Have you bought edibles or gone through the process to make your own? And now you are wondering, do edibles go bad? After all, it would be a shame to waste your favorite product! Learn more about how to store your edibles so they last longer.

Text stating: how to store edibles so they don't go bad.

Features

  • Get a quick overview of how long edibles last
  • Discuss which factors cause an edible to go bad
  • Review best ways to store and preserve edibles at home

Why You Will Love This Guide

Edibles are a tasty, discrete, smoke-free way to consume cannabis.

They allow you to experience the benefits of cannabis without the risks associated with smoking. 

My Well With Cannabis Community loves to make all kinds of edibles from beverages, candies, chocolates, healthy treats, and more.

As exciting as it is to learn how to make edibles, it is also important to learn how to store them because, yes, edibles can go bad!

In this guide, we will talk about which types of edibles can go bad and discuss all of the different ways to store your edible products.


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How Long Do Edibles Last?

Food infused with cannabis will not last longer than regular food.

Whether it is CBD edibles or THC edibles, cannabis products are not a preservative and will not prevent your food from going bad.

Going bad can be considered to be: stale, dry, melting, bad tasting, molding, or anything other than the desired end product.

Infused or not, the amount of time before an item can go bad varies greatly from product to product.

This means that your best bet is to default to the expiration dates, sell-by date, best-by date, and specific storage recommendations for that particular food.

Two additional factors determine the shelf life of cannabis edibles – the type of product and the added ingredients

The Type of Edible 

Keep in mind that homemade edibles are much more likely to go bad quicker than store-bought edibles for a variety of reasons.

Premade, store-bought edibles such as gummies, lollipops, and other candies have the longest shelf life because they’re made of sugar.

Sugar is an excellent preservative, but the edible’s color, texture, flavor, and potency can degrade over time, making it less enjoyable.

Baked goods such as a batch of brownies, cookies, and rice krispies are more popular, but they don’t have a longer shelf life.

Unfortunately, they’re likely to become stale after a week without additional storage measures.

If the edible items are refrigerated – milk products, energy drinks, or condiments – as a general rule of thumb, they have a shelf life of 5 to 7 days. 

Added Ingredients 

The extra ingredients in the edible also determine its shelf life, especially if you are making your own edibles at home.

A little common sense goes a long way here. If the edible contains butter, cheese, milk, chocolate, or any form of dairy, it’s likely to spoil quickly. 

Cannabis edibles infused with non- or semi-perishable ingredients such as paprika, salt, or pepper tend to last longer. 

Other Factors

While the product type and added ingredients are the primary factors that influence the shelf life of edibles, a few other factors may play in as well:

  • Humidity – high humidity can cause homemade gummies to melt
  • Homemade vs. store-bought – homemade edibles tend to have a shorter shelf life than store-bought edibles due to the lack of preservatives
  • Preservatives – adding a natural preservative like potassium sorbate is a good practice if you want to extend the shelflife of homemade edibles

How To Store Edibles

Most store-bought edibles, such as chocolate, candies, and THC gummies, are shelf-stable and can last a long time.

Typically, it’s best to edibles in a cool, dark place because sunlight and heat tend to degrade their potency.

Most medical marijuana products or products produced in a large facility contain an expiration or best-by date.

You can store these products in an airtight container and stash them in the pantry or a cupboard.

Perishable edibles require refrigeration, and this should be indicated on the label. 

Freeze or Refrigerate 

The last thing you want is your edibles to go bad.

Food can go bad from heat, air, and light, which makes refrigeration and freezing a good way to extend the shelf life of an edible.

They can last for a week in the fridge or longer if you wrap them in saran wrap, aluminum foil, or an airtight container.

Edibles can last months in the freezer, but even then, you should store the edibles in an airtight container to keep them from absorbing smells from other foods. 

It is believed that freezing will NOT harm or reduce the effects of edibles and that the act of freezing will preserve the cannabinoids like THC, keeping them good for an extended time.

Beverages 

Store-bought edible beverages are shelf-stable and have a shelf life of several months because they come in a sealed container.

However, you should refrigerate the product and consume it within 4 to 7 days after opening the container.

Homemade cannabis drinks should be consumed immediately.

Baked Goods 

Professionally produced baked goodies such as cookies, brownies, and cakes are shelf-stable and can last several weeks when left in their original packaging.

Such edibles contain preservatives and can retain their freshness at room temperature for several weeks. They can last even longer when refrigerated. 

Homemade baked goods do not last as long. They should be stored in an airtight container for 5-7 days. Adding a slice of bread to the container can help to keep them moist.

If you do not think you will consume the baked goods within 7 days, it is best to wrap them in individual-sized portions, label them, and freeze them.

This is the best way to ensure long shelf life, preserve the THC content, and ensure they don’t go to waste.

Candies

Store-bought-infused candies such as caramel chews, hard candies, gummies, or mints are exceptionally shelf-stable.

Since candies contain little to no water content, they’re less susceptible to oxidation.

When individually wrapped, hard candy can last for several months with proper storage.

Homemade candies may have a shorter shelf life, so it is important to store them in the refrigerator or freezer when needed.

Oils and Butter

Oils such as THC oil, CBD oil, CBN oil, CBG oil, and other pure extracts are shelf-stable and can last for several months when stored in a cool, dark, dry place. 

Butter is a different story.

If you are not going to consume your cannabutter or kief butter within seven days, it is a good idea to create individually-sized portions with your desired amount of THC, label them, and freeze them.

This will prevent you from needing to microwave your cannabutter to thaw.

Wrapping Up

Infusing food products with cannabis doesn’t affect their shelf life.

The edible and its additional ingredients are the primary determinants of an edible’s shelf life.

Storing edibles in airtight containers works for most commercially produced edibles.

When in doubt, freezing and refrigeration work best for beverages, perishables, and all nearly all homemade edibles. 

Dose Responsibly

Always remember the basic rule of consuming THC products: “start low and go slow“.

The potency of an edible is typically measured in milligrams of THC.

How much THC you should consume is based on your tolerance levels.

A low dose is considered to be 1-10mg and a high dose is considered to be 50mg or more. An average edible dose is commonly between 5-10 mg of THC.

Remember, edibles take a longer amount of time to kick in than smoking because they have to go through the digestive system.

The effects can also last longer, so you shouldn’t take a second dose too soon.

The higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience potentially serious side effects.

Learn more about what you can do if you do experience negative side effects here.

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Take your edibles to the next level…

My Edibles Made Easy Online Cooking Course will teach you how to easily make cannabis edibles and topical recipes at home. This step-by-step video course will teach you how to infuse, extract, and create edibles with many different product types – all from the comfort of your own home.

About Emily

Hi, I’m Emily Kyle and I teach people just like you how to use cannabis to find joy, enhance productivity, improve relationships, and naturally support your overall health and wellness.

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4 Comments

  1. Loved this latest info, I learned a lot. I do make gummies and all suggestions have improved my product results and it’s fun and rewarding too. Thank you so much, you do a great presentation, beautiful. ( loved you and the yummie cannibus plant picture.). Diane from NorCal

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and thank you for your kind words, Diane! I am so glad you have been able to improve your end results 🙂

  3. Hi! I just joined a few days ago after making your DELICIOUS brownie recipe and I want to thank you for this website!
    I’m at the curing stage of my first grow and decided to use the trim for canna butter so I could make brownies. I never used to consume edibles because I was afraid I’d get too high. I used your measurements for another member and it was perfect!!!
    Thank you, what a wonderful new hobby and learning experience.