Want your edibles to last? Here's how to store them for maximum shelf-life.
Edibles can last from weeks to years, depending on the type of edible and how it’s stored.
The most effective methods for storing your edibles are almost always the same: keep them cold, in a dark place, and sealed.
The most easily-storable edible cannabis products are tinctures. Alcohol-based tinctures, stored in the refrigerator in an amber dropper bottle, can potentially remain edible for decades.
If you want to learn how to make alcohol-based cannabis tinctures, check out this guide. You can also make tinctures using glycerine if using alcohol isn’t an option for whatever reason. Tinctures made with glycerine, however, have a much shorter shelf-life.
Edibles that resemble baked goods, like brownies and cookies, will not last nearly as long. For these types of edibles, your best bet is to do what the packaging says and consider the best-before date.
That’s because the ingredients used to make the actual edible—like cookie dough—may not last as long as the cannabutter or oil itself. This also applies to pre-made edibles at your local dispensary.
In most cases, it’s still possible to store homemade edibles for extended periods of time—if you use the right technique.
Another great option is to store your butter or oil separately, then only use enough of it to create edibles that will last you throughout the week. Cannabis edibles like baked goods should be eaten within a week due to the spoilable ingredients, as mentioned above.
You can store cannabis oil and butter for quite a while in the freezer. Cannabis butter can simply be wrapped in parchment paper, sealed in a vacuum-sealed bag, and placed in the freezer.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, store your products in an opaque glass container rather than plastic.
The bad news is it’s impossible to quantify exactly how long any edible will last when stored, even under the best conditions. The good news is, storing edibles is incredibly simple. In some cases, storing your edibles only requires two steps.
Below, we gave you an easy rundown on how to store different kinds of edibles, including:
As mentioned, tinctures are by far the easiest cannabis product to store.
What you’ll need:
Simply place the oil in your tincture into a dark amber bottle and put it in the freezer. Most tinctures can last in these conditions for over a year.
Storing baked goods is a little bit trickier since you’re dealing with ingredients that spoil easily, like eggs.
What you’ll need:
Package your edibles in a vacuum-sealed bag, using a vacuum-sealing machine to take all the air out of the packaging. Put your vacuum-sealed bag of edibles in a dark, safe place in your freezer to store.
When frozen, edibles can remain good for about six months. Mind you, edibles won’t usually make you sick when they’re old, but they lose most of their potency.
Cannabutter can spoil if left out at room temperature for over a week. You’ll know your butter has spoiled once it turns sour. See how to store it below.
What you’ll need:
Wrap your cannabutter in parchment paper. Package your parchment paper-wrapped butter in a vacuum-sealed bag, using a vacuum-sealing machine to take all the air out of the packaging.
Put your vacuum-sealed bag of butter in a dark, safe place in your freezer to store. This should last six months to a year.
It takes longer for canna oil to go bad than cannabutter. Here’s how to store it for up to a year.
What You’ll Need:
Pour your oil into an ice cube tray, then place it in the freezer for the oil to solidify. Take the ice cube tray of frozen oil out of the freezer and package it in a vacuum-sealed bag, using a vacuum-sealing machine to take all the air out of the packaging.
Put the vacuum-sealed bag containing the ice cube tray of oil back in the freezer for up to one year.
Improperly storing your edibles can harm your health, like eating improperly stored food of any kind could.
Suppose you don’t properly store your edibles, especially for an extended period of time. In that case, it could result in the growth of harmful bacteria like mildew and mold, which can easily contaminate your edibles.
Homemade edibles are especially susceptible to these types of negative outcomes because they, unlike the pre-made snacks you may purchase at the grocery store, likely don’t contain any sort of preservatives.
You only need to worry about bacteria growth and spoiled food when using baked goods like brownies and cookies. Most other edibles, like gummies and tinctures, can last up to a year. The only downside is that edibles stored for a long time will lose most of their potency.
When trying to store your edibles effectively, there are several things to avoid if you want to maintain the quality of your products.
Heat, light, moisture, and air are all factors that can degrade the quality of your edible. Moisture and air, in particular, are responsible for many bacterial contaminations.
If you don’t have any of the products listed above (for example, a vacuum sealer or parchment paper), and are looking for alternatives, avoid using anything made out of plastic. Plastic, especially if improperly stored, can affect the taste of your edibles. If exposed to excessive heat, plastic chemicals could seep into your edibles.
Since you’re trying to keep your edibles away from sunlight during storage, we recommend keeping them in the back corner of your freezer so they’re not hit by sunlight when you open the door. Or avoid this altogether by storing them in an opaque container.
It’s also a good idea to avoid frequently opening and closing the freezer where your edibles are stored, as the fluctuations in temperature are not ideal for maintaining the quality and potency of your edibles.