Does Curing Affect the Potency of Cannabis?

Does Weed Lose Potency When It Dries? (Answered)

Drying weed is an essential procedure. You’ve probably known how controlled the process of drying and curing is, and all for good reasons. These processes mature your buds like fine wine, improving their cannabinoid concentrations and aroma.

As such, drying is a process you can’t skip, even if you risk losing potency. Drying just has to happen. The buds can’t be kept when fresh, so the only difference you can make is to dry your buds better.

The difference between hastily dried buds and slow-dried buds will show in the color, texture, and effects when you smoke it.

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You always want to give the buds ample time to lose the moisture without losing the volatile compounds, like the terpenes.

Does Weed Lose Potency When It Dries

Weed does not lose potency when it dries. If the weed is dried in proper conditions, the drying process doesn’t make it any less potent. However, when kept for a long time— beyond a healthy shelf life, your weed will lose potency as the cannabinoids and terpenes begin to degrade.

Let’s explore factors that influence  how long your dry weed stays potent;

Factors That Affect How Long Your Weed Stays Potent During Drying And Storage

Your weed shouldn’t lose potency because of your negligence. Pay attention to the following factors if you want to enjoy your weed after long-term storage.

The Pace of Drying Weed

Buds can lose volatile compounds in the buds, including THC, when exposed to harsh drying conditions. Fast-drying procedures that expose the buds to extremely high temperatures scotch these compounds, evaporating them from the buds through vapor.

If you’ve ever fast-dried a bud, especially as you wait for the whole zoot to dry correctly, you’ll agree that it lacks the natural weed aroma. It smells like hay, most stoners will tell, but whatever you smell, it will be far from your everyday weed.

That happens because of terpene loss. Any time you want to try unorthodox means to dry your weed faster, think about the terpenes and the cannabinoids.

You don’t want to lose them!

The Storage Conditions

While drying is essential, the conditions of storage matter a great deal. Fluctuations in climatic conditions can harm your buds in no time.

Some areas experience extremely hot weather during the day and freezing nights. These fluctuations don’t favor your buds in long-term storage.

The freezing temps shake the trichomes from the buds and collect them at the jar’s bottom. This leaves the rest of the buds running low on the essential cannabinoids.

Also, watch out for light and air. The air degrades your buds through oxidation, thus hastening the conversion of THC to its less psychoactive form, CBN, reducing your weed’s potency.

Always keep your buds in the dark because UV spectrums degrade the cannabinoids when exposed to light.

Buds take long to ripen, and storage shouldn’t be the last phase you mess things up.

If you intend to keep your weed for long, invest in proper storage containers. Don’t throw your stash in a Ziploc bag, shove it in your drawer, and call that storage.

You must find something that fortifies your buds from the fluctuating conditions outside. Airtight glass jars are ideal for longer storage because the buds won’t sweat, as common with plastic containers.

Most dry herb glass jars come with rubber seals that make them airtight. Thus, your buds are safe from degradation by oxidation.

How Well Have You Cured Your Buds?

Curing commences immediately after drying because the buds will still contain moisture in them. You risk losing your buds to mold if you don’t regulate this moisture.

Curing is essentially a balanced approach to losing the moisture in the buds— keeping humidity within a suitable range.

If you take the buds into storage without proper curing, they will most likely be substandard, if not rotten.

If you’ve ever kept your buds for about a month and noticed the last stash didn’t smell like weed, that’s one of the effects of poor curing.

The last stash will lack the familiar weed aroma, and if things get worse, you’ll lose all the buds to rot.

Here is a comprehensive guide to drying and curing cannabis. It will teach you how to keep your weed fresh for long.

Does Weed Lose Potency When It Dries?
Cure your weed properly for longer shelf life

So, Does Weed Lose Potency When It Dries?

Yes. After some time, your dry weed will begin to lose potency as the THC turns into CBN and the terpenes wear off. According to research done by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, weed losses 16% of THC after the first year of storage and continues to lose more the longer it stays in storage.

The loss of potency, in this case, doesn’t happen because the weed is dry, nor because of poor storage practices. It occurs as a natural aging process of all herbs.

Always try to consume your weed within 6 months because, for most growers, it’s impossible to maintain favorable storage conditions for long.

If your weed is dry because of poor storage, you can rekindle them by using Boveda humidity packs. No problem. But if the buds have aged and naturally degraded, there isn’t much you can do.

The buds will also lose terpenes and lack the natural weed aroma and taste. Perhaps this is the reason why you shouldn’t let your stash sit in the vault for unnecessarily long.

If you are still wondering how long does weed stay fresh? I have written an in-depth article about it already. It will show you safe storage durations and tips to keep your weed fresh for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Weed And Potency

How Long Before Weed Loses Potency?

Weed can stay potent for a surprisingly long time when kept in favorable conditions. When harvested, dried and cured, and stored correctly, your buds can still be in smokable condition for more than a year. However, for most growers, the buds will lose 16% of THC after one year in storage since it’s nearly impossible to keep the storage conditions favorable for that long.

How Long Does Weed Stay Good?

How long your weed stays good depends hugely on how you take care of it. Your buds will not become dangerous (or expired like drugs) but will degrade into less active chemicals after prolonged storage. Try to consume your buds within a year of storage. Storing them any longer will have you smoking tasteless joints low on THC.

Vegging for longer and yield

Vegging for longer and yield

How Dark Does Drying Room Need To Be?

The cannabis drying room should be pitch dark because light degrades your weed. If exposed to light, the plant will still want to stay green and continue with photosynthesis. This will degrade cannabinoids— primarily THC.

In conclusion, drying weed doesn’t make your buds lose potency. It is a necessary process that prepares your buds for long-term storage. Thus, not all dry weed is less potent.

What makes your weed less potent is either poor drying, curing, and storage conditions or the natural degradation process that happens to all herbs when stored for too long.

External Resources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6643/
  2. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1997-01-01_1_page008.html#1
  3. https://hightimes.com/guides/how-long-does-weed-stay-good-for/