Can I still (blissfully) drink it?
November 24, 2021 5:17 AM   Subscribe

Can I drink CBD infused drinks after their expiration date?

Pretty much what it says on the tin. I found a whole palate (!!) of Recess CBD infused drinks that I had squirreled away during the early pandemic crazy. This was like striking gold, but then I noticed they are expired. D’oh!

All 12 have the expiration date of 8/24/21 and it’s almost December. They are in aluminum cans and have been in a cool, dark basement. Are they still ok to drink? How long will they be good for if I can drink them (this will take me at least a month or two to get through)?

I also realize I may need to toss all 12, and if that is the case, am viewing it as idiot-tax not to be a hoarder.

Thanks MeFi!
posted by floweredfish to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
I would happily drink them over a few months.

There used to be a retailer close to me who specialised in buying 'expired' canned drinks (a broad mix of still / carbonated / alcoholic). He got them super super cheap and sold them for super cheap so he and all his customers won (including me).

Pop one open and if it tastes good, keep going :)
posted by I shot a fox in Skyrim and it made me sad at 5:49 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]

They are safe and probably as good as the day they were packaged.

Canned foods, and canned pasteurized beverages (which I'd venture these are) remain safe to consume indefinitely. Food is rendered dangerous by bacterial infection, and sealed cans, if they were free of infection when sealed, remain free of infection.

Canned foods can and do undergo degradation in flavor (and in the case of non-liquids, texture) over time, but even that is a very slow process. As I understand it, the "consume by" dates are meant to represent the point at which they are confident the food is indistinguishable from freshly purchased food, and after that point the contents diverge very slowly from peak quality as a rule. Three months is unlikely to really matter.

As regards the specific pharmaceutical contents, that might have a different degradation schedule and it may not be as effective as it was but almost certainly still safe. That the basement is cool works in your favor here (heat often denatures interesting molecules, and lower hear means slower degradation).

As a caveat, sterilization still sometimes (albeit rarely) fails, but if it does, you'll know, because it does so catastrophically. Symptoms would be bulging/exploded cans, odors of rot or fermentation, overcarbonation, and boluses of yeast or mold in the liquid. Also, a sterilization failure would make the drinks unpalatable long before their expiration date.
posted by jackbishop at 5:58 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]

I think if it tastes good, you're good to go, but I have definitely had regular sparkling water go "off" on me - some of the flavorings are just not stable enough to last indefinitely even in the can.

I recently had to dispose of some soda and beer that had been left in a church basement since before the start of the pandemic. Several of the cans had exploded or leaked, some were super flat, and the rest were super-carbonated. It was gross. But they were probably a year or more past their expiration date, and all contained sugar, alcohol, or aspartame.
posted by mskyle at 6:03 AM on November 24

I would drink those no problem. I don't think anyone has hard data on CBD expiration because it's pretty newly popular, but my understanding is that they put a fairly quick expiration on it out of caution and because the effectiveness does lower over time.
posted by JZig at 6:06 AM on November 24

The only reason I'd pass on opening would be if if the bottom of the can is puffed out (like, it can't stand up without rolling around). That would indicate that something's gone off inside and is not worth opening. Otherwise, if it smells good and doesn't taste weird...enjoy!
posted by Gray Duck at 7:56 AM on November 24

If they smell and taste okay then I'd drink them.
posted by bile and syntax at 9:51 AM on November 24

Technically most packaged food nowadays doesn't "expire", and date on there are usually a "best by" date, where they guarantee potency or taste, but after that they shake their head sadly and tell you to pound sand. (not really).

So if it's only a week or two after the best by date, drink away. If it's like six months to a year, then it'd be a bit iffy.
posted by kschang at 12:21 AM on November 25

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