All cannabis products have an expiration date. It is important to consume marijuana at its optimal freshness to make use of the cannabinoids’ therapeutic effects. Most forms of marijuana may stay fresh for at least a year if properly stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place. The shelf life of cannabis primarily depends on the type of product and the ingredients it contains.
It is important to read your medical marijuana label and/or consult with a physician to know when your medical marijuana expires. General expiration date guidelines for different cannabis products can be found below.
The shelf life of a cannabis edible depends on its ingredients. Those that contain perishable ingredients have shorter shelf lives. For instance, edibles containing eggs and milk, such as cookies and brownies, tend to last for approximately 2-3 days when properly stored. Dispensary-bought edibles tend to contain preservatives that slightly extend the products’ shelf lives, but it is important to check the packaging for an expiration date. Additionally, cannabis-infused candies tend to contain fewer perishable ingredients than baked goods do, allowing them to last for approximately six to nine months. All edibles should be stored in a cool, dry location.
The shelf life of cannabis flower depends on how well-cured and well-kept it is. When properly dried, cured, and stored, flower may last for up to eighteen months, but it usually loses potency after six months. Therefore, it is advisable to consume flower within six months due to the difficulty of maintaining optimal storage conditions.
Hash and Wax
The shelf life of hash or wax depends on how much flower it contains. These types of cannabis tend to last longer when they contain less flower. Hash and wax should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place to prevent mold growth and loss of potency. Hashish typically contains the most flower and tends to last for around eighteen months. Wax has the potential to last up to two years, but after twelve to eighteen months, it may lose its potency.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
Because RSO is usually infused with alcohol, it has an estimated shelf life of ten years when stored properly.
Vape pens may last for around two to three years without losing much potency because they are usually not made with any plant material and are generally well-contained. Some vape pens may last even longer.
Different types of cannabis topicals have varying expiration dates. Gels, creams, and oils typically last up to two years when properly stored. Cannabis-infused cosmetics may also last up to two years, depending on the ingredients. Additionally, soaps may last longer than two years due to their alkaline nature.
CBD tinctures typically have the longest shelf lives. Most are infused with high-proof alcohol, which enables them to stay fresh for up to ten years if stored properly. Occasionally, CBD tinctures are oil-based and may last for up to two years.
HOW TO CHECK IF YOUR MARIJUANA IS EXPIRED
Clues that signal your marijuana is expired can be found below.
If your cannabis product has an unfamiliar scent (like rotten eggs), it is most likely past its expiration date. Because some strains naturally already have “skunky” scent, it may be easier for more experienced users to discern the difference.
If your cannabis is fragile or crumbling, it may be past its expiration date. It is important to note your product’s texture when initially purchased to help you notice any future changes.
If your cannabis product displays mold, it is no longer fresh. Visible signs of mold include white fuzz and discolored spots.
CANNABIS STORAGE TIPS
The method of cannabis storage affects the product’s shelf life. See below for tips on how to properly store marijuana.
For long-term storage, glass mason jars with airtight lids are preferred for retaining the aromas and flavors of marijuana. Metal containers or vacuum-sealed plastic bags may work for short-term storage (usually a week or less).
It is important to store marijuana in an area of low humidity, so the moisture does not accelerate the product’s degradation. An ideal humidity for most cannabis products is approximately 60%.
It is suggested to keep cannabis products in dark areas, such as cupboards and cabinets. Exposure to direct sunlight may shorten the shelf life of the product.
Therefore, the expiration date of cannabis depends on the product type and storage method. It is important to read your medical marijuana label and/or consult with a physician to know when your medical marijuana expires, and there are many visual clues to look out for. For those seeking medical cannabis treatment, make sure to look at the qualifying conditions for obtaining a medical marijuana card in your state. Some states allow marijuana and cannabis products to be sold to all adults ages 21+. It is recommended to contact a marijuana doctor in your area to begin the process.