Marijuana concentrates don’t last forever, no matter the urban myths that may persist about them! However, with effective storage, it’s possible to safely consume most concentrates for a good six months. Though some are not fond of hydrocarbon extracted concentrates such as BHO-based shatter or wax, these have been shown to last longer than things like rosin.
How to Store Your Concentrates
The best way to store concentrates is in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. This should maintain the freshness and quality for a longer period. Though most don’t improve with age like wine (with the exception of some hash), it could pay to treat concentrates in a similar way — in a cool, dark basement away from the heat and sunlight of the day.
What Is Nucleation?
Nucleation is the main way concentrates degrade. During nucleation, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and contaminants start to break down. In particular, terpenes are quite volatile and will evaporate in open air. When looking at your concentrates, you'll notice this happening when they get a granular, almost sugary appearance. In the case of shatter, it can start looking like brown sugar on the surface, and wax, this can be a rougher texture. When this happens, THC begins degrading into CBN. CBN is a cannabinoid that causes a sedative sensation, not unlike CBD-rich indica buds are said to do. Next, lipid globules can form in the concentrate as the fats come together. This tends to only happen if a concentrate has been kept in the heat and/or light outside for a long period. If you can see these globules, it’s definitely time to ditch the stash, as it can be poisonous!
What Causes Nucleation?
Heat and light are two main factors that cause nucleation. Radiation can excite the molecules in your weed, causing them to be released. This is one of the reasons you should keep all cannabis products in an airtight container in a cool and dark place.
Effects of Degradation on Weed
Nucleation can be a nice thing to some extent. Many connoisseurs like the sugared texture, as it is said to give the concentrate a "terpene first" flavor, a burst of fruity zestiness with the flavor of the weed itself. Over time, there will be a loss of flavor and potency, as many of the other cannabinoids that give the entourage effect with THC degrade as well. With THC converting into CBN, even a sativa bud that gives an energetic high will eventually be full of CBN if left under the couch for a couple of months, giving the impression that it was more of an indica! The substance will form naturally over time regardless of how you keep the concentrate. The same will apply to THC in a concentrate.
How Long Can Cannabis Concentrates Last?
As a general rule, if concentrates are kept in an airtight jar out of heat and light, they will last at least six months. This means you shouldn't stock up on more than you'll use in that time period, though we recommend buying more frequently to avoid any deterioration. Of course, if you're living out of town and not able to make a dispensary without traveling too much, then feel free to buy six months of supplies at a time.
Use Up the Old Stash with the CARTA E-rig!
You can thoroughly enjoy getting rid of an older stash of concentrate by having a big session on your Focus V CARTA e-rig. With its fine controls and precise presets, you can experiment with different temperatures as you’re making space for the new stuff in your jar!