Cannabis products sold in Canada must adhere to packaging and labelling regulations, including a visible expiry date. But what does this date indicate? Can cannabis really go bad?
The answer differs based on the type of cannabis product and how it is stored. Over time, certain cannabis properties break down, altering the product’s performance.
If you’re interested in a cannabis career, understanding the shelf life of cannabis is essential for safety, quality, and transparency. Read on to get started!
How Does Cannabis Change Over Time? Answers for Those in a Cannabis Course
Although dried cannabis flower doesn’t necessarily become moldy once it has passed its expiration date, it will start to lose its smell after one year.
As graduates of cannabis industry training know, compounds called terpenes are largely responsible for the smell of cannabis. Over time, terpenes will break down, altering the smell of the product. As a result, the smell of cannabis is a good indicator of how fresh it is.
After around five years, the chlorophyll in dried flower starts to evaporate, causing the cannabis to turn brown. This is a sign that the cannabis is significantly past its expiry date.
Cannabis product developers tend to set a one year expiration date for cannabis oils as well, but oils age very differently than other cannabis products.
Since oils are technically a food product, they can go rancid. Rancid oils have an unpleasant taste and smell, and should not be consumed. For this reason, proper labelling is especially important when it comes to these products.
Interested in Cannabis Industry Training? Here’s How to Store Cannabis
There are a few different ways to extend the shelf life of a cannabis product. These include advice that consumers can follow at home, such as the following:
- Keep it in an air-tight container
- Store it in a dark space
- Keep it in a cool, dry place
Following these recommendations will help prevent the THC and/or CBD in the product from degrading. However, regardless of how a consumer stores cannabis, THC and CBD will eventually break down over time.
Some consumers like to freeze their cannabis to help retain its smell, but those in a cannabis course know that this practice is not recommended.
The trichomes on cannabis, which produce the cannabinoids and terpenes, are fragile, and can fall off when frozen.
How to Manage Shelf Life in The Cannabis Industry in Canada
The better you understand cannabis shelf life, the more effectively you can develop or manage products in your future career.
Here are a few ways you can maximize shelf life in cannabis retail:
- Adopt integrated business software to track expiration dates
- Use information-rich barcodes to easily record product information
- Organize your inventory based on product expiration dates
- Ensure you get the freshest stock from suppliers
- Adjust purchasing habits to avoid wasted product
Are you curious about the cannabis industry in Canada?
Contact AAPS to learn more!