If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve found an old weed stash and are wondering whether smoking it will get you high. We’ve all been there. Whether it is old bud that you stashed away for a rainy day or simply forgot about, it’s natural to wonder if the bud has gone bad. While weed doesn’t quite age as well as wine, it doesn’t quite rot like fruits and veggies.
The good news is that weed doesn’t come with an expiry date, and if stored correctly, can last for a very long time. However, in the absence of proper storage conditions, it can certainly become less potent, though chances are it won’t spoil.
How to Store Weed Correctly?
When you buy marijuana, fresh and dried buds are at their maximum level of potency. How you store your buds can have a big impact on their potency and taste over time. Research has shown that cannabinoids, the chemical compounds present in weed which make you high, can last up to 2 years with proper storage. So let’s examine what factors can cause your buds to degrade in quality.
Exposure to oxygen is a big factor when it comes to preserving your weed. Too much oxygen can degrade your weed and too little oxygen can alter humidity levels which can cause your weed to get mouldy. Always store your weed in a vacuum sealed bag or in an airtight container to preserve its potency.
Harmful UV Light can heat up your cannabis plant and degrade its valuable compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. To avoid this, store your bud in an opaque glass jar in a dark and dry place away from sunlight.
Humidity plays a very important in the preservation of your weed. Too much humidity can promote mould and taint your bud, while weed that is too dry will cause the terpenes and cannabinoids in it to degrade. Therefore it’s important to maintain proper humidity levels which can be managed with humidity control packets, a humidor, etc.
High temperature can also cause buds to become too dry degrading the cannabinoids and terpenes. Mould and mildew thrive in temperatures between 78 to 86 degrees, therefore, the ideal storage for cannabis is below this threshold.
Properly stored buds smoke or vaporize perfectly and retain the flavour and cannabinoid profile, but what happens when you don’t store buds the right way?
How does improper cannabis storage affect its quality?
If you haven’t paid attention to the right methods for storing cannabis chances are that your bud will lose its potency over time. This does not mean that your weed is spoiled. It simply means that its chemical structure has changed. Let’s see typically what happens when weed is not stored correctly.
When weed is exposed to excessive heat and oxygen
Marijuana has a number of chemical compounds present in it which are known as cannabinoids. For example, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a cannabinoic acid present in freshly harvested cannabis flowers. However, THCA cannot get you high and must be converted into THC through a process known as decarboxylation. When fresh buds are cured, dried and then heated, the process of decarboxylation begins whereby cannabinoids are broken down into THC, CBD and CBN among others. When cannabis is exposed to excessive heat or oxygen on account of being stored improperly, the THC can get converted to a different cannabinoid called CBN. CBN is less psychoactive than THC meaning consumption will not get you very high. Instead, CBN plays an important role in regulating sleep so smoking bud which contains CBN will in all likelihood make you drowsy but don’t expect to get high.
When weed gets too dry
Dry weed makes for a very unpleasant smoking session. To preserve the integrity of weed one must control the humidity as weed needs to be stored at a relative humidity level between 59 to 63. Excessive heat can cause the terpenes and cannabinoids in weed to dry out resulting in a harsh smoke that will burn the throat when inhaled.
When weed is exposed to moisture
Moisture is marijuana’s worst enemy and when weed is exposed to it, chances of mould developing are seriously high. Smoking mouldy weed is a big mistake as the mould in the weed can enter your lungs and cause serious infections from a basic cough, to fever and fatigue. Fortunately, it’s easy to identify if your weed has gotten mouldy. Just hold your bud in the light and carefully examine it. If you see white powdery flakes or whitish layers on the weed, it’s most likely been compromised with mould.
How to identify if your weed has gotten old?
Since weed does not expire quite like cheese or milk identifying if it has gone bad is easier said than done. Thankfully there are more than a few indications that can help you detect if your old bud is smokable or not.
Marijuana gets its distinct smell from fragrant oils known as terpenes. They’re what give Blueberry its signature berry smell, Sour Diesel it’s funky fuel flavour, and Lavender its sweet floral aroma. As weed becomes old, it loses its scent as the aromatic terpene oils reduce in potency and the THC degrades. So if your weed smells like anything other than weed, it’s a good enough indication that your bud is past its expiration date.
Old weed is generally drier than weed you just scored, as with time the bud has been exposed to more light and heat thereby affecting its potency. However, there is a trick to identify if your green is still smokeable. Try pulling apart your stash, it should snap not crackle. If it crackles chances are that the weed is too dry and will give you a harsh uncomfortable smoke without the high.
Another trick to assess if your weed is smokable is inspecting its texture. Weed that has been kept for a while will most likely be crumbly on account of being dry and you may notice a white powder or layer covering the surface of the buds. This tells you that the weed is mouldy and you should immediately get rid of it as there is nothing worse than consuming mould covered marijuana.
How to revive old weed?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Is it possible to breathe new life into your old weed? There are a few tricks perfected by stoners that may help you do just that.
Use a QTip
Place your old weed into a glass storage bowl with a lid. Wet a cotton ball and place it in the bowl. Be careful not to wet the weed as that can cause mould to form. Once sealed the cannabis will absorb the moisture from the cotton ball thereby rehydrating it. However, with this method, you will have to be careful not to over moisturize the bud as this will cause mould to form. Keep checking on your bud every few hours to avoid that from happening and you will have a fresh green bud in no time.
Use Citrus Peels
You can also try the same trick with a citrus peel. The weed will absorb the moisture from the citrus peel. However, in this method, you run the risk of having your bud smell and taste a bit citrusy. If you don’t mind that, this is a very versatile method of reviving your greens.
Perhaps the fastest method to breathe life into your buds is by using a lettuce peel. There are no smell and taste issues involved and this method works a lot faster, taking only a couple of hours to make your buds taste great again.
In conclusion, smoking old weed will probably not harm you but in all likelihood, it won’t get you high either. Practice proper weed storage techniques so you won’t have to deal with dank bud and in the off chance that you do run into some old stash, make sure it is free from mould and follow the above steps to revive it.