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Does Weed Go Bad or Expire? How to Tell if Your Stash is Too Old

Cannabis joints in a napkin

While weed does not go bad in the same way that your milk does, it can expire similarly to your over-the-counter and prescription medications. Like medications, expired cannabis can lose potency. Cannabis can even grow mold, which may have more serious side effects. If you’re wondering if weed expires, it might be time to dive into this overview to help you find out more. Read on for some essential information from the experts at Green Gone Detox.

What Does THC Expiring Mean?

In addition to a drop in potency, old cannabis can undergo changes in texture and taste, making it less pleasurable to consume. Depending on how you store your weed and what form it's in, your products have different shelf lives. Some guidelines to help you determine how long you have to consume your cannabis products include:

  • Dried Flower: 6 Months - 1 Year
  • Concentrates: 3 - 6 Months
  • Edibles: 3 - 6 Months
  • Drinks: Several Weeks
  • Topicals: Up to a Year

Many cannabis edibles have expiration dates and recommendations on the container, so read all the instructions before you buy. 

When your weed does go bad, you can expect a loss in potency. Research shows that you lose over 15% of its strength after just one year! In four years, the THC cannabinoid can lose up to 40% of its effects.

Is Your Weed Too Old?

Now that you know marijuana does go bad, it’s time to figure out which of your products should find their way to the compost heap. There are several ways to check for expired weed, including smell, flavor, and appearance.

Smell

If your dried flower has completely lost its scent, it’s pretty much a sure thing that it’s no longer potent. You should also keep a nose out for changes in scent. If your cannabis smells different than a few months ago, that’s a pretty big red flag!

Taste

As we mentioned before, cannabis changes in taste and texture when it’s gotten too old. When your weed does go bad, you might notice a harshness when smoking or an odd aftertaste in edibles after consumption.

Appearance

When it comes to edibles, checking the appearance isn’t very helpful, but it can indicate a lot about the dried flower. If your cannabis nugs crumble or feel spongy, they’re old. While cannabis that’s too dry or too moist could be a result of inadequate storage and not old age, you should still avoid smoking it because it could have grown mold or been infected with other contaminants.

Checking for Mold

Time is not the only thing that can make cannabis go bad! Lousy storage conditions can destroy your weed. When looking for mold, check your dried product for white powdery areas or fuzzy spots. These can be pretty small, so examine each piece carefully. Moldy flower will also smell a little musty and have an unusual taste.

Keeping Your Cannabis Good

When weed does go bad, you need to get rid of it. While you might have lost out on a few dollars today, there’s a lot you can do to protect your weed in the future with proper storage. Check out our complete guide to storing weed today to learn more!



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