Thursday September 3, 2015

By Abby Hutmacher

Ask Pot Guide v.14: Can Weed Go Bad? Education

We’ve all been there. Whether you stored some bud away for a rainy day or simply forget where you put your stash, when you find a long-lost nug of weed, it's natural to wonder if it's still good. If you've stumbled upon your secret stash from months (or years) gone by, then worry not; it's probably still safe to smoke as long as it's been stored properly.

Does weed go bad?

User from Tabernash, CO

The scenario is a common one: You've stumbled upon a small amount of marijuana while rummaging through old things and you wonder if it's still safe to consume. The good news is if it was dry when it was stored, it's probably just fine now. Depending on the actual age and method of storage, however, the cannabinoid profile might differ some. More specifically, you could have yourself a very sedating sack of weed.

As cannabis grows, it produces a substance called cannabigerolid acid (CBGA) which is then synthesized into one of three major cannabinoids: CBDA, CBCA or THCA. Through a process called decarboxylation (heating the product), these cannabinoids are transformed into CBD, CBC and, of course THC. Cannabinoid potency largely depends on the strain profile and harvest/curing methods.

Should the cannabis be exposed to excessive heat or sunlight, THCA may be converted into a different cannabinoid, CBNA, which will be converted to CBN once heated. CBN is less psychoactive than THC, however, and the high typically lasts for a shorter period. It is also very soporific compared to THC and works well as a topical thanks to its antibacterial properties. CBN has also been shown to stimulate bone growth.

Though CBN is typically not a cannabinoid you will find on dispensary shelves, you can encourage CBN production by drying the product excessively or regularly exposing it to UV light. If you'd rather avoid the THCa/CBNa transformation over time, however, then be sure to store your cannabis properly.

How to Prepare Your Marijuana for Long-Term Storage

When cannabis is first harvested, it must be dried and cured. This process is important for a few reasons: it helps break down chlorophyll resulting in a much more pleasant flavor and odor, it improves the cannabinoid profile which makes it more potent, it reduces the chances of a harsh or rough inhale and the likelihood of mold growth during storage.

When you purchase your marijuana from a dispensary, the bulk of the curing process will be done for you; all you have to do is store it properly. If you're growing your own, however, you will need to dry and cure your harvest thoroughly before it can be stored. You will do this by drying trimmed buds upside-down or on a wire rack for around two weeks (or until the thickest stem snaps) then adding them to an air-tight container. Store containers in a cool, dark location and "burp" or open the lid once every day or so. Once the buds have been fully-cured, you’re ready to move on to your next step.

Prepare your stash for the long-haul by storing it in an air-tight container in a cool, dark location (the same place used for your initial curing phase will be perfect). At this point, you can continue the curing process for about six months by burping your jar (allowing air in) every month or so.

If you plan on storing your cannabis longer than six months, vacuum sealing the product might be the best option if you want to maintain the same cannabinoid profile (provided that it is completely dry). If you need to add moisture to the buds, you can do so using a Humidipak, but not before long-term storage.

Choosing the Best Storage Option for Your Marijuana Stash

For the best (and safest) results, you should store your cannabis in a secure location well away from children. Though there are many options for cannabis storage, we recommend using STASHLOGIX stash boxes. These customizable cannabis storage containers are discreet, secure and portable. They also feature an odor-absorbing liner to help keep the aroma at bay. Whether storing your marijuana long-term or just until your next session, StashLogix can help you keep your weed both secure and organized.

Do you have a question for Pot Guide? Comment below or ask us on Facebook.

Photo Credit: tanjila ahmed (license)


Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a freelance writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace where marijuana enthusiasts can create and sell digital content to businesses in the cannabis industry. Follow Cannabis Content on Facebook and Twitter, or visit CannabisContent.net to learn more.


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