As one might expect, the internet hasn’t quite managed to come to an agreement on whether or not old weed is bad for you, whether it loses potency, or even if decades-old jazz cabbage can get you just as high as it would have back then. And even bonafide science on the effects and uses of the devil’s lettuce and its active ingredient, THC, is startlingly unreliable.

So for anyone who goes through the pockets of their old jeans or finds a crumpled plastic bag from god-knows-when hidden in their sock drawer, an attempt to find reliable advice on whether to pitch or smoke their old stash is like navigating a really relaxing minefield of conflicting information.

The good news is that they probably don’t need to worry about it.

The bad news is that unless they happened to store their broccoli under ideal conditions — in a sealed glass jar stored in a dark, temperature-controlled room — they probably won’t have much fun smoking it.

Old weed can’t spoil like expired milk or cheese — smoking it won’t make you sick. But that also means you can’t always tell off the bat whether it’s still any good.

One thing to look out for is whether the weed has lost its scent. Pot is a plant, so even if it doesn’t go bad, it does degrade over time. Good weed smells like weed or, if you’re in college, that skunk that keeps getting into the crawl space of your dorm. Older weed loses its scent as aromatic terpene oils drop in potency and the THC slowly degrades. Also, it will crumble in your hands.

On the other hand, if you accidentally left your stash somewhere damp, it may have grown some mold or fungus. If you see little white spots or you smell anything other than weed on your weed, throw it out. Old pot won’t hurt you, but mold will make you pretty damn sick.

Old edibles, however, are a different story. If you baked your pot into some brownies a few months ago and forgot about them in the back of your fridge, you should probably steer clear. There’s nothing special about old weed that you baked into brownies or other food.

But get this, food goes bad after a while.

brownies jazz cabbage weed pot edibles
Just eat them fresh, idiot.
Photos via Flickr / The Year of Mud, Flickr / iTopher