There was once a time when a shortage of marijuana meant that someone was going to start scraping the resin from every bowl and bong in sight, while others dug behind the living room furniture to try and scrounge up enough spare change to score a joint from the guy across the way. But then, just about the time the couch looks as though it’s getting its annual pelvic exam, someone pulls an bud from the back cracks. “I found something,” they say. “It might be weed.”
The entire group congregates around the bud to try and figure out 1) exactly which bag the lone nugget may have disappeared from and 2) is the weed still good enough to get them stoned without sending their stunt toker to the emergency room?
Related Story: What Is Marijuana ‘Reclaim’ And Is It Bad For You?
In this type of situation, we are sad to report that the years-old marijuana extracted from its final resting place underneath the couch is not going to be much fun to smoke. Old weed is not going to get the user sick or anything, but it will not pack the same punch that it once did. So, if someone in the group indentifies the POW (Piece of Weed) as a member of that insane sack of Kentucky homegrown, it probably will not have the strength to get them high this time around.
But marijuana doesn’t go bad in the same way as, say, a leftover tuna sandwich that has been lingering in the refrigerator for six months. Rather than transform into some foul, Tupperware-contained beast, old weed goes the opposite direction. Because marijuana is a plant, it is destined to degrade. The herb that once blew everyone’s mind with its aromatic seduction will eventually lose its ability to stink up the room. This happens because the terpene oils dry up and the overall potency of the weed (THC content) deteriorates to a wad of grass that is even less impressive than the Mexican brick weed of the 1980s.
Related Story: How To Salvage That Dried Out Marijuana
The only salvation for old pot is if it was lost while contained in optimal conditions. Marijuana that is stored in a glass jar and in a dark place is poised to have a longer shelf life. Yet, this weed is only safe to smoke if it has not been contaminated by mold. This can happen easily if the marijuana was put away in damp conditions. Under no circumstances is moldy weed fit for human consumption. So if there are white blotches all over the bud, it is best to just toss it in the trash. Otherwise, someone could get sick.
But what about marijuana edibles? Well, this is cut and dry. While smoking old weed (mold free, of course) will not make the user sick, consuming food products beyond their expiration date certainly can. Marijuana edibles are no exception. So if someone digs a pot brownie out from behind the couch that is covered in lint and toenail clippings, avoid it like the plague. While its disgusting appearance should be a turn off for some (lets hope most), edible pot contains other ingredients that can flip a person’s stomach inside out without proper handling. Keep edibles refrigerated and treat them as you would any other food item. Getting stoned is fun, food poisoning is not.