January 05, 2023

How to Store Gummy Edibles

Cannabis is a hugely popular product at the moment. Of course, we are referring to the legal ‘cannabis’ defined in the 2018 Farm Bill as containing less than 0.3% of THC by dry weight. Not the ‘other’ cannabis that can get you into serious problems.

Over the years, there has been a lot of innovation as people try different methods to consume cannabis. Moving away from the old-fashioned smoking method, many cannabis users now prefer safer, discreet, and more effective ways to enjoy Mary Jane. 

Though there are many ways to take cannabis, none is perhaps more popular than edibles. These come in a wide array of shapes, colors, sizes, and flavors. Indeed, there is a world of cannabis edibles as infusing cannabis into drinks and food becomes increasingly popular.

But after eating your daily dose of edibles, what happens to the rest? Obviously, you don’t throw them away! It is also not enough to keep them away from little hands.  

So, in this article, we’ll share the best tips to store cannabis edibles correctly. The longer they can stay fresh, the longer you can enjoy them! You also get more value for your money.

Key takeaways

  • Gummy edibles are one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis.
  • These are conventional foods and drinks infused with cannabinoids.
  • Edibles have relatively short life spans, but with proper storage, they can stay fresh for up to 1 year.
  • The main enemies of cannabis edibles are air, temperature, and light.

What are gummy edibles 

A cannabis edible is any food or drink infused with cannabinoids and/or other cannabis compounds. The most common cannabis cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

An edible can be made with whole-plant extract or a particular range of cannabinoids. As research continues to unearth the various health properties of cannabinoids, it is much easier to create edibles for specific functions.

From homemade brownies to cookies, candies, chocolates, hot sauce, gummies, and cake mix, edibles are a great choice for people seeking the benefits of cannabis, minus the pungent smoke. 

While smoking cannabis is still popular, today’s health-conscious consumers prefer eating cannabis more. That’s because smoking cannabis is associated with various health risks, including breathing conditions like bronchitis. Edibles also promote good neighborliness – no endless complaints about second-hand smoke!

Gummy edibles are simply gummy candies infused with cannabinoids. Currently, THC and CBD gummy edibles are the most popular on the market thanks to the abundance of these readily available compounds.

These tasty treats can have different types and amounts of cannabinoids, which affects their potency and function. Since they come in packages, they are easier to carry around and eat anywhere, anytime. This makes them perfect for those who want a quick high on the move!

How to keep edibles fresh 

As cannabis laws become more lenient and accommodative, getting your hands on a fresh packet of gummy edibles is a breeze. You can even make them right in the comfort of your kitchen! 

When it comes to storage, that is where most people go wrong. If you have gone through the hassle of making edibles, the least you can do is to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Ultimately, edibles go bad, but you can prolong their shelf life by using avoiding these three things:

  • Light
  • Temperature
  • Air

Avoid light

Although light is necessary to grow good cannabis, it becomes an enemy once it has been made into edibles. Light, especially sunlight, degrades cannabinoids like THC into less potent metabolites.

A little science to explain how light affects the quality of edibles: 

Light is a form of energy, i.e., electromagnetic radiation in different wavelengths. We know radiation affects organic compounds, which is why UV rays can burn our skin! Something similar happens to cannabis post-harvesting.

Generally, THC breaks down into cannabinol (CBN) over time. However, when exposed to light, the degradation happens faster as the light supplies the energy that speeds up the process. In fact, the THC to CBN ratio is often used to evaluate the age and quality of post-harvest cannabis.

In a study, researchers showed that the THC content in samples of cannabis exposed to daylight was three times lower than those kept in darkness. CBD is also known to degrade when exposed to laboratory light. It first breaks down into THC before transforming into CBN.

So if you want your edibles to last much longer, then in the words of Darth Vader, you must give them to the dark side.

Cooler temperatures, please!

If light can speed up the degradation of cannabinoids, then heat is capable of doing much more damage.

Generally, cannabinoids like THC are activated by heat application. Without heat, the conversion of precursor compounds into their substituent elements like THC or CBD would not happen. 

So much like light is needed for cannabis to grow, heat is required to decarboxylate the precursors.

