Reality Check: Does Cannabis Have an Expiry Date?

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Reality check: Does pot have an expiry date? By Adam Frisk. A marijuana plant pictured in a Whitby, Ont. growing facility in this February 26, 2018 file photo. The Canadian Press/Chris Young

The Canadian government proposed last month that legal pot be sold in plain packaging that displays a slew of warnings and other information, including an expiry date. But does weed actually expire?

It depends on the cannabis you buy and how you store it.

As cannabis expert and Quebec brand manager of marijuana giant Canopy Growth, Adam Greenblatt, explains, dried pot flowers have more of a “best before” date, ensuring freshness and quality.

“Dried flower generally has quite a long shelf life, but after about a year, it starts to lose its smell,” Greenblatt said. “The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) doesn’t degrade as quickly, but the subjective quality of it starts to degrade, so we use about a year as a rule of thumb.”

Terpenes are the compounds in cannabis that give the plant its “skunky” smell. Greenblatt notes that a lack of smell of the dried flower can be a good indicator of whether the marijuana has degraded, something that happens over time if not stored properly.

“After a certain amount of time, the terpenes will degrade, you will notice a change in the smell over time,” Greenblatt said. “After a very long time, like five years for dried flower it starts to turn brown because the chlorophyll evaporates.”

Read the full article here.

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