Mmmmm… edibles. We all buy ‘em. We all love ‘em.
However, a common concern among those of us that enjoy consuming THC or CBD in such a delicious manner is whether or not our scrumptious treats will go bad.
We get it. No one wants to spend their hard-earned scratch only to find out it’s gone bad sooner than expected.
So, can edibles expire?
Let us walk you through all things edible (cannabis only, of course) and how to make sure you get the most from your valuable investment.
Table of Contents
- Can Edibles Go Bad?
- Do Expired Edibles Lose Potency?
- Do Edibles Have the Same Shelf Life as Regular Foods?
- 2 Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Edibles
- Can You Keep Edibles in the Freezer?
- 4 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Expired Edibles
- Hail Mary Jane: Our Experts Are Your Trusted Source for Edibles and Other Cannabis Products
Can Edibles Go Bad?
In short, the answer is yes.
Look at it this way, you wouldn’t eat a cake you baked three weeks ago, right? So, if consuming your edibles as fresh as the day you bought them is important to you, then take heed of the expiration dates.
No one wants to eat stale food, with or without cannabis in it.
Even if stale doesn’t bother you, the cannabis can break down over time, making the product less potent.
After about a year, depending on the cannabis, the potency decreases. This can leave you with a product that makes you feel sleepy instead of the intended high (and party) you were hoping for.
In a nutshell, you don’t eat bad food, why consume bad edible weed products?
When Do Edibles Go Bad?
So, when do edibles expire?
Edibles expire based on a few factors that we’ve listed below. However, to keep it short, edibles go bad according to the expiration date on the package.
While some edibles, like gummies, might be okay to consume for a short time after expiration, items containing perishables should not be.
Do Expired Edibles Lose Potency?
A very common question we get is; “do expired edibles still work?”
This is not typically a concern because it’s more likely that the other ingredients will go bad long before the weed in your edible does.
Potency should remain the same, even up to a year or more. However, it’s not recommended to eat expired edibles, so don’t buy more than you need. (It’s not a Costco product for a reason).
If you’re hoping to make your edibles last longer, read on to learn more about short-term and long-term storage and preservation techniques.
Do Edibles Have the Same Shelf Life as Regular Foods?
This is a really good way to think of it. Just like any food product, cannabis products are under strict packaging guidelines that manufacturers must adhere to.
Expiration dates are no exception.
And in most cases, it’s the inert ingredients that will expire long before the cannabis.
So, before you clear the shelves of your favorite brownie, consider if you’ll have the opportunity to consume them all within the date of expiration.
If not, you should only buy what you can reasonably consume, or consider clearing some freezer space.
If you’re unsure about the expiration date of an edible it’s best not to consume it. Expired food products can cause illness.
Will Store-Bought Edibles Last Longer Than Homemade Edibles?
This depends on the product and its ingredients.
Most products that are manufactured in a large facility will contain some preservatives. This certainly gives them a shelf life advantage compared to your home-baked goodies.
However, you really do need to pay attention to the packaging. Some products will be clearly labeled as preservative-free. In this case, the shelf life is shortened.
How to Store and Preserve Your Edibles
No matter what type of edible you have, you should be aware of proper storage so that your product stays fresh for the optimal amount of time.
If you’ve purchased edibles with a long shelf life, then storing them in a cupboard or pantry until the expiration date is totally fine.
However, consider storing the edibles in an airtight container away from humidity and heat. Weed gummies can get a bit sticky and gooey if not kept in temperatures between 55 to 70 degrees.
Two effective long-term storage methods include refrigeration or freezing.
These methods apply to edibles with a shorter lifespan, such as liquids or homemade baked goods.
2 Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Edibles
Depending on the edible, the shelf life will vary for a couple of reasons:
The type of edible and the ingredients in an edible.
If an edible has been manufactured in a controlled facility, then the expiration date will be clearly marked. Homemade edibles, on the other hand, usually expire sooner, but we’ll get more into that later.
#1: The Type of Edible
Some edibles naturally have a shorter shelf life, such as condiments or energy drinks. The expiration date can range from as few as five days and up to several weeks.
