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What Is The Shelf Life Of Decarbed Weed?

One of the most obvious questions that comes up when you are activating cannabis to use for various products or to smoke or vape is “how long does cannabis stay fresh after decarb?” As with most marijuana inquiries, there are many different opinions on how long you can store weed after decarboxylating before THC and CBD degrade/how long cannabis will stay potent after activation, but only the science provides reliable proof.

The results below show two different strains, one THC dominant and the other CBD, both decarbed in the NOVA and then stored in a plastic bag in a cool, dark drawer for a little under six months. Check out the results and let us know in the comments if they match your hypothesis or not!

THC

We decarbed some Sour Apple back in June, and tested a portion of it immediately after. Analysis of the remaining batch tested six months later in early January showed no significant loss of THC during the storage period. In fact, aside from a tiny amount of CBN (a degraded form of THC that can make you groggy/helps with sleep), the two samples are nearly identical with over 19% THC (190mg of THC per gram of cannabis). 

Test Results 

CBD

Lilly Hill was our strain of choice for a CBD test. After 6 months, we found mild CBD degradation – a reduction of about 30 mg per gram – from 18.5% CBD in the fresh sample (185 CBD mg per gram) to 15.84% CBD (158 mg CBD per gram) in the 6 month post-decarb sample. Despite this bit of loss, there is still significant CBD in the decarbed cannabis that was stored for 6 months. 

In summary, while we recommend consuming freshly decarbed cannabis, especially when it is so easy to decarb anytime or anywhere with NOVA, these latest results indicate fresh doesn’t necessarily mean best. If stored in a cool, dry and dark place, decarbed cannabis can have a more than adequate shelf life. 

Let us know in the comments below if the results above are consistent with your experience, and what your favorite method is for planning out your cannabis prep and intake. And don’t miss your chance at $42 off NOVA or 20% off anything on the site with the code HEART20 for the next 24 hours only!

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Comments

  1. I have found putting it in mason jars is better than putting the decarbed product in a plastic bag…I’ve found it doesn’t dry out as fast and doesn’t degrade IMO

  2. Thank you for sharing this research. What about cannabis that has not been decarbed? We grew some plants and have stored them properly but it has been almost 2 years and I wonder about the potency. Should I decarb it before I store it? I use it to make medication for my son with autism and epilepsy.

  3. I’m wondering how the original, un-decarbed herb might have compared with the decarbed samples both before and after the six month storage period? Additionally, I’m wondering what the degraded components of CBD might have devolved – evolved into? That is to say, as with a fine wine, beer, or any other organic substance, how might the “aging” process detract from, or improve the aged product as compared to the original sample? Now you’ve definitely got me really wondering! Thanks!! Mik ✌🏼🤠🇺🇬

  4. I decarb about an 1/8th at a time to smoke within the following two days storing it in a dark small container. Easy to decarb a fresh batch anytime for my occasional projects like infusions etc where I require a larger quantity. Honestly flower doesn’t last in my house longer than a few days! =)

  5. This is is an awesome report. Now i know I can store my candies and not have to worry that they are stale and duds. THANKS TO THE PEOPLE AT ARDENT..YOU GUYS ROCK!!

  6. It would be really cool to know how decarbed weed compares to non-decarbed weed, in regards to long term storage. Which stores better and longer?

  7. On the topic of aging, I’ve conducted numerous tests infusing cannabis into wine. I’m a winemaker by trade. My objective was to resolve a personal sleep disorder. I was able to create a blend which one to two ounces before bed offered much appreciated relief. HOWEVER, after 6 months of aging, the effects totally changed. One portion still assisted with sleep but serious head spins occurred 14 hours after consuming. This repeated on two subsequent trials. As a consequence, I have lost all interest in the potential of this because potency when mixed with alcohol appears to change drastically after aging. Now … I just use olive oil.

  8. Very helpful data. Now I know that I can decarb a few days before I want to bake. Also, the recent data you shared on reduced infusion time was terrific. Making my own medicine with my Nova just gets easier and easier! I love my NOVA!!!

  9. I love the information you bring; it always seems to be right on time with things that I think of as I’m researching and experimenting with infusions of my own….love your whole presentation every time ! Fantastic – I look forward to more – oh, and I love the recipes….!

  10. yes, this is great news for my new method of decarbing lightly handled flowers and storing in quart jars under vacuum at 62rh.
    when the flowers have hung for a few days, i cut and drop them directly in the nova.
    turn the unit upside down, because these fresh flowers have more humidity, that might harm the electronics down below.
    when i need medicine, i’ll squash and make ready to consume rosin.
    i think storing the trichomes on the flowers until needed, is the easiest for me.
    glad to see these lab results.
    i’d still love to see the lab results of rosin made from decarbed flowers vs alcohol extracted cannabis oil.

