A lot of hemp enthusiasts are so excited about the sudden wide availability of delta 8 THC products that they are trying to get their hands on every type of gummy, vape cartridge and other formula they can find. But, not so fast. Like CBD, delta 8 can expire, which means that you’ll no longer be able to enjoy it like you did when it was once fresh.
When Does Delta 8 THC Expire?
Delta 8 THC is a hemp-derived compound that is a form of THC that results from degraded delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol. It has the same shelf life as cannabidiol (CBD), as they are both organic cannabinoids that share a lot in common, even molecularly speaking. Therefore, like CBD, delta 8 in its pure extracted form, which is the form found in the majority of products on the market, has a shelf life of two years. However, there are other factors that can shorten its shelf life, including the form in which it comes in according to secondary ingredients that can expire sooner, along with how much the delta 8 has been processed.
Delta 8 Product Types
For the sake of clarity, let’s cover the general shelf life of each type of delta 8 product.
- Flower and Concentrates: Expire the soonest since they are organic in nature. Both of these products, if stored properly, can last for up to six months before they are no longer worth using.
- Edibles: Gummies and other edible products can expire the fastest, not because of the actual delta 8 that’s in them but because of the other ingredients, which may be highly perishable depending on the formula created by the manufacturer. For instance, delta 8 chocolates may only be good for a month because of the dairy solids that are in them. Gummies may expire around the same time or last longer depending on whether or not there are artificial ingredients or preservatives in them.
- Vape Oils: Including ones found in cartridges, bottled e-liquids, and disposable devices, can last for up to two years, because hemp extract lasts for this period of time.
- Tinctures: Can last for up to two years, because that is how long delta 8 extract can last.
- Pure Distillate: Can also last for up to two years.
- Capsules: Like the three types of products above, they are likely to last for up to two years.
- Topicals: They, too, can expire, but some can actually last longer than the others above. It all comes down to the chemical composition in the topical solution that determines its overall longevity of use.
What Happens When You Use Expired Delta 8 THC?
The good news is that expired delta 8 THC isn’t expired in the way that edible meat products expire and become dangerous, taking on toxic compounds. As delta 8 ages, it degrades, due to its chemical structure beginning to break down. Throughout this process, it gradually loses its potency, as the chemical compound becomes weaker. What this means is that expired delta 8 should not get you sick, but it will likely be too weak to produce results. Basically, at that point, it’s simply not worth using.
Can Delta 8 THC Expire Before Its Printed Expiration Date?
Delta 8 THC products may expire sooner than their expiration date because of improper storage. Hemp compounds simply do not enjoy being exposed to bright lights, high temperatures, high humidity, or general fluctuations in its environment. So, if you fail to store your delta 8 goods properly, you could end up with products that expire in a matter of a couple of months or even weeks rather than 2 years, or 6 months for flower and concentrates.
How to Avoid Ending Up with Expired Delta 8 Products
Obviously, if we’re going to invest in delta 8 products, we want to be able to enjoy them until they run out. That’s why it is crucial to follow certain practices that ensure we don’t end up with expired delta 8 on our hands. Luckily, these practices are simple.
#1: Buy from Trusted Companies that Only Sell Fresh Product
Lower-tier brands and distributors may not have the high demand to enjoy a fast product turnover, and as a result their inventory may be sitting around for a long time, nearing expiration by the time it arrives at your door.
#2: Avoid Stocking Up Beyond What You Can Use
We know it is tempting to splurge on tons of delta 8 THC but avoid buying more than you will really be able to use within a short period of time.
#3: Cool, Dark and Dry Places are Ideal
As previously mentioned, compounds do not like bright lights, high heat, or excessive moisture. A closet, cabinet, or drawer acts as a safe place to keep your delta 8 as fresh as can be.
#4: Use Your Delta 8 in the Order of Purchase
Doing this can ensure that no single product is collecting dust for a long time.
#5: Airtight is Key
When not in use, your delta 8 products should be stored in an airtight container, such as their original packaging if possible, or Tupperware.
Delta 8 THC, Like CBD, Does Expire
Again, while it does not become dangerous, it does become too weak to give you the effects for which the cannabinoid is known. This is why it’s important to take care of the delta 8 that’s in your possession, in order to make it last for as long as possible. After all, if you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on hemp, you deserve to enjoy the freshest and most potent compounds possible.