How Long Does Weed Last - The Shelf Life of Weed

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Slowly but surely, ordering marijuana online for medical or recreational use is becoming more common. But exactly how long does weed last once you get it? No matter how it’s used, no one wants to go through the ordering process every time they need it. You need to keep some on-hand and it needs to be in good condition.

With 33 states allowing medical marijuana and 10 states and the District of Columbia legalizing recreational marijuana, ordering cannabis strains online is becoming a normal activity for a growing number of people. The laws related to recreational pot use differ from state to state. Those laws include where you can buy it, how much you can possess, and the forms that are legal to purchase and sell.

In January of 2018, California joined the growing list of states that allow recreational pot. Now, the state is the largest legal pot market in the country. The laws aren’t unlimited, and users still have the potential to run into legal trouble. The fact is, the use of marijuana is still new to lots of people in the state.

Although the laws and process of buying medical Vs recreational marijuana differ, both types of buyers want the same things: quality products, service, and a variety of products to choose from! A good place to start is by purchasing from a reputable store, getting top brands, and knowing how to store your weed to keep it in top shape.

how long does weed last

How Long Does Weed Last After the Harvest?

Your weed will last indefinitely as long as you store it correctly. Although weed that has dried out probably won’t do any harm, you want to preserve its potency and flavor by making sure it doesn't become overly dry.

Getting weed in prime condition has a lot to do with the drying and curing process that takes place after the harvest. The right process ensures the weed won’t be too dry and lose its potency. It also prevents too much moisture from causing mold.

After harvesting the plants, it's important to dry them to eliminate excess moisture. You can accomplish this by hanging them in a well-ventilated area. If you were to harvest and dry the plants yourself, the space where you would hang the plants should have low humidity levels and be free from lighting. Trying to dry out the weed with light will cause the breakdown and degradation of the plant's quality botanical components. Ideal places for drying include unused closets, garages, or a large cardboard box.

For proper drying, install some kind of line from which to hang the plants. Put a fan nearby to provide air circulation. The ideal conditions for drying pot are a temperature of  68°F and a humidity of about 50%. Check the weed daily for signs of mold. The process should take no more than 9 or 10 days.

Many people believe that the drying process is the same as curing. Curing goes to the next level to ensure all the moisture is removed. One way to cure the marijuana is to turn it upside down in a plain brown paper bag. Never use a plastic bag or container to cure weed. The plastic holds in moisture and causes the growth of mold. Check the pot daily and remove any areas that look suspicious. There are other curing methods, but this is the simplest one.

Another option for curing the weed is to purchase a UV light. Be careful to follow the instructions and don’t let the light shine directly onto the plants. The light can help increase the THC content in the plants and keep the terpene content from getting damaged. Terpenes are the essential oils in the cannabis that enhance the high. They are also responsible for many of the medical benefits of weed.

THC Vs CBD: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical compound in marijuana that gives you a high. THC is a cannabinoid that interacts with receptors in the brain and body. For some people, the effect is a feeling of calm and peace. Other people feel a higher level of anxiety. The difference in the impact comes down to different strains and different levels of THC. In either case, cannabis wouldn’t have the effect that we want for either recreational or medical use without it.

CBD (Cannabidiol) is another cannabinoid found in marijuana, but it has different characteristics than THC. Although CBD gives you the same relaxing sensation as THC, it doesn’t have a psychoactive effect. In other words, it doesn’t act on your mind. That makes CBD appealing to some people who want relief from pain and other medical symptoms but don’t want the high.

Now that you know the importance of proper drying and curing, along with a little bit about choosing the right weed for your purpose, how do you keep your weed in optimal shape? Weed might last forever if you know how to keep it. On the other hand, you shouldn’t really expect it to. Instead, make it your goal to keep it for six months to a year before using it all. After that, it’s probably still safe to use. But it won’t be in optimal condition.

When you think about it, there are few natural products you can buy that don’t fade in potency over time. Lots of spices collect moisture and lose taste and texture. Essential oils lose their potency when they are exposed to heat or light. It shouldn’t come as a shock that your weed will do the same.

If you stick your weed in your pocket and forget about it, it’s going to lose quite a bit of THC. The longer it spends tucked away, the less potent it will be. That doesn’t mean it isn’t effective at all. But after three or four years, it’s not going to have a significant impact.

Every person doesn’t acquire their weed in the same way. They also have different user methods. If you grow your own, you might need to store your crop for 6 to 8 weeks until your autoflowering crops come in. If you follow an outdoor cultivation cycle, you might need to stretch your pot storage out longer. Since there are limits to how much marijuana you can grow at one time, the type and frequency of your crops must mesh with your usage and storage capabilities.

