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Is Your Weed Still Good? : Signs Of Expired Weed In 2024

Can your weed go bad? 

An image of weed

Like any other organic plant material, cannabis is liable to break down over time, it’s also prone to the development of mold. However, This is due to factors like exposure to light, air, and humidity. If you want your weed to stay longer, you need proper storage skills. Storing it in a cool, dark place with airtight packaging can help maintain its freshness for a longer duration.  

The typical shelf life of cannabis is 6 months to 1 year, assuming it was properly harvested and stored under optimal conditions. And if you put in more effort, you can prolong its shelf life to nearly two years. When people think about expired cannabis and its effects, they believe it expires in the same way that meat and dairy products go bad. Marijuana never technically expires, but its quality does diminish over time, and can also take on some nasty properties. 

Let’s say you’re able to help your cannabis stay longer than expected, and you smoke it, you may be wondering what happens, and if you’ll get sick. You probably wouldn’t as long as it hasn’t developed mold, but it wouldn’t be great. The state and smell will totally diminish, and the effects will be subpar. 

How to know if your weed has gone bad

Weak smell

One fast way to know if your weed isn’t good anymore is how you feel when you smoke it. It simply wouldn’t give you the vibes you used to get when you smoked. You’ll notice a difference in smell, and taste, and the effects will be less than stellar. Weed loses about 41.4 % of its THC after four years. The longer it sticks around the weaker your buzz will be. Expired weed has a weak smell. Cannabis is filled with terpenes that give weed its scent. And time, terpenes degrade and weed loses its smell, which means that the product is no longer at its peak state. 

You’ll notice it looks dry and/or moldy

As cannabis begins to age, one of these two things will happen- it will become dry and brittle, or it can be covered in damp (usually velvety white) mold spores. And as more time goes by, dry brittle cannabis will degrade into powder. Moldy contains visible growth, and it usually comes with a musty smell. 

It has an off-feel

If your cannabis doesn’t “feel” right. If you’re not sure and want to confirm its usability, try pulling it apart. Does it turn to sand between your fingers?  Are the nugs moist (potentially indicating mold growth)? Your weed shouldn’t be too wet or too dry, they should be soft and firm to the touch, not wet or brittle.

The Nugs crackle when broken apart 

Do you hear a snap when you break nugs apart? If they’re as firm as they should be, you should hear a snap when you attempt to break the nugs apart. But if the nugs crackle and fall apart like dying leaves, they’re past their prime. 

Moldy taste 

Old weed can begin to taste like mold. If your cannabis has lost its flavor or is difficult to inhale, it has most likely lost its potency. Older cannabis may not provide the buzz you need, and you may have to strain harder to get the same amount of inhalation. In a worst-case scenario, you may taste the bitter, musty sensation of mold. That’s why it’s important to inspect weed before tasting it. 

You could get the best out of your weed if you store it well. However, you can only store it and use it for that long. Practically, its max is two years with great storage skills. If you’re looking to smoke it for much longer than a year, you’ll need to take on some storage knowledge. 

How to make your weed last longer than 12 months

To keep weed fresh for a year or longer, you’ll to keep it away from heat, light, and moisture.  Practice the following for more effective results:

Keep it dry 

Excess moisture degrades cannabis and can lead to the growth of fungal and microbial contamination. It would help if you didn’t store it with no more than 65% humidity. Anything more can spoil your weed. 

Less light 

Stash it in the dark, because too much light can kill its effects, especially ultraviolet light, which can degrade THC. Just a little light and your weed can become damaged. Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation, CFL and LED bulbs aren’t left out of the group, because they also emit amounts of UV. So because these lights can be different to avoid, darkness is the best. That cool and dark room in the house can pretty much do the trick.

Cool space 

Keep bud cool. The best temperature for cannabis is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Though it can remain fresh at slightly warmer or cooler temperatures, 70 still takes the win. 

Store in a container 

To maximize the life of your cannabis store it in a container, but not just any container, but one that is designed to control temperature, humidity, and light. If you don’t have a cannabis container, mason jars work just fine. Keep it airtight and you’re good to go. 

Good spots to store cannabis at home.

