Packaged food from the grocery store always comes with printed expiration dates, and in most cases it’s no big deal to just throw out whatever got crammed into the back of the refrigerator and forgotten about.
But what about marijuana edibles?
Tossing out an expired loaf of bread is one thing, but getting rid of a package of expired cannabis cookies is another thing altogether.
So what should you do with expired edibles?
Denver-based journalist Tammy Vigil recently hit the streets to talk to cannabis experts and professionals about what happens to edibles that have reached or passed their expiration dates.
Here are some highlights from what she discovered.
“When it’s past its prime, it’s going to develop spoilage organisms, things that might cause mold, an off taste,” said Danica Lee, a spokesperson with the Denver Department of Environmental Health.
“But those are not the same types of organisms that make us sick.”
She explained that the truly dangerous organisms are things like salmonella and E. coli, both of which she said come from food contamination rather than the natural processes of decay such as mold or food breakdown.
OK, so most potheads can probably deal with that. Just scrape off a little mold, try to ignore the bad taste—as long as those edibles will still get us high.
So what about the good stuff, what happens to the THC in expired edibles?
“The THC level pretty much remains the same,” Stan Zislis, owner of Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, told Vigil.
“What changes after the expiration date is the consistency of the edible product itself.”
Zislis’s report seems to more or less back up what Lee said. It’s not so much the pot or the THC that’s deteriorating, but all the other stuff in the edible: the brownie part of the space brownie, the gummy part of the cannabis candy.
But of course, pot will eventually lose its potency over time, so you want to be sure you’re storing your edibles in a way that will maximize freshness and preserve potency as long as possible.
Lee suggested freezing your edibles to extend their lifetimes.
We suggest the safest—and by far most fun—solution: eat them all before they have any chance to start going bad.