CBD oil has a shelf life of up to two years. Read our guide to what affects CBD expiry, how to store it, and how to tell if it’s gone off. CBD oils can go bad, but there are ways to prolong their shelf life. This article talks about how long CBD oil lasts and tips for prolonging its shelf life. Worried that you’ve had your CBD oil for a little too long? Learn about the signs of expired CBD oil and how to store it to make it last longer.
Does CBD Oil expire?
Like most natural products, cannabidiol (CBD) oil eventually degrades and expires. CBD oil shelf life typically ranges between one to two years, but there are many factors that can affect the duration of this window, including the type of CBD, its ingredients, and how you store it. Here’s everything you need to know about CBD expiration.
Factors that affect CBD oil shelf life
A number of factors can affect how long your oil will last once it’s been opened. As soon as you understand what affects the shelf life of your CBD, you’ll know the measures to take to preserve your chosen product . Here are the biggest factors to look out for:
Each ingredient that goes into your CBD oil will have its own expiration date. Unfortunately, these can drag down the average shelf life of your entire product if components like flavourings start to degrade earlier than the oil itself. Therefore, the purer CBD oil you can get, the longer it is likely to last.
Different vendors abide by different processes when producing their CBD oil, which inevitably results in varying quality between them. Reliable vendors will likely subject their goods to more rigorous testing procedures before they go to market to optimise their shelf life. Authorised sellers will also have received approval from the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) meaning that they will have better production standards than unregulated vendors. For a reliable product, it’s best to purchase from a reputable brand.
The quality of the CBD can also significantly affect its shelf life. As you’d expect, high-quality products usually last longer thanks to the kind of hemp that’s used, its growing conditions, and the other chemicals involved in the production process. Non-organic hemp grown in poor-quality soil may contain more pesticides and other chemicals, which could speed up the expiry of the product.
Type of CBD
The kind of CBD used also affects a product’s shelf life. For example, oils made with CBD isolate tend to last longer than other types of extract as they are purer, and don’t contain other plant components that could degrade quickly. On the other hand, whole-plant, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum extracts are all likely to expire sooner, as they may contain substances like waxes and essential oils.
Similarly, the means of extraction can impact the concentration of CBD and the stability of its compounds. Carbon dioxide extraction maximises the yield of CBD taken from the plant, making for a purer oil with a longer shelf life. Conversely, other methods like ethanol extraction can shorten the lifespan of your product, so it’s best to do your research into how your CBD is extracted before purchasing.
How you store your CBD plays a large role in how long it will last. Extreme temperatures and light exposure can speed up CBD’s expiry, so it’s best to store your products somewhere dark and at room temperature.
Darker-coloured, opaque and airtight containers are the best receptacles for CBD oil. These minimise the aforementioned effects of light and heat, as well as degradation from oxygen exposure.
How to tell if your CBD oil is expired?
With an approximate window of two years, there’s a chance that you’ll encounter expired CBD at some point. All products should list an expiration date, but improper storage can push this date forward, and sometimes you’ll need to tap into your senses to tell if something’s off. In the event that you’re not too sure, here are a few telltale signs to look out for:
A change in the texture of your product is one giveaway that it may have gone off. If your oil has become thicker or looks to be separating out in the bottle, it might have passed its time. However, this isn’t to be confused with the thickness that CBD oil sometimes takes on once it’s been refrigerated for a while — it should return to a fluid state once removed from the fridge. If it doesn’t, however, it may have expired.
A colour change may also indicate that your CBD has gone off. If the oil goes murky or darker than its original hue, this can mean that its compounds are starting to break down.
CBD oil usually has a pleasant, slightly earthy scent. Like a lot of foods, if it carries a pungent or rotten odour, this probably means it’s gone off.
Lastly, your oil’s taste might let you know that it’s time for a replacement. Unflavoured CBD has a mild and earthy flavour, so if it’s bitter or unpleasant, it could well have expired.
What happens if you consume expired CBD oil?
Thankfully, consuming a little expired CBD won’t make you feel unwell, and it’s unlikely to cause an adverse reaction. However, CBD loses its potency over time and won’t have the desired effect that you expect from your product, because the cannabinoids in the oil degrade. As a result, any therapeutic benefits derived from normal CBD use are largely absent from expired oil.
CBD oil storage tips
As we mentioned earlier, CBD is sensitive to a couple of environmental factors that are well within your control. To extend its shelf life for as long as you can, it’s best to store your CBD somewhere dark and at room temperature, ideally below 23°C. A cupboard or pantry is probably your best bet, preferably kept away from windows, radiators and other heat sources.
