Cannabis won’t go bad the way milk does, but its THC can certainly degrade over time. Here’s what to look for and ways to make sure your weed stays good. Weed seeds can survive in the soil for years before they germinate and grow. When it comes to growing your own cannabis, there’s a lot to learn. You’ll pick up most of the information as you go. One of the most common questions for…
How Long Does Weed Stay Good? (3 Ways To Keep Cannabis From Going Bad While On The Go)
Cannabis won’t go bad the way milk does, but its THC can certainly degrade over time. Here’s what to look for and ways to make sure your weed stays good.
Weed can stay good for longer than you would expect, but it certainly can’t stay good forever.
Because weed, unlike milk or other food products, can degrade over time through a variety of factors. Maybe it can get some humidity in your storage container, causing it to get moly. Conversely, maybe it is left out in excessive heat and dry climates that burn off all of the THC and all the other desirable elements in the flower.
There are a TON of factors that determine how long does weed stay good and it’s important to pay the shelf life of it a fair amount of mind after you’ve made your weekly pickup from the dispensary.
And while there is no serious health risks that may come about from smoking bunk cannabis flower, its drop in potency could mean you’re not getting as much bang for your buck.
Does Weed Lose Potency Over Time?
This can be a tough question, mostly because there are so many variables that go into preventing your stash from losing that fresh weed flavor.
While it’s true that weed does lose some of its potency over time, the amount it loses depends on how you store it. If you keep it in a cool, dark place, it will last longer. If you keep it in a warm, humid place, it will spoil faster. If you store your weed properly, it can last for years without losing much potency at all.
However, if you don’t store your weed properly, it can lose its potency in just a few months. In fact, studies show that weed loses about 16% of its THC in only one year after being harvested. After that, it can lose up to 26% of its THC after 2 years, 34% of its THC after three years, and almost half of its THC after four years.
To ensure that your weed stays as potent as possible, you should store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. You should also avoid exposing your weed to light or heat, as both of these can cause it to degrade more quickly.
What Makes Weed Potency Last?
Weed potency is determined by the concentration of THC in the plant. So the higher the concentration of THC, the more potent the weed will be. Higher concentrations of THC will always increase the shelf life and keep it fresh and potent for six months to a year.
However, there are other factors that can affect the degradation of its potency over time, such as how the weed is grown and how it is consumed. Weed that has been processed and distilled down to oils and tinctures, for example, will stay fresh for far longer than flower ever will.
How Long Do Cannabis Products Last?
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Cannabis products have a wide range of shelf lives.
For example, cannabis seeds can last for years if stored properly, while dried flowers only last for a few months. So a general rule of thumb is to always keep your cannabis, flower, seeds and more in ideal storage conditions (a few ways you will want to store your weed will be discussed momentarily).
Here is a general rule of thumb for how long different types of cannabis products last:
- Cannabis Seeds: 2-3 years
- Dried Flowers: 3-6 months
- Concentrates (e.g. hash, wax, shatter): 6-12 months
- Edibles: 6-12 months
- Topicals: 6-12 months
3 Ways To Keep Weed Fresh While On The Go
There are a few ways to keep your weed fresh while on the go. One way is to store it in an airtight container. This will keep the air out and prevent the weed from drying out. Another way is to store it in a cool, dark place. This will help to keep the weed from getting too hot and drying out. Finally, you can try storing it in the fridge. This will help to keep the weed from getting too warm and drying out.
1. Store In A Mason Jar That Has A Lid
Glass jars are a solid, affordable option for weed storage. They create an airtight environment that prevents any microbial growth from external factors. The same cannot be said about storing weed in plastic jars, as the plastic baggies hold static that can actually remove the trichomes from the flower and affect the flowers potency in a matter of weeks. On top of this, plastic bags are terrible for the environment and the last thing you want to do is leave a massive carbon footprint when you hit your next music festival.
In other words, no air can get in or out of the jar. Jars that come with rubber seals are even better because they close tightly.
Empty medicine bottles are yet another smart way to keep your pot fresh. Medicine bottles are designed to keep their contents dry and safe from contamination.
Keep a few things in mind before storing marijuana. Make sure the bottle/container is properly sanitized and dried. However, these bottles are not much help when it comes to odor control. So if that’s your concern, the choice is yours.
