It’s a classic scenario: you’re out of weed and in your frantic search for more you discover a long-forgotten baggie of buds in a drawer. Victory! Hold on: is the pot still good? Does weed go bad? It smells ‘ok’ and doesn’t crumble to the touch, so, maybe, but, what about mold?

Weed doesn’t go bad like produce or condiments, but, it can, have a noticeable drop in potency. Aging weed can also undergo changes in texture, taste and aroma.

How long does cannabis stay fresh?

Dried cannabis keeps for 6 months to 1 year when stored properly.

According to research, weed loses roughly 16 percent of its THC after 1 year, and it just keeps dropping from there:

# of Years% of THC Loss

How do I know if my weed is old?

  • Smell It.
    • Weed that’s past its prime will smell different or lose its aroma entirely
  • Look at it.
    • Does it look dried out and aged?
  • Feel it.
    • Fresh weed shouldn’t crumble or feel spongy when you break it off.
  • Taste it.
    • Tasting a little shouldn’t harm you, but be prepared for changes in texture and potency.

The exception is weed that has grown mold. Obviously, smoking moldy weed is not a good idea.

How do I check for mold?

Look closely!

It typically looks like white powdery or fuzzy spots, some of which can be pretty small. Mold is often hard to see unless you look very closely.

Moldy weed tends to have a bit of an “off” taste and usually smells musty, kind of like hay.

Mold on weed isn’t likely to cause major health problems, but it can lead to cannabis hyperemesis syndrome symptoms: nausea, vomiting, and coughing.

In people with weakened immune systems, inhaling smoke or vapors from weed containing bacteria or fungi could cause serious illness or even death.

How should I be storing my weed, anyway?

Four factors have a direct impact on cannabis aroma, taste and potency:

  • Light
  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Oxygen Exposure

What is the right storage container?

Glass jars with an airtight seal, like mason jars, are the way to go. They don’t have any static charge and limit oxygen exposure. Plus, they’re inexpensive and easy to find.

Ditch plastic baggies and containers. Plastic holds static that can affect delicate trichomes and mess with potency.

And your cute stash tins? They let in too much oxygen.

Watch the Humidity

Weed is best kept at a relative humidity of 59 to 63 percent. Any higher and you run the risk of trapping moisture, which can lead to the growth of mold. Anything lower can cause your weed to dry out. Keeping weed in a cool and dry spot away from sunlight is as important as the container you use, if not more so.

Cannabis Humidors

You can also go the extra mile and store your weed in a humidor made specifically for cannabis. There a many brands to choose from; a Google search will get you all the information you need.

Can I use the freezer?

Danger! Putting cannabis into freezing temps can cause trichomes to become brittle and break off. What are trichomes? They’re the tiny hairs on cannabis (and hemp) flowers that produce the cannabinoids which we care about.

Also keeping weed in the freezer can expose it to moisture, especially when ‘defrosting’, which can result in mold.

So, Does Weed Go Bad?

When cannabis is exposed to environmental factors such as light and air, the cannabinoids and terpenes deteriorate. So, the more exposure to these factors increase how quickly it deteriorates, or, goes “bad”.

How to Keep Different Types of Cannabis Fresh Longer

Different storage for different tokes is necessary to keep your cannabis products fresh and potent. Here’s a breakdown by cannabis product type:


To keep flower fresh, you need to store it properly. This includes limiting exposure to light and open air, and maintaining a proper humidity level, typically somewhere in the range of 54 percent to 63 percent.

To accomplish all this, store your bud in either a small glass Mason jar or a container designed specifically for marijuana. Keep the lid on tight, don’t open it very often, and keep it in a cool dark place.

Vape Pens

Since cannabis oil is already inside an airtight cartridge you don’t really need to worry about humidity or exposure to air, however, it’s best to keep your vape pens away from direct light.

  • Store your vape pen standing upright. This will keep all the oil at the bottom of the cartridge which means it’s ready for immediate use.


Typically, the container your concentrate (or Edible) comes in will be the best container to store it in.


As mentioned above, to keep edibles fresh, keep them in the original package and store them in a place that’s away from open air and direct light. Be sure they’re in a cool location; gummies and candies can easily melt if you’re not careful.

Does Weed Go Bad Conclusion

Weed can last ‘forever‘, however, after about a year it will begin to age, lose potency and, potentially, develop mold, rendering it not good to smoke.

To learn more, take our Cannabis Dispensary Tour and get a behind-the-scenes tour of an indoor production facility and learn how they store cannabis. Book your Tour Today!