Medical Cannabis – Does It Expire? What You Need To Know!
Cannabis has been used for centuries for both recreational and medicinal purposes. But in recent times, medical cannabis does have numerous health benefits and has made it more renowned and widespread in various parts of the world.
However, this has also created a lot of questions. One of the common questions is regarding its shelf life, that is, does weed go bad? Here are a couple of things you should know about cannabis’ shelf life, how to store your cannabis, and when to discard it.
What Happens to Cannabis over Time
Cannabis contains numerous compounds which contribute to many of its characteristics such as its psychoactive effect, its health benefits, and so on. To directly answer the question of whether cannabis can spoil, it does not exactly go bad. Over time as these components are exposed to air, sunlight, moisture, they will change. Furthermore, the changes and rate of changes will differ from situation to situation as the storage conditions vary.
The components such as THCA are stored in hot and dry conditions then it will convert to CBNA, then to CBN. In other words, the properties of cannabis will completely alter. Instead of the ‘high’ recreational users might be looking for, they will get drowsy and feel calm because the CBN will turn it into a potent sedative.
In short, cannabis does not exactly go bad but its effects change. Furthermore, the smoke which is emitted from it tends to be a lot harsher on your throat. On the other hand, CBN itself has its own list of uses.
Uses of Cannabinol (CBN)
Cannabinol or CBN, in controlled doses, is non-intoxicating. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, it can make the user drowsy. Therefore it can be used as a sleeping aid and relaxant for those who find difficulties in falling asleep.
There’s also been a huge amount of products with CBD (Cannabidiol) in them as well. I recently started using CBD and am thrilled with the results. You can find everything from beauty products to foods and oils touting the benefits of CBD.
Moreover, it can also help relieve pain caused by migraines, arthritis and so on. Lastly, it also has anti-bacterial properties which can further come into use medically. These are just a few highlighted benefits of CBN as it has many more.
How Long Does Cannabis Stay Good For
The percentage of THC breaks down and is lost over time. Again, most of it depends on the storage conditions however, there is a rough estimate that by the fourth year mark, 41% of the THC in cannabis is supposed to be lost.
How to Preserve It
The shelf life of medical cannabis largely depends on how it is stored. If it is exposed to sunlight, the faster the component changes will occur. Furthermore, the more humid conditions cannabis is exposed to, the faster it goes bad.
Therefore, to keep your cannabis in the most optimum conditions, you should first dry it. Next, keep it in a compact airtight glass container. It should be kept out of damp areas such as the bathroom or fridge, so you might try dry areas such as a cupboard in a room with minimal exposure to water.
Moreover, it will be beneficial if your chosen container is darkened as that will block out the light.
How Does Cannabis Go Bad
Even though the component change in marijuana is not harmful, other changes it may develop will be dangerous. Just like any other plant, it is susceptible to mold and insect infestations. Cannabis usually is prone to developing mold when it is exposed to a damp environment therefore, a lot of stress is put on storing it in a dry place.
Smoking moldy marijuana can increase the chances of developing infections and also can produce toxins which can lead to liver cancer. In conclusion, you should make sure to check the stored medicine before consumption. Additionally, if you are incorporating medical cannabis in your food then also keep in mind that the food spoils faster than the cannabis. So, also take the shelf life of the ingredients of your food under consideration as well before consuming it.
How to Know When Cannabis Goes Bad
The first thing you should look for is mold. You can also detect mold in your cannabis by pulling it apart and checking how damp it is. If it is spongy, moist and makes no sound when you pull it apart, then you should most probably discard it as it is likely that mold has already developed in it.
Furthermore, if it is too dried out, it will crumble apart if you tug on it. In this case, it is best not to consume it. Moreover, you must also pay attention to how it smells. Though old marijuana may not smell as strong as fresh marijuana, it should still have the traditional smell. A musty, urine-like smell may be a result of the formation of mold and a chemical like smell may be a result of pesticide contamination.
Lastly, you will be able to tell if it has gone bad or old by tasting or smoking it as the flavors will contain something different from the traditional taste of cannabis.
Be Careful When Purchasing Your Medication
Getting medical cannabis from unlicensed sources can be a little cheaper, however, that is where the advantages stop. Licensed manufacturers have strict production conditions and are legally bound to sell you only the best of their production.
Due to heavy monitoring, anything infected is discarded which might not be the case for illegal sellers. Furthermore, legal producers also take other things into account such as the amount of pesticide being used, and so on. However, illegal producers may not consider these thus, may also sell you a product which is harmful to you. Always check with a medical professional before ingesting anything.
Therefore, it is better than to be safe than sorry and to spend a few extra bucks in order to ensure that you are not being harmed.
Though cannabis has been used for centuries for its health benefits, modern science is still trying to fully understand how best to use it. Therefore, it is safe to say that with time, more benefits and more solid safety precautions will surface.
Even though medical cannabis does not quite expire, there are still many other factors to consider. Therefore, with proper preservation discussed in this post, you can take care of your medical cannabis and use it over a long time.
Don’t forget to read Bring The Outdoors Inside With An Indoor Herb Garden In Your Kitchen too!
This article has been contributed by Dave on behalf of THCDetox.biz. He is an avid traveler, loves surfing and the natural way of life.