Cannabis Science

Can Edibles Expire?

chocolate chip cookie with a bite taken out of it

You’ve probably wondered, “Can edibles expire?” as you find weed treats you totally forgot about. Before you eat a weed brownie you’ve had in your fridge since last week or toss those gummies you bought several months ago, continue reading!

Photo: Unsplash

Can Edibles Go Bad?

Yes, edibles can expire or go bad. It’s not really the weed in them that expires; it’s the food itself. According to Medical News Today, “While cannabinoids can degrade over time, it is the other ingredients in an edible that may make it more or less perishable.”

However, not all edibles have the same expiration date. It depends on how you store it and the ingredients. For example, an edible stored in the freezer will last longer than one left out on the counter. 

So, you’re probably wondering how you will know if the edibles have gone bad or how long you have to use them. 

If you want to know if your edibles expired, consider:

  • General shelf life
  • Dates on package 
  • Physical appearance 

Shelf Life 

First of all, adding weed to an edible doesn’t impact its shelf life. As Medical News Today put it, “Food types will age similarly whether they contain cannabis or not.”

Therefore, you can find out how long that type of food lasts and assume the edibles will last the same amount of time. Here is the shelf life for foods commonly infused with weed:

Food TypeRoom TemperatureFridgeFreezer
Brownies ¹3-4 days in airtight container 7 days3 months 
Cake² 4 days 5-7 days1 year
Hard Candy31 year1 year Indefinitely if constantly at 0 degrees
Gummies 46-9 months*no defined time but shelf life extended*no defined time but shelf life extended
Cookies 52-3 weeks 2 months 8-12 months
Table Showing Shelf Life of Common Foods Used As Edibles Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

Remember, just because the food is technically okay doesn’t mean it will taste great. That fact mostly applies to things that are frozen. Therefore even though freezing prolongs the shelf life, don’t leave the food in the freezer too long. 


Besides the time frames we outlined above, there are other ways to know when edibles have gone bad. If you bought pre packaged edibles, be sure to consult the dates on the package.  

mushroom skull bong feb sale

However, the best by date is more related to food quality than food safety. According to USA Today, when it comes to candy, “expiration date labels don’t usually mark how long it’s safe to eat something. Instead, they time the “peak quality” of a product.” 

However, use by dates, according to The Conversation should be heeded as they relate more to food safety. They said, “Foods cannot legally be sold, and should not be consumed, beyond their “use-by” dates and should be discarded.”

Insider on the other hand, doesn’t recommend eating food more than a few days past their best by dates. You run the risk of consuming bacteria that can make you sick. 

Physical Appearance 

Sometimes you can just look at food and know when they’re expired. For example, according to Survival Freedom, if the cake is hard, dry, mushy or slimy, it has gone bad and should be tossed. 

Generally speaking, you can look for mold and slime on most foods and that’s a great indicator it’s time to toss it. In addition to looking at your food, you can smell them. If they have an odor, it’s time to throw them away. 

Looking at your food isn’t a foolproof way to know if it has gone bad. There are times food looks good but can make you sick. That’s why it’s good to combine examination of food with the other indicators we mentioned. 

According to Insider, “When uncertain about whether or not a food is still safe to consume, experts say you’re probably better off erring on the side of caution.”

Can You Get Sick From Eating Expired Edibles?

Yes! You can get sick from eating expired edibles. If you eat food that has gone bad there is always a chance that you can get sick. Unfortunately you could get food poisoning. Dr. Clare Morrison of MedExpress told Insider, “”If you eat expired food, it may contain dangerous amounts of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Bacteroides”

These bacteria may cause awful symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. 

Many of these symptoms can be treated with over the counter medication, rest and hydration. However, sometimes food poisoning is life threatening. According to Insider, bacterial toxins can cause kidney problems. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that you should seek medical attention if you have diarrhea for more than 3 days, bloody stools, high fever and frequent vomiting. In addition to that, if there is dehydration as a result of food poisoning, it’s best to seek medical attention. 

How to Store Edibles

Naturally, you want your edibles to last long and not make you sick. 

To keep your edibles safest for the longest period of time, it’s best to put them in the fridge or freezer. According to Medical News Today, “Keeping an edible in the fridge or freezer can help extend its shelf life and prevent it from spoiling, especially if it contains ingredients such as dairy or eggs.”

You can usually keep your food in the fridge for a couple of weeks but food keeps much longer in the freezer. 

However, don’t just stick your edibles in the freezer. According to Taste of Home, ensure the food is wrapped tightly to prevent freezer burn. You can use plastic wrap, foil, or even a food container. However, Taste of Home says, “Or if you’re using food storage containers, make sure you’ve left enough space in the container for liquid to expand as it freezes.

When storing food at room temperature, keep your edibles in a dry and cool place. With the exception of candy, your edibles at room temperature won’t last as long as the other methods. 


Can edibles expire? Your edibles can absolutely expire! They’re not immune to mold and bacterial growth. For best results, freeze them. However, don’t forget that if you freeze them too long, they probably won’t taste as good. Food with weed expires at the same rate as food without weed. Also, there are many ways to determine whether or not the edible is safe to eat. However, if you have any doubts, toss it.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].