Edibles are a very popular way to consume cannabis, especially in legal states, but as summer rolls around you can easily run into issues. If you accidently leave your edibles in a hot car or even just in direct sunlight outside, you might come back to find them fused into some unholy frankengummy.
Although it’s likely to be safe to consume, there are still some important issues to consider before you cut off a chunk and eat it. Originally, the dosage from the edible would have been consistent and well-controlled, but can you be so sure now? Will the THC degrade at all? And how can you avoid problems in future? Here’s what you need to know.
Edibles like chocolate and gummies melt at around 90 °F / 32 °C.
Melting an edible is very unlikely to detract from the strength, unless it’s in the heat for a very long time (like weeks or months).
They’re likely to be safe to eat (again, other than in extreme cases).
If multiple gummies or chocolates have melted together, you cannot be sure about dosage.
It’s best to throw them away, but if you must, start with a small piece and go slowly.
Store edibles in a cool, dark location in an air-tight container for best results.
When Will Edibles Melt?
While there are many different forms of cannabis edibles, the most common types that could potentially melt are gummies and chocolate. Both of these actually have a similar melting temperature: 90 °F / 32 °C. Around this temperature, you will start to see melting, and if they’re exposed to higher temperatures, the process will speed up.
Although different gummies might have slightly different melting temperatures, this value comes from Camino Gummy and can at least be used as a rough guide. Needless to say, if you leave either gummies or chocolates in a hot car for longer than 15 minutes or so, you’ll likely come back to a melted frankengummy.
Will it Affect Their Strength?
The overall amount of THC in your gummies won’t be affected if they melt, because the vaporization temperature of THC and/or CBD is way beyond what they’ll reach unless you literally melt them in the oven. They would have to reach temperatures of over 300°F to cause you problems. You may have some issues with degradation if you’ve left an edible in your car for several weeks or even months, but in that case it wouldn’t be wise to eat it for more important reasons than just the THC content.
So ultimately, you won’t have lost anything apart from the form of the edibles when you bought them (aside from in extreme situations), but if multiple gummies or chocolates have melted together, you’re likely to have issues getting a consistent dosage because of that.
Are They Still Safe to Eat?
In terms of food safety, it’s still likely to be totally safe to eat infused gummies, chocolates or anything else that’s melted.
Of course, it’s better to put them in the refrigerator or otherwise let them re-solidify before you eat them, but that’s for convenience rather than safety.
Again, unless you’ve left them in a warm place for a very long time they’ll be just as safe to eat as they were originally.
Will it Affect Dosage?
The big issue if your edibles get melted is that the dosage is highly unlikely to be dependable. While each individual gummy or chunk of chocolate has a precise amount of THC and/or CBD, when multiple doses have melted together, the only thing you can (possibly) be sure about is the total amount in the melted mess.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to break off a similar-sized piece and get the expected dosage. If two have just fused together, sure, the dosage will probably be about right if you break it in half. But as you add more gummies or chunks of chocolate, it’s increasingly likely that the dosage will be unevenly distributed.
So the most sensible advice would be to simply not eat the melted edibles and go get more. However, if you’re anything like me you’ll probably want to try to get your money’s worth from what you’ve bought. In that case, you’re very much proceeding at your own risk. Even if you’re very careful, there’s a chance that the first chunk you have will have tons of THC and you’ll end up in a bad spot. That said, in most cases if you start with a small piece – ideally a little smaller than the average amount, just in case – and wait a few hours before re-dosing. It can take a while for weed edibles to take effect and you don’t want to make the classic mistake of taking more only to have the original piece take effect a few minutes later.
Storing Your Cannabis Edibles Safely
While the already-melted edibles are likely best to be simply thrown away, you can take a few simple steps to make sure that you don’t run into the same issues next time you buy.
The main things to avoid for infused chocolates, gummies, candies and pretty much most edibles are moisture and heat. Even hard candies can absorb moisture from the environment and end up sticking together, even if they’re kept out of the heat.
So with this in mind, here are a few key storage tips to keep your cannabis edibles safe and fresh:
Keep them cool: Even if melting isn’t a concern, it’s better to keep your edibles away from sources of heat. It can change the flavor or texture, and in extreme cases or over prolonged periods it can impact the dosage too. So find a cool and preferably dark location to store your edibles. If you’re only storing them short-term, the fridge is perfect.
Find a lockable, air-tight container: Keeping edibles locked up is crucial if you have kids or pets, but finding a good container will also help maintain shelf life too. If you leave edibles exposed to air it can lead to them either drying out or absorbing moisture, depending on the humidity, and neither is ideal.
Individually wrap soft candies or chocolate: For soft candies (like caramel) or chocolate, individually wrapping them can be useful for many reasons. It will protect them from moisture even more, and even if they do get hot, you won’t have issues with multiple edibles fusing into a single monster. Foil is a good solution in either case.
Avoid leaving them in the car: While it isn’t always possible to avoid having your edibles in a hot car on the way back home from the dispensary, you should minimize the time they’re sat in a hot car wherever possible, because this is one of the most likely times for you to run into issues.
So overheated weed edibles are very unlikely to cause you any serious problems, but if you decide to eat a chunk anyway, you need to be very careful about dosing. The best advice is to just get some more, but if you’re going to take a risk, start small and go slow. And to avoid problems in future, keep your edibles in a cool location and put a bit of thought into storage if you’re going to keep them for a long time.