Why Does My Pot Taste Harsh? (How To Tell If Cannabis Is Past Its Prime)

While cannabis doesn’t go off in the way food products do but it can turn bad after some time without the correct storage.

If you wonder “Why does my pot taste harsh?”, then you may have old weed or contaminated feed that was sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.

Why Does My Pot Taste Harsh? (How To Tell If Cannabis Is Past Its Prime)

In this quick guide, we explain why your weed might taste different and how you can tell if your cannabis is past its prime.

If you have some weed that tastes harsh or unusual, then your marijuana may be old and moldy. You can typically also tell from a musty smell when cannabis is past its prime.

If your weed smells different or it has lost its normal aroma, then you likely have old pot that will also taste different.

Another reason why your weed may taste harsh is that it was sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. When you smoke weed, the pesticides are released and you taste them on your tongue.

What Are The Signs Of Sprayed Cannabis?

When a cannabis plant is sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, then they remain in the plant even after harvest and the drying process.

Smoking sprayed weed can cause a number of health problems, including headaches, nausea, pain in your chest and an increased heart rate.

Make sure that you look out for the following signs to ensure your cannabis wasn’t sprayed.

Unusual Taste Or Smell

If your pot tastes or smells strange, then it is likely that the weed was sprayed with something.

Your Joint Gives Off Sparks

When the tip of your joint sparks after you light it, then this could be chemicals from a cannabis spray burning. This means your pot is either laced with something or sprayed with a flammable substance.

The Weed Is Crumbly

If your pot falls apart quickly or it feels fluffy, then your joint may be laced with sand or another material that doesn’t belong in a classic cannabis joint.

You may even spot the leftovers of the material in the ash.

Ash Is Oily Or Greasy

If the weed ash feels greasy or oily after you touch it slightly, then your pot may have been sprayed with some type of chemical.

Fresh marijuana produces clean, dry ash that crumbles gently without oily or greasy residue.

How To Tell If Cannabis Has Gone Bad

While most cannabis consumers don’t know the conditions under which their weed was grown and harvested, there are a few clear signs that indicate that cannabis has gone past its best.

Dull Green

Fresh weed has a strong green color, even if it has been stored for a while in the right conditions. You will know your weed is past its prime almost immediately if it looks dull and dry.

Mold Growth

Old cannabis may also show signs of mold or mildew that is easy to spot when you take a close look at the pot.

If you notice a white or gray powdery substance on your weed, then that is mold growing.


‌While you need to make sure that you handle your weed gently, good cannabis shouldn’t disintegrate in your hands.

Only old marijuana that is too dry will crumble and fall apart quickly. On the other hand, too moist buds may feel soggy or oily.

If your weed doesn’t feel like a dried plant, then it is past its best and not suitable for smoking.

No Scent Or Less Aromatic

The compounds responsible for the strong smell in your weed are terpenes. They produce a highly aromatic smell in fresh buds.

However, terpenes disappear over time leaving your weed without scent. 

In very old marijuana, you may even detect a moldy smell or musty odor which means that your weed is definitely past its prime.

Why Does My Pot Taste Harsh? (How To Tell If Cannabis Is Past Its Prime)

No Snapping Sound

When you handle weed, it gives off a clean and crisp sound that indicates that your buds are fresh. On the other hand, too moist cannabis doesn’t produce any sound at all.

Weed that is too dry will just crumble in your hand producing only a slight noise.

Can You Still Consume Cannabis If It Is Past Its Prime?

Yes, it is theoretically possible to consume weed past its best but it is important to be aware of the risks.

Old cannabis tastes harsh and it also smells unpleasant. Plus, it is less potent than fresh cannabis. This means you won’t get the same psychoactive effects with old marijuana.

In addition, old weed may contain mildew or mold which can be dangerous for your lungs causing pain in your chest and respiratory conditions.

That is why it is essential that you check your weed for any signs of mold before you smoke it.

How To Store Weed Properly

In order to prevent a harsh taste in your pot, you need to store it properly. Here are our top tips on how to store your cannabis to make it last longer.

Store Weed In A Sealed Container

You will need to keep your cannabis in a sealed container that keeps out oxygen and moisture. Glass jars with an airtight seal or a fully sealed plastic container work well.

You can also use pet food containers as they are also designed to keep air out, so the contents don’t dry out.

Watch Humidity Levels

Humidity is a big issue for dried plants, such as cannabis. High humidity levels combined with warm temperatures can encourage mold growth.

In order to prevent the growth of mold, you should store your weed at a relative humidity of 59% to 63%.

If you go below 59% humidity, then the weed can dry out and loses its potency. If you exceed 63% humidity, then you may trap moisture leading to mildew and mold growth.

Keep The Weed In A Dark And Cool Place

Weed needs steady temperatures and a cool, dry spot away from sunlight to stay effective. Direct sunlight does not just dry the weed out but it also makes it less effective.

That is the reason why it is essential to keep your cannabis somewhere in a cool place, like a cabinet or closet.

The best temperature for storing your weed is room temperature or below 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can You Freeze Weed?

No, it is best not to put your cannabis into the freezer. The small hairs that are responsible for the pot’s cannabinoids can freeze and break off at low temperatures.

This means that your weed becomes less effective. Plus, keeping your marijuana in the freezer can expose it to moisture which could result in mold growth when you thaw it.

Final Thoughts

Your pot may have a harsh taste because it was sprayed with pesticides or it may be past its prime. In order to get the best from your weed, make sure that you store it in a cool and dark place.

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