Hey folks! Welcome back to another exciting installment of weed learnin’. We get asked a ton of questions about the products we sell; from how the flower is harvested to whether or not edibles are vegan friendly (fun fact: some of them are!). One question we get asked pretty frequently is what the package date on the flower and pre rolls we carry is, so that they can determine the freshness of the weed. Which begs the question: Can weed really go bad? Let’s take a look at what the experts have to say and what it means to us as consumers.
Give it to me straight man, can my weed go funky?
When we wonder if weed can “go funky” we’re not wondering whether or not it’s going to acquire a committed interest to diggin’ on James Brown. Cannabis, like any organic material, can spoil but unless it ends up compromised with mold or the like, it doesn’t pose a health risk. If you think your weed might be moldy, don’t smoke it! Mold and your lungs are not a good combo. Mold and other ickiness aside, as long as cannabis flower is stored properly it’ll never degrade to a point where it’s dangerous to consume. It can however become gross and lose most if not all of its potency.
What does that mean?
When I say it’s going to become gross what I mean to say is that the terpenes and other components that contribute to the overall flavour, aroma and experience of consuming cannabis can be lost after sitting around for too long. There can also be a loss of potency, with up to 26 percent of the overall THC potency being lost within two years. Yikes. This means that not only can the weed end up tasting like burnt hay, but it might not even get you high if it’s been sitting around too long.
Tell me weed dude, how do I avoid this?
Well, there are a couple of different ways to avoid ending up with weed that has gone the way of the dinosaur. If we’re talking about weed you’ve grown yourself or have acquired through other means, proper storage is key. Keeping your weed in a dark, cool place away from moisture is paramount in avoiding mold buildup and maintaining the integrity of your cannabis for as long as possible. Weed doesn’t like direct sunlight after it’s been cured because UV will undoubtedly turn your electric lettuce into useless cabbage in no time. With proper storage methods you should be able to retain your weed for at least 6 months and possibly up to a year without having to worry about losing flavour or potency.
If you’re picking your weed up in a retail dispensary, there will always be a “packaged on” date printed on the labels of every flower cannabis product sold in Ontario. This is important to look for if you’re concerned about the quality of the weed you’re buying. There’s nothing sadder than buying a bag of premium ganja, getting it home and then discovering that it’s effectively fossilised hay. Any good retailer will do their due diligence to let you know if something is starting to get close to the date where its quality will start to suffer, and usually they will discount it accordingly.
So, to summarize, unless your weed gets exposed to mold or other toxic substances, it can never age to the point where you need to be concerned about your health. When left for over six months to a year there can be a loss of aroma and at the two-year mark you will usually see a significant drop in potency. Remember to always store your weed in the right environment and never hesitate to ask your budtender to show you the package date on the weed you’re buying; you deserve the very best.