How to store edibles, and how long do they stay potent?


How to store edibles, and how long do they stay potent?

Who doesn’t love a good edible? Unlike other forms of cannabis consumption, which can involve elaborate tech like bongs and vapes, edibles are straightforward—you bake them, then you eat them. But there’s one point where people often get confused: how long does an edible last?

There are two factors to consider when gauging the deterioration of edibles: the weed factor and the food factor. We’ll examine each in turn, and then take what we learn and apply it to edibles storage.

CAN EDIBLES LOSE THEIR POTENCY?

Let’s start with the good news: the potency of edibles. Happily, edibles lose little potency even over long periods of time. Many retailers have found that edibles maintain near-identical potency even up to a year after production. When it comes to the weed side of things, edibles are stable and you have little to worry about.

CAN EDIBLES GO BAD?

And now for the less good news: edibles will go bad as quickly as their non-cannabis infused counterparts. A cannabis brownie will go bad as quickly as a regular brownie, for example.

This is good news for makers of cannabis candy, which is mostly sugar and will stay good for eons. For those with less saccharine tastes, you’ll need to give some thought to storage.

HOW TO STORE EDIBLES, CANNABUTTER, OR OIL

There are a few tips and tricks to maintain freshness and usability of your edibles:

  • The fridge is your best friend. Even with baked goods—which can last on the counter for a good amount of time—the fridge will extend the lifespan of your edibles by a good amount.
  • Avoid transparent containers—if there’s anything which will damage the cannabis element, it’s exposure to unnecessary light.
  • Write the date of production on edibles to keep track of how long you’ve had them.
  • Whenever possible, use airtight containers rather than loose bags and paper. Vacuum sealing is an even better option.
  • When consuming your edibles, cut off pieces, or portion it out with a scoop. Don’t bite out of it directly or double dip, and this will expose your edibles to bacteria from your mouth which will accelerate its degradation. 
  • If you’re unsure whether an edible is still usable, check for the presence of mold and smell it carefully. Reheating past the 212°F can kill off early bacterial growth, though this will not protect you from mold.

CAN I FREEZE EDIBLES, CANNABUTTER OR OIL?

Freezing is the most effective way to maintain your edibles for as long as possible. Frozen edibles should be stored in opaque containers to prevent light exposure. They should also be sealed in airtight containers to prevent damage from condensation.

A good method is wrapping your edibles in parchment paper, and then store them in glass jars. You can also put your cannabutter or oil in a glass jar, wrap it in an opaque bag, and then freeze it.

When freezing jars, make sure not to place your jar in the freezer until all its contents reach room temperature. Leave a couple inches of space at the top, as many substances expand when frozen, and don’t squeeze the caps on too tightly. Finally, leave a bit of space between jars when first freezing.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to avoid the tragedy of a cracked jar. You can also store your edibles in ziplock baggies. To do so, place your edible in the baggie, seal it shut but leave one corner open, and suck all the air out from that corner with your mouth. Once the baggie is tight around the edible, seal it shut. This a way to “vacuum pack” your edibles at home if you don’t own a vacuum sealer.

Edibles are a fun way to consume cannabis, and if you store them carefully, you’ll be able to enjoy them for long stretches of time. Happy baking and cooking!