Cannabis has an indefinite shelf life for as long as all the proper conditions are met. For weed to really stand the test of time, aside from careful handling of the growth and harvest cycle, you also have to properly store it. Once these conditions are met, you should be able to enjoy your goods for up to a year with minimal quality degradation.
It is unfortunate that not all marijuana is cultivated with top level precision. And because you cannot control the quality of your cannabis before it reaches your hands, it helps to have the ability to identify bad or old cannabis. After all, you would not want to smoke on some dry or moldy ganja. Below are some tips on how to sense bad or old weed.
Terpenes usually degrade when they are not treated well. Vibrant terpenes is mostly an indicator that your marijuana is fine, although it also helps to also look at other penetrating scents that can indicate quality compromise. Musty smells can indicate mold presence, while chemical aromas can be a sign of pesticide use. Any unwelcome smells should prompt you to reconsider using the stash.
An identified of bad or old cannabis is whether or not you can tell it is weed. Old cannabis will break apart into powder with little effort. Mold is usually easily identified on cannabis. Although it can take several appearances, one way to identify between mold and trichomes is by looking at the concentration. Mold grows over trichomes, appearing like a white powdery mass that will penetrate the surfaces of the flower.
Handling your weed is a great way to point out important quality signs. If you have nugs whose quality you cannot seem to accurately determine, hold them and pull them apart and see if they are over-compressed, have enough moisture, or if they easily disintegrate between the fingers. Also deconstruct your flowers to see any penetrating mold that are not easily seen with the naked eye.
Try to listen to your nugs as you break them apart between your fingers. Flowers and stems that are properly dried and cured with have an audible snap. These is a good indicator that your weed still has enough moisture. Dry and brittle cannabis will have a crackly sound; you should also be able to feel it between your fingers. Consequently, weed with too much moisture content will not make any sound at all, and should be hard to pull apart.
If you have proven that your cannabis looks and smells good, and audibly breaks apart without any issues, the final test is to actually try it out and smoke it. Bad or old cannabis does not smoke well, and you should be able to figure it out right into your first puff. Just make sure there is no mold growth first and it visually and audibly looks okay to you, before you dig in and give it a try.
Now that you can identify is cannabis has gone bad, it is now time to know how to delay this process. If you are holding a small amount for your own personal use, it is best to keep it in an airtight container. Many people will recommend that you use one that is made of glass, although others should do as well.
Aside from keeping air out of your stash, it also helps to keep your cannabis products out of direct sunlight where the heat and ultraviolet rays can damage them. To further avoid any more issues, you might want to use UV-protected containers. Finally, place your sealed cannabis in a cool area where will be undisturbed by heat or light.