Do Cannabis Edibles Expire? Gummies, Chocolates, and More


Edibles serve as a popular alternative to inhaled consumption options like smoking and vaping. They allows users to consume cannabis in a health, discreet and convenient manner.

Who doesn’t love a good cannabis edible? However, there is one big question surrounding this popular treat: do edibles expire?

For the most part,yes. But with somany types of edibles available, Their shelf life can be tricky to figure out and there are a lot of factors to consider.

In this article, we will take a look into the factors that impact the expiration of edibles and discuss how to detect if they have gone bad.

We will also briefly cover tips to help your edibles retain their potency, and what would happen if you take the risk and try those expired edibles.

What are Edibles?

Cannabis edibles, more commonly referred to simply as edibles, are food products infused with cannabinoids, especially THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).

By eating edibles, you can get high and enjoy the benefits of cannabis, similar to smoking or vaping.

They come in various forms such as gummies, chocolate bars, energy drinks, baked goods (cookies, brownies,etc), and more, offering users a wide range of options to choose from.

Edibles provide a long-lasting and potent effect that often lasting 6 to 12 hours, making them a preferred choice for many cannabis users.

Do Cannabis Edibles Expire?

Yes, just like any other food product, cannabis edibles have a shelf life and can expire.

Over time, they can become stale, develop mold, or lose their potency, primarily due to the ingredients used in their manufacture and the conditions in which they’re stored.

Perishable ingredients such as dairy, eggs, and fats can spoil in a few days or weeks. On the other hand, items like gelatin-based gummies can last several months to two years.

Additionally, exposure to air, extreme temperatures, or improper storage practices can also shorten the shelf life of edibles.

While cannabis has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, these do not significantly impact the shelf life of the other ingredients in the edibles. Food types will age similarly whether they contain cannabis or not.

Lastly, Even the THC itself can break down over time, transforming into a less potent form known as CBN (cannabinol), which may not provide the desired high effects but make you sleepy and groggy.

How Long do Edibles Take to Expire?

All edibles have different shelf lives, and those bought at a licensed store or dispensary will usually have an expiration date indicating when the product is no longer safe to consume.


Because they're made from sugar, gelatin, often citric acid, and cannabis resin oil (or distillate), Gummies generally have a shelf life of 6-12 months when stored correctly.

The citric acid and sugar content in gummies act as preservatives to a certain extent, but exposure to air and moisture can degrade their quality.

2. Chocolate bars

Infused chocolates can last several months to a year, especially if kept in a cool, dark place.

Chocolates can be sensitive to temperature changes, which can cause them to develop a whitish coating known as “bloom,” And it's still safe to eat.

3. Brownies and Cookies

Cannabis-infused Brownies and Cookies contain ingredients like eggs, butter, and milk that spoil in days if not consumed.

Generally, marijuana Brownies and cookies will stay fresh for up to a maximum of a week, especially if they contain preservatives.

A cannabis Brownies and cookie that's past its expiry date will become stale and dry and eventually start to grow mold.

If you make weed Brownies and cookies at home, it’s best to consume them in the first two or three days.

4. Beverages

THC beverages, if unopened, typically have a longer shelf life due to preservatives and pasteurization processes.

However, once opened, they should be consumed within a few days to ensure freshness and potency.

5. Hard Candies

Similar to gummies, confectionaries like cannabis lollipops, hard candies, and THC-infused chocolates can last a pretty long time - up to one year.

Keep them in their plastic wrappers and don't put them back after they've been licked, as the bacteria can cause them to spoil.

3 Factors Affecting Edible Expiration

The longevity of Edibles freshness and potency depends on several factors:

1. Ingredients

The ingredients used to make the edible will have the biggest impact on the expiry date.

Perishable ingredients like dairy, fat or fresh fruit are susceptible to oxidation, which can can cause them to go rancid, altering the taste and texture of the edibles, like Baked goods.

Hard candies and gummies, which are made from gelatin, sugar, starch, etc., don’t expire quickly like fresh produce.

Adiitionally, edibles with preservatives will last longer than those without preservatives.

2. Storage Conditions and Packaging

Exposure to heat, light, oxygen, and moisture indicates how long the edibles will last.

The hotter it is, the quicker the edible will expire. The opposite is also true–the colder, the longer it’ll stay fresh.

Direct sunlight means exposure to UV rays, increases the temperature, which immediately drain the potency of edibles.

Oxygen exposure accelerates the degradation of THC, CBD and other substances present in the edibles.

Moisture can encourage the growth of mold and bacteria, posing health risks and causing the edibles to develop an unpleasant taste and odor.