  11. I decarbed OG Kush like two years ago. Have had it hidden away in a sealed mason jar in a zero light environment and It is Still potent. I cannot test it in any other way than practical and it is still “good”. It was decarbed the old fashion way in the oven. It smelled sooo strong that I did a large batch in order to avoid having to worry about the lingering smell…this Ardent is a WELCOME addition to my treatment plan !

  12. Thank you for the info. I was wondering if decarbed cannabis needed to be used right away. Love your product! I can only get a half ounce at a time in your machine. Would like a larger one to avoid 6 hrs on 2 oz for the butter machine. Please!

  13. I have found no sign Iva this degradation of decarbed THC that I have stored in my root cellar with a mean temperature of 55F & a relative humidity of ~70%. The buds were stored in a ventilated container where the bud was free to breath the ambient air in the root cellar for up to 1 year. The one change I did note was that the chlorophyll level dropped over time making the bud less harsh. This aging process has been gaining popularity in Europe. I started “curing” all of my bud in this manner. Dry, decant, cure for at least 6 months.
    I have also found that oils made with decarbed bud can be stored in sealed mason jars stored in my root cellar with no loss of potency.

  14. This is very interesting. I’ll be curious about the non-decarbed rate of decrease in THC as well. If you could have a set of non-decarbed if the same cannabis, stores in the same conditions to compare side-by-side. It will help answering the question whether it preserve the cannabinoids better:- decarbed or not decarbed. Thanks

  15. I assumed decarbing was also a preservative measure because it removes the moisture and from what I know of After 50 years of consuming cannabis and all the new things I’ve learned from the great folks at ardent I would have guessed 6 months but I try to turn it into oil butter or tincture within 30 days then that extends the shelf like and potency considerably longer periods. Once again Thank You all the fine smart peoples at ARDENT

  16. Weed can’t spoil.. but the product you carb it with can, I’ve had some stored in the fridge plenty of times.. and I swear I think when you add carb to food and some drinks? The shelf life of the item you added it to, seems to last a lot longer and won’t spoil as fast.. going on 4 years and I have 2 of them, I have noticed that some stuff That I’ve used has spoiled but long after it was supposed to with the carb

  17. Very interesting results, but I’m wondering if the choice of storage container had an unintended influence on cannabinoid retention, as well (plastic, as we all know, is reactive – have you tested the bag for any absorption?). I would love to see the same test repeated, changing only the storage vessel to an airtight non-reactive one (a flip-top, rubber sealed glass jar, or a similarly sealable surgical steel container).

    While I have been an Ardent owner for a few years, I am horrible at planning for prep and intake, and usually let the people at the wonderful medical and recreational dispensaries do most of the “heavy-lifting” when it comes to pre-processing flower into extracts, oils, tinctures, and edibles. Call me lazy, but there’s a booming industry that I will gladly throw my dollars at in exchange for my time (this case study being a perfect example – so thanks again for all you do and have done for years (especially for those of us here in your Greater Boston ‘hood)).

  18. I have been using my NOVA for over a year now, I can not tell you how simple & easy to use, I love mine. I do a lot of baking so I can do 1/2 Oz. at a time…Thank you Ardent for my life easier!

  19. It’s funny that you conducted this experiment. I used my Nova to prepare to make caramel and I forgot about it!y caramel wasn’t done boiling yet so I forgot about my flower. We shall see how it turns out.

  20. I love my Nova and think you really nailed the design and production of the device, but I especially love how you, as a company, spend significant resources investigating questions and issues around cannabis that we all have. This is great data to share with your users. Thanks!

  21. Glass (air tight canning jars) will preserve both your decarbed and undecarbed cannabis longer and with less degradation than plastic (unless you vaccum pack in heavy duty bags). But it must be cured to a stable 50-60% humidity before storage in either type of container to prevent mold. We keep the jars in air tight containers in a cool, dark place. No notable signs of degradation. After 6 months we move the jars to a freezer where they are kept until used. Whenever we want to decarb we just take out a jar, let it thaw to room temp and then get to it. As far as freezing goes we prefer the glass jars because the trichomes get very brittle when frozen and if its in plastic it will be susceptible to degradation since the trichomes may get dislodged during handling if care isn’t taken to avoid that. In jars there isn’t that concern. Either way thaw until it reaches room temperature. If you remove it from the jar when its cold moisture may condense on the outside of your buds, making them wet (Yuk) and you may lose trichomes as well. Freezing seems to keep everything very stable. We’ve used material thats been frozen for two years and its still in great shape. Enjoy!

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