However, excessive heat damages the structure of cannabinoids and affects their potency. Even though no one is likely to store their edibles in an extremely hot place, keep in mind that exposure to average temperatures for long periods does the same damage as high temperatures for shorter durations. 

The good thing is that cannabinoids tend to have high boiling points. For example, THC boils at around 311 – 320 degrees Fahrenheit, while CBD boils at approximately 365 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have used whole-plant cannabis extract in your edibles, you may need to avoid high temperatures. That’s because other cannabis compounds like terpenes denature at substantially lower temperatures. In fact, some terpenes start to degrade immediately after harvesting!

Keep in mind that if improperly handled, bacteria can also affect edibles. These microorganisms favor temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, multiplying to twice their number in under 20 minutes. That’s the reason this temperature range is called the “Danger Zone.”

So, what is the ideal storage temperature? To keep edibles fresh for longer, store them in a refrigerator. A temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit should protect your edibles from bacteria and heat degradation. It also helps preserve their taste and flavor.

Keeping edibles frozen can increase their shelf life by up to a year without significantly losing quality and flavor.

No air

Air is the medium bacteria, molds, and fungus use to waft around the environment. So, remove the air, and these microbes cannot find their way to your edibles.

However, this is easier said than done. It would be futile to try and create a vacuumed space to store your edibles. Though scientifically possible, the logistics of such a mission would be…well…overly taxing.

But this does not mean you shouldn’t try. A combination of air and heat equals humidity. Nothing degrades food, let alone edibles, faster than humidity.

The good news is that there are much easier ways to keep air off your edibles – glass jars and airtight containers. You can get these cheaply from grocery stores or your own home. 

Before keeping edibles in glass jars and airtight containers, wrap them in parchment paper, then seal them inside Ziploc bags. The parchment paper stops them from sticking to the container’s walls and each other once they absorb moisture. Put the bags in the containers and keep them in a cool, dry, dark place.

Keeping edibles well-sealed is critical to ensuring it stays fresh for longer. Besides introducing bacteria, air also dries them out. This can lead to moisture loss and degrade the product.

Fresh oxygen comes in every time you open the container, so do so only when necessary and promptly re-seal the container as fast as possible.

How long do CBD gummies stay fresh 

This depends on the ingredients used to make the gummies. The more ingredients used, the shorter their shelf life. That’s because when you bring so many ingredients together, keeping them fresh is much harder since they have different decomposition rates.

Generally, cannabis gummies are a tricky lot because airflow affects their longevity both positively and negatively. 

One reason for this is that keeping gummies and hard candies in an airtight container can make them “weep” if the storage area is not cool, dark, and with as little moisture as possible. Conversely, exposing them to air can lead to moisture loss, which can affect certain cannabinoids.

This problem can be sorted out using a silicone desiccant pack. This keeps moisture away, helping to keep your snacks dry. However, the silicone pack gradually wicks away moisture inside the container, leading to the loss of valuable cannabinoids!

Some people have reported favorable results with tartaric acid, which doesn’t seem to pull a lot of moisture from gummies. However, the best technique to avoid “weeping” gummies is to coat them with carnauba wax. This you can get from the leaves of a carnauba palm tree. You can find the purified wax at most places that sell candy-making supplies or an online supplier.

Anyway, according to food experts, cannabis edibles have a similar shelf life as their regular counterparts. Obviously, edibles with preservatives last longer than those without. If properly stored, CBD gummies should last a year. But the best time to take them is within 6 – 9 months when they are still full of flavor.

How to Tell If Your Edibles Have Gone Bad 

After some time, edibles inevitably go bad. This can happen sooner or later, depending on how well they have been stored.

If you suspect or are unsure whether your edibles are fresh, here are signs to look out for:

  • Discoloration
  • Presence of mold or mildew
  • Water droplets in the storage container (condensation).
  • Bad smell or flavor
  • Texture change (they feel dry and rough)

If you take these storage recommendations seriously, then your edibles should last long enough for you to use them all.