You should also keep your CBD in its original packaging, as the opaque and airtight bottles that CBD oil products ship in can protect against light and oxygen exposure. When handling it, make sure your hands are clean, and that you seal the bottle tightly after each use. This will minimise any other exposure your product has to contaminants like bacteria.
CBD oil does expire, but is generally potent and fit for purpose for one to two years if stored correctly. This should be enough time for you to enjoy your product fully, even if you’re not a regular user. However, there are various factors that can influence CBD shelf life, and precautions that you can take to get the most bang for your buck.
Before you choose a product, make sure that you’re buying premium CBD from a reputable brand that uses good quality ingredients and the best extraction techniques. Once you’ve made the purchase, store it somewhere dark and cool in its original packaging. You can regularly check for telltale signs in its appearance, taste and smell that might indicate that it’s gone off.
If you have any other questions about using CBD properly, feel free to get in touch with us today.
Does CBD Oil Expire? Things to Know About Hemp Oil Shelf Life
CBD oils also expire like all food products, so they could go bad fast if you don’t know how to store them properly.
Consuming expired CBD oil probably won’t make you sick, but you won’t be getting the CBD potency you need as the CBD in the product may have already begun to degrade, losing some of its potency.
This article discusses how long CBD oil stays effective in the bottle and how to know if your CBD oil has already gone bad. It also talks about the different factors that affect CBD oil’s quality and how to store CBD oil in the correct way to prolong its shelf life.
How Long Does CBD Oil Stay Good?
CBD oil usually lasts anywhere between one and two years, but how long it stays good depends on many factors.
Here are some of the factors that affect your CBD oil’s shelf life:
1. Methods of Extraction
Of the different methods of extraction, CO2 and steam extraction produce the longest shelf life since CBD comes out cleaner and more chemically stable.
Solvent extraction, on the other hand, is the least preferred method. It can potentially introduce harmful byproducts such as toxic residues and residual solvents into CBD oil, affecting its quality and shelf life.
2. CBD Oil Ingredients
Quality ingredients help prolong the oil’s shelf life.
Its CBD must be extracted from premium, organic flowers. High-quality CBD has a longer shelf life than CBD extracted from substandard flowers that may have been harvested from a previous season.
If the oil contains extra ingredients like vitamins, terpenes, essential oils, and flavorings, then these should also be extracted from high-quality sources, may it be from plant or animal sources.
Remember, each ingredient has its own shelf life, which, in turn, affects the overall shelf life of your CBD oil.
3. Airtight Packaging
Exposure to the UV rays of the sun and the oxygen in the air can degrade CBD and reduce its potency.
To prolong the oil’s shelf life, the packaging should protect CBD from these elements. The bottle must be dark-colored to block UV light and airtight to prevent air from reentering the bottle.
4. Proper Storage
How you store your CBD oil also significantly affects its shelf life.
You may have bought the best CBD oil on the market, but if you don’t store it properly, you’ll only be contributing to its fast degradation.
Keep in it a cool, dark place along with your supplements, and make sure the lid is completely sealed before you put it away.
If you plan to store your CBD oil for more than a few months before using it, you can keep it in the fridge to further extend the shelf-life.
Does CBD Oil Expire?
CBD oils expire, and the expiration date is about 12 to 18 months after their CBD extraction date. Many factors speed up the oil’s degradation process, though. These include exposure to light, air, and heat, as well as improper storage of your CBD oil.
Again, it won’t matter if you bought the best, most expensive, and most trusted brands, but it will not go well quickly if you don’t store your CBD oil properly.
How to Know If Your CBD Oil Has Gone Bad
There are several ways to determine if your CBD has gone bad. First of all, check the CBD oil’s expiration date, which is found on the label.
In addition to the expiration date, these telltale signs also tell you that CBD oil can no longer be used.
1. It Smells a Little Bit Off
CBD oil normally loses some of its earthy and grassy aromas as it begins to degrade. This could mean that its terpenes content may also be degrading and losing potency.
If the CBD oil smells skunky and unpleasant, don’t use it. Some ingredients used in the oil (its carrier oil, for example) may have already gone bad.
2. It Tastes a Little Bit Rancid
CBD oil that tastes a bit sour and rancid is more common in oils that use artificial flavorings and extracts. Flavorings typically have a shelf life of only about six months to a year since they’re pretty volatile and vaporize readily.
A good CBD oil usually has a nutty, earthy, and slightly grassy flavor.
3. It Looks Murky with Thicker-Than-Usual Consistency.
Older or expired CBD oils may also appear murky with a thicker consistency.
