Have you ever stumbled into a cache of marijuana that had been hidden away for a long time in the nooks and crannies of a dresser? However, the finding may rapidly turn into a somber one when you find out that the old stockpile is in a deteriorating condition owing to the fact that it was stored for a longer period of time. In this kind of situation, there is only one fair reaction that can be given: does the potency of the cannabis diminish, or can I use this to smoke it or make edibles out of it?
Marijuana, even when it is too old to consume safely, will never become dangerous to do so as long as it is not stored in a damp environment, which would allow mold or mildew to develop on it. On the other hand, if it is neglected for a considerable amount of time, it has a greater chance of becoming "stale" and losing its effectiveness, and nobody likes to consume old cannabis. To put it another way, for how long will cannabis lose its psychoactive effects?
Conditions that Determine Weed Freshness
To get started, you should educate yourself on the elements that contribute to the continued existence of cannabis. It's possible that the cannabis you've been looking for for so long is still usable after a few months, but it might also have disintegrated into a powder by now. The conditions of the storage will determine everything. It's possible to increase the shelf life of cannabis from six months to a year or even longer with proper harvesting, drying, curing, and storing procedures.
If you purchase cannabis from a dispensary, you can be certain that it will be delivered to you in the freshest condition possible for the longest period of time possible. When you get the marijuana home, there are a few things you can do to keep it fresh, in addition to the harvesting, curing, and storing it in the appropriate manner.
Controlling the humidity in the area where your marijuana will be stored is one of the most important things you can do to maintain its quality and ensure that it is safe for use. It is possible that you will get very unwell if you consume cannabis that has been grown in an environment that has a high level of humidity.
The humidity level should be kept at a certain level if you want the finest results from your cannabis flower. It is important to take note of the following:
- It should be between 59 and 63 percent all the time, even if humidity control might be tough.
- It's possible that if you store your marijuana at these temperatures, you'll be able to extend the amount of time it stays fresh while also preserving its aroma, consistency, and taste.
- Maintaining your container at a humidity level of 65 percent or less will prevent the formation of mold.
- Keeping the weed at this level, on the other hand, may speed up the drying process.
When keeping marijuana, keep in mind that UV rays may degrade cannabinoids like THC and CBD, so make sure there is enough light available. When it comes to potency, light is the most significant aspect. Humidity is the most crucial factor from a safety standpoint. Cannabinoids may last for two years under the appropriate illumination conditions.
The temperature, which is connected to the lighting, is yet another important factor to take into account when determining how you will store your cannabis. The vast majority of consumers prefer to store their cannabis in a cool and dry environment. Do not put your marijuana in a refrigerator or freezer since "cool" does not imply "cold" or "frozen." You shouldn't store it in the refrigerator since doing so will allow the trichomes to remain undamaged in the freezer and will prevent mold or mildew from growing in the refrigerator.
What Makes Weed Seem Stale
The chemical components that make up cannabis degrade over time in exactly the same manner that the chemical components that make up any other medication do. THC is the principal psychoactive component that may be found in cannabis (i.e., the primary component that makes you feel euphoric).
Due to the fact that THC evaporates with time, the potency of cannabis gradually decreases over time.
- Weed loses 16% of its THC after a year.
- The THC content of cannabis diminishes by around 26% after two years.
- It takes three years for cannabis to lose around 34% of its THC content.
- Weed's THC content drops by 41% after four years.
Effects of Stale Weed
Marijuana is not like other consumable goods in that it does not "expire" as food does over time; nonetheless, its strength will progressively decrease as time goes on. However, this does not suggest that you should stop smoking your marijuana and let it dry out so that it may become more potent. Marijuana will progressively lose its aroma, texture, and taste as time passes, which will result in a decrease in its psychoactive properties.
In the worst-case scenario, you'll be left with nothing but a pile of useless, crumbling dust.
Can Weed Be Aged?
Some astute processors have dabbled with aged cannabis. CannaSol, for example, created vintages of their Alice in Wonderland strain that were matured for up to two years before being turned into vape cartridges. Pearl Extracts in Seattle processed the samples using supercritical CO2 extraction.
Surprisingly, test results for the Alice in Wonderland vintages revealed that the oldest cannabis had the highest concentration of terpenes. This contradicts popular belief that cannabis terpenes degrade with time, but it highlights how cannabis may morph in unique ways over time based on the strain, growing circumstances, and other variables. Furthermore, the aged cannabis had substantially greater quantities of cannabinol (CBN), which may be the most significant effect of aging hemp.
It's vital to understand that we're not talking about the curing process, in which fresh cannabis is aged for a short period of time to achieve ideal quality and moisture content. This procedure produces superior cannabis, but it only lasts 2 to 4 weeks, which is insufficient time to produce a nice vintage.
The Advantages of Aging Weed
The altering taste and fragrance profile, as well as the increasing concentration of cannabinol — a minor cannabinoid frequently found in older cannabis — are the two key advantages of aged pot.
Improved Flavor and Aroma
As the terpene profile changes, the taste and scent alter. This is not always a good thing. For example, if the majority of your terpenes deteriorate, you may lose all taste and aroma. However, if just a subset of terpenes degrades, or if a subset of terpenes becomes dominant over time, the plant may occasionally take on more pleasant tastes and fragrances.
Consider a strain with 50 percent myrcene and 25 percent limonene as its most prominent terpenes. Because myrcene is dominant, the cannabis will most likely have a musky fragrance that may be overpowering. However, if the terpene profile changes over time and limonene becomes the dominating terpene, you may be left with a more pleasant citrus aroma. It doesn't always work out this way, but it's a possibility for skilled cannabis processors.
Cannabinol levels have risen.
CBN is a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) derivative that forms when THC matures. That is why it is more usually found in older cannabis. Because cannabinol is only approximately 10% as psychoactive as its parent molecule, some users depend on it for therapeutic benefits rather than a high. According to several studies, CBN is fully non-psychoactive. It does, however, offer some potential in terms of medicine:
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
CBN has been discovered to prevent collagen-induced arthritis in rats by researchers. More study is required to see if this has any repercussions for humans.
Antibacterial properties. CBN may be beneficial against specific kinds of bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to research (MRSA).
- Neuroprotective properties.
CBN has the potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, ALS, and Parkinson's. CBN was reported to considerably delay the development of ALS in one animal investigation.
- Stimulation of the appetite.
CBN may also help promote hunger by stimulating the body's CB1 cannabinoid receptors, according to research.
- Sleeping aid.
Some research (as well as a growing amount of anecdotal data) shows that CBN may aid in the treatment of sleep disorders. Many of the CBN products at our Bellevue dispensaries are particularly designed to help you sleep.
More study is required, but CBN seems to show potential for epilepsy, chronic pain, and other conditions. Finally, this cannabinoid may be useful for persons looking for the medicinal advantages of cannabis without the psychoactive effect, and it is best found in aged cannabis.
Ideal Conditions to Keep Weed Fresh For a Long Time
With all of this information at your disposal, what methods are there for maintaining the pot's quality over an extended period of time? When it comes to storing cannabis, location is the most important factor. Marijuana should not be kept in plastic bags or large containers, and while it is being stored, it should not be exposed to light or heat.
Use an airtight glass jar with a seal to prevent any moisture from getting in. This will allow you to keep your cannabis fresh for up to six months. Mason jars are a good option for this activity as long as the jars are not too large.
If you want to retain your cannabis for longer than six months, you're going to need a root cellar that has all three of these qualities: darkness, cold, and dryness.