The science of old marijuana – when does it expire

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How to tell when marijuana is past its shelf life

If you’re digging around in the kitchen drawer and suddenly come across some forgotten stash, it’s important to know whether or not it is still good to consume. Marijuana doesn’t come with an expiration date but there are ways to tell if it’s safe.

As long as there is no mold on it, it is more than likely safe. It probably won’t carry the same strength as fresh supply, but this is about as bad as it gets. The leaves will look dry and perhaps crumbly, which could actually be a good thing. If there is any moisture, mold will build up, ruining the stash.

Take a whiff. If it smells like weed, it should still be good. This doesn’t apply to edibles, though. If there’s any concern about marijuana-based edibles, the best option is to go ahead and toss them out.

The terpenes in marijuana are the first to go. Not only do they provide some of the most benefits, but they also lose their effects quicker with age. Some terpenes, such as pine or lemon, can evaporate quicker than others like nerolidol because they’re smaller molecules.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) lasts the longest, especially if the supply is kept in an air-tight container and isn’t exposed to sunlight. THC can convert into CBN, a weaker cannabinoid, over time if left exposed.

So, don’t just assume your stash is bad because it has been sitting for a while. Use your senses – especially the sense of smell and touch – to determine if that long-lost supply is still worth consuming.

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