How Long Can You Store Weed?
In theory, practically forever. But answering the question “how long does weed stay good” can be a bit trickier. The flower of the cannabis plant contains THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids; working in concert, it’s this mixture of chemicals that give us our unique highs – Not just the THC present.
Unfortunately all of these cannabis chemicals are highly volatile, and when exposed to the elements (air, heat, etc.) they quickly begin breaking down and/or evaporating, diminishing the potency of your bud. Even with your best efforts in play, you should only expect to keep your cannabis flower at it’s peak for roughly six months to one year.
To keep your marijuana at it’s freshest is a matter of watching over four major factors: Light, Temperature, Air Exposure, and Humidity. Let’s go over how each one effects your cannabis and what you can do to mitigate them.
How UV Light Effects Cannabis Storage
Exposure to UV rays is dramatically detrimental to your cannabis. Studies show that light exposure is one of the largest factors in the degradation of marijuana, with even short-term exposure causing the natural breakdown of cannabinoids to rapidly increase. Though there’s little that can be done to stop this from happening, limiting exposure to harsh lights is the best (and only) way to help slow the process down.
Thankfully this is one of the easier criteria to check off on our list: Simply make sure to store your cannabis in a location without any (or much) light, and don’t leave it out when not in active use. Keep your weed tucked away in a dark, dry corner somewhere and you’re already helping extend it’s shelf life.
How Extreme Temperatures Effect Cannabis Storage
For temperature control, cannabis has a severe Goldilocks syndrome – Anything that isn’t “just right” can be bad, both too hot or too cold.
Your end goal temperature for marijuana is somewhere around 65°F-70°F, preferably on the lower end of the scale. Once exceeding 70°F-ish temperatures the moisture content of your cannabis will begin to evaporate out, both making your cannabis become brittle and potentially inviting harmful mold. The higher the temperature the greater the moisture loss will be, so try to keep your cannabis cool and comfortable.
Don’t Freeze Your Weed
Conversely, getting your weed too cold is also a bad thing. If looking to know if you can store your weed in the freezer, our recommendation is a semi-firm “no”. Any object that contains water (IE: most organic matter) will degrade when frozen, due to the now-crystalline water molecules literally piercing holes through said object’s cellular walls – This exposes the water to air, making it evaporate over time and taking precious trichomes with it.
Flash-freezing using a liquid nitrogen bath is a viable long-term option in the right setting, and exposure to cold temperatures can be beneficial if trying to make concentrates or hashish, but for the average home smoking enthusiast we still recommend keeping your cannabis out of the freezer and opting for the “dark corner” we mentioned above.