How to Tell if Your Cannabis Has Gone Bad

Does weed expire? It’s a surprisingly common question as people take breaks from cannabis or have other things going on in their lives.

But whether you’ve had to step back because of an upcoming THC drug test or a self-imposed detox, storing your weed correctly is essential. This guide answers questions like, “How do I know if weed is good or bad for me?” and “Does weed have a shelf life?”

Does Weed Expire?

In the U.S., 49% of adults have tried cannabis at some point, but not everyone is a rampant stoner.

Many people like to bust out a quarter of weed a few times a year, and that’s it. In all scenarios, it’s vital to know, “What does bad weed look like?”

So, does weed expire? In short, sort of. It won’t degrade like that carton of milk sitting at the back of your refrigerator for the last year or that sad stack of lettuce leaves in the crisper, but it does lose its quality.

Just like all CBD products, THC products are also liable to degrade over time. After all, cannabis is an organic product. The difference is that when weed expires, it doesn’t become dangerous to consume in most cases.

But cannabis will lose everything that makes it so enjoyable. In other words, you’ll lose the flavor, the consistent burn, and also its potency. While it might still be smokeable in an emergency, your aging Passion Fruit strain isn’t going to give you that same kick.

Generally, most cannabis brands will give you one year before they reach their weed expiration dates. After this point, you’ll notice that it becomes dry and develops a musty taste. Plus, you can forget about the same psychoactive effects as when you bought it.

What Happens When Weed Expires?

Mold aside, consuming expired weed is never a pleasant experience. Sure, you could eat that slice of day-old pizza without problems, but do you really want to? That’s precisely what it’s like to smoke old cannabis.

So, expect a loss of smell and a harsher taste. Plus, over time, the THC degrades into CBN. According to a United Nations study, cannabis loses 16% of its THC after one year, reaching 41% after four years.

Can Expired Cannabis Harm Your Health?

Fresh marijuana vs. dried marijuana have their differences, but with the former, you must take extreme care when placing it in your cannabis stash box.

All fresh marijuana will contain moisture in the buds, which is why it’s sticky and squishy. If allowed to fester, cannabis can develop mold and other pathogens. These could harm your health if consumed, with some side effects of expired marijuana including:

·  Headaches

·  Vomiting

·  Diarrhea

·  Lung infections

On a side note, moist weed doesn’t just grow pathogens after a long time. Under the right conditions, mold and pathogens can develop regardless of age. This is why if you’re storing fresh cannabis from celebrity weed brands, you must store it correctly.

4 Signs Your Weed Has Gone Bad

Does weed expire? It can, but there’s no guarantee that your Blueberry Cheesecake strain will degrade at the same rate as your buddy’s because it depends on the conditions.

Thankfully, it’s not difficult to tell if your marijuana has gone bad. Here’s how to tell if your weed strain is no longer viable.

1. Change in Smell

What does moldy weed smell like? Ordinary expired weed will either see its aroma disappear or change.

If your marijuana is freshly cured, it will develop a distinct smell. This could be cheese, diesel, or skunk.

The general rule of thumb is that if something smells bad, it’s probably time to toss it out.

2. Change in Texture

When you buy cannabis seeds, you expect your cannabis to feel a certain way. In the case of fresh marijuana, it will be sticky and have some give to it, allowing you to pull it apart with relative ease.

Old marijuana will usually crumble because it’s become dusty and dry. In some cases, it might even just fall apart in your hands.

3. Change in Taste

Marijuana also has a distinct flavor, but when cannabis flower dries out, the taste begins to change – and not for the better.

Expired weed will lack moisture, and so the taste becomes harsher. If you regularly consume expired cannabis, there’s a good chance you suffer from throat irritation.

4. Change in Appearance

A distinct change in appearance cannot be swept away with clever cannabis marketing. If your weed doesn’t look quite right, there’s a high chance that mold has developed, making it unsafe to consume.

Unfortunately, checking for weed mold isn’t so simple. Yes, if you’re asking, “Why is my weed turning black?” or “Is brown weed bud rot?” there’s a good chance you have mold. A white fuzz and odd discolorations are also red flags.

On a side note, don’t discount the chances of buying moldy weed from a dispensary. A University of California study found mold or bacteria on 20 recently purchased cannabis samples.

That’s why it’s vital to familiarize yourself with how to check your weed for mold. Here are some signs to look for:

·  Musty/mildew smell

·  Powdery gray or white coloring

·  Unnatural fuzz

·  Small spores

·  Darkened roots

Cannabis can experience different types of mold. For example, Powdery Mildew (PM) is the most common fungus. You can see it with the naked eye, and it will resemble powdered flour or sugar on your nugs.

Does Weed Expire? – Storage Tips to Preserve Your Weed

Like storing cannabis seeds, proper storage can stave off mold and prevent your cannabis from degrading prematurely.

So, if you’re looking at how to detox from marijuana and don’t want to waste your herb, follow these storage tips:

·  Store in an airtight container.

·  Shoot for 59-63% humidity.

·  Choose a cool, dark, and dry location.

Thankfully, many dispensaries also sell cannabis storage containers to simplify your life.


Don’t pay attention to exaggerated THC and CBD marketing campaigns. There’s no such thing as an immortal marijuana strain. But proper storage under the right conditions can preserve your bud for as long as possible.

Ensure you buy responsibly and know your limits before heading to the dispensary. To find out about the latest high-quality cannabis strains, browse Flavor Fix now.

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JJ Smoak

Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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