This is usually caused by the degradation of the oil’s ingredients as they get exposed to light, air, and heat.
If the CBD oil is new, though, but already looks cloudy and viscous, don’t worry. This may only be because it’s been sitting in a cold room. It will soon go back to its normal color and consistency once it’s warmed up enough.
4. It Doesn’t Work
The cannabinoid in CBD oil may start to break down over time — especially if exposed to UV light.
If you’ve kept your CBD oil in storage for a long time, or it’s been sitting in the sun, much of the CBD will break down, and the oil will lose its potency.
Can Expired CBD Oil Make You Sick?
You probably won’t get really sick or ill if you accidentally took an expired CBD oil or one that’s gone bad, especially if you’re only consuming small amounts.
However, it’s best to play it safe and get rid of CBD oils past their expiration dates.
These expired CBD oils are no longer potent, so you won’t be getting the full benefits you need from their degraded CBD content.
Factors That Determine Homemade CBD Oil’s Expiration Date
What about the expiration date of homemade CBD oils? How will you determine their expiration date?
The factors that determine the expiration date of commercial CBD oils also apply to homemade CBD oils, so to make your homemade CBD oil last, choose your ingredients wisely.
Make sure that you only use laboratory-tested, organic, pesticide-free hemp flowers — the better the quality, the longer the shelf life.
Always use a good carrier oil like MCT, hemp seed, coconut, or olive oil. These oils not only have a good shelf life but also boost CBD’s bioavailability.
MCT, coconut, and olive oils have the longest shelf life of two years, while hemp seed oil has the shortest shelf life of about 14 months.
Bioavailability, in a nutshell, is a part or portion of a drug that your cells absorb after going through the first-pass effect.
When you ingest CBD oil, it passes through the stomach, the intestines, and the liver, where it’s metabolized before it reaches the bloodstream. During the whole process, the concentration and potency of CBD are slightly reduced. CBD needs a good carrier oil that will transport it into the cells without sacrificing too much of its bioavailability to preserve these.
Finally, know how to store your CBD oil properly.
How to Store CBD Properly
You can use an airtight glass container like a mason jar to store your homemade CBD oil. Glass isn’t porous and won’t allow too much air transfer into and out of the container. You can also wrap the glass container in dark paper to prevent light from degrading CBD.
Keep your CBD oil in a dark, cool place. You want to protect it from too much light, and heat since these elements degrade CBD.
The best places to store your CBD oil are in your pantry or medicine cabinet. Just make sure to keep these out of each, so your children can’t get into them.
You can also store your CBD oil inside your refrigerator, and to protect it from light each time you open the door, you can wrap it in aluminum foil. This method may result in some thickening of the CBD oil since the cold temperature can turn some oils (like coconut oil) into solid. While dipping the bottle in a cup of hot water helps, it would be better to allow the oil to reach room temperature naturally since heat can affect its quality.
Don’t store your CBD oil in cupboards near windows or electrical appliances and devices that give off heat, such as the refrigerator, stove, oven, toaster, microwave oven, or rice cooker. The heat emanating from these appliances can affect the quality of the oil.
Although this isn’t related to storing CBD oil, this tip is just as important — only buy what you need.
Each bottle has its expiration date, and stockpiling CBD oils with the same expiration date can only lead to wastage as their expiration dates draw near. You definitely don’t want to end up with many expired CBD oils just because you chased after a 5% discount offered by a CBD vendor.
How to Make Your CBD Oil Last Longer
In addition to storing CBD oil the right way, you can also prolong its shelf life by following these simple tips.
Always keep the CBD oil bottle upright, and never store it horizontally. The lesser contact the oil has with the air inside the bottle, the better. Exposure to air speeds up the degradation process of CBD, and keeping the bottle in a horizontal position gives the oil more contact with the air.
CBD oils are typically packaged with a dropper lid. You can use the dropper, of course, but using the dropper without washing it after every use can introduce bacteria into the oil, spoiling the product.
You can use the dropper to suck up the CBD oil and then squeeze it out into a spoon to prevent contamination. This way, you don’t unnecessarily introduce bacteria into the bottle each time you open it and use the dropper.
Finally, always make sure that you tightly close the bottle after every use.
Final Thoughts: CBD Oil Expires, So Store It Properly
CBD oil has a shelf life of about 12 to 18 months, but you can prolong its shelf life even more by storing it the right way.
Storing it properly not only preserves its quality but its potency as well. It also allows you to enjoy your CBD experience fully.
