Does Weed Get Stale?

A man in a white shirt, a blue and white half-coat, and headscarf smoking weed standing in front of a window

Most people prefer to buy products in large amounts as it gets us lower prices and helps us save more money. But should our love for getting good bargains on bulk purchases reflect when we buy weed too?

Let’s face it.

Most weed lovers have considered buying weed in bulk so we can get more value for our money. However, that also raises the question of what happens if you don’t consume your cannabis stash as quickly as you normally do.

Today, we address the elephant in the room — does weed get stale with time?

But that’s not all. We’ll also share some tips on the best ways to store your weed and preserve its freshness.

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Key Takeaways

  • Weed can become stale over time, especially if it is not stored properly. Exposure to light, air, moisture, and heat can speed up the degradation process of cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in a loss of potency, aroma, and flavor.
  • Properly stored weed can stay fresh for six months to a year, or even up to 18 months if extra precautions are taken. However, THC content decreases over time, with roughly 16% lost after one year, 26% after two years, 34% after three years, and 41% after four years.
  • To prevent weed from becoming stale, it should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight in sealed containers that limit air and oxygen exposure. Signs of stale weed include mold, dried-out buds, weaker aroma, off-putting smell, and crunchiness. While old weed can still get you high, it may lack in potency and taste.

 

So, Can Weed Get Stale?

The answer is yes. Weed can and will get stale over time, especially if you do not store it properly.

This is because the cannabinoids and terpenes in weed begin to gradually break down or degrade with time. However, if you expose your cannabis to light, air, moisture, and heat, the process may happen faster.

Once this happens, your weed will start to lose its potency, aroma, and flavor. This is essentially what happens when weed becomes stale.

 

How Long Does Weed Last Before Going Stale?

Surprisingly, weed can stay fresh and in good condition for a relatively long period under ideal conditions. In other words, if it has been properly harvested, dried, cured, and then stored, you should expect your cannabis to stay as long as possible.

But how long before weed gets stale?

Assuming ideal harvesting and storage conditions, weed can stay fresh for six months to a year before it begins to go stale. If you’re particularly careful with your stash, you may be able to prolong its shelf life even further, say 18 months.

However, you should note that with time, the THC content of your weed will begin to drop as the cannabinoids start breaking down.

 Here’s an expert estimate on the timeline of the breakdown of THC:

  • After one year, weed loses roughly 16% of its THC.
  • Two years in storage results in a loss of 26% of its THC.
  • Weed loses 34% of its THC after three years.
  • After four years in storage, weed loses 41% of its THC.

 

How Do You Tell If Weed is Stale?

A quick physical examination of your weed stash should tell you if your weed is stale. Here are a few signs to look out for: 

  • Is it moldy? Mold may grow on your weed if you store it in a place that’s too humid or moist. Look out for white or black off-looking spots on your weed. If you see some, your weed may have grown some mold. You shouldn’t smoke or consume moldy weed as it can be dangerous to your health.
  • Is the weed dried out? If your weed buds have crumbled to dust, too much time has passed in storage and your cannabis has become stale.
  • Is the scent weaker? A tell-tale sign of stale marijuana is that it won’t have the strong, fresh aroma that we’ve all come to associate with weed.
  • Does it smell off? While a weak scent may indicate stale weed, if your stash of cannabis has an off-putting smell, something may have gone wrong while it was in storage. In cases like this, you’re better off thrashing the whole batch. Weed should smell like weed — old or not.
  • Is it crunchy? If your weed buds snap apart loudly as soon as you pull on them, your weed may be too dry, which is a result of overly long storage.

 

What Happens If You Smoke Stale Weed?

It may not be ideal, but nothing may happen if you smoke stale weed or consume old delta 8. However, you’re not likely to get much from it too.

So, does stale weed get you high? We’ll get to that in a bit.

Stale weed generally does not have the greatest taste and often lacks in punching power or potency. So, while smoking old marijuana is exactly bad for you, you may not be getting anything out of it either.

So, if you’re curious about what smoking stale weed feels like, you can try it. However, you may not have much fun — taste-wise or effect-wise. Edibles are a different story, though.

 

Does Stale Weed Get You High?

We’ve helped you understand how long before weed gets stale if the conditions are right. But can old weed get you high?

While old weed generally has a lower level of THC, it still contains some THC, which means it still has some psychoactive properties. So, if you’re wondering, “can old weed get you high?”, the answer is yes.

Stale weed can still get you high. However, old weed is much weaker, so it won’t pack the same punch.

 

How Can You Prevent Weed from Getting Stale?

The key to keeping your weed fresh for as long as possible is how you store it. In ideal storage conditions, you can expect your weed to last as long as a year, maybe more, without losing its quality.

That said, here are some tips on the best way to store your weed:

Store in a Cool, Dry Place and Avoid Direct Sunlight

Heat and moisture can accelerate the breakdown of the cannabinoids and terpenes in weed. Also, too much heat may hold in moisture and cause mold, while chilly conditions may dry the weed out. So, we recommend storing your weed in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

Use Sealed Containers

It is almost important to store your weed in airtight containers that limit air and oxygen exposure. However, you need to be careful here. While plastic bags and containers may seem like good options, they hold static, which can affect your weed trichomes (which produce the cannabinoids and trichomes). So, instead, choose airtight glass jars.

Keep the Container in a Dark Place

Since light breaks down cannabis, keeping your container away from direct light, including sunlight, is generally a good idea. Dark closets or cabinets will usually do the trick here.

Use Humidity Packs

Weed generally does not like too much humidity as it traps moisture, which can lead to the growth of mold. Ideally, you should try to keep the relative humidity in your weed storage around 59 to 63%. Any higher, and you may be trapping moisture. On the other hand, lower humidity may dry your weed.

Adding humidity packs to your weed containers can help you maintain ideal humidity conditions.

Avoid Handling the Buds Too Much

While we understand the urge to take out your cannabis buds ever so often to examine, it may not be best. First off, you may be exposing your weed to more elements than necessary. You also run the risk of breaking your buds and scattering them all over the place.

 

Conclusion

Yes, weed can go stale. But if you store it properly, it shouldn’t. At least, not before you consume it. But remember, how you store your cannabis has a tremendous effect on how long it stays fresh. So, it is usually best to keep your weed properly from the moment of purchase.

Otherwise, you should consider buying pre-rolls instead. They stay fresher for longer, even in less than ideal storage conditions.

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