Does Marijuana Expire?

Purchasing marijuana in bulk tends to be price effective. So, most people decide to buy the plant in massive amounts as they will save on the cost of purchasing. Similarly, the legalization of marijuana has encouraged many people to grow cannabis on a large scale. All these reasons have made cannabis abundant and readily available; still, many people ask, “does marijuana expire?” 

Remember, a product’s deterioration is subject to time. So marijuana can expire and lose much of its potency over time. However, it is often debated how long marijuana can last before it goes bad. Some people say the plant can stay for 12-24 months before it expires, while others say it can never go bad if it is well preserved. 

Considering the claims we got from various users, manufacturers, and professionals in the cannabis industry, we aim to provide deeper insight in this article. We will discuss in-depth the likelihood of marijuana going bad and prevailing circumstances that will affect the hemp plant’s quality. Also, in the article, you will learn ways to tell when marijuana has gone bad. But really, does marijuana go bad? Let’s find out.

Does Marijuana Expire: Marijuana Lifespan

marijuanaFirst, it’s essential to note that marijuana doesn’t go bad quickly compared to perishable foods. A well harvested, dried, and stored marijuana leaf can remain potent and safe to use for a long time. However, this is true only if you don’t introduce circumstances that cause mold to grow on the herb, especially in humid conditions.

Of course, over time, marijuana is bound to lose its potency. Also, it can develop an unpleasant taste and most likely change its color if the farmers use the wrong methods to harvest the buds. Even though there is no pre-determined lifespan for the products, a general rule is that high-quality marijuana can last for at least six months when you keep it in an air-tight and dry container.

The minimal six months duration can extend to years depending on the variation of the environmental conditions and where you store your weed. You should monitor your stash closely after storing it for six months to one year. If you notice changes in the taste, color, and appearance of the products, that is a sign that your weed is going bad. 

How to Tell if Marijuana Has Gone Bad

Everyone using cannabis must have the skill to differentiate an expired weed from one in good condition. Of course, there is no smart device to help people determine whether it has gone bad. However, you can quickly tell if cannabis is still good enough to be consumed using your sense of touch, smell, taste, and sight. 

  • The Taste

The taste of marijuana will fall between stale and fresh. Although the two tastes are different, they will both get you high. Cannabis will maintain its spicy and juicy taste all through the storage period. In contrast, you can identify stale cannabis by its reduced flavor. However, the stale taste will have a significant harsh and irritating effect on your throat and lungs.

  • Smell the Product

The smell is the most significant indicator of aging cannabis. Of course, sniffing won’t tell the exact age of your cannabis, but it is an excellent way to know if it is still fit for consumption. Safe and clean cannabis will give off a spicy and potent smell. Usually, the smell vanishes as the cannabis ages, making it smell like dried grass.

  • Appearance

Note that using appearance as criteria to tell whether cannabis is expired may not be as effective as using smell, taste, etc. A dry or brittle appearance can signify aging cannabis, but not exactly that it has spoiled, based on the characteristics of your weed. Also, seeing a brownish tint and witted buds can indicate it is time to get rid of that stash because it has stayed for too long. 

  • Touch the Marijuana

The physical texture of marijuana will change as the product ages. Fresh weed will have a buoyant and spongy touch sensation, while old buds have a brittle and dry feel. Also, if the marijuana crumbles in your hands, it signifies that the product has gone stale. 

Circumstances That Make Marijuana Go Bad

Marijuana is not like food that goes bad quickly. For marijuana to go bad, there must be a factor contributing to that. The most common factors include:

Storage Temperature

marijuanaThe ideal storage temperature of cannabis should not be higher or lower than room temperature. At room temperatures, marijuana retains its optimal moisture required to stay fresh and spongy without encouraging mold growth. 

Too much heat leads to the destruction of the CBD and other compounds in marijuana, thus deteriorating its potency. Also, high temperature of up to 80 degrees creates conducive conditions for mold to grow. 


Humidity levels between 59-63% are ideal for cannabis to stay fresh. This humidity level, combined with the optimal room temperatures, prevents exposure to mold and mildew, which can ruin marijuana.


Cannabis will never survive for long if exposed to oxygen. Exposure of the marijuana to oxygen disintegrates its THC compounds. It turns the THC into CBN, which has medical benefits but makes the herb lose its psychoactive properties.


It is best to keep your marijuana in moderately lit places. Researchers show that exposing cannabis to UV light causes deterioration of its THC content. Also, light affects the longevity of marijuana by breaking down its organic structure.  

Effects of Using Moldy Marijuana

Don’t smoke marijuana when you are skeptical of its expiry date. If the plant has gone bad, smoking it may introduce potentially harmful toxins and spores into your body system. As a result, your immune system may become compromised, putting you at risk of contracting infections. 

If your immune system is not strong enough, you may be prone to conditions such as Aspergillus. This fungus infection can lead to severe symptoms such as allergic reactions, weight loss, inability to smell, and wheezing. Also, it can cause fever, severe headaches, and even worse breathing difficulties. 


It is best to use up your marijuana quickly or store it properly to preserve its potency. If you see an expiry date on the packaging, please consume the product before that date. You can use marijuana for up to 24 months if you observe proper preservation measures. 

The main goal is to ensure the weed you are using is safe for consumption. However, if you sense a change in smell, appearance, taste, and texture, it is usually a sign that the product is going bad. 

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