Have you ever reached for some leftover stored in your fridge and discovered that it has become… bad? Bad as in moldy, smelly, and just plain ‘Ewww’!
Not only is spoiled food nasty looking and tasting, but it’s also potentially dangerous. Food poisoning, after all, is a thing.
And the cannabis and other ingredients an edible can start to expire. Weed itself loses potency over time. And it is hardly immune to getting moldy.
If you eat your hash brownies or weed cookies right away, no worries. But if you want to keep some for later, what do you do? How long can they last? Is there a way to store cannabis cuisine so that it stays fresh longer?
Inquiring minds always want to know. So, we shall explore the problem of expiring pot treats further. And we’ll come up with solutions to keep foods featuring cannabinoids fresh longer.
First, let’s find out why edibles can get icky over time.
Do Edibles Expire?
Stating the obvious, edibles are food. And food tends to go bad after a while. It loses flavor, loses nutrition, and sometimes grows fur.
Consumables are made of dead plants and animals and those things will deteriorate. Yet, good storage can postpone the inevitable, maybe even for months in a freezer.
Trigger warning if you’re germophobic, but germs are everywhere. Molds and spoilage bacteria will get into your edibles. Because your food is also theirs. It’s a circle of life kind of thing.
An airtight container and refrigeration are tested ways to keep perishables good. But storage has its limits and consumables can lose flavor and dry out. In colder storage temps they can even get freezer-burned.
The biggest concern with any cannabis product is actually loss of potency. That includes edibles. Storage of any ganja stash should be in a cold, dark place. Sunlight and heat accelerate deterioration.
So, food loses flavor and cannabinoids lose efficacy. Since edibles are cannabinoid-infused cuisine, they can indeed go bad.
But does bad mean potentially harmful?
Can Expired Edibles Hurt You?
So, we’ve established that weedy treats are food. What’s the worst that can happen if you eat expired stoner snacks?
Any consumable substance, cannabis-infused or not, can become contaminated with bacteria. E-coli is one of the most common bacteria that can cause food poisoning. What’s so bad about food poisoning?
Toxic organisms in the things we eat can cause sickness. You might experience symptoms like fever, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. That can lead to a trip to an urgent care clinic or even the emergency room.
Extreme cases of food poisoning have led to death.
It may seem like excessive worrying, but spoiled food is nothing to shrug off.
Even if the eats aren’t yet poisonous, the cannabinoids contained in pot cuisine can lose potency. Talk about a major buzzkill, right?
That means reduced buzz and benefits. This means you have to eat more of it to get the same effects. That could lead to overeating and potential weight gain.
So, all this leads to our next question. What’s the lifetime of ganja goodies?
How Long Are Edibles Still Good?
Baked goods do have some shelf life. Lots of people have cookie jars, right? And your fridge likely has a few leftovers, hopefully, stored in airtight containers.
So, for infused foods what does that mean?
Manufactured marijuana fare may contain preservatives. Those are chemicals added to consumables to make them last longer. That is a consideration. It depends on whether it’s a dispensary-bought or homemade confection.
Homemade hash brownies, for instance, will likely last less long than manufactured ones.
As to how long 420-food stays fresh, that depends on the ingredients.
Dairy products tend to last the least long, only a few days.
Similarly, most beverages are best if consumed within a few days of opening. Many baked products can be good for weeks if they’re put away properly.
Candies last forever, suckers more than chocolates. Cocoa confections lose flavor over time.
You can use your experience with non-infused fare to gauge how long edibles are indeed edible.
For the potency aspect of the pot, it can be 3-6 months before the ganja grub might begin to decline. Again, assuming storage in a cool, dark place.
Now, to keep cannabis cookery tasty and safe, what constitutes good storing practices?
How Do You Store Edibles For a Longer Shelf Life?
We’ve talked about airtight containers and placing them in a cool, dark place.
For most people, that means some resealable plasticware in the fridge.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to refrigerate. Make sure your storage space is not overly warm. Also, try to limit sunlight. If you're mindful, you can keep food at room temperature for a few days.
For short-term storage, a zippered plastic baggie or plastic cling wrap can work. Those options can keep cannabis goods from spoilage for days. Plastic offers some protection against air and bacteria.
Anything longer than that and thicker, hard plastic is better. So, keeping storage containers on hand for weedy treats is wise.
And if there’s room in your fridge, that’s the place leftover edibles should go. The cold and dark keeps the cannabis from degrading. Also, bacteria work more slowly in the cold, so that should keep mold and bacteria at bay. This will work for up to several weeks.
Storing anything for more than a few days or a couple of weeks should involve the freezer. Sub-zero temps pretty much prevent fuzz from forming on your food.
There is a downside. The longer you store stuff in the deep freeze, the greater the chance it can become freezer-burned.
420 foodstuffs aren’t meant to last forever. After all, you don’t get any benefit unless you eat them. But if you do need to store some for a while, there are ways to do so safely and efficiently.
Now you need some marijuana munchies to store. Or eat all at once. That’s your call.
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