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  • J. L. Campbell

What Is the Shelf Life of Medical Marijuana?

Some medical marijuana patients are daily cannabis users, but others only use cannabis occasionally, when they feel their symptoms start to flare up. Missouri medical marijuana cardholders who don’t go through their supply as quickly may wonder just how long their medical marijuana will remain potent, and when is it time to trash their stash and purchase an entirely new supply.

Cannabis does have a limited shelf-life, which can vary, depending on how you store it. It is important to educate yourself on this information if you only consume medical marijuana occasionally. It would be a shame to suddenly find that you need relief only to find the cannabis you’ve had sitting around the house isn’t as fresh or strong as it used to be.

Medical Marijuana Reduces In Potency Over Time

Regardless of whether you are growing your own medical marijuana or getting your cannabis from one of the numerous dispensaries located across the state of Missouri, you may find yourself wondering if your cannabis supply has gone bad.

If you are someone who doesn’t smoke very often, or if you don’t rotate your stock, this issue can occur. Or perhaps you found some leftover flower at the back of a drawer that you’d forgotten about, and are wondering if it is still good. The answer to that question is: it depends.

So how long does cannabis actually last? Well, it depends on how you store your medical marijuana. If you are using proper storage techniques, your cannabis supply will last a lot longer. If you are buying medical marijuana that has been harvested, dried, and cured correctly, it will last anywhere from six months to a full year. If it’s older than that, your best option is to get rid of it and head to the dispensary to stock back up.

When it Comes to Preserving Medical Marijuana - Proper Storage Is Key

If you store your cannabis correctly, it can last up to an entire year. If you are purchasing flower from a dispensary, we recommend adhering to the expiration date listed on the outside packaging. This will ensure the best results so that you are sure to get the relief you need.

When cannabis is past its expiration date, that doesn’t mean it’s going to spoil or rot like dairy products or meat that are past their expiration date. More likely, your cannabis will become dried out, moldy, and less potent. The flavor profile of your medical marijuana may also diminish, leading to a less-than-pleasant smoking experience.

According to a profile on marijuana expiration done by The Spokesman-Review, the four factors that affect the freshness level of cannabis are light, air, temperature, and humidity. The article goes on to explain how these factors can affect the quality of cannabis:

“Humidity can cause mold, a problem that can lead not only to a bad taste but also to health issues such as headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. Light can break down cannabinoids, as can high temperatures (whereas cold can, again, lead to the growth of mold). And air can both affect taste and reduce potency.”

Storing your cannabis properly, in an airtight container will slow down this process and protect your cannabis so that you can enjoy it over a longer period of time.

How to Store Your Cannabis

When cannabis ages, many of the cannabinoids and terpenes slowly break down and lose their potency. When this happens, your cannabis will slowly lose its flavor and scent. The THC breaks down alongside the cannabinoids in marijuana, reducing the plant’s overall effect. Once the THC is broken down, your bud will lose its potency. When stored correctly, this process will not happen as fast.

Learning how to properly store your marijuana can save you from having to toss out your expensive medicine. The most basic item you need is a glass, air proof container. If you can find a UV-proof glass, that will be most effective, but even something such as a mason jar will work just fine.

Seal the jar, then store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Mason jars come in a variety of sizes, and you’ll want to find one that your stash can fit tightly in. The more cannabis you are able to pack into your container, the less room there will be for oxygen. Having less oxygen reduces the chance that mold will grow in your container.

Additional Info to Consider

  • After one year, cannabis loses nearly 16% of its total THC content.

  • If marijuana is exposed to warmer temperatures, the moisture and humidity can cause mold to develop. If your marijuana supply feels spongy and no longer makes any sound when you pull it apart, that probably means it’s moldy and you SHOULD NOT consume it.

  • It is possible for marijuana to be “too dry.” If it breaks apart easily and crumbles to dust, you should not consume it. At that point, your flower has lost all of the ever-important cannabinoids that provide marijuana patients with relief.

  • If you find yourself having leftover flower regularly, it may be time to consider purchasing in smaller increments or getting rid of your old marijuana and purchasing some fresh cannabis.

Ready for a Fresh Supply of Relief?

Nothing beats the relief that medical grade cannabis provides. If you’re ready for a fresh supply, all you’ll need is your Missouri medical marijuana card. If you don’t have your card yet, we can help you with that. Our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana physician online by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri!

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Tristen Sherman
Tristen Sherman

When stored properly, dried cannabis can last for 6 months to 1 year. Over time, it begins to lose its properties and aroma. According to research, medical marijuana loses approximately 16% of its THC after one year and continues to decline from there. To find out more about medical marijuana, you can contact My MMJ Doctor.

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