But keep in mind that even properly stored CBD oil eventually expires, so if you’re keeping an old CBD oil at home, always check its expiration date and look for signs that it’s already gone bad before taking your dose.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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Does CBD Oil Expire? Here’s What to Know
If you purchased your CBD oil a while ago, you might be wondering how much life is left in that little container and does CBD oil go bad? Like all products, CBD can expire, but exactly how long will it last for?
When a product expires, it can lose effectiveness and even become dangerous to use. Because of this, it’s important to know when it’s time to get rid of your CBD oil, even if it’s not quite finished.
To help you get the most out of your CBD oil, we’ve gathered all you need to know about CBD’s shelf life.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a form of CBD, a compound that naturally occurs in cannabis plants. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD can be purchased in many forms but is especially popular thanks to it being versatile and easy to use and dose.
Often used to treat a range of conditions, CBD has gained quite a reputation as a therapeutic. Research tells us that CBD may be useful in treating the symptoms of anxiety, neurodegenerative disease, sleep disorders and inflammatory illnesses, to name a few ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ).
What affects the shelf life of CBD oil?
The factors that affect the shelf life of CBD oil include the quality of the CBD oil, how the CBD oil is stored and how the CBD oil was extracted from cannabis plant material.
- CBD quality – As a general rule, the higher quality your CBD oil, the longer it will last. To ensure you’re buying high-quality CBD oil that will last longer, look out for products that undergo third-party lab testing to ensure their oil is free of harmful substances and contains effective amounts of CBD. Trusted brand names are also useful in helping you narrow down the quality CBD oils.
- CBD storage – If CBD is not stored correctly, then it can degrade and become less effective. CBD is a cannabinoid, and cannabinoids are known to be unstable and vulnerable to degradation when exposed to light, heat or air ( 5 , 6 ).
- CBD extraction – CBD oil can be extracted in a variety of ways, so it’s important your CBD oil be produced in a manner most conducive to extended shelf life.
How long does CBD oil last?
CBD has a long shelf life; you can expect your CBD oil to last for roughly 1-2 years, provided that you store it properly. The shelf life of CBD will vary, however, depending on how you treat and store your CBD oil.
By following best practice advice and keeping your CBD oil in a place away from high temperatures and bright lights, your CBD oil should last you for a few years.
It is important to keep in mind that the shelf life of CBD oil may also vary depending on the quality of the product. A lower quality CBD oil is likely to expire quicker, so if you’re looking for a CBD that will last you longer, it’s best to play it safe and look for high-quality CBD oil.
How to tell if your CBD oil is expired
You can tell if your CBD oil is expired by its look, taste and smell.
- Look – If your CBD oil is thick and hard to see through, it’s likely gone off. Cold or mixed CBD oil can look quite cloudy, so let your CBD oil get to room temperature and settle before checking to see if it is thick, dark and cloudy and likely off.
- Taste – Natural CBD oil should have a slightly earthy, nutty taste. Unless your CBD has flavouring added to it, testing your CBD for this taste is a good sign that it is still good. If your CBD oil has a funky, bitter taste, then it’s probably seen better days.
- Smell – Just like food, CBD oil will tell you it’s off by its smell. You want your CBD oil to smell slightly earthy and grassy; off CBD will have an unpleasant, pungent smell that will warn you straight away. If you’re worried about how old your CBD oil is, grab the bottle and give it a sniff!
Is expired CBD oil bad for you?
The good news is that while expired CBD oil isn’t ideal, it’s unlikely to be bad for you. The worst thing that will probably happen from letting your CBD oil sit around for too long is that it won’t be as effective.
With time and exposure, CBD oil can degrade, meaning that it may become less effective. If you’re looking for CBD oil that is more likely to actually have an effect, make sure it’s not expired.
Storage tips for longer-lasting CBD
To keep your CBD oil fresher for longer, here are some handy storage tips:
- Keep your CBD oil in an airtight container to reduce air exposure. Check to see that you’ve closed the container properly after every use.
- Store CBD oil in a cool, dark place.
- Wash your hands before touching your CBD oil to reduce contamination in the container.
- Ensure that your CBD oil isn’t stored in a place with fluctuating temperatures.
The bottom line
Just like most products, CBD does have an expiry date and time; air and heat can speed up that time, but there are some things you can do to extend your CBD oil’s shelf life.
While expired CBD oil probably won’t cause any harm, it also won’t cause any good. Degraded CBD oil is less likely to be effective, so taking care of your CBD oil and knowing when it’s time to replace it will help you to get the most out of the cannabinoid.
With our handy storage tips, you’ll be treating your CBD oil well and likely making it last longer.