Does CBD Flower Expire?

August 08, 2022 Blog No Comments »

image of page banner does cbd flower expire

It’s no secret that buying bigger bags of CBD flowers can cost you less per gram. But when you overdo the bulk and you end up with a stash that’s just too big, you might find yourself wondering — does CBD flower expire?

The short answer is yes, CBD flowers can expire. But with a little know-how on proper storage techniques, you should be able to prolong your flower’s shelf life and outlive the ‘use by date on its packaging.

Why Does CBD Flower Expire?

People tend to think that because CBD flower is dry, it probably won’t expire. But just like any other natural product, CBD flower has a shelf life that’s likely indicated on the product packaging.

As a general rule, your CBD flower should be good to use for up to 12 months or more since the day it was packaged. Vendors will indicate the ‘use by date on the package to guide your usage schedules and consumption.

But why exactly does CBD flower expire in the first place? Well, there are three major reasons why your CBD flower might no longer be viable for use.

  • Improper moisture levels – When hemp flower is exposed to too much moisture through humidity, it becomes ‘waterlogged.’ This bogs the leaves down with excess moisture that destroys the terpenes and cannabinoids and makes the bud difficult to burn.

However contrary to popular belief, it isn’t only an excess of water that could be damaging to your stash. Too little moisture can dry out the leaves and cause their organic compounds to fizzle out of existence. That’s why CBD flowers that are left in hot, exposed areas tend to produce harsh, painful smoke.

  • Poor temperature conditions – Heat, in particular, can damage the terpenes and cannabinoids in the leaves. When this happens, you’ll find your CBD flower just doesn’t produce the same effects it did when the stash was fresh.

It’s particularly important to store CBD flowers properly to avoid unnecessary exposure to heat. Don’t take that as your cue however to store your stash in the freezer, which may present unique difficulties and problems in terms of maintaining stash integrity and quality.

  • Age – Even with all of the proper storage techniques in practice, there’s no way to stop the marching on of time. Keeping your stash safe from heat, humidity, and contamination can only go so far.

CBD hemp flower that’s not used for years would have lost most of the organic compounds that give it its power. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. But degradation occurs regardless of whether you store your CBD flower properly.

image of cbd flower

What Does Moldy CBD Flower Look Like?

Since most CBD flower is homogeneously green and organic, spotting mold might not be as simple as it seems. Small blotches of mold can evade your senses during a basic visual inspection. So it helps to really assess your stash, especially after a long bout in storage.

Here’s how to spot mold on your CBD flower:

  • Check for a whitish coating – If you’re not particularly experienced with handling CBD flowers, you might mistake mold for trichomes. These tiny hairs that cover the surfaces of the bud look glittery, shiny, and tacky to the touch.

Mold on the other hand is dry and dusty. In more advanced, developed contamination, mold may appear as spots with distinct gray and white sections and borders.

  • Give it a whiff – Mold has a very distinct smell. In fact, the odor can be so offensive that you might pick up on the contamination with your nose before your eyes even notice it.

Generally, mold gives off an unpleasant smell that’s similar to hay. It may also seem musty or mildewy, depending on how you perceive the odor.

  • Examine with touch – When you break apart moldy CBD flowers, you’re likely to find whitish-gray buildup tucked into the crevices of the nugs. This also makes the bud particularly fragile and susceptible to breakage.

Since mold is dry and powdery, your hemp might also change in texture and feel if contaminated. What was once probably tacky to the touch might suddenly leave dusty remnants on your fingertips.

image of moldy hemp flower

How to Store CBD Flower

There are a number of storage practices you can put into action to extend the shelf-life of your CBD flower stash. These include:

  • Using airtight containersJars with proper seals can help prevent moisture from entering your CBD flower containers. Mason jars work best to seal in freshness and prevent contaminants from adulterating your nugs.
  • Practicing sanitary handling techniques – Dirt, bacteria, germs, and microbes on your bare hand and under your nails can contaminate your stash.

Wear a pair of gloves or use a set of utensils to break off pieces that you intend to use. It also helps to take just enough for your dose so you don’t end up tossing unused CBD flowers back into the container.

  • Keeping your stash away from heat and sunlight – High temperatures can destroy terpenes and cannabinoids. To avoid speeding up the process of degradation, make sure to keep your CBD flower in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

On top of that, you might also want to avoid stowing your jars behind appliances like your fridge, oven, or other heat sources that could damage the terpenes with excessive temperatures.

  • Vacuum sealing for long-term storage – If you purchased way too much product and you want to give it the best chance at long shelf life, vacuum sealing is the solution.

Separate a week’s or a month’s portion in a mason jar for daily consumption. The rest of the bulk can be vacuum sealed and stored in a cool, dry place until you need to replenish your jar.

image of airtight jars for cbd hemp flower

How to Fix Dry CBD Flower

If you find that your CBD flower has gotten way too dry over the course of its stint in storage, you can rehydrate it with nothing more than a citrus peel. Take a strip of lemon, orange, or lime peel and toss it into your nug jar.

Seal the container and ‘burp’ the jar by releasing air once every twelve hours. Your dried hemp flower should be fresh and ready to use after about a day.

A Fresh Stash for the Long Haul

All good things come to an end, but with proper storage techniques, your CBD flower stash should last well after that use-by date. Make sure to keep your bulk buds in tip-top shape and preserve their precious chemistry by putting these storage best practices into action at your home.

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