Does Weed Go Bad?
How long do we actually have before our stash goes stale? And is it safe to smoke dry, old reefer?
Published on January 7, 2019

If only marijuana buds were like Halloween candy or Twinkies — wouldn’t it be lovely if our favorite plant had an infinite expiration date? But alas, all good things must come to an end, and cannabis is no exception. However, when we talk about weed “going bad,” it can mean a couple things.

When food goes “bad” or “rots,” it means that the microorganisms have arrived and they are flourishing. There’s bacteria and mold spores everywhere around you, all the time, landing on everything you eat. Sometimes that means you get Penicillin or sourdough bread. But usually it means your food has been overrun by harmful little colonizers. The gasses released by the food’s decomposition is what causes that smell. You know, the one in your fridge every time you swear you’re gonna use those ingredients to start cooking at home before you “accidentally” hit the drive-thru for the millionth time.

Luckily, unlike food, dried marijuana isn’t extremely attractive to most microorganisms (growing bud can be a different story, though...). Weed that’s exposed to air, however, will quickly dry out over time, leading to harsher tokes and poor taste. But, it won’t make you sick. 

Related: What Does Bad Weed Look Like?

Weed that’s over-exposed to moisture, on the other hand, can begin to grow mold, as that shit favors any sort of wet environment. And inhaling mold is, how would you say, “not recommended.” To keep your weed at optimal barometry, there’s still nothing trustier than a good old Mason jar — or one of these other great preservation tools.

And in some “wow imagine if we knew this 40 years ago news,” it turns out cannabis may even have antiseptic properties. So if you haven’t gotten around to that nug yet, it’s probably fine. But if it smells or tastes off, use your best judgement and toss it if need be. There’s no shame in letting go of what you love.

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Shelby Fero
"I'm not too crazy about me either." Follow Shelby on Twitter @shelbyfero
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