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Does Weed Go Bad? [How Long Does Weed Last]

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

does weed go bad

There's one burning question on every cannabis user's mind: does weed go bad? While the answer is a bit complicated, it's important to know how long weed lasts and what happens to weed over time. The good news is that weed doesn't truly expire as most food items would, but it can become unusable if not stored properly. In this article, we'll explore what happens to weed over time, how to properly store it, and the signs of bad weed.

How Long Does Weed Last?

When stored properly, cannabis can last up to two years without going bad. It's ideal for your cannabis to be stored in a cool dry dark container, it will remain potent for much longer than if you just leave the weed on a shelf or in the open air.

However, it's important to note that harvested cannabis that is stored in the open air can lose its potency in as little as three months. This is why it's important to store your weed properly so that you can enjoy the full effects of the product for an extended time.

Furthermore, the type of cannabis product can also affect the longevity of your product. For example, flower products generally last longer than edibles and concentrate, as they contain fewer compounds that will break down over time.

Regardless of the type of product, it is important to store your cannabis in an airtight container and away from light and heat sources. This will help keep the compounds within the plant protected from degrading over time.

What Happens To Weed Over Time

Weed loses potency over time due to the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds are responsible for the effects that cannabis has on our bodies, and when they degrade, they can render the weed unusable.

Studies show that the THC begins to oxidize to CBN (cannabinol) if left exposed to light and heat. This process is called decarboxylation, and it can leave your weed tasting bitter and losing its freshness.

Therefore, it's important to be aware of the signs of a bad weed—such as discoloration and an unpleasant odor—and store your cannabis in the right conditions.

Can You Smoke Old Weed?

You can technically smoke old weed, but it is not recommended especially moldy weed. This is because the cannabinoids and terpenes that make up your cannabis have already begun to degrade, which means they are no longer as potent as they once were.

As a result, you will not experience the same effects from smoking old weed as you would from smoking fresh weed. Also, mold can begin to form on your cannabis if it is old. This can lead to various health problems, as moldy weed can contain toxins that can harm individuals if ingested.

Therefore, it is important to inspect your weed before consuming it. If you find any signs of mold or mildew, discoloration, or an unpleasant odor then it's likely that the weed has gone past the expiration dates and should not be smoked.

There are other creative ways to use old weed, such as using weed tea or making edibles. However, it is not recommended that you smoke old weed as this can be dangerous to your health.

signs your weed has expired

Signs Your Weed Has Expired

It is best to recognize the signs of expired weed before you attempt to use it. Some of the common signs are:


Mold and mildew can start to form on your weed if not stored properly. Moldy weed often looks like white, grey, or green spots scattered throughout the buds. You will notice a change in color and appearance when inspecting your weed. If you notice any mold signs while rolling your joint or blunt, it's best not to smoke the weed as it could harm your health.


The smell is also an indication of how fresh your weed is. Weed typically has a pungent, earthy scent that would be lost when the weed begins to go bad. If you notice any strange smells or if it doesn't smell like weed, then it's likely that the weed has gone bad and should not be used.


When you start feeling a powdery texture on the weed, this is another sign of expired weed. As cannabis ages, it loses its stickiness and becomes dry and brittle due to the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes over time.

how to properly store weed

How to Properly Store Weed

With the right storage technique, you can ensure that your weed stays fresh and retains its potency for a long time. Here are a few tips on how to properly store weed past its expiration dates:

Keep Your Weed in a Good Container

An airtight jar is the best option for storing your weed. Mason jars are great as they are airtight and can also help keep out any light or heat. Storing in an airtight container helps to keep the environment within the jar oxygen-free, which preserves your cannabis for longer.

Don't Get Your Weed Wet

If your weed is too dry, it can become brittle and break apart easily. On the other hand, if the humidity level is too high, mold and mildew may start to form on your cannabis. Therefore, it's important to keep the humidity in check when storing your weed. The ideal humidity level is between 59-63%.

Stay Away from Sun Exposure

Light and heat can accelerate the breakdown of THC, causing it to oxidize quickly. This will reduce the potency of your weed over time. Therefore, your cannabis should stored in a cool dry dark area when storing it long-term.

Frequently Asked Questions

Several misconceptions concerning the effects of weed going bad still exist. Here are some frequently asked questions about expired weed:

How Long Does Weed Stay Good?

Depending on the cannabis quality and storage technique, cannabis can stay good for about 1-2 years. However, if stored correctly, it can last for up to 3 years without any significant loss of potency or taste.

Does Weed Expire?

Weed does not go bad per se, but it may become unusable over time due to the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes. Storing cannabis correctly can help extend its shelf life and keep it fresh.

what to do with old weed

What to Do with Old Weed?

Old weed can still be used for edibles, tea, and cooking. For instance, if your weed isn't smokable due to mold, you can use it in food items like brownies or cookies. This allows you to get the most out of your cannabis and use it for other purposes.

However, we don't recommend that you smoke old weed as this can be harmful to your health. You will also lose the potency and flavor of the weed.

How Can Weed Go Bad?

Weed can go bad if it isn't stored properly. Exposure to light, heat, and moisture can all cause cannabis to degrade over time and reduce its potency. Therefore, proper storage and handling techniques are essential for maintaining your weed's quality.

We also recommend you get high-quality cannabis from a reputable source to ensure its freshness and potency. This way, you can be sure that your weed won't go bad anytime soon. Most cannabis lovers fall victim to the misconception that their weed never goes bad and thus continue smoking old cannabis without realizing its consequences.

It is important to remember that weed does go bad over time and needs to be stored correctly for it to remain fresh and potent. That being said, if you have any doubts about the quality of your weed, it's best to discard it.

Is Freezing a Good Way to Preserve Weed?

Freezing is generally good for preserving food items, but it's not really a great option for cannabis. This is because the cold temperatures can cause the trichomes of your weed to become brittle and break off easily.

Freezing also introduces moisture which can lead to mold formation. The ice crystals that form on your weed can also damage the cell structure of the cannabis and reduce its potency. Therefore, it's best to avoid freezing your weed when trying to preserve it for a long time.

Does Weed Get Old & Stale?

Yes, weed can get old and stale due to the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes over time. This will reduce the potency of your cannabis and alter its taste. Therefore, it's important to for your weed to be stored in a cool dry dark area for optimal results.

Treat Yourself To Good Weed at The Garden

Finding high-quality cannabis from a reliable source will save you from the hassle of dealing with expired weed. This is where The Garden comes in! We offer premium strains that are hand-selected for their quality and freshness, giving you a great smoking experience every time.

As an Initiative 71-compliant dispensary, we do not sell products to anyone under the age of 21. Instead, we offer free cannabis products when customers purchase other items from our stores. Also, our expert team is always available to answer any questions about our products.

The Garden has a range of cannabis products like edibles, concentrates, and pre-rolls that are sure to bring you a delightful smoking experience. What's more, you can rest assured that our cannabis products won't go bad anytime soon. So what are you waiting for?! Order your favorite cannabis items from The Garden today!

does weed go bad infographic

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