Does Weed Get Stale

A weed plant with weed flower in a garden full of weed plants

Shop this article

View all
Indica Sleep THCA
Indica Sleep THCA
Hybrid Relax THCA
Hybrid Relax THCA
Focus Sativa THCA
Focus Sativa THCA
Delta-8 Indica Sleep
Delta-8 Indica Sleep
Hybrid Relax THCA
Hybrid Relax THCA
Delta-8 Indica Sleep
Delta-8 Indica Sleep
Table Of Contents

It's a cold winter's night, the dispensaries are closed, and all you have left are a couple of nugs that you found under the couch. It looks a little funny, it doesn't smell great, and it's pretty crunchy too. So, the question is, do you still smoke it, or is it too old to consume?

The question here is of course can weed go stale? The unfortunate answer is that yes, weed can go stale. Now, it's not going to kill you or anything like that, but it's not going to be very enjoyable either.

Today, we discuss how long weed stays good and what happens when it goes stale. We'll also cover the telltale signs that your weed is stale, as well as some tips on how to prevent it from going stale in the first place. 

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis loses roughly 16% THC after the first year.
  • Stale weed will smell old, look dull, feel crunchy, and taste off.
  • Keep weed in airtight containers out of the sunlight.

How Long Does Weed Last Before it Gets Stale?

If you keep weed stored properly, it should stay good for anywhere between 6 and 12 months. However, as weed starts to age, it will degrade. When cannabis starts to get old, the THC levels in it start to dissipate.

After the first year, cannabis loses roughly 16% of its THC content. After that, the THC content just keeps going lower and lower. You can expect your cannabis to lose 26% after two years, 34% THC after three years, and a whopping 41% after four years.

As you can see, although weed does get old and stale, it actually takes quite some time. After all, a whole year before it loses even a fraction of its THC content is quite some time.

Does Stale Weed Get You High?

Stale weed can technically still get you high. However, as you can probably tell from the section above, it's not going to get you nearly as high as it otherwise would have. Seeing as cannabis loses its THC content as it ages, it will therefore get you less and less high as time goes on.

Exactly how high it still gets you depends on how much THC that weed in question started with, and how long you've let it sit around. Yes, it also depends on how it was kept under what kind of conditions it was stored in. We'll go over some storage tips on how to make weed stay good for longer (for a while).

What Happens if You Smoke Stale Weed?

If you are concerned about really serious consequences from smoking stale weed, don't be, because it's usually perfectly fine. If you smoke stale weed, you will likely notice that the smoke is extremely harsh and acrid. It's going to hurt your throat and make you cough, hard. Furthermore, you'll also notice that the taste is off.

Despite all this, you probably won't get very high though, because the THC content has decreased significantly. Some people then also report suffering from nausea, intense headaches, hot flashes, and gastrointestinal upset, due to smoking stale weed. It's not like it will kill you or anything, but it's certainly not going to be enjoyable either.

Signs Your Weed Has Gotten Stale

Let's take a closer look at some of the biggest telltale signs that your weed has gone bad or stale.


If your weed has gotten stale, you will likely notice that the color has gotten quite dull. Those fresh and vibrant greens, as well as those orange hairs on the outside, will have likely turned much darker, probably brownish. This color change is something you should notice before you touch or smell the weed. In some cases, it can be quite striking and noticeable.


If your weed has gotten old, you'll likely notice that it doesn't smell very good anymore either. That strong smell your strain had has likely dissipated. Every strain smells a little different, but each strain has those telltale scents that identify it. Whatever the original aroma profile was like, it will be much more muted and subtle. In some cases, the smell of the weed can change entirely, often smelling a bit musty or moldy.


If your weed has gotten stale, it's going to be dry. This means that when you touch it, it will crunch, snap, crackle, and make all sorts of noises. Breaking up a bud of old weed will sound like you're walking around on a forest floor in the middle of autumn.


With stale weed, you should also notice that the taste is not very good. Those enjoyable terpenes that gave your weed its flavor profile will have more or less disappeared. This leaves you with the taste of old plant matter. The weed just isn't going to taste very good anymore and it will likely make you cough as well.


Related to the sound of your weed, if it's gone stale, you'll also notice that it feels really dry and crispy. On a side note, if you kept the weed in a very moist environment, you might notice that it feels wet and moldy. If you have a pre-roll that feels stiff and crunchy, it’s probably seen better days.


If you get to the point where you smoke the weed, you should notice that it is very harsh. It's going to taste bad and make you cough like nothing else.

How to Prevent Weed from Getting Stale

Luckily, there are some good tips for you to follow that will prevent weed from going stale, at least for as long as possible. Remember, weed will go stale no matter what. These tips won't stop your weed from going stale indefinitely, but they will extend the lifespan of it.

Store Your Weed in a Mason Jar

Moisture and oxygen are two of the biggest enemies of THC and keeping your weed fresh. Therefore, your best bet is to keep the weed stored in a glass Mason jar. Remember to not use plastic, because plastic can actually absorb THC crystals and cause your weed to become less potent that way.

However, as long as the Mason jar is made out of glass and has a lid that seals properly, you should be just fine. This will help keep oxygen and moisture out. However, you will need to store the Mason jar in a cool and moderately temperate area.

Use Humidity Packs and Airtight Containers

Airtight containers are very important here. Mason jars and other airtight containers make for a good first line of defense. However, you also want to put humidity packs inside the Mason jars. Humidity packs will keep the humidity at a certain level.

Generally speaking, you want humidity packs that will keep your cannabis between 55% and 65% humid. This will ensure that there is enough moisture present that it won't dry out, but not so much that it will get moldy or be too wet.

Avoid Exposure to Direct Sunlight

Another big enemy of THC is sunlight, or specifically, UV rays. Therefore, keeping your weed in a Mason jar with some humidity packs is not enough. You need to keep that Mason jar in a dark place where light cannot get to it. You could wrap the humidity jar in an opaque layer, so you don't have to put it in a special location. You could also just stick it in a drawer or cupboard somewhere that is out of the sunlight.

Smoke it When it’s Fresh

Sure, we are all for being cost-effective and saving money where possible. However, saving weed to the point where it gets old isn't going to save you money at all. Therefore, the best way to prevent weed from going stale, and to prevent yourself from wasting money, is to smoke that religious cannabis when it's still fresh.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that there is nothing you can actually do to stop you from going stale. However, with the tips listed above, you can significantly extend its lifespan. This way, your weed might stay good for up to a full year, if you store it properly. On a side note, yes, edibles can go bad too!

Where to Buy FRESH Cannabis Online

If you want to buy some fresh cannabis flower online, right here at the Botany Farms is by far the best place to be. Check out our Delta-8 Lemon Diesel Strain with added CBG or this awesome Botany Farms Delta-8 Blueberry Kush. If you’re feeling like just relaxing and not doing any work at all, take a look at these Delta-8 Blueberry Kush Pre-Rolls.

Reading next

Blueberries scattered across a wooden surface
Blueberries scattered across a wooden surface