Can CBD Hemp Flower Expire? – How to Tell If CBD Flower Is Bad

Flowing hemp flower cola with purplish fan leaves.

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CBD hemp flower’s rise in popularity has led many to attempt to take advantage of all it has to offer. Like all good things, though, these benefits do have an end.

CBD flower can and does expire, though not necessarily in the same way food does. CBD flower will begin to lose its strength and show noticeable changes in physical characteristics over time, both of which indicate that it’s past its prime.

Knowing which signs to look out for and what to do to protect your flower are both important if you’re looking to extend your product’s shelf life for as long as you can. Below, we’ll take a closer look at how CBD flower can expire, which factors influence it, and proper storage techniques to facilitate a stress-free and easy experience.

How Long is CBD Flower Good For?

When stored properly, CBD flower can last for around 12 months or more. All flower will eventually deteriorate and lose its efficacy over time, but caring for your flower thoughtfully can help you maximize its potential shelf life. 

Like any other plant material, CBD hemp flower is susceptible to change once exposed to the elements – air, water or humidity, and temperature, for instance, are all major factors to consider.

It’s important to keep an eye on your flower over time to note any changes. For most CBD users, flower going bad rarely becomes an issue; many use their product before it even has the chance to go bad.

How Long Will CBD Flower Stay Fresh?

CBD flower is usually the freshest and at its highest level of quality within a few months of purchase. The sooner you use CBD flower, the fresher it will be.

12 months is a good rule of thumb to stick to for the shelf life of CBD flower, but because so many individual factors can impact the quality of your product, it’s also beneficial to be able to recognize tangible signs of deterioration. 

Keep your flower safe inside and away from potential threats, and it’ll likely last longer than you even realistically need it to. 

Unlike other product options, CBD flower doesn’t have outside additives that also spoil; that means all you need to worry about is the bud itself!

Hands wearing see through gloves holding a glass jar in one hand and freshly harvested hemp flower in the other.

How Do You Know if CBD Flowers Are Bad?

CBD flower that’s gone bad will likely have noticeable changes to the way it feels, smells, and looks. These changes may happen gradually over time, so it’s always a good idea to check in on flower you’ve had for a while before using it.

A few signs that might indicate your flower has gone bad include changes in:

  • Texture: Flower that’s beginning to exit its prime stage may be more crumbly, drier, or generally weaker than it was in the past. 

  • Scent: Though the overall cannabis-esque smell of your product may not entirely disappear, it’s likely that the scent profile it began with will be different from the one it ends with. Flower strong in certain terpenes, for instance, may give off a peppery scent that fades with time as the product begins to expire.

  • Appearance: Discoloration, shrinkage, and other similar observations are all visual cues that your CBD flower is going bad. 

  • Taste: Though it may not be noticeable until you attempt to use your product, changes in taste can be another way to identify that flower is on its way out. If your flower tastes more bitter than usual or has begun to lose its unique flavor, be sure to take notice.

        Generally speaking, if you notice a change of any kind in your flower, it’s probably time to pick up a new product. While it may not make you sick, using expired CBD flower can be very unpleasant and cause more discomfort than pleasure.

        Is CBD Flower Supposed to Be Dry?

        CBD flower that’s in its prime is should not be dry, though some specific strains may take on a more crumbly appearance than others. If you notice that your flower has lost some of its spring and moisture, it’s likely a sign that your product is beginning to expire.

        It is important to note, though, that not all flower is created equal. Some CBD flower may take on a drier texture than what you’re used to from the get go; lower-quality options may be especially prone to this reality.

        What matters most, then, is not how dry your CBD flower is or is supposed to be, but how significant of a change this dryness is. 

        A dry CBD bud can be hard to use as intended. It may have a hard time burning or burn up too quickly, for instance, while smoking or vaping. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the moisture levels in your flower, but it’s especially pertinent as you reach the end of its shelf life.

        How Do You Keep CBD Flowers From Drying Out?

        Keep CBD flower in an air-tight, dry, and cool container or place when storing to help protect it from moisture (or moisture loss). Temperature, humidity, and lighting, among other factors, can all influence how dry your CBD flower is or isn’t.

        Think of your CBD flower just like any other plant-based product. Storing onions or potatoes, for instance, in a humid and frequently overheated shed will likely lead to quicker decay and loss of quality. The same goes for your bud.

        How Should I Store My Hemp Flower?

        It’s best to store your CBD hemp flower in a cool, dark, and safe location in a container that minimizes exposure to air and changes in atmosphere. The more stable the storage environment you choose, the better.

        Good techniques and tips to keep in mind for storing CBD hemp flower effectively include:

        • Minimizing exposure to the elements. Ensure your product is tucked away somewhere safe from changes in temperature, moisture, and lighting. Storing flower somewhere that’s not completely protected from the elements, like a shed or garage, can put its quality at risk.

        • Protecting product from air. Exposure to air speeds up the rate at which your product dries out and begins to lose its touch. Keep flower in air-tight containers, like those made from sealable glass, for best results.

        • Keeping product away from children and pets. Aim to find a storage location that’s out of reach for curious or prying hands not only keeps your product safe, but your loved ones, too.

          How Do You Store Hemp Flowers Long-Term?

          Pantries, storage closets, cabinets, and similar locations are all good options for long-term preservation. Keeping hemp flower in air-tight storage containers, preferably durable ones made from strong plastic or glass, within these places is another good tip.

          A pro tip from the experts: If you want to store hemp flower long term, put it in a “food saver” or vacuum sealer– one of those super-sealed airtight bags. Bags of that type are made to vacuum seal foods like red meat in order to extend the foods’ shelf life, but they work equally well with cannabis products like hemp flower.

          If you’re planning to keep flower for a long time, keep in mind that its shelf life can be extended, but not totally controlled. Take a good look at your product on a regular basis to note any signs its quality may be suffering.

          Can You Store CBD Flower in the Fridge?

          Though it’s not necessary to store CBD flower in the fridge, doing so makes it easy to control temperature and humidity. The fridge can act as a safe space with ideal conditions for storage, if you’d like.

          A fridge may or may not help you extend your flower’s shelf life (not because fridges are needed, but because they naturally create an appropriate atmosphere for storage). If you’re struggling to find a storage location that works, though, it can be a great choice.

          Keep in mind that fridge storage can temporarily impact flower’s characteristics, namely its texture. These changes should go away once the flower is removed from the fridge and returns to room temperature.

          Conclusion

          Knowing when your products are going bad and what you can do to slow this process down means you can take full advantage of your CBD flower and all it has to offer.

          As unfortunate as it is, all CBD flower will eventually begin to lose its strength and therapeutic properties. Luckily, though, it takes a while for this process to begin – most CBD users will find they easily use all of their product before it even gets close.

          Still, it’s important to know which signs to look out for. Expired CBD flower won’t deliver the results you want, so attempting to consume it can be a real waste of time and effort.

          Purchasing high-quality products from sellers you trust makes keeping your flower good for a long time easier than ever. 

          For product recommendations and reviews, among other helpful CBD hemp flower info, be sure to visit our directory. We’ve made finding products that work for you and your needs simple and effective. If you’re specifically looking for CBD flower, click here to check out our personal favorite company, Secret Nature.

          Secret Nature Indoor CBD Flower

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          Josh Murdoch

          Josh Murdoch

          I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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