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  • Matthew O.

Does Marijuana Expire? Here's What You Need to Know!

Whether it be cannabis in the form of a product or a plant, all cannabis has a shelf life. Fresh cannabis has an expiration date, just like a bunch of broccoli or spinach does. Fortunately, storing your weed in an airtight container in a cool, dark location will last at least a year longer than the lettuce in your vegetable drawer.

When marijuana is consumed at its peak freshness, its medicinal cannabinoids and other natural ingredients are maximized.

The two key elements that affect the lifespan of a cannabis or CBD product are:

  • The kind of product it is (such as a tincture, food, or flower).

  • How much fresh food, including plant materials, is in it.

Does Marijuana Expire?

The short answer is, kind of.

Cannabis doesn't "expire" as milk or fruit does; it's perfectly fine to consume long after its "best by" date has passed. However, its efficacy and quality diminish with time. The product's potency, effects, and enjoyment can all be affected by a decline in flavor and quality after a certain point.

The "expiration date" of cannabis is often around a year after purchase. After that point, it could dry out, develop a musty taste, and no longer have the desired psychoactive effects.

However, old cannabis can become too moist, so most people who have "expired" marijuana end up with dried-out flowers (which can often be rehydrated).

The buds of freshly harvested marijuana still retain some moisture. As you may have noticed, fresh nugs are slightly sticky and mushy to the touch. This is a sign of high-quality bud, but it also means that poorly handled cannabis can grow mold and other organisms that are harmful to humans and can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even pneumonia.

Unfortunately, mold can begin growing at any time if the conditions are right, and this is especially true of moist marijuana that has been left for long periods of time. It is unnecessary to wait until the "expiration date" of marijuana. For this reason, it's important to inspect your bud for mold at regular intervals, even if you just got it from the dispensary.

When Does Marijuana Eventually Go Bad?

When marijuana is past its prime, it typically loses its aroma and takes on a harsher, mustier flavor.

In most cases, the psychoactivity of ancient cannabis has not diminished. However, THC degrades to CBN over time, so the longer you wait to smoke your flower, the less THC there will be in the first place. Cannabis is at its peak when consumed within three to six months of cultivation. After that point, the THC content gradually decreases.

According to UN studies, cannabis has a yearly loss of around.

  • 16% in the first year,

  • 26% in the second,

  • 34% in the third,

  • and 41% in the fourth.

So, how can you know if your cannabis flower has passed its de facto shelf life?

How to Recognize Bad Marijuana

Fortunately, it's rather simple to tell when cannabis has run its course. The key warning signs are as follows:

Variation in Aroma

If the aroma has altered (or perhaps completely disappeared), that is one of the easiest signs that the marijuana has gone bad.

The aroma of freshly cured marijuana is highly distinctive; depending on the strain, you can detect cheese, skunk, or diesel. However, the smell of old marijuana can be drastically reduced, turn musty, or even completely disappear.

Variation in Texture

The texture of the cannabis is another sign that it has passed its prime, along with the change in fragrance.

Marijuana that has just been cured will feel sticky and have some give. You'll be able to rip it apart and break it. It may collapse when you press on it or attempt to break it apart; expired cannabis, on the other hand, will be dry and dusty.

Moldy marijuana shouldn't be consumed, while excessively dry cannabis can still be smoked (though with a less pleasant flavor and scent). Doing so risks getting sick or experiencing serious medical issues, including lung infections.

Variation in Taste

When marijuana is consumed or smoked, it has a distinct and well-liked flavor characteristic similar to its scent. However, this cannot be said of weed that has gone bad. The flavor may be lost as the blossom dries up. Additionally, a dry environment can leave food with a bitter taste and worsen throat irritation.

Mold Has Appeared

The presence of mold is the key indicator that marijuana has gone bad, so keep an eye out for it. Mold is typically visible as any unusually colored patch or white fuzz on or inside the cannabis flower.

Tips for Storing Marijuana

These requirements are essential for preserving cannabis and maximizing its shelf life because how you keep it greatly impacts how long the product will survive.

Select the Proper Container

The finest containers for long-term cannabis storage are glass Mason jars with an airtight cover since glass preserves cannabis tastes, fragrances, and freshness. Metal containers or vacuum-sealed plastic bags are suitable for storing items for a week or less.

Keep an Eye on the Humidity

Stored in a low-humidity environment, weed products degrade more quickly when exposed to too much moisture. For most cannabis products, a relative humidity of roughly 60% is appropriate.

Keep it Hidden

Avoid being outside in the sun at all costs. Dark places like cabinets and cupboards are better for preserving cannabis items.

Get Ready for Medical Marijuana in Georgia

Although there have been setbacks, medical marijuana will be coming to Georgia very soon! We hope 2023 will be the year that Georgia dispensaries finally open up to provide patients with the relief they deserve.

It is best to be prepared when the time comes to access safe, legal medicine so you don't have to wait any longer for the relief you deserve. Subscribe to our newsletter and view our weekly blogs to learn about medical cannabis in Georgia!

If you are still determining if you qualify, we can help! Just give us a call.

You can reserve an evaluation online today with one of our compassionate cannabis doctors, and we'll make an appointment as soon as possible. Please let us know if you have any questions in the meantime!

You and your new doctor will discuss your conditions and whether you qualify for a Georgia Marijuana Card. And if you make your reservation online today, you'll save $25 off your evaluation!

Feel free to call us at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia.

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