must keep the temperatures in check. Too high temperatures will dry out and degrade the cannabinoids and the terpenes. The dry crunchy weed that disintegrates into dust is mostly as a result of exposure to too high temperatures.


Also, mold and mildew love a warm environment. Temperatures between 70- 90°F provide the best condition for mold and mildew to thrive. Keep your temperatures at 20°C.

Always Keep Your Weed in The Dark

Exposure to harsh light can damage the trichomes and the resin glands that contain the THC and other essential properties. UV rays aren’t your buds best friend. You should, therefore, store your weed in a cool, dry place.


To retain the quality of your weed, store them in a drawer that you rarely use.

Use the Right Storage Container

Do not just use any container. It is essential to use containers that are made explicitly for storing weed. Use air-sealed jars to keep your weed from moisture and oxygen infiltration.

How to Know If Your Weed Is Too Old to Smoke

Nobody wants to experiment with weed. You want to be sure that the weed you’re smoking hasn’t gone bad. There’s no reason to irritate your throat and stain your lungs with smoke from bad weed. If the smoke gotta get into your lungs, it should reward you with a lasting, euphoric high— never take in the smoke if the weed isn’t potent enough!


Look for signs of mold. Mold-infested shouldn’t be smoked because it contains mycotoxins and endotoxins that irritate the lungs and might aggravate asthma in smokers. When you smoke moldy weed, you will also experience headaches, fatigue, cough, and dizziness, among other complications. Stary away from moldy weed, however enticing it might seem.


Is it spongy and clamped together? Weed, when kept in moist conditions, will turn spongy. Pull the nugs apart and listen to the sound it makes. Spongy weed makes no sound and feels sticky between your fingers. Most times, it’ll also contain mold. Do not smoke such weed.


Does the weed smell of weed? Smell the weed; if it lacks the characteristic weed aroma, it might have stayed too long past its shelf life. The degradation of terpenes causes the loss of weed scent. Unfortunately, it’s not only the terpenes that degrade, even the THC drops with time. The loss of the aroma should, therefore, signal the low quality of the flower.


Is it dried out? Touch the nugs and feel it between your thumb and the forefinger. Does it break into dust? If it does, it has lived beyond its shelf life, given the conditions. Don’t use it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Oh, and there are quite a lot that people ask, and I couldn’t change the course of this article to cover all of them in one lengthy write-up.

Can Weed Go Bad?

The short answer is, Yes, weed can go bad either because of poor storage conditions or just because it took so long in the storage that the cannabinoids and the terpenes got degraded.

Does Dry Marijuana Lose Potency Over Time?

Yes, weed naturally will lose potency over time. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime researchers found that THC wanes in weed that’s kept for long. They gave the following stats;


  • Weed loses about 16% of its THC after one year of storage.
  • Storing weed for two years will result in a 26% loss of its THC.
  • After three years, your weed will lose about 34% of its THC.
  • And if you stretch it to four years, your weed will lose 41% of its THC.

What Are the Don’ts of Storing Weed?

There are quite a lot of things that people do that harm the flowers. To begin with, do not store your weed in a refrigerator. The temperatures and humidity in the fridge are never constant, and the fluctuations make your weed more susceptible to mold and mildew.


Do not use plastic bags as they have a static charge that will degrade your weed by attracting the trichomes.


Do not store your cannabis next to anything that gives off heat. Watch out for the distance you keep between your weed and the electronics in your house. Any longer exposure to such heat can increase the general temperature of storage and degrade your weed.


What Are the Best Practices for Storing Weed?

Apart from keeping the climatic controls, doing the following will enable you to store your weed like a pro;


Label the containers– labeling the containers allows you to keep strain profiles. You want to know what you’re smoking, don’t you?


Use climate measurement instruments- you can’t rely on your discretion and experience to gauge the humidity and temperature of your storage. Use a hygrometer and thermometer to keep everything in check.


Smoke your weed just in time- if you can smoke the weed within six months, do not hoard it. Smoke it in time before it loses the best properties. The sooner you smoke your weed, the richer it gets!

In Conclusion

Every weed grower hopes for a rewarding yield. However, poor storage practices can degrade your weed and make all the work you put into it a waste of time. If you read this far, smile, because you’re now empowered to keep your weed fresh for longer without losing its potency.