How Long Does Weed Stay Good (5 Ways to Preserve Cannabis)

(Learn Tips on How to Store Weed Properly)

If you are a passionate weed smoker, chances are, you’ll probably discover a long-forgotten stash of flower power somewhere in the back of your closet at least once. 


You’re excited but also worried, wondering how long does weed stay good and when exactly does weed go bad? 


Well, your much loved stash can undoubtedly expire. Luckily, you can prevent this unfortunate scenario by following some simple tips and tricks to keep your weed fresh for up to two years. 


Bear with me; I have all the information you’ll need on how long does weed stay good for, how long can you store weed, as well as the best places to store your stash to maintain its freshness.

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Does Weed Go Bad?

– How Long is Weed Good For?
– How Long Can Weed Last in a Ziploc?

How Long Can You Store Weed?

– Does Weed Lose Potency Over Time?
– Where to Store Weed Properly

How to Make Weed Last longer

– Is Keeping Weed In the Freezer Better?
– Does the Freezer Keep Weed Fresh?

Does Weed Go Bad? - How to Take Preventative Measures

does weed go bad

Nothing in life is permanent, and the same goes for weed. Yes, it can definitely go bad in more ways than one. But when exactly does weed go bad and when does weed get stale? 


How stale your weed gets depends on if it was correctly stored or just left out. Whether you’re a slow-burner, or you just want to store your 420 goodies in case the apocalypse happens, you’ll want to know how to do it properly. 


If you fail and leave your pot exposed to the elements, it can dry out and turn dusty or moldy. Smoking moldy weed might actually make you sick. Best-case scenario, you simply won’t get the proper high. So correctly storing your marijuana will leave you with a better product and a much better experience. 


Environmental factors such as light, air, and temperature will deteriorate cannabinoids and terpenes. Weed left out on the table can get stale, dry, and moldy real fast, especially in warm or humid areas. The only thing you can do to prevent this, is to take care of your precious buds by storing them in airtight containers away from direct sunlight or heat. 


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How Long Is Weed Good For? - Mason Jar or Plastic Bag?

how long is weed good for

So how long is weed good for exactly and when does marijuana get stale? If you store it correctly, your weed can last for up to two years. Its freshness will undoubtedly depend on your efforts to preserve your righteous bud. The most important thing to keep in mind, is to limit its exposure to the elements. Extending its shelf life will come entirely naturally for you once you learn the basics. 


For example, when you’re opening the container to pull out the bud, make sure to close the lid immediately after. Never let it just sit open exposed. Avoid windy and highly ventilated areas. I recommend using humidity packs to maintain the perfect level of moisture. There are also cannabis humidor boxes available, specially designed to keep weed ideally fresh. 


Never store your marijuana in a cigar or tobacco humidor since these are typically lined with cedarwood. Those oils could harm cannabis and create humidity levels too high for your Mary Jane. Maintaining the proper humidity levels will also ensure the smoke is not too harsh. 


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How Long Can Weed Last In a Ziploc? And What About Storing Weed in Plastic Bags?

I have seen many people throw their stash in baggies when on the go or when they have nothing else to put them in. But can weed expire when stored in bags? Keeping your buds in plastic bags isn’t exactly recommended, but it is doable, provided you take some precautions. If you’re storing your marijuana in sealed plastic bags, make sure you remove as much air as possible before closing. Vacuum-sealing is relatively reliable, provided you’re dealing with a large stash of weed. If done correctly, your weed can last up to two to three months.  


I repeat, I would not precisely recommend using plastic baggies, but if you’re still choosing that option, make sure you follow these rules:


Never keep your weed in plastic bags that contain bisphenol A, a key ingredient in many plastic products. This chemical is proven to be harmful to people.


⦁ If you store marijuana in a bag containing BPA, there is a good chance those chemicals could reach your buds. Additionally, static charges in the plastic bags might pull apart trichomes off your precious buds. You don’t want to damage those glands. 


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How Long Can You Store Weed? And Can you Smoke Stale Marijuana?

how long can you store weed

So how long can you store weed under the right conditions? Provided you follow all the guidelines in storing your weed correctly, you can extend its life for up to two years. The holy herb will undoubtedly reward your ideal storage conditions, staying fresh for a long time.


In order to remain potent, cannabis has to be properly harvested, dried, cured, and stored. 

Following the golden rules will probably allow your Mary Jane to keep fresh from six months to a year. Additionally, if you do an outstanding job storing your buds, you could possibly extend its potency for up to two years or more. 


However, the conditions are rarely ideal, so don’t be disappointed if your weed is less than perfect after sitting there for long. Solution? Smoke it within six months of purchasing. And share the love!


