How to Store and Keep Edibles Fresh
According to a recent New York Times article, cannabis infused edibles have become increasingly popular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Properly storing these products isn’t immediately on the minds of a consumer, but should be considered to keep the product fresh and protect it from becoming inedible. While the specific product may have individual requirements for storage, general guidelines for storing edibles can be applied to any type of cannabis edible.
FACTORS AFFECTING EDIBLE QUALITY
While cannabis infused edibles should be kept out of reach of children, hiding them from others isn’t the main reason to store them properly. Proper storage ensures the highest quality taste, protects from THC degradation, as well as having many other benefits. General rules for storing cannabis as well as edibles include:
Store edibles in a dark place.
- Keep out of extreme temperatures
- Keep containers airtight
- Store in a dark place
To properly store cannabis, identify factors that affect the quality of these products, namely:
Humidity can damage the taste and potency of the edibles.
Edibles can melt or be damaged if exposed to excessive or direct sunlight.
Keep edibles in a cool, dark place. Heat can cause edibles to melt.
Proper storage prevents insects or other contaminants from reaching the edible.
Under the right conditions, items infused with cannabis, such as gummies, chocolates, cookies, and beverages, can be stored for a long time. However, the exact time your edibles stay fresh depends on the type of product and storage method chosen. There are many ways to store cannabis safely. The chosen method varies from one person to another. Some materials work better than others when storing infused edibles without compromising taste and quality. These include:
If you want to store cannabis edibles for up to one month, use parchment paper to wrap a small portion of the edibles and then seal the individually wrapped pieces in a sandwich bag with a pressed seal. Place the bags in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place.
Glass containers work great for storing food infused with cannabis. This is very effective no matter the edible being stored. Cannabis products that don’t adhere to glass can be vacuum-sealed and put in dry storage. Sticky products can be wrapped in parchment paper before being placed in containers.
Freezing concentrates will extend their shelf life for up to 1 year without much loss of taste and quality. However, this method requires some care in the preparation of frozen edibles. Air must be removed to prevent the formation of moisture during temperature changes. When removing the edible from the freezer, defrost it slowly, as a sudden change in temperature may affect the taste or destroy the edibles.
It is not advisable to store cooked edibles on shelves long-term. Keep these items in the freezer, where they will last a long time and remain edible. Other tips for long-term storage include:
Protect from sunlight
Light damages cannabis products such as cannabutter, oil, distillate and other edibles. Cannabis products should be stored in opaque containers to prevent light from damaging them.
Whenever possible, avoid placing edibles in sandwich bags or wrapping them in plastic. Food can stick to these surfaces and plastic wrap can have an effect on the taste.
Use wax or parchment paper
Wax and parchment paper are better alternatives to plastic as they are non-stick and help a food retain flavor.
Silicone or glass containers are the best option when freezing food for a long time. Compared to other storage methods, these containers have the advantage of absorbing some moisture and sealing out air. Moisture and air can affect the strength and taste of edibles. This can lead to faster decomposition and growth of mold and bacteria. Contact with air also contributes to the decomposition of THC and other cannabinoids. However, certain products require space to be left at the top of a container during storage, so double checking each type of product before storing it is advised.
If you follow all these recommendations, you do not have to worry about losing the freshness of cannabis infused edibles. For more information on properly storing edibles, ask your local budtender.