What’s the tastiest way to consume cannabis? While preferences are subjective, many of us agree: edibles are where it’s at! Edibles are known for producing strong, long-lasting highs, but did you know that edibles can also reduce pain, inflammation, anxiety, and even seizure frequency without requiring the inhalation of smoke? This alone makes edibles a superior option for many individuals.
Whether you order your edibles online or bake your own using homemade cooking oil, storing them properly ensures your product remains potent and delicious. But what is the best way? With so many varieties of edibles, it’s no surprise that different products require a distinct method of storage. Some must be eaten fresh, but there are many that must be refrigerated. Still, other edibles will remain potent up to a year in the freezer.
And while there is no one method that works best to store cannabis-infused products, here are some of our best tips and tricks!
The Golden Rule of Cooking with Cannabis
Always store your products safely, carefully, and away from any at-risk individuals, including children, pets, and unsuspecting roommates. Besides ensuring that your products are secured in an appropriate container, it is also necessary to store them in a place inaccessible to those who might mistake your latest batch of medicated cookies for an innocent treat.
If you have a pet, proper storage is imperative to ensure their health and safety. While CBD has been proven safe for most mammals, studies have shown that THC can elicit several negative health effects in certain animals, mainly canines.
What’s more, THC can produce a high which might prove traumatizing for pets. And animals aren’t the only ones you have to watch out for. Given the opportunity, what kid wouldn’t grab a cookie off an unattended tray?
When you order edibles online, you may notice that many products resemble established candy brands. Any individual, whether a child or an adult, could easily mistake cannabis gummies for regular candy.
Let’s Put a Label On It
Label your stuff! Seriously, this is integral to your health and safety, as well as anyone with whom you share your space. That roommate who is always eating your food without asking? What happens when they grab a cookie from that tin in the freezer and start totally freaking out later? Jokes aside, labelling your cannabis products minimizes the chances of someone unknowingly ingesting a mind-altering substance. Worried that your teen will sneak a candy or two if they find labelled products? Use a codeword.
Don’t forget to include the date on the label. Different products containing different ingredients will go stale, mould, and rot at varying rates. The speed at which a food product degrades depends on factors like temperature, time, and airflow. So even though last year’s space cake looks vaguely edible, the cannabinoids could be fully degraded.
Storage Methods for Edibles 101
Cannabis Butters and Oils
From baking to frying, sauces to salad dressings, the presence of cannabis-infused oils and butters can amplify not only the flavour of your cooking but add naturally-derived cannabinoids that offer a variety of therapeutic benefits.
Depending on the carrier oil that you choose for your cannabis infusion, heating temperatures and smoke points will change, so it comes as no surprise that storage methods would be different depending on the oil. The one constant? Oil is affected by heat, so storing your products in a cool, dark place away from heat and light is key.
To freeze or not to freeze; that is the question! Most dairy-based butters will require refrigeration for short-term use up to one month, while freezing will allow for long-term use up to one year. For best results, use an airtight container to ensure your butter remains as delicious and potent as possible! However, time and moisture will cause degradation, so aim to use your butter before turns.
Did you know oils can be refrigerated too? While non-infused oils have a long shelf life, the terpenes and cannabinoids in cannabis oil will lose potency over time. This can be stalled by refrigeration.
Again, factors like oxygen, heat, and moisture can alter the chemical makeup of a concentration, causing oil to turn rancid and essentially wasting all of your product. While it isn’t cut-and-dry, oil can generally be stored up to three months in an airtight container, up to six months in the fridge, and up to one year in the freezer. Use your discretion, though! If something looks, smells, or tastes off, toss it.
Infused Baked Goods
When it comes to cannabis baked goods, the possibilities are endless! Yet, with such an extensive selection to choose from, it’s obvious that storage won’t be one size fits all. While some products might last longer depending on the ingredients used, there are a few general rules for storing baked goods.
Plastic wrap and tinfoil are fine for a day or two, but after a while, things will go stale or mould. Even when stored in a cupboard, baked goods should be kept in an airtight container. Airflow and moisture increase the risk of contamination, encouraging the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Let’s look at the most popular cannabis baked goods: space cake, cookies, and brownies. All three will last about three days to one week in an airtight container. Cookies and cakes kept in an airtight container in the fridge may remain fresh and potent for up to two weeks, while brownies often last a bit longer, about one month. Cakes and cookies can last between two to three months in the freezer, while brownies, again, last a bit longer at about three months.
One of the most popular ways to consume cannabis these days? Candy! Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, cannabis-infused candy can provide powerful relief without the need for pharmaceuticals. Depending on the cannabinoid concentration, some candies can also get you quite high.
Depending on what you’re looking for there will be an array of flavours, concentrations, strains, and effects, but in general, candies come in three forms: hard candy, gummies(soft candy) and chocolate. Sugar is a natural preservative, meaning the candies themselves, when kept away from heat and moisture, will last a relatively long time.
Hard candy can last up to one year when stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, but it is best to wrap each candy individually as even the tiniest bit of moisture can cause hard candy to melt and fuse.
Gummies are also affected significantly by heat and can begin to melt at certain temperatures, leaving you with a slimy puddle of sweet, degraded gelatin. While they can be stored together, ensuring they remain dry is integral. Properly stored gummies can last up to nine months.
Chocolate is a bit more precarious, as even body heat can cause it to melt. Left wrapped and sealed in an airtight container, chocolate can last from eight months to one year depending on the dairy content. If you do open chocolates, store in the fridge for immediate use, or securely wrap and store in the freezer to extend product life beyond a year. Just be sure to use your discretion to avoid munching down rancid chocolate!
Whether you order your edibles online or prefer to make your own, following our tips and tricks might just extend their shelf life, ensuring your products remain potent, palatable, and safe!
The main things to remember? Avoid heat, avoid light, avoid moisture. Think dark, cool, and dry; the fridge and freezer are your friends. And never forget to label and secure your wares to ensure the safety of everyone around and dissuade anyone looking to steal one of your cookies!