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Stale Marijuana - Can You Still Use It?

So, you’ve found an old bag of weed and are wondering if you can smoke it. To be safe, check the following:


1. Is it moldy? Never, ever smoke moldy weed. 


2. How is the texture? If it’s spongy and makes no sound when you break it apart, chances are high it’s damp and potentially moldy. On the other hand, if the weed is too dry and crumbles as you touch it, it’s past its storage date, and it’s best to throw it out. 


3. Check the smell. If it smells funny, toss it.


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Does Weed Lose Potency Over Time?

does weed lose potency over time

Now that we’ve generally covered how long does weed last, let’s look at some science behind why does weed expire? It’s wise to learn what actually happens to cannabis as it ages, chemical-wise. Simply put, essential chemicals that make you feel good break down over time if not properly stored. This is how weed loses its potency over time. 


Terpenes break down, and buds lose their scent, as well as flavor. We all adore that fresh weed odor, but old weed can taste harsh. If your weed doesn’t smell or taste as it’s supposed to, you can be sure that the terpenes have broken down. 


The same thing happens with cannabinoids. If they break down and dissipate, your righteous buds won’t be as potent. Basically, all the chemicals that give you that unique feeling break down over time. How much time, you ask? Well, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has researched this topic for you. 


This is the rate at which a cannabis plant matter loses THC potency:


Weed loses approximately 16 percent of its THC after one year.

After two years in storage, cannabis loses 26 percent of its THC.

After three years, 34 percent of THC is dissipated.

Four years later, cannabis loses 41 percent of its THC.


THC is what packs a punch in your weed, but it will eventually gradually drop. So, the best thing to do, in my humble opinion, is smoke the thing. Why keep it for years?


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Where to Store Weed Properly - The Best Three Places

where to store weed

Properly storing your weed is paramount if you want to keep its potency and prevent it from drying out. When knowing where to store weed, the humidity must be at an optimal level at all times. To best control temperature and moisture, keep your pot away from direct sunlight and store it in a dry, cool, and dark place. 


Again, investing in some humidity packs can make all the difference in keeping the integrity of your noble weed. Typically, cannabis flowers are cured at room temperature, between 60 and 65 percent humidity levels. 


The best thing to do is store your weed in an airtight glass jar with a humidity pack at a temperature of between 15.5 to 20°C. A proper container is a must. Afterward, moving your weed to long-term storage is the ideal thing to do; like a cold, dark cellar. 


Pro Tip: Ensure you fill your mason jar about halfway with weed and then place the humidity pack in there. Fill the rest and leave a little bit of breathing room on top. If your flower is uncured, you can begin the process by burping it to control moisture for two weeks. Place the jar in a cool and dark place to enjoy excellent tasting buds for six months and longer.


Storing weed is vital for its freshness. But if you want to learn how to hide your stash, you can check out our other article on how to hide weed in your room and car, and the best places to store it.


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Finding the Best Place to Store Weed

Proper storage of your buds means keeping the water activity of your flowers within a 0.55 and 0.65 range. Temperature is a key element when it comes to figuring out the best place to store weed. Since water activity increases with temperature, you need to control light and temperature to keep your buds fresh. 


The biggest threat to the cannabis shelf life is undoubtedly moisture. Smoking moist cannabis can make you sick. On the other hand, too little humidity can affect the flower’s integrity, making it brittle. This way, you will lose the terpenes that are there for the beloved weed taste and potency.


Here are some of the best places to store your weed stash:

Keep Weed Fresh With UV-Proof Glass Stash Containers

This is ideal for storing small amounts of weed, and it really does wonders and prevents cannabis odor from leaking out. Additionally, these containers help your buds continue curing to get the best experience.


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Preserve Weed With Stash Boxes

Why not be a little bit classy? These boxes contain compartments for different tools and strains of cannabis. Make sure to avoid cedar, and choose teak bamboo, acacia, cherry, walnut, or mahogany wood. These types of wood won’t affect the smell or taste of your flowers. If you want to know where to get the best stash boxes of the year, check out our other article on where you can get the best storage boxes for your cannabis.

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Preserve Marijuana With Glass Mason Jars

One of the most popular and most effective ways to keep your buds fresh and potent are quart-sized mason jars that you can find in any ordinary store. Keep it in a cool and dry place, such as a closet, or better yet, a cellar. You will enjoy excellent tasting cannabis for many months to come. Glass jars are a fantastic choice because they also prevent your buds from getting crushed while handling. Just make sure your jars are at least 3/4 full to prevent too much air from being stored with your buds. This way, you can keep your weed potent for a year minimum. 


