Every cannabis consumer has felt the giddiness that comes with spotting some forgotten bud tucked away in a drawer or hiding on a shelf. But will the mystery stash deliver the same results as your new gram from the dispensary? Read on to know what happens to marijuana over time and for the answer to the question, “Does weed get old?”
Can Weed Get Better with Age?
WIth aging weed becoming more talked about in the world of cannabis, you may be questioning everything you thought you knew about it. We’ve always been told that the older a bud gets, the less potent it’ll be; so what’s the appeal to aging it?
Aged weed has shown the tendency to have much higher concentrations of cannabinol (CBN). This is from the THC breaking down overtime and transforming into CBN. This means, aged weed might be less potent in THC but more potent in CBN. From research, CBN may be able to support chronic muscle pain, glaucoma, and has drowsy and sedating effects.
The Benefits of Old Weed
Aging the best strains of weed can bring two major benefits: changing the flavor and aroma profile, and increasing the concentration of CBN. The flavors and aromas of weed can evolve over time as the plant’s terpene profile changes. Sometimes, it can yield more delicious puffs, while at other times, it can deplete the bud’s quality.
If only certain terpenes, or specific tasting ones, become dominant over time, weed can sometimes take on a more pleasing taste and scent. Enhance your favorite citrusy cannabis flavor or a fresher scent. In addition to upgrading your smoking experience, aging weed can increase CBN in your flower.
CBN is a minor cannabinoid most commonly found in older buds because it’s a byproduct of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that ages. While CBN isn’t psychoactive and won’t necessarily contribute to your high, it has some potential health benefits.
Many people say, although inconclusively as of now, that CBN may have the ability to reduce collagen-induced arthritis. In addition, the debate is underway over whether CBN is potentially effective in treating certain strains of bacteria, including MRSA. It may even help stimulate your appetite by activating the body’s CBT cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabinol may someday hold the promise of assisting with neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. Insomniacs may also benefit from smoking some aged cannabis, it is speculated. If you are seeking the full health benefits of weed, aging weed could perhaps be the right choice.
Does Weed Get Old? The Longevity of Weed Potency
Trying to determine whether that old mason jar of weed will still get you stoned? Or want to make sure you’re not breaking weed etiquette by bringing it to the next smoke sesh? Then let’s answer the question - how long does it take for weed to get old?
In most cases, cannabis maintains its peak potency for about six months to a year. Research shows that on average, weed will lose about 16% of its THC after one year. After two years, expect at least 25% to be lost, and after four years or more, almost half the THC will likely be gone.
Remember that when THC is lost, it’s replaced with CBN. If you’re striving for a less psychoactive and more therapeutic smoking experience, weed may in fact age like fine wine for you. But it’s important to know that the biggest degradation to your cannabis will be the loss of moisture and terpenes.
Older buds do have the potential to become dry and experience terpene degradation which may result in a less enjoyable experience. That’s because the weed’s taste, smell, and smoothness may all be adversely affected. But, if you store weed properly, you can better ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.
Weed Storage: Top Tips
Now that you know more about the longevity of weed, let’s look at some crucial weed storage tips you need to know to retain quality.
- Store cannabis in a cool, dark place in an airtight, sealed container. Avoid leaving it in a plastic or paper bag as the static friction can cause degradation of the precious cannabinoids and terpenes, too.
- The glass or ceramic jar you choose should be just large enough to store your weed. Too much air in the container will degrade your weed due to the high levels of oxygen.
- Be sure to keep your canna-stash out of the sun. Sunlight can cause THC to convert into CBN quicker.
- Weed will stay fresh for the longest at a humidity level of 54-63%. Humidity that’s too low can cause weed to crumble and deteriorate. Excess humidity may lead to your buds developing mold.
Keep in mind, these tips cover all types of weed, whether it be indica vs sativa vs hybrid.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does weed get old and how long does it take for weed to get old probably aren’t the only questions you have. To keep you informed, here are some more commonly asked questions and their answers.
1. Can weed get stronger with age?
On the contrary. While there are some potential benefits to aged weed, THC will always start to fade over time. If you’re looking to experience a full and euphoric high, fresh is the way to go.
2. Should you smoke weed that’s old?
Old cannabis is safe to consume, as it doesn’t go bad like food with expiration dates. However, it’s important to keep in mind that old weed won’t deliver the most enjoyable smoke sesh. If you are consuming old cannabis, the best way to do so is by processing it into concentrates.
Creating concentrates allows you to isolate the remaining cannabinoids and terpenes, repurposing them into more potent and enjoyable products. It will also ensure you don’t have to worry about dried-up plant material bugging your throat, or a low THC concentration killing your buzz.
3. Is there a way to tell if weed is past its prime?
The first indicator of cannabis’ prime time is, of course, age. Every batch you pick up at the dispensary should have a harvest date, sell-by date, or date of manufacture. The newer it is, the fresher it will be.
Taking a good look at your flower will give you an idea of its condition. Fresh buds should be robust, moist, and green in color. If it seems wilted, spongy, or crumbly, it’s likely past its prime.
The smell of your pot is also a big indicator of its age and condition. Every user knows how to shop for weed with their nose, are we right? So if you smell nothing at all, or even catch a whiff of mold, it’s time to toss it.
If it looks and smells alright, it’s time for the smoke test. The taste of your weed will definitely let you know whether it’s in prime condition. When pot has no flavor, burns your throat, or tastes harsh, it’s likely not good.
4. Will keeping my weed in the freezer keep it fresh?
Some people in the cannabis world are taking to a new method of weed preservation: freezing it. If your buds are totally dry, freezing them can actually maintain their potency for years. Just put your buds in freezer bags or directly into jars, and then freeze them.
It should be noted that this preservation method is a bit controversial since it’s easy to break trichomes when handling the frozen flower. If you opt for this solution, be extremely careful when dealing with the frozen buds, as trichomes can get brittle and break off quite easily. However, if this does happen, simply place your trichomes at the bottom of your container.
Does Weed Get Old? The Bottom Line
Now that you know the answer to - does weed get old, you can either age it for its benefits, or follow these tips and tricks to keep it fresh. As long as you’ve got the proper storage technique and handle your bud with care, it can age well for a significantly long time.
Just keep in mind that it may be harsher on your lungs than when it’s fresh. To avoid the hassle of smoking an old flower that’s been sitting around, check out our O.pen batteries for a smooth smoke sesh every time.