Does Weed Go Bad: What You Need to Know

Using weed for your physical or mental ailments is a great and natural way to find relief.

It can prevent aches, pains, and even help with anxiety and depression.

To prevent you from wasting money or getting rid of marijuana that’s still good, we need to ask the age-old question: Does weed go bad?

Today we’ll cover whether or not the plant can expire, what you can do to extend the shelf life, and signs that it’s time to throw the bud in the bin.

Does Weed Go Bad or Expire?

It can be hard to know what exactly someone means when they ask if weed goes bad.

Does bad mean not usable? Are they asking if there’s an expiration date in the same way that milk does?

There is a lot to consider when it comes to whether or not weed actually goes bad.

Look in your kitchen for a moment. Do you have any dried parsley or basil?

Maybe you like to add dried cilantro to your rice.

In the same way that you have those dried herbs for cooking, marijuana is essentially the same thing.

You can use fresh herbs in place of dried ones, and you’ll get a different taste in your food.

Think of marijuana the same way: when marijuana is old, it’s not bad for you and won’t have negative effects.

It just may not give you as much of a high, and the high may not last as long.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent your stash from drying out.

You’ve already spent your hard-earned money on the product, so it’s best to keep it as fresh as possible.

Let’s talk about the different factors that can play a part in how long your weed stays at peak potency.

Weed Shelf Life Factors

You have a lot of power when it comes to how long your weed stays good.

Take a look at the critical factors below and make sure to apply them to the way you store your stash.

1. Lighting

Marijuana thrives in dark areas.

If you’ve ever grown from home, you’ve likely started germination in a dark closet with special lighting.

The same can be applied to the bud that’s ready to smoke.

It’s important not to keep it on a window sill, in your car, or anywhere else that gets exposed to a lot of lighting.

The best place you could store bud when it comes to lighting is a dresser drawer or on a bookshelf.

2. Moisture

It is crucial to regulate moisture properly because if not, your weed may go bad quicker.

If the area you store your weed in gets too wet, mold could grow, and bacteria can take over.

On the other hand, if it’s too dry, you’ll feel it when you smoke it; it will burn your throat and taste really nasty.

Dry weed can also have less potency than the weed kept in a healthy environment.

So what do you do if the environment is too dry?

You can place a damp cotton ball near the bud, without actually touching it.

The water in the cotton ball with be released into the air and hydrate your "thirsty" flower.

Something to keep in mind with moisture, though, is the seasons.

If you live in Arizona, you may not have to worry about your weed becoming too wet.

On the contrary, if you live in the midwest where there are changing seasons and a never steady air moisture level, it’s something that needs a bit more attention than the other factors. 

3. Temperature

When it comes to temperature, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First off, do not freeze your weed.

There has been a strange misconception that freezing it will keep it fresh, but in reality, when marijuana is in an environment that’s too cold, it can become brittle and hard to use.

Additionally, when kept somewhere too warm, it can lower the cannabinoids and make it less potent.

With that being said, make sure to store it in a place with a steady temperature.

That means away from doors, windows, vents, and any other drafty area.

If you’re blasting the heat or air conditioning unit, keep your stash in a more regulated area.

4. Container

The type of container you keep marijuana plays a big role.

The majority of people keep it in a reusable plastic bag, which isn’t a good idea because it’s not airtight, and your weed can dry out quite easily.

It doesn’t cost much to get a high-quality container that will be safe for your weed.

The best option you have is a glass or ceramic jar since it's airtight and keeps the moisture well-balanced.

If you have a lot of buds and don’t smoke a lot, you could vacuum-seal your weed to ensure a longer shelf life.

Changes in Weed Potency Levels

Eventually, weed may lose potency over time, even if you store it properly.

Generally, after one year of storage, weed loses around 15% of the THC.

Double that time, and you’ve lost 25% of the THC, and then, after three years, marijuana loses around 35% of THC.

Lastly, if you’ve had bud for over four years, it only has 59% of the originally THC in it.

When to Discard Your Weed

Let’s say you’re moving, and you found an old container of weed.

Are you able to tell if it’s gone bad or not?

There are a few things to watch out for to see if it’s time to pack a bowl or throw it in the bin.

The first thing you should do is smell it.

This is a quick and easy way to see if it’s still good without even touching it.

It should have a strong and crisp scent; if not, it’s old.

Then you should look to see if it’s moldy.

If it is, throw it out immediately.

Now you can touch to see if it feels dry.

Just because weed is dry, doesn’t mean you can smoke it.

Try breaking it apart to see if it’s crumbling.

If it feels soft and lacks a crunchy sound when you break it apart, it’s time to toss it.


So, does weed go bad?

The bottom line is that weed can technically go bad, but unless there’s mold on it and it's too soft, you’ll still be able to smoke old weed.

Something to keep in mind with this is that it may not taste good, and it likely will have a lower potency.

Though the process of keeping marijuana fresh may seem complicated, you have the power of adjusting things to enhance the shelf life.

Make sure your stash is out of direct light and away from and drafts.

Remember to keep moisture at a good level to prevent weed from getting too wet or too dry.

Finally, buy yourself a glass jar or ceramic container to make sure your weed is in a safe place.

By now, we hope you know a bit more about marijuana, how to check if it’s ready to toss out, different ways you can improve how long it’s good for, and how quickly it loses potency.

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