Pro Tip: Since UV light and high temperature degrade your weed, what you should do is store your weed inside the mason jar in a dry and cool place, such as a closet or a pantry. Remember, prolonged exposure to light and air will eventually convert THCA into THC and THC into CBN. And the latter will not deliver the cannabis experience you know and love.


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The Ideal Temperature and Humidity for Fresh Weed

Let’s take a moment to talk about the optimal temperatures for storing fresh weed and why it’s important for your buds.


Once you purchase your greenery, it’s critical to maintain the proper balance once you get it home. If you want to properly store your cannabis, keep the water activity within a range of 0.55 and 0.65. This increases with temperature, so light and temperature control are essential.


The ideal temperature to store your Mary Jane is around 21 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is too high, combined with high humidity, it can lead to moldy weed. The too high temperature will also dry out and evaporate the precious terpenes. 


The light will also do considerable damage to your flowers. Exposing your weed to light is actually the fastest and most effective way to age it. This was proven by a study published in the journal Pharmacy and Pharmacology, showing that light is the most significant contributor to cannabinoid deterioration. The same research concluded that properly stored herb remains stable for up to two years.


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How to Make Weed Last Longer - Five Proven Tips For Weed Storage

how to make weed last longer

We know nothing lasts forever. That also applies to the shelf life of your cannabis. But if you want to know how to make your weed last longer, you can do your best when it comes to prolonging its life and keeping its potency for a rich doobie experience. Proper storage conditions of correctly harvested, dried, and cured cannabis can keep its potency for up to two years, possibly longer.


Even if you use it after that, it will not harm you. However, you might be disappointed with the effects. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of some excellent tips and tricks to maximize your buds’ shelf life. Keep reading to get some awesome pointers for how to make your weed last longer.


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1. Store Your Stash In a Cool and Dark Place

Ideally in a hermetically closed sealed container. Do not leave in a plastic or paper bag, but in an opaque glass or ceramic jar instead. Once you put it there, try not to open it very often.


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2. The Size of Your Jar Should Be Big Enough to Store Your Buds

Leaving too much air inside could degrade your flowers. Also, I cannot stress this enough, keep your weed away from the sunlight. If not, your THC will convert into CBN, which cannot make you high.


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3. Keep the Humidity Level Between 54 to 63 Percent

Too low humidity might crumble your weed. On the other hand, too high humidity will make it moldy. If you’re really passionate about keeping your righteous buds fresh for longer, investing in specialized cannabis humidors is an excellent way to go.


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4. When it Comes to Storing Weed, Burp It

Once you seal your jars, leave them overnight and check on them the next day. If you notice your flowers are too wet, simply leave the lid off for a couple of hours before resealing it for the night. Repeat the process until you get it right. During the first curing week, open the containers once or twice daily, regardless of humidity. This way, you will let the moisture out and replenish the oxygen inside.


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5. Separate the Strains to Keep Organized

You want to maintain individual flavor profiles when it comes to your weed. It sucks to mix up strains, so make an effort to label and date your flowers. 


By storing weed properly and maintaining the correct temperatures, you will be able to preserve your stash for much longer. A longer kept stash means saving more money and delicious buds, so take the time and protect your precious cannabis!


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Weed in Freezer - Does It Keep Pot Fresh?

Does keeping weed in the freezer help its shelf life?  Provided your buds are completely dry, you can freeze them to maintain their potency for years. Put your buds in freezer bags or directly in jars, and then freeze them. If you’re using a bag, make sure you push all the air out and vacuum seal it. This way, you can maintain weed’s potency for years. 


Important note: Freezing buds is a bit controversial since it’s relatively easy to break trichomes when handling frozen flowers. If you opt for this solution, be extremely careful when dealing with frozen buds, as trichomes get brittle and break easily at freezing temperatures. However, if this does happen to you, you can still use the trichomes from the bottom of the container. Just like you would do with the “dust” that falls to the bottom of a grinder. The best thing to do is simply wait until buds come to room temperature. 

Pro Tip: Edibles and weed brownies are known to be the ideal way to store weed for a long time.


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The Importance of Knowing How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh For

When it comes to the shelf life of weed, we’ve discovered that it can vary on a number of factors such as storace placement, quality of the original buds, and the sealing of the cannabis. Being able to recognize when weed has gone stale or if it’s expired, is a great way to keep you and your health in the clear. No matter how tempting it may be to smoke that little nug you’ve just discovered, we’re here to tell you, it is not worth the toke. 


We hope we’ve answered all your questions on how long does weed stay good for,  does weed expire, and does weed go bad with time? In the event that you find yourself in need to maintain your buds, you now also know where to store weed properly and safely to keep your stash nice, fresh, and potent.


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