Marijuana can have a long shelf life. How long weed stays good has a lot to do with how it is stored and preserved. According to Lex Corwin, the CEO and founder of Stone Road, “Cannabis degrades easily.” Much of the storage capacity for weed has to do with the curing process; however, we will be looking at post cure methods.
The Best Case Scenario
According to Corwin, harvested flowers from the cannabis plant “should be consumed within six to eight months from its harvest date.” He further notes that pre-rolls have an average shelf life of about three months. This type of cannabis will have been cured and stored in a glass container away from heat and light. The herb can also be stored in the freezer for one to two years; however, it should not be touched as the buds will drop their trichomes, and some of the weed may be less potent. This method is only recommended if there are very large amounts of marijuana being stored.
Potential Bad Outcomes
Heat and light are detrimental to stored marijuana. Corwin says, “When exposed to heat or excessive light, [it] will dry out and be harsh to smoke and/or can die you a headache.” This happens because, “THC turns to CBN, so you will just get very tired rather than a fun and interesting high.” Avoid bad outcomes by controlling the humidity and light exposure by using the right container.
Not to mention, humidity is a major factor on how well your weed fares in long term storage. Too much moisture runs the risk of your buds becoming mouldy. You can avoid moulds by storing at a temperature less than 25.5ºC (78ºF), as this is not a prime environment for mould growth. Not enough moisture lends to destruction of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Pay Attention to Light
Let's not forget that UV light is known to break down terpenes, THC and other cannabinoids (such as CBD). Keeping your cannabis stash in a dark coloured container, or in a cupboard, will help to avoid this issue. Combining light and moisture is a recipe for ruined cannabis.
Choose the Right Container
Bear in mind that the container you use matters most for the length of time the product will be stored. Glass containers (or ceramic) are preferred for long-term storage, as plastic containers can make your cannabis “sweat”. Weed that “sweats” ends up being drier and harsher. Plastic containers are good for short term storage (e.g. what you’re currently smoking). Also, metal containers exist, but they tend to be smaller portable containers. Metal is not a recommended material due to its ability to conduct heat. Humidity control packs are often added to long term storage to ensure that the weed does not dry out too much.