How long do edibles last? Do edibles lose potency over time? 

By  Cheri Sicard

Dear Cheri,

I have a question.  Actually 3 questions: How long do edibles last? Do edibles lose potency over time?  What is the best way to store edibles to preserve potency?

These are great questions!

How long do edibles last?  They last however long the food itself lasts, and that will vary from edibles recipe to edibles recipe.

Edibles do not lose potency over time, at least not any significant amount.  Likewise you can store them for however long the food itself is good.  

The same goes for freezing cannabis edibles.  You can store for longer periods in the freezer with no loss of potency.  Store for however long that particular food would be stored if it did not contain cannabis.  In other words, the addition of marijuana to foods has no effect on their storage and longevity.

Whenever possible I include freezing instructions with the recipes on this website and in my cookbooks.  Prior to my cannabis career, I wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Easy Freezer Meals.  Knowledge of how to successfully freeze foods is handy for cannabis cooks, as you probably will not want to, nor should you, chow down on a big batch of edibles all at once.

Freezing can make portion and dosage control easier and it lets you keep edibles on hand for whenever you need them.  Not all foods are suitable for freezing, but many are.  A good freezer cookbook (like mine, wink, wink) can teach you those basics.

Know that you can also freeze your cannabis-infused butter and oil for longer storage.  Try to use within 6 months as fats can still go rancid in the freezer, but freezing will extend their usable shelf life.  I like to freeze small portions in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes into a plastic freezer storage bag.  When you want to cook with cannabis, take out the amount you need and proceed.

How long do edibles last? Do they Lose Potency? What About Freezing?

About the author

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  • Thanks so much for all your useful info . I found this last bit extra interesting since I was wondering the same thing ! I’m so glad you take the time to do this !

  • Thanks for the reassuring info. I like to make a large batch of canna butter and then freeze it in 1/2 cup containers. Makes it really easy for all those recipes with lots of butter in them. I usually mix mine half and half with plain butter to keep the dosage lower when I’m making my shortbread cookies. It’s easy enough to melt for other recipes like ginger snaps.

  • thankyou for the way you write, for the lack of clickbait and stringing people along. direct answers to good questions, with useful followup info underneath, and without obnoxious marketing. i wish all sites were like this, then id actually read them. =)

    • Hello,
      I made my first batch of cannabutter last night and I’m pretty sure I messed up. When the butter cooled and separated I thought I did something wrong so I whipped it all together and put it back in the refrigerator. After reading through many other cannabutter recipes I have realized that I was to throw the water away. Can I reheat the butter to get it to separate again (to discard the water) or is it OK how it is? Did I weaken the potency by whipping everything together? Thank you for your help in advance.

      • Adding water to infusions is optional and yes you should strain the water off. Depending on well you emulsified it, it may or may stay whipped. Let it sit for a day and see if it separates. If not you have nothing to lose by trying reheating. I don’t know if that will help or not but you might as well try. However, if you added lecithin while infusing (something I do not recommend but for some unknown reason people do it all the time and I know other places that tell people to do this) you will probably be out of luck as lecithin binds fat to water and helps mixtures stay emulsified.

  • Hello,
    I made my first batch of cannabutter last night and I’m pretty sure I messed up. When the butter cooled and separated I thought I did something wrong so I whipped it all together and put it back in the refrigerator. After reading through many other cannabutter recipes I have realized that I was to throw the water away. Can I reheat the butter to get it to separate again (to discard the water) or is it OK how it is? Did I weaken the potency by whipping everything together? Thank you for your help in advance.

  • I’ve had my canna butter in a air tight mason jar for almost a year (unfrozen). Is it still good? It looks the same and no discoloration..

    • A year is a long time. You might be able to use it, but if it were me I wouldn’t. Fats go rancid even if they look normal, and after a year I have to assume it is. Freeze next time for longer storage.

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