Can edibles expire over time?

Do edibles go bad?

Edibles are one of the most common ways that people consume cannabis. They come in the form of cookies, brownies, candy, and other food products. When eaten, edibles produce a psychoactive effect similar to that of smoking or vaping cannabis. 

Though when consumed as edibles, they often have a stronger and longer-lasting effect than cannabis consumed in other ways. Many love Delta 8 edibles, for instance, because of the after-taste. 

They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors, and can be consumed anywhere, including at home, in public, and even in the car.

You can even it right away. Or, store it in an airtight container for later use. It’s up to you how you want to go about it. The one question though that many have is “how long do edibles stay good, and do edibles expire?” 

The short answer is that edibles will expire after a specified period of time, similar to everyday food products.

How can edibles expire?

Let’s look at a few reasons why edibles are also prone to expiring:

1. The ingredients used will expire

Some foods have a shorter shelf life than others because they are more perishable. A freshly baked cupcake without any added preservatives will not last as long as a gummy. Depending on the type of food the weed is infused in, it will expire sooner.

You won’t always be able to tell whether an edible has gone bad. Sometimes, they may not come with an expiration date. In this case, just use your senses to check if it is bad similar to how you would do it with regular food products.

2. The way the edibles are stored

This again depends on the type of edible that you have. If it is a product with a long shelf-life that doesn’t require refrigeration, then you can store them in your pantry. If not, you should store the edible the same way you would store that food product. Typically, refrigerating or freezing edibles will prolong their lifespan.

Do edibles lose potency?

In general, edibles that are stored properly and have a decent shelf-life can last anywhere between 3 to 6 months. But, there comes a point where the potency of the THC infused into the edible starts to decline.

But, the good news is that while they do degrade, cannabinoids like THC and CBD, the active chemicals in edibles that cause the “high” effect, don’t expire. Their chemical structure evolves over time which causes their impact on you to diminish or change.

Exposure to the following can cause THC to lose potency faster over time:

  • Oxygen
  • Heat
  • Light

Over-exposure to any of these elements for extended periods of time will cause the THC to break down into other cannabinoids. A study showed how THC is highly unstable at higher temperatures and can degrade into the Cannabinol (CBN) compound. It was also found that both UV light and heat accelerate the rate of THC degradation.

Cannabinol is known for its sedative effects and is used for this purpose. As such, over time an edible will start adopting more “sleepiness” properties than the typical “high” effects”. So what is the answer to the question of “how long do edible gummies last?”. 

You can store them for a maximum of 2 years (extended shelf life), but the best time would be within 6 months. Though you should expect the potency of the edibles to degrade by around 20% every few months. You will lose both the taste and effects of the edible after the first year.

Tips to store your edibles to increase longevity

  1. If you’re planning to keep your edibles for some time, only purchase edibles with a longer shelf-life such as drinks or gummies.
  2. Make sure you only purchase from professional edible manufacturers. They will always include the best before date so you know you can store them for a long time.
  3. Placing your edibles in the freezer can affect the taste, but will keep for a longer time.
  4. Always store your edibles in dark, dry, and cool environments