Consuming edibles for the first time is a memorable experience for weed lovers everywhere.
Cannabis edibles are foods and beverages infused with cannabis. Thanks to the advances in edible production, there is a wide selection of treats to choose from. Edibles now come in the form of baked goods, gummies, cooking oils, chocolate, sodas, and more.
People who transition into edibles usually have a lot of questions, the most frequent being “do they go bad?”
The simple, short answer is yes.
Edibles are a food product, meaning they do have a shelf-life. However, it’s the food ingredients in your edible that spoil, not the infused cannabis. Let’s dive in.
Whether purchased from a dispensary or made in your kitchen, edibles are a great way to reap the benefits of cannabis without the health risks associated with smoking or vaping.
It’s important to note, however, that eating weed and smoking it isn’t the same.
Edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to kick in.
This is because edibles have to pass through your digestive system before the active ingredients, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), can enter your bloodstream.
The duration of an edible high can last anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on how much is consumed.
Because of the delayed onset of effects, there’s a great risk of consuming more than you can handle.
It’s recommended to start with small amounts, especially if you’re new to edibles. Additionally, the high from ingesting cannabis can be much more intense compared to the high from smoking and vaping, even if you consume the same amount.
Colorado State Regulations have set a mandate in place that only allows recreational edibles to be packaged and sold in no larger than 100 milligrams of THC. This would measure at about 10 mg a bite.
As much as edibles are a much-loved cannabis product, they are first and foremost a food product. So if you’re wondering if edibles go bad… the answer is they do.
The shelf life of your edibles depends on what sort of edible you are dealing with. In most cases, you can expect that a cannabis edible will last the same amount of time as its main food counterpart or ingredient.
When buying or making edibles, here are some factors to consider:
Expiration Date: The date after which a food product should not be consumed because of a decline in quality or effectiveness.
Best by Date: This is the time frame where all ingredients within the product will be at their best. Foods can be safely consumed past this date.
Sell-by Date: This date represents the last date this item should be sold.
Just like you wouldn’t eat expired food, you should avoid consuming edibles that have passed their shelf life.
It’s important to be extra vigilant if your edible has eggs or milk ingredients as they can go rancid pretty fast if not stored properly.
Properly store your edibles if you want to prolong their shelf life and don’t leave them at room temperature or in warm places.
If your edible contains eggs or dairy, store it in the fridge where it can last up to a week.
If you want to extend your edibles’ shelf life even longer, it’s best to wrap them in saran wrap and aluminum foil, then store them in the freezer where they can last for up to six months.
As for gummies and candies, it’s recommended to store them in a cool and dry place, such as a sealed container.
If you want to store edibles for later use, it’s best to choose products with a longer shelf life. Candies, like gummies or hard candies, usually last longer than baked goods such as cookies and brownies.
Ultimately, It’s best to buy edibles as you need them and to avoid stocking up on too many at once. If you are making your own edibles, consider the batch size and the time frames in which the edibles should be consumed before they decline in quality.
Although it's best to stay away from expired edibles, some of us still wonder if the THC infused into the edible remains potent.
If your edibles have passed their shelf-life, the taste of your edibles might not be as great, however, the potency will still be there. Edibles can maintain their potency for up to a year after production.
The quality of your edibles will determine its THC content remains consistent over time.
When cannabis oil isn’t properly emulsified, it can separate from the food product. When this happens, it leaves an oily residue on the packaging, meaning that the edible hasn't absorbed all the THC that has been infused into it.
When it comes to the longevity of your edibles, it’s almost always better to purchase them from a dispensary instead of making a homemade batch. Commercial products should come with all the necessary dates and labels, so there’ll be no need for guessing on how long before your edible goes bad.
We don’t always love preservatives, but they do make food last longer. Commercial edible products are often made with preservatives to extend shelf life. Whereas homemade edibles are likely to be free of commercial-grade ingredients -- making them spoil faster.
Even though cannabis edibles remain potent past their shelf life, they’re not necessarily safe to consume. There can be severe health consequences, such as food poisoning, from consuming spoiled and expired food.
If you’re unsure whether or not your edible has run its course, turn to your senses. If your edible smells a little off or is growing mold -- it’s best to toss it in the trash.
Edibles are a fun and alternative way of consuming cannabis. However, when consuming cannabis edibles, it’s essential to read food labels properly. It’s important to keep in mind that although your edible stays potent for extended periods, the food ingredients in it won’t last.
Whatever the food product, cannabis-infused or not, it’s best to consume it fresh -- consuming the edible when fresh will ensure the best experience for you and your tastebuds.
Check out the best deals on edibles here.