Dear Stoner is a new weekly column in which our marijuana expert answers your burning questions about weed.
Dear Stoner: I just got some pot brownies, and I’m not planning to ingest them for two weeks. Do you think the potency will still be the same and if they’ll be OK to eat? Can I heat them up if they go hard?Tasnim
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Dear Tasnim: We’ve talked to multiple cannabis bakeries and kitchens about the shelf life of edibles, and all of them have said that edibles are pretty hard to tarnish in terms of potency, so two weeks definitely wouldn’t be long enough to harm your brownies. The “normal” ingredients in them are what you need to worry about, because they’ll decay much faster on your kitchen counter than THC would. Throw the brownies into the freezer if you’re afraid of spoilage, but that’s just to fend off mold, not THC degradation. Freezing definitely beats food poisoning — and what a waste of pot that would be!
Take care when heating frozen edibles — which usually have the texture of cold turds — because THC will slowly begin to fade at temperatures higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit (and die altogether at 392 degrees). But most microwaves don’t take food above 212 degrees, so there shouldn’t be any noticeable difference in potency after the short 15 seconds it takes to warm your brownie. Throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top or wash it down with a fatty glass of whole milk to increase the effects.
Dear Stoner: I saw a homebrewer make his own herbal tincture with sage and vodka, and it looked pretty easy. Is making marijuana tinctures pretty much the same thing?
Dear Lazlo: Pretty much! Submerge your ground herb in a jar full of vodka or some other grain alcohol and put it in a cool, dark space for a couple of months, and the alcohol will suck in the flavors and cannabinoids of the plant. When the time comes, strain out the plant matter, and your pot tincture will be ready to go. But don’t expect it to taste like the sweetened stuff you find in dispensaries, which is usually made from flavored vegetable glycerin and is intended for application under the tongue. Marijuana tincture made with alcohol is supposed to be added to hot beverages for drinking, because its THC requires heat to activate the psychoactive effects. It will also scorch your tongue’s undercarriage worse than any cheap bourbon ever could.