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Cannabis Expiration

Does Weed Expire?

You just got back home from a stressful day at work and felt like your hard work deserves to be rewarded. You check up on your stash of Mary Jane and try to get a whiff of its aroma to stir you up, but something does not seem right. It still seems like it can go for one more smoke. Weed does not go bad, right? Would it hurt to try? And how would does weed expire in the first place?

Spoiled Science:  Does Weed Expire?

Chemically, your weed slowly loses components of THC, terpenes, and cannabinoids over time, even if it is stored properly. These are the vital properties that give your weed its delightful flavor and rich aroma plus the effects and feelings that it gives off. These components can deteriorate faster if weed is not properly stored, thus worsening the overall quality. Combine the guide to the right storage and having a careful eye, you should be able to preserve marijuana for as long as it can.

Making It Last

If you have been growing weed yourself or order it packed and ready to burn, they will meet the same fate of eventually spoiling. While MJ that is commercially sold may have an expiration date labeled on the wrap, you can keep it in mind, but depending on how you store it, you can stash it away for longer. 

The quality of your cannabis can change depending on how it is stored. The shelf life also varies on the type of flower you have around. Some strains may only last a few months, and others could exceed that.

When you come back to your supply every now and then or open up a new joint, watch out for these signs of your flower going bad:

  • Loss or faded aroma
  • Bitter flavor
  • Brown coloring of the flowers
  • Flower is fragile and crumbles to dust
  • Patches of mold and mildew
  • Flowers have a spongy texture


Cannabis should not be exposed to heat or cold. This is usually a common reason why most weed goes to waste. While some say refrigerating and freezing weed keeps the scent of it last, cold temperature leads to moisture and formation of molds and mildew, which can make it dangerous to consume. Trichomes will also break off the flowers that also have an impact on its scent and taste. The intake of spoiled cannabis may cause allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, lung infection, and difficulty in breathing. So better be safe than sorry.

Meanwhile, exposing your prized stash to heat and light will dry it up and cause it to brown and flake easily. Marijuana does have natural moisture that must be retained for it to have that lasting aroma and flavor. The THC content of cannabis can also drop from light and heat exposure, which can also ruin the effects to expect when you burn it, losing all the buzz and high hopes you are supposed to feel.  

Molds can also grow on the flowers from warm temperatures. Browning of the flowers may show up later on as it loses moisture and ages the longer you keep it stored. Weed is also bitter to taste when in cool or warm storage. Do not take another puff and get rid of it right away. 

While cannabis that has begun to lose its aroma can still be consumed at your own risk, look out for other signs that might mark it as spoiled. However, once the fading scent starts to manifest, its flavor will also be bland, and the effects are not as strong as before.

Tips to Make Cannabis Long

Does weed expire? Yes, so to make your marijuana last long, keep it stored in an airtight container like a glass mason jar. You can also purchase a humidity control pack or a cannabis humidor to do the trick and for more security. 

Here are the other tips to make your weed long-lasting:

  • Storing it at room temperature with a humidity level between 54 to 63 percent will help maintain its aroma, flavor, and natural moisture. 
  • You can also buy a humidity-controlled container specially designed to prolong the life of your supply if you are not sure about the humidity level in your home to be suitable for storing cannabis over time. 
  • Stash your weed away from light to somewhere dimmer such as the back of a shelf or cabinet. Dried weed or cannabis can last from at least six months up to a year-long if stored properly 

What about homegrown and harvested cannabis? Your supply that you raised on your own can last up to the same amount of time as long as proper drying and curing directions are followed. Other products such as oils, candy, and other processed or infused cannabis products will have an expiration date on its packaging to be guided by. Follow storing instructions to keep your supply potent as other properties have been incorporated that may affect the longevity of the product. 

Remembering Dos and Don’ts

All good things have to come to an end, which includes the weed you have stored up for another hit. As  cannabis is prone to go bad after some time, these tips should keep you coming back for more quality smokes for days and months to come:

  • Keep the flowers in an airtight container away from heat, cold, and light. Maintain the humidity level and store it at room temperature.
  • Watch out for signs that your cannabis has started to spoil, such as browning, crumbling, faded aroma, molds, and mildew, and spongy texture.
  • Immediately dispose of spoiled weed and do not consume.
  • For homegrown marijuana, you can take the same steps along with drying and curing procedures to extend its shelf life.
  • Be guided by the storing instructions and expiration date labeled on other cannabis products that are commercially produced.

Final Thoughts

Every user wants to make sure that their supply can still have great quality and provide that wave of relaxation, euphoria, or even preserve its medical properties while saving it up for future use.  Does weed expire? Yes. 

Whether you might have bought it pre-packed or you have been growing it in your backyard or indoor garden, cannabis is unlike a fine bottle of wine that gets better with age; consumed like the food you stock up, weed does have its expiration or rather a “best before” date. The way you store your flower can make a difference and make for both its quality and extending its shelf life.

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