Do THC gummies expire?

Do THC gummies expire?

Do THC gummies expire? The answer is two-fold. Cannabis gummies are food products, which means they most likely have an expiration date, but including THC makes it more complicated than a non-infused candy. Cannabinoids and extracts, which are used to make gummies, have a half-life, which comes into play when estimating shelf life.

Do THC gummies expire?

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Calculating if and when cannabis-infused edibles expire requires consideration of the food and the cannabinoids. Aging can alter the THC content of cannabis products. More importantly, the food cannabis is baked into dictates whether or not it has a long shelf life.

Baked goods like brownies are going to have a shorter shelf life compared to THC gummies, hard candies, and cannabis drinks. Additionally, proper storage can keep a cannabis edible fresher longer—even gummies. The ingredients that define gummy candy are part of why they stay good longer than doughy brownies or cookies.

What are THC gummies?

A THC gummy is traditionally made with gelatin, providing the texture that gives the morsels their name. There are also vegan gummies made with tapioca, pectin, guar gum, and other cruelty-free replacements. The often sugary treats are coated in raw sugar or smooth, cut into cubes or round drops.

Cannabis brands likely took to weed gummies because of how easily the candies can be dosed, manufactured, and packaged. It is a more simple consumer-packaged good to stabilize for mass production compared to other cannabis products.

These reasons may contribute to the proliferation of infused-gummy candies available today, both in state-specific and hemp-THC markets. Since these products are easy to get, some might want to stock up, but first, they may ask: do THC gummies expire?

Do THC gummies expire?

The expiration date of THC gummies relies on the half-life of the cannabinoids and the “Best by” date of the infused food. There is a lot of emphasis on child-resistant packaging in the edibles world, but only 74 percent of states require an expiration date on the label. Even if states did add an expiration date on the packaging, consumers have the final say on whether an edible is still good.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service explains that expiration date is a suggestion: “In an effort to reduce food waste, it is important that consumers understand that the dates applied to food are for quality and not for safety. Food products are safe to consume past the date on the label, and regardless of the date, consumers should evaluate the quality of the food product prior to its consumption.”

Like picking the perfect strain, the nose knows when food has turned. The USDA shares that an odd or off smell generally accompanies truly expired foods. Bacteria can also alter the texture or flavor. Any of these characteristics should indicate that food is too far gone.

As for gummies, the most common occurrence is that they develop mold. Luckily, this can be staved off with the right storage.

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Do THC gummies expire?

How to store THC gummies

Storing edibles so they don’t go bad isn’t too different from storing gummies. The cannabis-infused sweet treats should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. An airtight bag can work, but proper storage, like a mason jar or airtight tupperware, would make for a longer shelf life.

Those who don’t mind a harder-to-chew candy can store THC gummies in the fridge to extend the shelf life. Pop the package in the freezer for an extra one to two weeks. However, the best way to keep gummies soft and chewy is to store them at room temperature.

Monitor humidity and moisture in the container, as these lead to mold and bacteria, making the product inedible. If the THC gummies become discolored, start to smell different, or take on a new texture, it’s probable they’ve turned. Another telltale sign that weed gummies have gone bad is visible mold.

This covers the food side of a THC gummy’s expiration date, but what about the actual THC content?

Shelf life of cannabinoids

Stored in the dark at room temperature, THC and other cannabinoids can last at their original levels for one to two years. After that, it reaches its half-life. Once a product hits this point, it rapidly loses potency over time. At this point in the aging process, the amount of THC in a gummy won’t match the lab test.

Edibles, including gummies, are made with cannabis extractions. Extracts, concentrates, and infused butter have a half-life. A study on the shelf-life of prepared weed and extracts broke it down. Varying temperatures of up to 20 degrees didn’t age the extract, but exposure to air definitely did. This is similar to edibles like gummies, which should be stored in an airtight container.

The two-part answer to “Do THC gummies expire?” includes understanding food expiration dates, signs of turned gummies, and the half-life of cannabinoids. With these powers combined and proper storage, infused gummies might stay good for around a year.

The verdict on THC gummy expiration dates

So, do THC gummies expire? Like with almost every edible food, yes, weed gummies will eventually expire. The candies and cannabinoids might age at differing rates, but as long as there isn’t mold present and the smell of the candies isn’t off-putting, it’s probable that they’re safe to eat. Storage solutions might elongate the life of an infused gummy or cannabis edibles, but after a few years, it’s probable that cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBN, and others are less potent.

Next time a bag of gummies comes home from the dispensary or hemp-THC candies get delivered, put them in an airtight jar or container in a temperature-controlled area. That way, the gettin’s good until at least next year.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.