A reader wants to know how long marijuana-infused edibles remain potent, and our Ask a Stoner columnist has the answer. Learn more at Westword.com. Ever wonder how long it takes for an edible to go bad? Check out our guide on how long edibles last before you stock up.
Dear Stoner: How Long Do Edibles Stay Potent?
Dear Stoner: I recently found some edibles I’d forgotten I had — a candy bar that had been opened but was kept in the freezer, and a package of pot-infused mints, never opened. Does time affect potency? Can these spoil?
Dear Marn: Treat any marijuana-infused food product as you would its regular counterpart. If there are ingredients in your food that spoil — such as the dairy in cheesecake — then, yes, your edibles will go bad. Brownies and cookies will last longer, though they’re likely to turn into the equivalent of a stale hockey puck. Fruitless candies like lollipops and mints are basically pure sugar before the pot is infused, so you can keep those for the apocalypse if you want (even if they taste like ass, they won’t hurt you). As with any other food you want to preserve, edibles should be refrigerated or frozen and kept away from oxygen and light to prolong their shelf lives.
As for potency, take it from the experts at Love’s Oven, a wholesale Denver marijuana bakery: “You should always exercise caution when consuming any food product after its ‘use by’ or ‘best by’ date,” says spokesman Walter Nettles. “In all of our internal research on the subject, we at Love’s Oven haven’t found any degradation of THC in our products up to a year after this date. Although your edibles may not be as tasty as when they were first produced, their potent qualities should still be felt.”
And when in doubt, use the smell test.
Dear Stoner: I’ve always enjoyed Denver brewery tours. Am I able to do the same with dispensary grows?
Dear Homer: Brewery tours are awesome. Not only do you learn about your favorite beers, but the breweries usually hand out a free sample or two or three afterward. By contrast, most cannabis-cultivation tours in Denver are still in the pot-tourism stage, with third-party companies charging hundreds of dollars for dispensary and grow-house tours. These tours have a lot of bells and whistles attached, such as airport pickup, lunch and some sort of after-party/entertainment.
For a local just looking for a quick tour, most of those ornamental experiences are a waste of money. Fortunately, some dispensaries will give you a free tour if you ask, and medical shops hoping to gain a patient’s caregiver rights are usually willing to show how the medicine is grown. Terrapin Care Station’s Aurora location, at 11900 East 33rd Avenue, holds free tours from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, first come, first served.
Send questions to [email protected] or call the potline at 303-293-2222.
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Do edibles expire?
Generally speaking, edibles can last and still get you high 3-6 months from when they are made, with proper storage. After that, the food itself may get stale and the THC may start to degrade.
All edibles have different shelf lives, and those bought at a licensed store or dispensary will usually have an expiration date indicating when the product is no longer safe to consume.
Some baked goods, like brownies and cookies, may go stale in a week or so, while gummies can stay fresh for months. If you stock up on edibles, you can put some in the freezer if you don’t plan on consuming them soon. Simply thaw out before eating.
Do edibles have a similar shelf life to regular foods?
Making food with a cannabis infusion shouldn’t affect the food’s shelf life. Edibles should have the same shelf life as their non-cannabis counterparts: A weed gummy will go stale in the same amount of time as a regular gummy, as will a weed brownie compared to a regular brownie, and so on.
Like regular foods, edibles with preservatives will last longer than those without preservatives—this is one reason why gummies are so popular.
Determining shelf life with homemade edibles is the same—if making your own batch of weed brownies, they should last as long as regular brownies.