Do you have a jar of old weed stashed in a forgotten corner? Don’t toss it yet; your old weed might be helpful.

Old, stale weed is sad. Stashed in a forgotten cabinet or left lingering in a backpack, your top-shelf flower is now nothing more than a dehydrated disgrace. 

But don’t despair! 

It turns out that you can put your (now) lousy weed to good use. Our expert budtenders know a thing or two about how you can make the most of your old weed. So, keep reading.

Does Weed Go Bad?

Let’s start with the basics. Does weed expire? 

The answer to the question, “can weed go bad?” depends on your definition of bad. In general, old weed won’t get you sick the way other “expired” things might, like a moldy cheese rind or a questionable packet of discounted ground beef (yikes). 

However, if you live in a particularly damp or humid area (not likely in Colorado), mold loves weed almost as much as we do, so you might want to give your ancient nugs a close inspection before grabbing that torch.

Still, there remains the question, can weed expire?
In short, the answer is no.

If your dusty stash is fuzzy with mold, toss it. But otherwise, you should be good to go, no matter how ancient it may appear. 

moldy cannabis

Does Weed Lose Potency Over Time?

Old cannabis probably won’t hurt you, but will it still get you high? Of course, it will. But it won’t send you into the stratosphere the way it would have when your stash was fluffy and fresh. 

It’s hard to say precisely how much potency weed loses over time, but some research suggests that cannabis loses about a quarter of its THC potency every two years.

Does Weed Get Stale?

Now that you’ve determined your stash is less than eight years old and probably still has some THC to offer let’s talk quality.

Can weed go stale? It definitely can.

And while stale weed won’t impact your health, it will taste different (gross) and won’t be as enjoyable to consume. 

Here’s how to check if your stash is beyond its prime. Give it the sniff test. If your rediscovered stash smells dry and dusty, you’ve got stale weed on your hands. 

cannabis flower in a open zip lock bag

And how long does the smell of fresh weed last?

The timeline is accelerated compared to THC, declining after about six months if stored properly (emphasis on “stored properly”).

How Long is Weed Good For?

When you combine the considerations of potency, smell, and quality, how long does weed stay fresh?

Like most cannabis-related things, the answer is hazy. Depending on your desired experience, most experts say you have about a year from purchase before your weed’s quality diminishes significantly. But, of course, fresh is always best. 

Does Old Weed Get You High?

We’ve determined cannabis can age, become stale, and grow mold if the conditions are right. But does old weed get you high? Yes, old weed can still produce psychoactivity. 

Your aging cannabis still contains THC, the cannabinoid responsible for much of cannabis characteristic effects, but it won’t pack the same punch. Old weed is weak weed. 

What Happens if You Smoke Old Weed?

It might not be the tastiest or the most effective, but is it wrong to smoke old weed? 

Smoking old weed isn’t bad for you at all, and as we’ve already established, it will probably still get you high. However, it also tastes genuinely awful! 

Depending on the age of the weed, it can develop strange off-flavors that make smoking less than ideal.

So if you’re in a pinch or just curious, it won’t hurt you, but it also won’t be a lot of fun. 

Instead, transform your old weed with our budtenders’ suggestions.

grayscale picture of a man smoking a joint looking out a window

What Can I Use Old Weed For? 

Buying fresh is always better than suffering through an ancient bowl. But you can put that old weed to good use with these creative ideas:


Making edibles from old weed is a genius-level move because you can extract the THC from your cannabis without suffering through the stale weed taste.

To make edibles from old weed, quickly bake your stash in the oven for decarboxylation before infusing in butter or coconut oil. Then, use your fat in the baked good of your choice, or slather a little weed butter on a toaster waffle–whatever works!


Dry sifting and infusing oils are the most common ways to create cannabis concentrates, but you can try other methods, too.

You can buy a bubble bag extraction kit to make bubble hash with your aging cannabis, use dry ice to make dry ice hash, or create a tincture by infusing plain alcohol like Everclear or vodka with your old weed.


Last but not least, your go-to vaporizer may work better with old weed because it’s dryer. It will allow you to get dense clouds of vapor without choking on harsh old weed smoke.

However, our warning about taste still applies! Old weed doesn’t taste any better in vaped form than smoked, so you might be better off with another method if you have a sensitive palette. 

red measuring cup with cannabis flower next to a stick of butter and a metal mixing bowl with a wood spoon on a table

Dry Sift 

You can extract high terpene and cannabinoid concentrations from your aging bud’s trichomes (the crystalline structures coating flower that gives it much of its characteristic effects) through dry sifting. 

Here’s the easiest way to get the job done. 

Run your aging weed through a grinder and collect the powder (called kief) accumulated at the bottom of the grinder, also called a “keif catcher.” Sprinkle your sifted kief atop a fresh bowl to give it an extra potency boost. 

How to Store Weed for Future Consumption

No matter how creative you get with old weed, smart cannabis storage is essential for preventing future waste. But, can you freeze marijuana for longer shelf life? Not if you want to preserve its quality. Your freezer could cause a decline in the quality of your cannabis.  

So it’s room temperature or bust, but how long can you store marijuana? And what’s the best weed container?

The best way to store cannabis is inside a glass jar, like the jars with dehumidifying packets you might see in your local dispensary. Under the proper conditions, these jars will keep your cannabis tasty and fresh!

Cannabis Flower in Glass Jars on Shelfs

Still, the best solution to old weed is, you guessed it, new weed. 

Refresh your stash this week with Lightshade.