cannabis flower

How Long Does Weed Last? Does It Go Bad?

You pick up your cannabis at a dispensary, consume what you want, and then realize you have some leftovers. You tuck it away, forget about it, and then come across your forgotten flower later on. Can you still smoke old weed? Will it taste right, and will it have the same effects? More importantly, how long can weed last, really? We've pulled together the basics below to give you a good idea of how long your cannabis can be stowed away for another day before it no longer delivers.

How long does weed last?

cannabis buds in jar on desk

Straight to the point, well-stored weed can last a really long time, but the key here is "well-stored." Most sources will tell you that cured cannabis is shelf-stable for as long as six months and up to a year. You could still technically smoke old cannabis beyond a year, but the cannabinoids and terpenes will start to deteriorate after that. Weed loses roughly 16 percent of its THC for every year it is stored.

While the general guideline is to try to use up cannabis within about six months, storage methods will definitely make a difference. In order to keep cannabis fresh for as long as possible, you will need to:

  • Keep it out of direct sunlight
  • Control moisture using humidification pods (weed is best kept between 59 and 63% humidity)
  • Prevent exposure to extreme heat or cold (try for around 70ºF)
  • Lock your weed away from oxygen

Can weed go bad? Absolutely. Not only does time lead to dry, brittle weed with lacking cannabinoids, weed can actually go bad. For example, moisture exposure can cause the buds to mildew or grow mold, at which point the cannabis would not be safe to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can weed go bad in a plastic bag?

Yes. For various reasons, storing your weed in a plastic bag is one of the worst options. Plastic baggies are not usually oxygen proof, and zipper bags do not protect the weed from UV light. Plastic bags may even increase mold growth. Your weed will stay fresh much longer in something like an Evergreen Storage Solution, which controls moisture, blocks oxygen, and prevents UV damage.

Does weed expire or does weed have a shelf life?

Most cannabis you get at a dispensary will not have an official expiry date. However, most dispensaries can give you insight into how fresh their products are. In general, it's a good idea to consume what you have on hand within six months, even though you may get a longer shelf life with the right storage solutions.

Related: Best Way to Store Weed Long Term

Why does weed lose its smell?

Weed loses its smell when the terpenes that produce the telltale aromatics start to deteriorate. Oftentimes, old weed that has not been stored properly will start to smell a lot like old hay.

Does weed go bad in the freezer?

Even though everything seems to last longer when you stick it in the freezer, this can be bad for cannabis. Freezing temperatures cause damage to the delicate trichomes, which is where the heaviest concentration of cannabinoids is found. Plus, freezer storage may lead to too much moisture and mold growth.

Keep Your Cash and Your Stash Protected

cannabis buds with rolling papers

Quality cannabis doesn't come cheap. So when you find good bud and you want to preserve it for as long as possible, investing in storage supplies protects your investment and your weed. Check out our cannabis storage solutions at Evergreen to prevent dried-out, flavorless weed.