Baked goods last a little longer. So, if you’ve got a sweet tooth and love yourself some weed brownies for that perfect high, rest assured you can buy more than a few at a time and expect that they’ll last a little longer.
The longest-lasting edibles are the candy variety (gummies, lollipops, etc.) which can easily last months. This is mainly due to the lack of oxygen in the product.
Similar to regular food products, looking for signs that the edible is no longer fresh can help if you’re dealing with unmarked products.
You might notice that they smell skunky or that the texture has changed.
Again, aim for airtight storage in cool, dry places or keeping your product in the fridge for the best results.
#2: Ingredients in the Edible
The ingredients within the edible also play a role in how long you can expect the product to last.
Consider the expiration dates of the food in your fridge. Dairy products and produce go bad fairly quickly. So, you can imagine that any cannabis product containing these ingredients will expire in the same amount of time.
Edibles that contain ingredients that are predominantly non-perishable will have a longer life span.
Think about pantry items, such as flour, salt, sugars, etc. They generally last longer and therefore your edible will too.
Can You Keep Edibles in the Freezer?
Yes, most edibles can be kept in the freezer. It’s recommended that you wrap edibles first in plastic wrap and then in foil to best preserve them for life in your freezer.
Do Edibles Last Longer in the Freezer?
Edibles can live for about six months in the freezer, as long as they are properly packaged for storage.
With bacteria constantly on the move, even in frozen spaces, consuming your edibles within the six-month window will ensure optimal freshness and avoid having the cannabutter, or other edibles that require refrigeration, to go rancid.
Will Freezing Edibles Ruin Them?
As long as your edibles are properly stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap and tin foil, then they can be successfully stored in the freezer.
We recommend letting your edibles defrost slowly because sudden temperature changes can impact the taste.
4 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Expired Edibles
Hail Mary Jane is dedicated to ensuring you have all of the information you need before you make a purchase or consider trying a new product. Edibles are no exception.
Below are some of the common questions we get from our valued customers, and the answers we provide them.
#1: How Long Does an Edible Last Before Going Bad?
Depending on the product type, edibles last anywhere from 5 days to several months. Refrigerated products containing perishable food items expire sooner than baked goods. Whereas hard candies and gummies will last the longest.
Always check the date marked on the packaging before you make your purchase to ensure you have time to consume your edible.
#2: What Happens if You Eat Expired Gummy Edibles?
Expired gummies don’t pose much risk. The issue with some food products is possible contamination with bacteria, causing salmonella or E. coli. This is what makes people sick.
Gummies don’t contain the ingredients that attract such bacteria, so the worst that could happen is reduced flavor and freshness.
#3: Do Gummy Edibles Get Moldy?
Gummies made by large manufacturers go through a severe two-day drying process in commercial dehumidifiers inside special dehumidified rooms. Store-bought gummies don’t mold for this reason.
Homemade or small-batch manufacturer gummies likely don’t have this equipment, which means the gelatin can retain moisture and eventually become moldy.
We recommend keeping your gummies in the refrigerator if you can’t completely dry them out. Adding additional sugar when making your gummies can also help. It will bind the water which makes microorganism growth almost impossible.
#4: What Edibles Have the Longest Shelf Life?
Candy! Anything from …
- Hard candies
- And more
… will degrade at the slowest rate.
Exposure to oxygen and moisture can speed up the degradation of both the food and the THC in any edible, making storage a top consideration if you plan to keep edibles on hand.
Hail Mary Jane: Our Experts Are Your Trusted Source for Edibles and Other Cannabis Products
When it comes to cannabis, Hail Mary Jane knows what’s up.
Not only have we helped over 18 million customers since we opened our doors in 2008, but we have enjoyed personally testing and rating more than 200 products.
Our number one priority is to find our customers the best cannabis products for their needs.
We never want you to feel overwhelmed when choosing your edibles!
Whether you’re in the market for a cannabutter machine to make your own yummy treats, or you’d rather grab something premade from one of our top manufacturers, we have you covered.
You can contact us or visit us in our store with any questions you may have and one of our passionate team members will assist you with your questions.