Proper storage, such as keeping edibles in a cool, dark place, can significantly extend their longevity.

Vacuum-sealed packaging helps extend shelf life by reducing exposure to air and moisture.

3. Cannabinoid Stability over time

Over time, cannabinoids in edibles, such as THC and CBD, can degrade, altering the product’s efficacy and experience.

This degradation is influenced by factors like exposure to air, light, and temperature fluctuations.

Exposure to high temperatures can accelerate the breakdown of these compounds. In contrast, exposure to air and light can lead to oxidation, further degrading the quality and potency.

How to tell if edibles have expired?

To keep the freshness of your edibles as long as possible, keep an eye out for a few important details:

1. Check the Packaging

Look for the production date and best use-by dates on the commercial packaging. This is usually found on the back or bottom of the package.

Many packages also have QR codes that provide lab test results, giving you insights into how and when the edibles were made.

If you can’t find this information, consider contacting the manufacturer directly for clarification.

2. Observe Physical Signs

Just like any other food, edibles show signs of aging.

Watch out for changes in color, texture, or smell, since these signs can indicate expiration or nearing expiry.

If you notice any changes in taste, it’s best to check for the other signs mentioned, before consuming the gummies.

3. Potency Matters

Over time, cannabis products, especially THC, can lose strength. Pay attention to any decrease in potency.

If you notice you’re not getting the expected result on multiple occasions, you might be dealing with aged edibles.

4. Trust Your Senses

Treat edibles like any other grocery store item. Use the eye test, smell the product, and if needed, give it a taste.

Keeping track of expiration dates is very important, and if you think your edibles might have lost their quality, use them with caution.

Remember, staying mindful of these indicators can help ensure you always enjoy your gummies at their best quality and potency!

Do expired edibles still work?

The potency of cannabis edibles is primarily attributed to THC and CBD, the primary cannabinoids responsible for the psychoactive and therapeutic effects respectively.

Over time, these cannabinoids can degrade and oxidize, turning into less potent compounds - CBN, which have sedative effects and makes you feel sleepy rather than high.

This degradation is a natural process and can be accelerated by improper storage conditions, like exposure to light, air, and heat.

According to research from the United Nations published in 1999, around 16% of the THC in cannabis products is lost in the first year, 26% in two years, 34% in three years, and 41% in four years.

Therefore, an edible that’s past its expiration date could be less potent or completely lose their potency, providing a less effective or entirely different experience than expected.

What happens when you eat expired edibles?

Most of the time eating expired edibles won't cause any harm. However, some foods can become dangerous if consumed past their expiration dates.

1. Loss of potent

The potency of cannabis edibles decreases over time due to the natural degradation of cannabinoids.

An aged edible may still be safe to consume but may not provide the same effects as when it was fresh.

2. lose of flavor

Expired edibles may also lose their flavor and become stale. The original taste and texture can diminish, making the experience less enjoyable.

3. Food poisonin

The build-up of mold is another risk associated with expired edibles. If consumed, mold can lead to food poisoning and other health issues.

How to Properly Store The Edibles?

To maximize the shelf life of THC edibles and maintain their freshness and potency, it's essential to store them correctly. Here are some tips:

1. Cool, Dry Place

Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, humidity, and heat sources.

A pantry or cupboard is ideal for maintaining a stable temperature and minimizing exposure to light.

2. Sealed Containers

Transfer THC gummies and other edibles into airtight containers or resealable bags to prevent oxygen exposure and moisture absorption.

3. Refrigeration

While refrigeration can extend the shelf life of some edibles, like baked goods, it's not always necessary.

Refrigeration may cause condensation, leading to moisture buildup and potential mold growth.

However, if your edibles contain perishable ingredients like dairy or fresh fruit, refrigeration is recommended.

4. Avoid Freezing

Freezing THC edibles is not recommended as it can alter their texture and taste.

Additionally, freezing may cause moisture to crystallize, affecting the overall quality of the product.


Understanding the shelf life of cannabis edibles is essential for ensuring their freshness, potency, and safety.

By storing them properly in a cool, dark place and being mindful of signs of expiration, you can enjoy your gummies and other edibles with confidence.

When in doubt, it's better to err on the side of caution and replace them with fresh products to ensure the best experience.

Apart from expiring, the potency level of edibles can degrade with time. So it's still best to consume your edibles soon after you buy them. You'll have a much more satisfying experience.

Lastly, Although edibles are safer for the lungs, eating too much can be hazardous. Always consume them responsibly.

Also Read: How Long Does an Edible Last?