Does Your Weed Lose Its Potency As It Sits On Dispensary Shelves?

By: Brandye Hudson

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon and you have just come back from your local marijuana dispensary. You go to open your packages and see that your merchandise isn’t as fresh as you would like. What happened? Weed, just like any other perishable, can go bad. Yes, bad! Marijuana can become stale and crumbly, not too fun to smoke. Plus, this lovely flower loses its potency when it deteriorates. But that can all be prevented with proper storage and placement.

Mylar bags are a great way to prevent your marijuana from expiring or from drying out on the dispensary shelves. They have become increasingly popular with cannabis companies. These resealable bags are sure to keep out any of the outside elements – air, moisture, or any extreme change in temperature. Mylar bags are durable enough to be used in the food industry to preserve food, keeping out harmful light sources and unnecessary oxygen.

How To Tell If Your Weed Has Gone Bad

Just like that box of cereal that’s been sitting in your cupboard forever, marijuana does have an expiration date. Most people just assume that because cannabis comes from flower, it will magically stay just as fresh and ready to smoke. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Marijuana can lose its potency by not being safely stored or consumed soon enough. When you first buy your nugs, your weed should come with a little bit of moisture.


This moisture is a good way to assess your weed’s freshness. After purchasing your flower, you’re probably going to go straight to breaking the flower up to put into your grinder. The freshly acquired nug should have a bit of resilience to it. Meaning, it should be able to bend just a little bit in your fingers before breaking in half. The dull snapping sound you hear is a great indicator that your weed is fresh and potent.

However, too much moisture can result in mold and too little moisture can leave your weed dried out. These are a couple of different ways that your weed can lose its potency. Potency is particularly important when it comes to your newly bought flower.

Not only does ineffective weed smoke badly, but it can be bad for you physically as well. Bad weed can leave you feeling overly tired and sick, a combination that’s sure to lead to a bad time every time. Luckily, there are quite a few different ways to verify whether or not your marijuana has gone bad or expired.

When marijuana is reaching its expiration date, there are a few different ways that you can tell. One is the previous method that we spoke about in the last section – the flower’s moisture levels.


A young smoker is unimpressed with the quality of her weed.

Smell & Taste

Like other perishables, the smell is another great way you can check your weed’s potency. If you take a sniff from something that’s been sitting around for a while, a bad scent is a strong indicator that that food has gone bad. However, unlike other perishables, not having any smell is a bad sign when it comes to cannabis. If your weed is old it will be lacking in smell, letting you know the potency has gone down.

Along with your weed’s smell, the taste will be different. It will more likely than not leave a bad taste inside of your mouth, along with a really disappointing buzz. Marijuana that has been stored properly will have a strong smell and no taste, the complete opposite of its counterpart.

Temperature & Lighting

You want to make sure that your weed is not being kept in any extreme temperatures, nothing too hot or too cold. If you can, make sure that your marijuana is stored in a cool, dry area of about 20 degrees Celsius / 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lighting is also a huge factor to take into consideration when you’re thinking about prolonging your weed’s shelf life. Exposing your cannabis to UV rays can really hurt the integrity of your product. Indirect exposure to light can also lead to loss of potency and overall degradation When you’re storing your weed, try to keep the elements in mind. Using Mylar bags to store your weed will be sure to protect it, and in turn, stave off that expiration date.

Can I Pro-Long The Shelf Life Of My Weed?

We now know how to identify expired weed, but is there any way to prolong the shelf life of your flower? Yes! Proper storage is the number one way to push back that expiration date. Like we stated earlier, too much of the natural elements (air, moisture, extreme temperatures) are just a few of the things you would need to look out for. Maybe you’re used to storing your weed in an unused container or regular weed bags. At that point, you are putting your weed in danger of early expiration.

What types of bags are you using to store cannabis flower?


Plastic baggies and other lackluster containers are bad for your weed to be stored in, simply because they will not prolong your shelf life. They might even shorten it! You want to store your marijuana in a safe area and in marijuana bags that will keep the aforementioned elements out.

Mylar bags are the perfect way to store your weed in this instance. Not only will the light, easy-to-carry bags keep all of the elements away from your weed, but these smell-proof bags will also make sure your purchases stay discreet! That is why so many cannabis companies are now choosing to sell their flower in Mylar bags.

If you walk into a dispensary and see flower not sold in Mylar bags, beware! Make sure the flower looks good and smells good (if possible). Always check the date the flower was prepared, which should be on the container.

When it comes to prolonging your weed’s shelf life, luckily, it does not have to be so complicated. The solution is simple: keep your bud in a cool, dry area, keep it out of the way of extreme temperatures, avoid too much moisture, and, when able, use storage tools such as Mylar bags to keep your weed inside of. With these tips and tricks, you are sure to be on the path to premium weed smoking!

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