Edibles are conventional food products infused with cannabis. In recent years, the health benefits of cannabis have become more apparent, with more people increasingly preferring natural supplements to treat various health conditions.
Cannabis is also versatile enough to be incorporated into cookies, chocolates, gummies, fruit chews, and other edibles for convenience. So naturally, you want to ensure that your edibles are stored safely and in a manner that preserves their original quality, especially gummies.
Read on to know the dos and don’ts when storing your gummy edibles for long-term use.
Best containers to store edibles in
Here are the four most popular ways of storing edibles.
Glass jars: mason jars or glass containers with tight-fitting lids are great for edibles. Glass is unreactive, so there’s no chance of any chemical interaction with the edibles. For sticky concentrates like chocolate, wrap the edibles in parchment paper (wax paper or aluminum foil) before storing them. Avoid clear glasses to protect the edibles from light (more on this later).
Silicone containers: these are perfect for short-term storage. Ideally, use a container whose size closely matches the amount of edibles you want to store. This is important to avoid moisture build-up.
Airtight containers: if you’re looking to store your edibles for long, airtight containers are ideal. Ensure you wrap them with parchment paper before sealing them inside a Ziploc bag. Then, put the Ziploc bag into the airtight container.
Freezer: the cold atmosphere maintained by a freezer can keep edibles fresh for many months before they lose their flavor and potency. However, note that once you remove an edible from the freezer, allow it to defrost slowly since sudden temperature changes can affect the taste.
Moisture and light are dangerous because they quickly downgrade edibles and mess up their original potency and flavor.
Similarly, humidity and heat are not allies as far as maintaining the quality of edibles goes. So, these are four issues you should pay close attention to when choosing a storage container.
Optimum temperature for edibles
Store edibles like chocolate, gummies, and hard candy in cooler temperatures. Cannabis gummies will last several days in the pantry, a few weeks in the fridge, and several months in a freezer.
Baked edibles can stay for a few days in the pantry. But if you intend to store them longer, go the freezer or fridge route.
You may also want to keep your edibles where curious little fingers cannot reach them. Consider using Grip N Pull Child resistance bags for cannabis edibles if you have children around.
Most states regulate the storage of edible cannabis. So it’s in your best interest to acquaint yourself with the laws that apply to your area to avoid unnecessary trouble.
Though the laws may vary from one place to another, they primarily emphasize that cannabis edibles must be kept in child-proof containers. In some states, labeling is mandatory to prevent others from mistaking your edibles for non-cannabis food.
When edibles are poorly stored, they can easily get contaminated with mold, fungus, or bacteria. Rest assured that when these contaminants invade your edibles, you’ll have to dispose of them.
So it pays to watch out for your storage practices.
Where to avoid keeping your cannabis edibles
Cannabis edibles are perishable. How long they stay fresh and tasty depends on how well you store them. These products go bad real fast if they are not stored under optimum conditions.
So to keep your edibles fresher for longer, here are the things to avoid.
Cabinets near heat sources
Don’t expose your edibles to heat. Temperatures in the range of 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 31 degrees Celsius) are conducive to mildew and mold. These can wreak havoc on any organic matter, rendering it unfit for human consumption.
Heat degrades edibles making them less potent and destroying their original flavor. Also, edibles like candies and chocolate may melt at higher temperatures. Even though they will re-solidify when put under cooler temperatures, they may not regain their earlier taste and effects.
Early cannabinoid studies determined that the rate of cannabinoid loss is far slower at lower temperatures. Sub-zero temperatures exhibit the lowest loss rates.
Most cannabis-infused products will maintain their integrity between freezing point and 70°F. Above this upper limit, THC degradation begins in earnest.
You did not go through months of hard work extracting valuable cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds only to lose them in a matter of days. Storing edibles is actually the easier part; make it count.
Areas with exposure to sunlight
Avoid sun-lit areas when hunting for an ideal storage location. Light degrades cannabis much in the same way it degrades other organic matter.
Here is a brief illustration of how this happens: light is essentially a bundle of energy. We only see a tiny fraction of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from harmless low-frequency radiation like radio waves to toxic high-frequency radiation like gamma rays.
High-frequency radiation can ionize atoms in objects they come into contact with. This essentially breaks down organic matter at the molecular level.
You’ve probably felt the impact of high-energy ultraviolet light through sunburns. While the skin manages to protect your body from being ionized, it suffers devastating ionization that leaves many cells dead and others at the risk of becoming cancerous.
You can imagine what light can do to cannabinoids like THC that are photosensitive and thermally unstable.
A 1976 study on THC degradation concluded that light is “the greatest single factor in the loss of cannabinoids.” A recent study found that cannabis loses up to 16% of its THC in the first 12 months of storage.
So, light is considered a top destructive threat to THC because, with sufficient energy, it can strip electrons from organic matter and destroy atomic integrity.
Thankfully, the solution is straightforward; store your cannabis products in cool, dark places.
Places exposed to moisture
Moisture is bad news for cannabis-infused products. It affects shelf life, texture, and flavor. So humidity management is one of the salient aspects you should take seriously when thinking about storing your edibles longer.
Regulating moisture can be tricky, so you need to be extra careful. The ideal relative humidity in the storage area should range between 59% and 63% for the edibles to maintain their aroma, color, flavor, and texture.
If the humidity level rises above 65%, your edibles may start molding. If it falls below 59%, the essential oils risk drying out.
Moisture ultimately alters the chemical profile of cannabis-infused edibles. So you may want to consider alternative options like vacuum storage. There are specially designed storage containers for this type of storage.
Alternatively, you can vacuum seal the storage bag to lock out moisture.
Fridges that frequently open and close
This is the classic scenario in an average home.
A homeowner’s survey conducted in 2017 interestingly showed that the fridge is opened at least 14 times a day in the average British household. This figure could be higher if the household comprises more women than men because women were noted to visit the fridge about 25 times a day – 4 times more than men!
Here is the clincher – each time you open the fridge, half the air inside is replaced with warm air from outside. This causes drastic temperature fluctuations that could lead to the loss of vital ingredients like terpenes that easily evaporate at warmer temperatures.
Of course, if it gets too warm, cannabinoids are promptly degraded.
In sum, a ‘busy’ fridge may not be the ideal storage place for edibles, especially if you intend to store them for long.
How long do cannabis edibles last?
In its raw form, cannabis can last several weeks without special storage. But it may probably lose some bit of potency. Once infused into food products like chocolate, cookies, or gummies, its lifespan increases considerably.
Nonetheless, how long cannabis edibles last depends mainly on the type of edible.
- Baked edibles can last a few days on the shelves. Others can do four weeks to a few months when refrigerated.
- Dark chocolates can last up to 12 months when wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in an airtight container. Other chocolate edibles (white and milk) can stay fresh for at most ten months.
- Hard candies can go up to a year if properly stored. The softer versions, e.g., soft or jelly candies, can maintain their freshness for 6 to 9 months.
How long do CBD gummies stay fresh?
As with every edible product, effective storage is the key to longer shelf life. That said, gummies can typically last a year or more. However, the ingredients may also affect shelf life to some extent.
How to tell if your edibles have gone bad
Edibles are perishable; much as you’d like to have them for the longest time, they will eventually go stale regardless of how efficient your storage is.
So if you’re uncertain about the quality of your edibles, here are the tell-tale signs that they’ve outlived their usefulness.
- Bad odor
- Presence of mold or mildew
- Condensation in the storage container
Where to buy CBD edibles
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