How and why you should safely store your marijuana edibles and tinctures

Published Apr 30, 2019 12:30 p.m. ET
Photo Credit Adrian Wyld

Now that legal marijuana is accessible in many regions across the globe, there are a lot more people experimenting with things like marijuana edibles and tinctures for the very first time. Though creating new and exciting treats to try is relatively straightforward and thoroughly explained online, there is less understanding about how and why these kinds of products should be stored for both safety and freshness. There are plenty of first-timer mistakes to go around, but the experience can be costly and easily avoided with a little research before experimenting at home.

Safety

The number one reason that everyone including the manufacturers in the form of stickers on the packaging will warn consumers to keep marijuana tinctures and edibles stored in a safe a secure place away from children. The consumption of cannabis is only legal for people who are of legal age which is 19 years old right across most of Canada. Though marijuana-derived products are not toxic, there may be complications from over-consumption in a child that may require medical attention, and THC has shown to be lethal in large doses in canines and other small house pets. All pot based products should be kept in a safe, and when possible, locked container that is far out of the reach of underage children and pets.

Why you should adequately store marijuana edibles and tinctures

When you make edibles using either fresh herbs or other concentrates, they contain condense amounts of cannabinoids like THC which must be preserved to stay intact. When these types of products are mishandled, it can lead to an ineffective edible, sickness, and even food poisoning. Just like any other food item, each cannabis-derived products comes with its own expected shelf life even under the ideal environmental conditions. Not all of them will necessarily expire, but the potential for contamination is always present no matter what you are dealing with which can lead to a host of medical problems both long and short term.

How to properly store marijuana edibles, oil, and butter

Some people believe that the addition of cannabis butter or some other infused product might either extend or shorten the potential shelf life of edibles. Neither would be correct, and that is because it is rarely the infused product responsible for adverse reactions from a dish. Generally, it is the degrading of the included ingredients like flour that only last a few days before going bad by either drying out or from contamination. In those cases, the storage has very little to do with the environment as the cannabinoids are not likely to expire before whatever they are put in is beyond being edible anymore. It’s the pure either liquid or solid extractions that require specific conditions to last beyond 48 hours after making it. Below you will find how to store marijuana edibles, tinctures, cannabutter, and cannabis oil under the best conditions to preserve freshness.

Cannabutter

Cannabutter should be refrigerated the moment it reaches room temperature after being made and must be stored in a sealed airtight container to maintain freshness. Cannabutter that is kept in the fridge can last up to 30 days but drop it into the freezer, and you can expect it to stay fresh for up to six months before the cannabinoids begin to degrade and the taste and potency fade.  

Cannaoil

Appropriate cannaoil storage will depend on the type of oil that is infused. If you would typically store your particular kind of oil in the fridge than continue to do so even after it’s been infused. The key is to keep the surrounding temperatures low while maintaining the least amount of light exposure. Cannabis oil when made and stored correctly can last up to six months before the contents and effects will begin to degrade.

Marijuana edibles

Edibles that are baked or hearty and require refrigeration after preparation should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge to maintain freshness for no more than 3-4 days. Place them in the freezer immediately after making them, and they can last up to six full months and stay fresh delivering the same amount of potency every time you take one out to use it. This is the preferred method for those who use edibles for medical reasons regularly to self-medicate with perfect established doses.

How to properly store marijuana tinctures

Cannabis infused tinctures are alcohol based and only need refrigeration if you require a lengthened shelf life. Tinctures can stay fresh for up to six months being stored in a cool dark space and freezing can add an additional 2-3 months of freshness if done immediately.

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