Best Containers to Store Edibles in 

Sadly, there is no single “best” method for storing edibles. Storage methods and containers will vary depending on many variables. Be that as it may, certain materials work exceptionally well when storing cannabis edibles. These are:

  • Glass jars – these are ideal because they are airtight and can help keep moisture out. Moreover, cannabis edibles don’t stick to glass walls. Still, you can use parchment paper to wrap sticky edibles that would stick to the walls.
  • Airtight containers – these are also great for locking moisture out and keeping edibles fresh for longer. Simply wrap the edibles in parchment paper and seal them inside a Ziploc bag. These bags allow you to hand-compress excess air and reduce the oxygen. After that, place the bag in the airtight container.
  • Silicone containers – these are perfect for storing edibles for shorter durations. 
  • Mylar bags – these bags have several layers of laminated food-grade aluminum and plastic. The edibles won’t react with the aluminum because it has a plastic lining. Mylar bags also come with oxygen absorbers, making them ideal for keeping moisture away.

After putting your edibles in any of these containers, the final destination is, ideally, the freezer. That’s because the freezer has low oxygen content and a cooler temperature. While gummies might develop a ‘sugar bloom,’ this does not significantly affect their quality and flavor.

Edibles like chocolate might absorb neighboring flavors. But if locked in its own airtight container, this should not be much of a problem.

The optimum temperature for edibles 

Generally, keep your edibles in a cool, dry, dark place. Aim for lower temperatures (roughly 40 degrees Fahrenheit) to minimize humidity and keep bacteria and molds away.

Where to Avoid Keeping your Cannabis Edibles

So, in a nutshell, here are the four main things to avoid when storing edibles:

Cabinets near heat sources 

Heat is energy. It destroys edibles by supplying their molecules with energy to break off from their bonds. This alters the structure of the cannabinoids, making them lose their characteristics.

Other cannabis compounds like terpenes are very volatile and get denatured by just a little heat. So, avoid keeping your edibles near heat sources.

Areas with exposure to sunlight

Like heat, light speeds up the breakdown of certain cannabinoids. For example, it catalyzes the conversion of THC into CBN. If your edibles are THC-infused, keep them in a cool, dark place. Otherwise, there won’t be much THC left in them months later!

Places exposed to moisture

Moisture is a major enemy of edibles. It supports the growth of molds and bacteria, which, once seen on edibles, means they must be discarded.

Fridges that frequently open and close

And for obvious reasons – fridges that open and close frequently result in drastic temperature fluctuations. These temperature fluctuations can affect the flavor of edibles.

How Long Do Cannabis Edibles Last

This typically depends on the type of edible you are dealing with. Here is how it all pans out eventually:

  • Hard edibles – candies, hard gummies, and dark chocolate can last up to a year, depending on how well you store them. Softer candies like caramel can do 6 to 9 months.
  • Baked edibles – these can last a few months in the freezer and up to a month in the fridge. In the pantry, they could last a few days.
  • Oils – cannabis oils can last 6 to 12 months if stored properly.

If you decide to make your edibles at home, they will likely have a shorter shelf life. Commercial edibles are usually more shelf-stable than homemade ones.

Where to buy CBD edibles 

Are you looking for high-quality legal CBD edibles? Check out our range of products at Dragon Hemp. We have a broad selection of gummies, drops, chews, and many more. So, visit Dragon Hemp and explore the products that meet your taste and needs. 

Some of our best sellers include:

Sleep Gummies that contain premium-grade CBD and CBN to enable you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. These come in two delicious flavors – blackberry and lemon ginger – and help calm the mind and relax the body, ushering in a peaceful sleep.

Energy gummies with an active cannabinoid combination of CBD and THCV to provide a boost in energy anywhere! What’s more, these gummies are low-sugar, vegan, and have been made with organically-grown ingredients to ensure you get nothing but the best.

Focus gummies are designed to boost focus and cognitive function. These edibles are made with THCV and Lion’s Mane to help you get the most out of your BIG brain!

Love gummies which are our best-kept secret for natural performance enhancement. Made with a blend of CBD and maca root, these are what you need to get the blood flowing in all the right places. They provide the energy and endurance you need to reignite your love!

Delta-9-THC Chill Gummies for a perfect way to end a hectic workday! These gummies pack up to 5 mg of potent legal Delta-9 and other natural cannabinoids and terpenes for an authentic, true-to-form cannabis experience.

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