2. Keep The Light At Bay
Always prefer a dark, tinted container over a transparent one. More exposure to light, less are the chances of buds staying fresh. One of the main reasons being, cannabis is essentially an organic substance. Hence it is prone to decay by environmental factors. High level of exposure to light dries out the terpenes present in cannabis and over time, your bud loses aroma.
While out at music festivals or camping on the go, try keeping your glass jar container under wraps and out of sunlight. Leave it in your tent, car, backpack, or other dark place to ensure the weed won’t become stale. I personally wrap reflective duck tape around my mason-jar container while out at festivals which helps reduce the heat by reflecting the sun and also prevents light from degrading the flower; keeping my weed fresh for longer while out in the wild.
3. Avoid Heat
Terpenes largely affect the aroma, flavor and even the color of the cannabis plant. At higher temperature, the cannabinoids and terpenes start boiling which can degrade their potency fairly quickly.
The leaves curl up and develop brown/yellow spots at places. These are the first signs of heat stress. Similarly, extreme cold conditions affect the Trichomes and make them brittle.
How long do weed seeds survive in the soil?
CORVALLIS – Weed seeds can survive in the soil for years before they germinate and grow, according to Jed Colquhoun, weed specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.
Why should home gardeners care?
“If you combine the longevity of seeds in the soil with the fact that weeds such as common lambsquarters can produce over 500,000 seeds per plant, the incentive to hand weed your garden becomes much greater,” said Colquhoun.
“Prevention is the most effective form of weed control,” he said.
Here are some basics on weed seed biology:
Undisturbed weed seeds tend to persist longer than seeds subjected to periodic tillage. Weed seeds in deeply worked soil tend to last longer than seeds in shallowly worked soil. Seeds deep in the soil are “stored” below the germination zone.
Grass seeds tend to be less persistent than broadleaf weed seeds.
The number of surviving seeds of most weed species declines rapidly the first year. But thereafter the rate of weed seed decline slows. Some seeds can persist for decades.
As many as 130 million seeds per plow acre were found in a Minnesota study.
Different species of weeds have seeds that last varying numbers of years in the soil. The scientific literature provides some information about seed longevity, including:
- Brome grass seed seldom lasts more than two years.
- Annual ryegrass – up to nine years.
- Perennial ryegrass – up to three years.
- Annual bluegrass – up to about five years.
- Wild oats – three to six years, but longer in deep soil.
- Jointed goatgrass – three to five-and-a-half years.
- Barnyardgrass – up to 13 years.
- Quackgrass – up to four years.
- Common velvetgrass – 10 years or more.
- Mustards – are long lived. Seeds excavated from a monastery in Denmark were dated to be 600 years old and 11 of them germinated. More commonly, mustard seeds last for decades.
- Lambsquarters – may last up to four decades.
- Russian thistle (tumbleweed) – short lived, most live only a year.
- Wild carrot – several years.
- Curly dock – more than a decade.
- Canada thistle – more than two decades.
- Field bindweed – more than 50 years.
- Leafy spurge – at least a few years.
- Common groundsel – most die within a year.
Scientists found lotus seeds in Manchuria that germinated after over 1,000 years, said Colquhoun.
How Long Do Cannabis Seeds Last?
When it comes to growing your own cannabis, there’s a lot to learn. You’ll pick up most of the information as you go. One of the most common questions for growers is “how long do cannabis seeds last?” The answer is not always clear.
Cannabis seeds will last longer if they’re stored properly out of harm’s way. If you don’t know the best way to store your seeds, read on. We’ll answer “how long do cannabis seeds last” and give you some tips for getting the most out of your seeds.
Keep in mind that there is no concrete answer for how long cannabis seeds will last. In fact, the only guarantee is that it depends on many things. Storage, the specific strain, and other factors will affect the lifespan of your seeds.
Marijuana seeds last the longest in the refrigerator
As with many things related to growing cannabis, there is some debate about the best ways to store seeds. There is also plenty of debate surrounding how long they will last in any given storage space.
Leafly says that seeds must be properly stored to prevent mold or pathogens from spoiling them. They should be stored in a cool, dark place and can be used within 16 months. If you’ll be waiting longer than 16 months, it’s best to put them in the freezer to use in the future.
