Clues Your Weed Has Gone Bad – Identifying Cannabis Past Its Shelf Life

How to tell if your weed has gone bad – Weed Seed Shop Blog

Did you know that if buds aren’t properly looked after, they can pass their shelf lives and even go moldy? It doesn’t sound like a nice smoking experience, does it? Well, there are some ways you can double check whether your cannabis is past its shelf life. Read here to find out if you’re smoking fresh or moldy weed.

Unfortunately, just like any other organic substance on the planet, cannabis is perishable if it is not properly looked after. In fact, weed has the potential to live on the shelf for decades if it is properly grown and properly cared for. Just like storing your seeds is important, storing your buds properly is important, too, if you want to enjoy high-quality bud long after it’s been picked.

If weed is grown, dried, cured and stored well, then it can last for a really long time. Most cannabis users who don’t grow their own don’t have an inkling into what went into the growing, drying and storing process of their product. That’s where we come in and give you some tips on how to identify weed that has passed its shelf life or gone off. It really doesn’t taste or feel good to smoke moldy weed, so keep reading for the clues that your weed might have gone bad.

Look at your buds!

You can usually tell if your buds are moldy or past their shelf life if you have a closer look at them. Cannabis enthusiasts usually like to spend a long time admiring their weed (whether while they are growing it or after it gets in the bag) before they use it. Its visual beauty is one of the appealing things about it. So naturally, when it begins to go bad, it begins to look bad, too. If you’re holding something in your hand you’ve been told is weed, but you’re having trouble actually identifying it as a bud, then it may have gone off. It can start to look strange, and even not like a bud at all. The colour can change as well as the texture.

Mold can penetrate every surface of the bud, although mold can sometimes be mistaken for trichomes. The way to identify the difference is basically that mold will cover a whole bud, whereas trichomes are usually concentrated into crystals. It also helps to break apart the flowers because mold can grow in the little nooks of your weed!

Then smell them…

How to tell if your weed has gone bad – Weed Seed Shop Blog

There are aromatic hints that your cannabis has passed its shelf life, too.

Terpenes are responsible for cannabis’s fragrance, and they generally don’t like to stick around too long if the home isn’t up to standard. The wonderful floral aroma of cannabis disappears on moldy weed, and can be replaced by a moist, mildew kind of smell. Other unusual smells can also be signs that it’s time to get rid of your weed. For example, sometimes buds can take on the fragrance of their containers. Any of these circumstances could be red flags to tell you that your weed has gone off.

A good nasal test is to look out for that wonderful aroma you know weed has when it is well looked after and ready to smoke!

And touch them!

Finding out if your weed is moldy or not is a very sensory experience. As well as smelling them and looking at them, it also pays to handle your buds to check for mold. A tactile clue that your weed is going off is that there is moist content stuck in the buds. This moisture can also create a sense that the weed itself is over compressed. These are all signs your weed is not good to smoke!

If in the process of breaking your weed apart, the herb basically disintegrates, this can be a sign of moldy weed. However, don’t confuse this with kief or dried out bud! Breaking your weed apart also helps you to see if there is any mold hiding in some hard to see places!

How to tell if your weed has gone bad – Weed Seed Shop Blog

Listen and then taste test!

If listening to the sound of your weed seems like a crazy way to find out if it’s moldy- well it’s not! Buds that have been looked after make a very distinct snapping sound when they are broken, whereas weed that is too dry or too moist does not. Buds that are too dry can crumble, and will sound crackly rather than having a clean snap. Weed that has gone moldy because of too much moisture content will have the opposite sensation, being hard to break apart and making no sound at all.

If, after all of these suggestions you still aren’t sure whether your weed is moldy or not, you can always opt for the taste test. Anybody who has smoked cannabis past its shelf life knows that it doesn’t taste so good. Terpenes play a role in the way cannabis tastes, and old or moldy weed won’t have that deliciously pungent flavour that good quality weed has. It also pays to mention that there is nothing healthy about smoking weed past its shelf life, so check out your weed before you use it!


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  • Author_profiles-WSS-Emma Ryte

    Emma Ryte

    Born in Germany, lived in England my childhood years and spent my high school era in the US. My parents are basically hippies and that is why I have had the possibility to speak freely and explore my passion for the cannabis plant. My love for writing followed soon after. Writing about this subject has taught me so many things about the use, cultivation, health benefits and industrial options, and I love that I can share this knowledge with you! I visit Amsterdam as often as I can and I love the vibe there when it comes to weed, it lets me try new things and learn about the newest developments in the industry. The one person I would love to smoke some with would have to be Stevie Wonder. I love relaxing to his music while high and I would love to meet him!
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