How Long Does Weed Last That I Order Online?

People who have experience with growing, cultivating and harvesting weed have usually done so on a small scale. For many, keeping their marijuana growth hidden took priority over creating optimal growth conditions.

Today, people can purchase potent cannabis products online. Everything is done using optimal equipment and settings. Today's producers have it down to a science! We’ve already talked about the importance of curing weed to prepare it for storage. When you buy from a store or dispensary, you get a product that will last for a long time because it's already been cured.

There are pros and cons to growing your own. One of the obstacles is, you'll need to know the local laws and the best process for results. On the other hand, growing it yourself allows you to grow the products you want and enjoy the end reward when everything falls into place.

If saving money is your top priority, growing your own might not come with the savings you expect. Investing in expensive equipment like UV lighting and/or a grow tent could cost you more than expected. Consider whether your investment and the risk to your product is worth it.

Tips for Storing Cannabis

The best place to store weed is in a cool, dark place with temperatures below 77 degrees F. Once the curing stage is complete, the weed no longer requires a great deal of air. Instead, it needs a balanced environment that helps it remain fresh without exposing it to humidity.

As with light exposure, too much air exposure will speed up the degradation of the weed. One good storage method is to put the weed into glass canning jars. Fill each jar loosely with buds and fix the lid so it's tight. Make sure the jars are the kind with rubber seals. Minimize the oxygen exposure with a hand or electric vacuum pump attachment designed to remove oxygen from canned foods. Any glass container with a vacuum seal will help you control the relative humidity levels and minimize oxygen exposure. Only use glass containers that have a neutral charge. Never store in plastic jars or bags which carry a static charge. These containers should be limited to very short-term use.

When placing into containers, separate the strains to help each retain its unique flavor. Store the weed away from electronics or appliances that produce heat. Keep the weed closer to the ground if possible. Heat travels up and can damage your cannabis.

How Long Does Weed Last in Edibles?

Storing flowers, buds, or oils is different from storing edibles. These items are perishable and usually don’t last as long as dried weed. These and other perishable products obtained from a store should have instructions on how long you can safely store them.

Some products, such as cannabis concentrates, aren’t as susceptible to mold and other contaminants. Still, you should follow the guidelines for weed - storing in a cool, dry location - to keep them as fresh as possible.

Keep up with new products designed for optimal storage. The growing use of cannabis is leading to an increase in products that optimize every stage of the cultivation and storage process. Don’t put your weed in the refrigerator or the freezer. It actually increases the amount of moisture and the risk of mold and mildew.

Recognizing Old Weed

So, what happens when you come across some weed you forgot about? You might not know how long it’s been there or whether the right conditions have been maintained. To avoid smoking weed that’s lost its potency or has mold, there are some clues to help you decide if it’s reached the end of the line.

- Take a Whiff – Once you’ve smelled it, there’s no getting by the characteristic aroma of weed. If there’s even a slight moldy or musty smell, don’t use it. Only use the weed if it has the smell that you know. You should even consider leaving it alone if there isn’t a smell at all.

- Look It Over – Does it break apart easily and disintegrate into a fine powder with almost no effort? If you aren’t positive it’s weed from its appearance, then you should pass. You might also spot seeds and stems that tell the pot’s age. If mold is present, it might appear as a powdery white substance on the flower. Mold that’s out-of-sight will add to the breaking apart of flowers so it’s easy to identify even if you don’t see it.

- Go Ahead, Touch It! – You can tell a lot about your weed by handling it. Can you feel any moisture? Is it so dry, it falls apart in your hands? If it breaks apart, that’s one clue. It might also allow you to see mold that isn’t so obvious while the buds are intact.

- Listen to Your Weed – Break the nugs apart between your fingers. An audible snap means the weed still has the right amount of moisture. If it sounds dry and crackly like dried leaves in the fall, this sound is a clue that the weed has over-aged. If there’s no sound, it’s a sign of too much moisture content in your plants.

- Give It a Taste…Maybe – If your newly-found weed passes all of these tests, you might want to give it the taste test. Keep in mind that it could still be bad. You’ll probably realize sooner than later that it is good for smoking or time to give it up. No one wants to smoke bad weed. But you don’t want to trash your stash without putting it to the test, either!

Smoking weed for medical or recreational use is still a fairly new idea to a lot of people. There is so much to learn about the laws and a growing range of cannabis products to try! If you’re still learning everything there is to know about weed, contact Left Coast Collective or browse our product line. We have a large range of collections and products to meet your needs and your personal taste!

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