Ask Cheri

Does Weed Go Bad? Can I Use 40 Year Old Cannabis? 

By Cheri Sicard
July 7, 2021

Dear Cheri,

Does weed go bad?  I have a REALLY old dime bag of sensimilla that my mother found and (I thought) confiscated FORTY years ago, but believe it or not, my sister found it in her dresser after my mom died, in the same makeup bag I kept it in along with my old pipe and some EZ-widers.

It has been in the dark, in a baggie, inside a film canister for the entire 40-years since I last saw it. I would say it’s barely a couple of tablespoons. I wouldn’t dare smoke it, but do you think I could make some infused oil and make edibles to help sleep or something? Or should I just put it in the Smithsonian?

You are not alone.  I frequently get the question "Does Weed Go Bad?"   However, you might just get the prize for the oldest stash found.  At least among the emails I have received over the years.

When it comes to old weed, I would absolutely give it a try.  You have nothing to lose. 

At that age there is no need to decarboxylate, as age also causes decarbing, but it should still have potency.  Although depending on the strength of the cannabis, the amount you’re describing may not be enough to make much when it comes to edibles.  

But if you had enough of it, edibles would be a great choice for old weed. That's because a lot of the terpenes and likewise flavor will be gone. 

Give it a try and let me know what happens.  

Can You Smoke Old Weed?

Honestly, you could smoke it if you choose.  It is not like it has been where it would get dusty and dirty. 

I had a friend in a similar situation to you a few years back.  We were cleaning out her house as she was downsizing for a big move out of the country.  Mis job we stumbled upon a long forgotten stash that was 25 plus years old. 

Well it was there, so what were we to do?  There was weed.  It was old weed, but it was weed!

We rolled a big fatty and sparked it up.  I can’t say it was the smoothest or most flavorful smoke, but it did get us high.

The World's Oldest Weed Stash

I said earlier you get the prize for oldest weed stash found among my readers.  However, in the grand scheme of things, you are not even in the contest!

Believe it or not,  researchers found 2500 year old cannabis buried in tombs in China that still had traces of THC!  

Title card for "Is it OK to use very VERY old weed.
Title card for "Is it OK to use very VERY old weed.

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

  • Hi Cheri, I have weed that’s about 12 years old and for as long as I can remember it’s been kept in a vacuum sealed bag inside a dark tin with one exception – about 3 years ago, we broke into the package, smoked some and were surprised that we got a really good buzz although through a water pipe. We figured it was going to be quite harsh. We then vacuum sealed it again and it’s been there since. I’m thinking of using it to make edibles and so the question of decarbonizing comes to mind given the vacuum seal. Since it’s already in a sealed bag, would it hurt to pop it into a sous vide? It has not been ground and I’ve seen some posts saying that for sous vide, it should be ground. What I can tell you is that when we initially got the marijuana, the buds were broken up by hand and the seeds removed to facilitate smoking in a pipe / rolling. However because we weren’t smoking it as much we vacuum sealed it for some future use. Well the future is here so would you recommend decarbonizing it before making any edibles? Thanks for your insights.

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