Can Your Edibles Expire?

How safe are your expired edibles? Does THC break down over time?

Can edibles go bad?

The answer is yes. Just like other food, most edibles have a shelf-life and expiration dates due to the inert ingredients. Just like you wouldn’t eat expired cookies or drink expired milk, steer clear of expired edibles simply because the food product might have spoiled. While it might not be growing mold, most likely it will be stale and gross.

Even if the non-cannabis ingredients haven’t soured, THC can break down. However, after six months or a year the potency of THC in edibles doesn’t decrease drastically. When this does happen, the THC converts to CBN, a cannabinoid known to make the user sleepy and groggy. Instead of feeling the high you want, you’ll most likely end up crashing on your couch.

How can you keep your edibles fresh and long-lasting? When purchasing store-bought products, only purchase what you can consume in a reasonable amount of time. Pay attention to expiration dates on the packaging. Don’t stock up on brownies and cookies for the next twelve months. Nobody wants to eat a year-old brownie, with or without weed.

Choose products with a longer shelf life. If you’re hoping to make your edibles last, look into products like gummies or hard candies which last longer than fresh-baked goods (even those sold in stores with preservatives).

Properly store your edibles. Don’t stash them in your weed box. If your edible is a baked product containing eggs or dairy, store it in the refrigerator or freezer. For gummies or hard candies, store them in a cool, dry place in a sealed container.

If you make your own edibles, pay attention to the spoilage rate for your base ingredients. Store your baked goods accordingly and consume them in a timely manner. If you’re hoping for a longer shelf-life, skip the brownies and purchase some gelatin to make your own gummies. Just make sure to store them like you would any other gummy candy.

While some stay-at-home mandates are being lifted and states are slowly opening up, the future is still uncertain. Instead of going to your nearest dispensary and stocking up on edibles for a second wave of quarantine, take advantage of the fact that cannabis qualifies as an essential business. Most dispensaries have remained open and some even offer delivery or curbside pickup for your cannabis needs. Even though you want to have some backup edibles in case of emergency, don’t hoard, and most importantly, don’t eat year-old brownies.