  • Drawers 
  • Closets
  • Under your bed
  • store

But you should avoid keeping them in places like the bathroom, kitchen, balcony, and backyard. These spots can easily be exposed to heat and can cause damage. 

Let’s talk about freezing marijuana 

So since cool spaces are essential for storing weed, some people assume the freezer will make an excellent place. It’ll be cool, dry, and dark right? So it should be okay. True the freezer would have been perfect, but there’s one problem, freezing a plant can mess with its natural chemical processes. 

There is a process called decarboxylation, where THC-A is converted into psychoactive THC. This happens during the growth cycle but continues as the bud ages. Now when you go storing it in the freezer, you’ll slow this process, by lessening the decarboxylation process, which means less THC. And less THC means less high. 

Can moldy weeds kill?

Moldy weed can be very dangerous and you shouldn’t smoke any weed that contains mold. Especially those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Because it could potentially kill you, the moment you break open the nug and see something that looks like a bunch of spider webs, throw it away immediately. The presence of mold in cannabis can generate mycotoxins, harmful compounds that can cause severe diseases in humans.  

Smoking old marijuana and what it means to your health

Marijuana doesn’t expire, it doesn’t attract harmful microorganisms the way food would. In the event of dry weed, you shouldn’t get sick from smoking old Marijuana even if it’s stayed past a year or two years. You’ll just have to deal with less potency and bad taste. 

However, if marijuana shows signs of moisture and mold growth, throw it away immediately, don’t think twice about it. The presence of mold and moisture can build up over time, or even faster if it has not been stored well. Mold spores are problematic enough when airborne, let alone ingesting them. Smoking marijuana that has mold will make you ingest millions of toxigenic spores directly into your respiratory system. This can lead to severe allergic reactions and serious lung infections in healthy people. 

So you purchased an already year-old weed, what do you do?

For instance, you bought flower kush, 14 grams of it, and you notice that the harvest date is almost a year from today. And you’re wondering if you were taken advantage of, well you could have been or not. They may have kept it fresh till a point you could still use it for a year more. If you smoked it and it gave you what you needed then it’s all good. But if it was badly stored, you may not get the effects you wanted. 

You can go back to the store from where you bought it and make your complaints. And if you’re not satisfied with buying an already-year-old weed, then you should relay your complaints to them. A person should always be satisfied with any purchase they make. 

What does it mean for your health if you smoke a moldy weed

Moldy weed is dangerous and should never be smoked, no matter how you want that weed at the moment. If you notice mold, throw it away immediately. In cases where you were exposed to moldy weed because you didn’t recognize it, or you smoked someone else’s, you could experience the following symptoms: 

  • nose bleed
  • dizziness 
  • a very bad cough 
  • Fever 
  • loss of coordination 
  • stomach pain 
  • runny nose 
  • red eyes 
  • itchy throat 

I smoked a moldy weed, now what do I do? 

Whether or not you were aware of smoking moldy weed, you must take the following steps:

1 . Stop using it immediately: if you realize that you’ve been investing mold through marijuana, cease smoking it any further, to prevent yourself from being more exposed. 

2 . Monitor symptoms: There are some unusual symptoms you may experience such as coughing, throat irritation, or allergic reactions.

3 .  Seek medical attention if necessary: If you experience severe symptoms or have pre-existing health conditions, get medical help immediately and consult with a healthcare professional for advice tailored to your situation.

4 . Throw it away: Safely dispose of the remaining moldy weed. Do not use or share it with anyone. Moldy marijuana is dangerous, and no one should convince you otherwise. 

How can moldy cannabis kill if it’s on fire?

Some people argue that mold should die when it comes in touch with fire. So moldy weed shouldn’t cause any harm. That’s not true. Inhaling smoke from moldy cannabis can potentially pose health risks. Mold spores can release harmful substances when burned, and inhaling these substances may lead to respiratory issues or allergic reactions.

While smoking moldy weed doesn’t directly “kill” you, it can contribute to health problems, especially for individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. It’s important to prioritize your health and safety, and if you suspect your cannabis is contaminated with mold, just stop using it. Using clean, well-stored cannabis reduces the risk of exposure to harmful substances. Mold can pretty much survive some low heat. So, do not take the risk. No weed is better than bad weed. 

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