Has my stash gone bad? If you are a frequent cannabis user, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. But how long is “too long”? What does it mean when you’re dealing with weed gone bad? Does weed even have an expiration date?
Here are 10 signs your weed has gone bad.
10. Bud Integrity
Speaking of breaking down, the integrity of the buds in your ancient stash is a good tell of whether or not that weed has gone bad. This one is mostly in the feel. Give your buds a quick, firm pinch. If they easily bust up, this is another sign of overall weak weed. Sometimes, the weed that has gone bad will take care of this step all by itself. Revisit an old bag of cannabis after a few months in storage. Sometimes, there’s just loose shake where once tight buds used to be. It’s almost as if existing that long, under such neglect, was too much for your forgotten weed to bear. Or maybe it’s just that cosmic law of entropy at work. Remember, your weed, just like you, is circling the sun at a cool 1,100 miles per hour.
9. It’s Too Dry
One of the most tell-tale signs you’re dealing with weed gone bad is that it is just too dry.
If the weed you’ve been keeping around for a while, wittingly or not, wasn’t stored in an airtight container, then dryness is probably your biggest concern. Dryness is pretty easy to detect, because it usually goes along with other symptoms of weed gone bad. Do your nugs feel brittle and crunchy in all the wrong ways? Yeah, too dry. Dry weed will hit hot and harshly. So it’s best to avoid it at all costs. Choose the right container.
8. It’s Too Wet
Dank, wet buds are obviously what you want. But there’s a limit to how much wetness is too wet when it comes to cannabis. Soggy weed will leave you sorry, indeed, the old saying goes. Wet weed sucks for a few reasons. First, it can be a real pain to light up. Second, soggy nugs will restrict the airflow through the weed, leading to an uneven and incomplete burn. You’ll also end up inhaling a bunch of water vapor with your hit, and folks with weaker pulls will find smoking a struggle. Because of all that mess, you’ll usually use up more bud than you usually would have, meaning you could burn through your stash of soggy grass too fast.
7. It’s Moldy
Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire. And where there’s wetness, there’s usually mold. There’s no way around it: weed that’s moldy is going in the trash. Don’t smoke it unless the idea of mold spores in your lungs sounds like a good time to you. Thought not. Flush it like a dead goldfish. Mold can be notoriously hard to spot, considering it’s green, white, generally floral appearance. Smell is usually the giveaway. A musty, under the basement sink smell with faint overtones of urine and men’s locker room means mold.
6. Funny Taste
Keeping on with our tour of the senses, let’s talk taste. The delicate, subtle, earthy palettes of flavors and sensations that great bud delivers. If you don’t have that, you probably have a case of weed gone bad. If you’ve made it to this stage, the taste will be a pretty decisive factor in the goodness or badness of your particular batch of old weed. If it tastes metallic, plastic, or otherwise off could be a sign that the storage environment itself has contaminated the cannabis. Sometimes, plastics and other chemicals from containers can leech into your stash, particularly after a long period of storage. A funky taste could also indicate mold you failed to notice earlier.
5. No Taste At All
Weed with no taste? What kind of sick, twisted universe would dream up such a thing? But seriously, if your weed doesn’t have any taste to it, it’s definitely weed gone bad. Weed that has lost its taste is also probably dry, brittle, and without any smell. So what did you expect when you fired it up? Probably something, anything, better than nothing, right? Again, the aromatic experience of smoking good cannabis is due to the terpenes, cannabinoids, and other molecules that make up the traits of the particular strand.
4. Not Sticky To The Touch
One of the signs that all those organic plant compounds are in good shape is how sticky the buds are. When a bud is healthy, fresh, and well-cured, resins from the plant collect on the outside of the flowers. That resin tends to vanish if weed is too dry, or too wet, anywhere outside of its ideal zone. And when it goes, so does the stickiness of your weed. A good way to tell is to test your fingers after you pack your herb. Pinch them together, and if there’s a slight stick you may still have good weed.
3. No More Crystals
One of the more cherished hallmarks of really good bud are its crystals. With a thick, downy coat of white, glittering crystals, you know you’re in for an amazing smoking experience. Those crystals have their reputation for a reason. They’re called “trichomes,” and they are basically little crystals of cannabinoids just waiting, begging, reaching for you to activate them. A high density of trichomes is a major factor in the quality and potency of cannabis. Unfortunately, they’re also really hard to keep intact in storage. The slightest movements, and even light itself, can break off these delicate little crystals. If your bud has lost its coat of crystals, it has probably gone at least a little bit bad.
2. The Color Is Off
Fresh, good buds radiate brilliant shades of green ranging from bright lime to dark forest. And some strains, like Blueberry and Fruity Pebbles, have amazing streaks of purple as well. Weed that has gone bad, however, is just dull. Weed that’s too old to be much good anymore looks a lot like other dead, dried up plants do. It’s brown and wilted. Or, at best, its color is subdued and mild. Otherwise, the color of bad weed could be due to a mold problem. If the green looks off, or the white isn’t crystal-white, maybe there’s a problem. Again, it can be hard to tell, so check for the other signs of bad weed.
1. It Gives You A Headache
If you smoke old weed and walk away with a headache, that’s a pretty clear sign it has gone bad. Headache-inducing cannabis has lost so much quality that it’s basically giving you all the smoke and none of the cannabinoids. The result: a pain in the brain. Headaches come from smoking dry weed, weed that’s basically a bunch of leaves, or weed that’s moldy. But even weed that looks good can cause headaches if the quality is low enough. Sometimes, you just won’t know until you spark it up. Good luck.
When it comes down to it, you probably know in your gut whether your old stash has gone bad or not. So trust your instincts, and you’ll never go wrong with bad weed.