Edible gummies are one of the most convenient and popular ways to enjoy THC, since they’re long-lasting and discreet. However, like all foods, these tasty little treats have a limited shelf life. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that contribute to the expiration of edible gummies, what happens to cannabinoids as they age, and how to properly store your edibles to keep them fresher for longer.
Do Edibles Go Bad?
In short— yes. Like all foods, chocolates, gummies, and other THC-infused foods and drinks can go bad. However, most gummies are designed to be relatively shelf-stable since they don’t contain ingredients that rot, like milk or fresh fruits or veggies. They usually contain stabilizing agents that can keep them safe to eat for several months at room temperature without the need to freeze or refrigerate them.
However, just because you can store them for a long time doesn’t mean that you should. Cannabinoids like THC are volatile and break down easily. That said, before worrying about whether or not they’ll make you sick, you should worry about the THC breaking down and reducing your potency.
What Happens to Cannabinoids After Sitting a While?
Cannabinoids, including THC, begin to lose their potency over time. This degradation occurs due to various factors, with one key aspect being the half-life of THC. The half-life refers to the time it takes for half of a substance to degrade or become inactive.
The half-life of THC can vary depending on factors like temperature, light exposure, and oxygen contact. Generally, THC has a half-life of approximately 2 to 4 years when stored under ideal conditions. This means that after 2 to 4 years, your THC gummies may only be half as potent as when they were freshly made. Therefore, it's crucial to consider these factors when determining the expiration of your edibles. In fact, the longer they sit, the faster they start to break down. After about a year, a 50mg gummy may only feel like a 20mg gummy, especially if you didn’t store it properly.
Several factors contribute to the degradation of cannabinoids in edible gummies.
Light: Exposure to light, especially ultraviolet (UV) light, can accelerate the degradation of cannabinoids. To protect your gummies, store them in opaque or dark containers away from direct sunlight.
Oxygen: Oxygen can cause oxidation, leading to a loss of potency in cannabinoids. Seal your gummies in airtight containers to minimize oxygen exposure.
Extreme Temperatures: Fluctuations in temperature can also impact the stability of cannabinoids. It's essential to store your gummies in a cool, stable environment, avoiding extreme heat or cold.
Moisture: High humidity can lead to mold growth and spoilage in edibles. Keep your gummies in a dry place to prevent moisture from compromising their quality.
How Long Do Edible Gummies Take to Expire?
Determining the exact expiration date of edible gummies can be a bit tricky, as it depends on various factors, including the ingredients, manufacturer's guidelines and storage conditions. As a general rule of thumb, you can usually store shelf-stable gummies for up to a year before considering them expired.
However, it's essential to check the manufacturer's "use by" or "best before" date on the packaging for more precise guidance. If they recommend using those gummies a week after opening, they might be telling you that there’s an ingredient in there (like fresh fruit puree) that can make you sick after a week.
If your gummies have been stored properly but are approaching or past their expiration date, they may still be safe to consume, but their potency may have decreased significantly. If they look, smell, or taste unusual, err on the side of caution and throw them away. There’s nothing worse than being violently high and pooping constantly or throwing up after eating something that’s spoiled.
How to Store Your Edibles Properly:
Proper storage is the key to extending the life of your edible gummies and preserving their potency. Here are some essential tips:
Always adhere to the manufacturer's storage recommendations, as some edibles may contain ingredients like milk that can spoil more easily.
Store your gummies in a cool, dry place with a consistent temperature. Avoid storing them in areas prone to extreme humidity or temperature fluctuations, such as near ovens or inside refrigerator unless directed otherwise by the manufacturer.
Transfer your gummies to airtight containers to minimize exposure to oxygen and moisture. This helps maintain the freshness and potency of the cannabinoids.
Keep your gummies away from direct sunlight or UV light sources. Ultraviolet rays can speed up the degradation process.
Gummies are best stored at room temperature, typically between 60°F and 75°F. Avoid refrigerating them unless specifically directed to by the manufacturer, as this can cause condensation and spoilage.
If your gummies look, smell, or taste odd, it's better to dispose of them. When in doubt, throw it out. Avoid a tummy ache and enjoy a better high with fresher edibles.
Gummies at Flower Ave
So how long do edible gummies take to expire? While edible gummies can remain relatively stable for an extended period, their potency can gradually decrease over time due to factors like light, oxygen, extreme temperatures, and moisture. To enjoy the full effects of your edibles, store them in a cool, dark, and dry place, following the manufacturer's guidelines and using airtight containers when possible. Always check the "use by" date, and if in doubt, trust your senses and consider replacing expired gummies for a safer and more enjoyable experience.
If you’re here because you found a pack of open gummies tucked in your medicine cabinet and you’re not sure if they’re safe or not— consider being safe over sorry and order a replacement from Flower Avenue. We can bring you a fresh pack of gummies in all of your favorite flavors within the hour as the best weed delivery service in Washington DC.