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Answered: Does weed expire and what does mold look like on weed plants?


“Answered” is a blog series from THC University that answers the internet’s most sought-after questions related to cannabis. We cover everything from cultivation to making edibles to smoking to finding a job in cannabis. 

Whether you’re a grower or a cannabis consumer, moldy weed is a major red flag. This post answers one of the internet’s most pressing questions: Does weed expire? If it does then what does mold look like on cannabis plants?


What is the shelf life of marijuana?


The shelf life of cannabis really depends on how it’s stored and how it was initially cured. Generally speaking, if it’s stored properly in a cool, dark, and dry place, cannabis can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months without losing its potency. 

It’s also important to make sure that the container you store it in is airtight and moisture-proof. We will go over this in more detail below, but poorly stored cannabis can quickly lead to mold and other contaminants, so be sure to check your stash regularly! 


How and why cannabis can go bad


Cannabis can indeed go bad over time due to exposure to light, heat, moisture, and oxygen. These factors can cause the potency and quality of the plant material to deteriorate, leading to a loss of potency and flavor. 

In some cases, exposure to these elements can also cause the growth of mold and bacteria, making the cannabis unsafe to consume.


What does mold on weed look like?


Mold on marijuana is usually white, but it can also be gray or black and it appears in spurts or fuzzy patches. It can also look like small spots or web-like clusters. If you spot any of these signs on your marijuana, it’s time to throw it out! 

Remember, mold is dangerous to consume. Doing so can lead to adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and respiratory issues. So if you think your weed has gone bad, it’s best to discard it and get a fresh stash. 


Best practices to avoid mold when cultivating cannabis


For growers who cultivate their cannabis plants, preventing mold growth is crucial to ensure the quality and safety of your final product. Here are some best practices to help avoid mold when growing cannabis:

  1. Maintain humidity levels: Mold thrives in humid conditions, so it’s important to keep the humidity levels in your grow room or grow space low. The ideal relative humidity for cannabis plants during the vegetative stage is between 40% and 70%, while the ideal range for flowering is between 40% and 50%.
  2. Ensure proper airflow: Good air circulation is essential for keeping mold spores from settling and spreading. Make sure there is enough airflow in your grow room by installing fans and vents. This helps to keep the air moving and prevent pockets of stagnant air that can promote mold growth.
  3. Keep the growing environment clean: Mold can grow anywhere, and it’s important to keep the growing environment as clean as possible to prevent the growth of mold and other pathogens. This includes regularly cleaning surfaces, equipment, and tools that come into contact with the plants.
  4. Utilize fungicides: Fungicides can be used as a preventative measure against mold growth. When used correctly, these products can help to control mold and other fungal diseases in cannabis plants. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use only the recommended amount of fungicide.
  5. Check for signs of mold: Regularly inspect your cannabis plants for any signs of mold growth, including white, grey, or black fuzz or a powdery substance. Early stages of mold growth can be hard to see with the naked eye, so use a magnifying glass to spot telltale signs. If you spot mold growth, isolate the affected plants immediately to prevent further contamination.
  6. Use a Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier is a useful tool for reducing the moisture levels in your grow space. By keeping the relative humidity at the right level, you can prevent the growth of mold and other fungi.
  7. Prevent bud rot: Bud rot, also known as grey mold, is a common problem in cannabis plants. It can cause the buds to become musty, and if left unchecked, can spread to the rest of the plant. To prevent bud rot, remove any fan leaves that are touching the buds and maintain proper airflow in the grow room.
  8. Consider allergic reactions: Moldy cannabis can cause allergic reactions in some people, particularly those with weakened immune systems or lung infections. To avoid health risks, it’s best to dispose of moldy weed and avoid consuming edibles made from moldy cannabis.


Storing cannabis to avoid going bad


To extend the shelf life of your cannabis and ensure that it remains fresh and safe to consume, it’s recommended to store it in a cool, dry place in airtight containers. This will help prevent exposure to light, heat, moisture, and oxygen, which can cause the cannabis to go bad.

It’s also important to keep your cannabis away from direct sunlight and to avoid storing it in areas with high humidity, as this can increase the risk of mold growth.

By following these expert tips, you can guarantee that your cannabis remains fresh and secure to consume. Whether it’s your first time using marijuana or you’re an experienced user, understanding how best to store weed is integral for getting the most out of your experience. 

Moreover, now that you know what mold on weed looks like and how to store it, you can rest assured knowing your stash will stay fresh for a long time! 

So while weed does, in fact, expire over time, the right care and attention can help you avoid accidentally consuming bad cannabis while ensuring you make the most out of your bud.


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