If you have spent any length of time in the cannabis community, you or someone you know has likely found themselves at some point with more product than they can possibly hope to use. It is understandable. The discounts that accompany bulk purchases can be oh-so tempting. Unfortunately, those discounts come at the cost of a ticking clock. And because nothing is worse than wasted cannabinoids, finding a way to use or store an entire delta 8 stockpile can be quite the challenge. Rather than gorging on edibles, this article hopes to highlight a few ways you can keep your product fresh and long-lasting.
Not All THC Products Need Storage
The good news is that most of the high-concentration extracts — specifically vape cartridges, distillates, and tinctures — require little to no storage. These products degrade VERY slowly. So slowly in fact, that as long as their environment is cool and dark, they can sit for up to a year without consequence. They will retain their potency and freshness throughout.
Where you do need to be careful is the realm of edibles and delta 8 infused flower. The timeline on these types of products is much shorter. The THC and residual cannabinoids exist in a far less static state, as is the case with their housings. Edibles and flower are prone to oxidation, which greatly speeds up the spoiling process.
The type of edible can also influence the shelf life of the product. Candies like lollipops and gummies will always stay fresh longer than baked goods when stored in similar environments. Cookies and brownies typically begin to degrade after just a few days, and the cannabinoids aren’t the only things affected. The presence of fat in the baked goods draws bacteria, which accelerates the decay.
To combat the slow destruction of your edibles, use these storage tips:
Keep excess edibles frozen: If you have the space, freezing edibles is perhaps THE most effective way to preserve quality long term. Frozen goods will retain their freshness for up to six months or more at correct temperatures, and the cannabinoids will be similarly preserved. This method is most effective when you know you aren’t going to need your edibles anytime soon. The thawing process can be somewhat labor-intensive, and for that reason I recommend using this only out of necessity. If you are seeking a short-term solution, the tips below may fit better for your delta 8 needs.
Avoid direct light: This step can apply to any delta 8 or cannabinoid product, but it is particularly true for edibles and flower. Direct light of any kind can degrade the molecules of the cannabinoids, breaking them apart and making your edibles less potent. Ideally you would keep any hemp-derived products in total darkness, and somewhere that is also room temp or lower. Prolonged heat can have a similarly harmful effect.
Store in an airtight container: Avoiding oxidation is vital to preservation. Sealable glass storage containers are the clear winners in this department. They are also ideal for storing products in the freezer or in your room. Many shops also sell containers specifically for this — with lids that pump the air out for a true vacuum seal. If this is a little over your budget, plastic sandwich bags will also do the trick, but be careful to double or even triple wrap to guarantee a nice airtight pocket. Wax paper or an equivalent product can and should be used to keep the edibles separate from the plastic. Not only will it make for an easier defrost, the plastic won’t leach into the product.
A technique I’ve used for many years involves splitting your stash into sections and tightly sealing each of the bags. Then, you can pull from one bag freely while the other sections stay away from the air and light.
Can Spoiled Products Be Saved?
In the event that disaster strikes, and you find yourself with a product that feels suspiciously like it’s gone bad, don’t toss it just yet. Run a quick inspection, as there are a few clear signs that your edibles or flower has lost its usability. In the event your product exhibits one or more of these traits, it has to go.
If your baked goods are dry and odorless, they have probably gone bad. If there is any discoloration or mildew smell, throw them away immediately. These of these apply equally to delta 8 flower. A loss of color and smell can be a big hint that the cannabinoids are breaking down past the point of no return.
And remember, proper storage can drastically increase the shelf life of your delta 8, but it cannot extend it indefinitely. Never keep anything frozen for more than six months, and always be double checking before using any product that has been sitting around untouched.
Otherwise, with these tips in mind, you are ready to start preserving like a pro.
What rituals do you use to keep your products fresh! Are there any overlooked techniques? Let us know! And click here to read more articles related to all things delta 8.