Does Marijuana Have an Expiration Date?

If you stumbled upon an old stash of forgotten hidden weed, you may think you’ve hit the stoner’s jackpot, especially if you’re running low on ganja. But, before you grab your lighter and start toking, you may first want to ask yourself — does weed go bad? And what about that pot brownie you found in the back of your fridge? Do edibles lose potency over time or do they only get better like a fine wine?

Read on for the ins and outs of the shelf life of herb and how to know when it’s time to chuck that aged marijuana and pass on the not-so-fresh edible.

Does Weed Go Bad?

Unlike things that noticeably go bad, like milk or meat, the question of – does marijuana expire? – isn’t so black and white. Technically, weed doesn’t spoil in the sense that it will make you sick or have a significantly different impact on your body. However, depending on how you stored the cannabis, the cannabinoid profile may be affected, resulting in a less potent high.

When you buy freshly cured weed, you’ve probably noticed that the buds have a little moisture to the buds. As time passes, these spongey nugs will either dry out or become too wet, depending on the storage method.

Improperly stored cannabis with excess water can rot the nugs and sometimes make them moldy, while not enough moisture will result in crumbly, dry weed that gives off harsh smoke. While smoking moldy weed can out you at risk for fungal lung infections and allergies, in most cases, smoking aged (non-moldy) weed won’t do anything other than giving you a lower high than usual. But, like most things, when in doubt throw it out.

How to Spot Expired Herb

While consuming older weed usually won’t do any harm, it’s still important to be able to spot fresh marijuana. Luckily, you can usually tell whether or not your herb is passed its prime by just looking at it and smelling it.

Fresh weed smells fragrant and the nugs will be sticky and slightly dense. They should also be green in color and covered in crystals. Older weed, on the other hand, will usually be really dry and crumbly and have a brownish tone as the marijuana ages.

Properly Storing Your Weed

To keep your weed fresher, longer, a proper storing method is key.

To keep your cannabis stash staying freshy-fresh, store it in an air-tight container in a cool, dark location, preferably at room temperature. If you plan on storing your cannabis longer than six months, vacuum sealing your herb may be the best option to maintain the same cannabinoid profile.

Keep in mind, that if you put your weed in the fridge or freezer, or leave it somewhere damp – not only won’t it not burn well, but it’s also more apt to accumulate mold.

Do Edibles Lose Potency or Go Bad?

So, you found that edible cookie under your backseat and are wondering if you just stumbled upon an impending epic high. Think again, friend. Though some people think that the longer an edible ‘ages’, the more potent it becomes, generally the potency of most edibles decreases over time.

And what about edibles that aren’t so fresh? Unlike herb, edibles obviously are combined with foods, so like other perishable items, you’ll want to know how to spot an expired product. Even though that brownie has marijuana in it, it can indeed go bad if not stored properly.

So, how can you tell if you should toss that edible or get your nom nom on? If you get your edibles from a dispensary, there will usually be a printed expiration date on the items. If you make your own edibles, the better you store the food will usually help retain its potency and overall freshness — which can usually be detected by taste and smell.

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