However, some suggest that seeds can last for years when stored in a cool, dark place. Like we said, there is plenty of debate surrounding best practices for growing weed. If you have stored your seeds in a cool, dark place for a long time, examine them thoroughly and be cautious. Expect to lose more seeds as time goes on, though. The longer they sit in storage, the more likely it is that some won’t germinate.
So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to refrigerate or freeze your seeds for long-term storage.
If they’re not stored in a cool, dark place, and are instead stored in regular conditions, they will last significantly less time. Some sources suggest they will only last a few months in regular conditions. If you don’t plan to use your seeds in the near future, it’s best to store them somewhere cool and dark to prevent pathogens and mold.
As a general rule, try to use your cannabis seeds within the first three years of obtaining them. Five years is considered very old for seeds. The quicker you can germinate and use your seeds, the better. In fact, the longer you wait, the less likely it is that the seeds will germinate at all.
What factors affect cannabis seed longevity?
First of all, try to keep your seeds in their original packaging if possible. This will prevent them from being exposed to light or other no-nos. If they’re already out of the packaging, that’s okay. Keep them in a sealed container, in a dark, cool place. Or sealed in the refrigerator or freezer.
It’s not necessary to freeze your seeds, but some people prefer to freeze them instead of refrigerate them. If you don’t open your freezer as often as you open your fridge, it may be logical to freeze them instead. This will prevent frequent temperature changes and potential light exposure.
Additionally, too much or too little humidity and the presence of oxygen can also affect the longevity of your seeds. Keep ‘em cool. Keep ‘em dark.
And don’t forget genetics and quality. Some seeds will just fare better than others because they are higher quality and more durable.
What happens when cannabis seeds are stored improperly?
If seeds are exposed to light or rapid temperature change, this can trigger a number of events that will damage their longevity.
First, it can trigger them to use up their nutrient stores before they should be used. This means when it’s time to germinate, they won’t have enough nutrients. Exposure to high humidity can trigger fungi growth.
Here’s some more information about how humidity can affect cannabis seeds, courtesy of Royal Queen Seeds.
If the storage space has an 8-9% level of humidity, it may eventually attract pests and insects. Once it hits 12-14% humidity, it’s possible for fungi to grow inside and outside of your seeds.
When humidity levels reach higher levels, around 18-20% humidity, the seeds will begin to sweat. Once you’ve reached 20-30% humidity, it’s a good idea to store your seeds. Around 40-60% humidity will lead to germination. You don’t want this if you’re not using your seeds yet. And finally, 80-100% humidity will cause seeds to drown and wilt in less than a day.
Best practices for storing your cannabis seeds
If you don’t plan to wait a long time, you can store your seeds in a cool, dark place. However, if you want to be extra certain they will survive, refrigerate or freeze them.
When you refrigerate or freeze your seeds, you need to protect them from your regular use. You don’t want your seeds getting exposed to light and temperature changes on a regular basis because they’re in your fridge. So, store them in the device you use less often (or better, a second fridge you rarely use) to prevent frequent temperature changes.
The best way to store them in a refrigerator or freezer to keep them in a nice, airtight container. Ziplock bags are a good choice because you can squeeze most of the air out and create a tight seal over your seeds. But don’t stop at the bags. Once you’ve sealed them in a ziplock bag, you’ll need to put it inside a darker bag or container. This will prevent deterioration from light every time you use your fridge.
It is possible to expose your seeds to excess moisture if they’re improperly stored in the refrigerator or freezer. If you don’t plan to leave them for long, you can skip the fridge and store them in a dark, cool zone. But if you do use the refrigerator to store cannabis seeds and want to make sure they don’t get too much moisture, you could add a little bit of uncooked rice to their container. Some growers suggest this will absorb excess moisture and prevent the seeds from deteriorating.
As with many things cannabis and gardening, different people like to use different methods. What works for you may not be someone else’s cup of tea.
But when it comes to storing seeds, you need to be careful. It’s crucial to keep them in an environment that prevents them from getting damaged and losing their ability to germinate.
The best way to store your seeds will depend on many factors. Assess how long you plan to leave them for, the quality of the seeds, and the storage spaces you have available before deciding how to store them. And good luck!
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