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? What is the average shelf life of CBD products — and how to ensure they don’t lose potency and quality over time? Here we explain everything you need to know about CBD storage.
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.
Does CBD Oil Expire? Storage Tips to Extend Its Shelf Life
Like many natural products, CBD oil does have an expiration date.
But when exactly does CBD oil expire — and what affects its shelf life?
High-quality CBD oil can be expensive, and if you don’t like to waste money (like us), you’re probably curious about the longevity of your product.
If you’re only using a few drops a day, a bottle of CBD oil may last you for as long as several months before you use up the last bit of it.
Wondering if you can make it through the entire bottle without worrying about the hemp extract going bad?
Here are the answers to some common questions including the expiration date of CBD products, and how to extend the shelf life.
Does CBD Oil Expire?
Yes, like all botanical products, CBD oil has an expiration date. At first, it will start losing potency as a result of the cannabinoids degrading due to the passage of time. Then, the product may eventually go bad — which can even make you sick.
How long CBD oil lasts depends on a range of factors, from the quality and ingredients to how the product was extracted and stored. Nevertheless, CBD oil has a relatively long shelf life.
Here we cover the longevity of CBD products in detail.
What is the Shelf Life of CBD Oil?
CBD oil can generally last from 14 months to 2 years depending on how it was stored. Access to direct sunlight and excess heat are two direct factors that can cause CBD oil to lose its potency and go bad before its expiration day.
High-quality products tend to last longer, especially the products that have been minimally processed and don’t contain any additional ingredients aside from the hemp extract and carrier oil. Pure CBD oil lasts longer than its flavored versions because the added ingredients have their own shelf life that could be shorter than the shelf life of CBD.
The extraction method is another important factor. Cannabis products have different expiration dates based on how they were extracted, as some technologies provide greater stability of cannabinoids than others.
Any CBD product — whether a premium one or bargain-priced — should come with an expiration date clearly printed on the label. This condition is required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to protect companies from any CBD products that aren’t in compliance with the agency’s safety guidelines.
Factors Determining the Shelf Life of CBD Oil
Earlier in the article, we’ve mentioned that several factors can affect the date when CBD oil expires. This section provides a brief overview of all the variables determining the shelf life of CBD products.
CBD is currently unregulated, meaning there are many fly-by-night companies trying to sell poor-quality CBD oil labeled as “premium” without any laboratory testing to back it up. Such products may contain other ingredients that can negatively affect the shelf life of the product. For this reason, it’s best to choose reputable brands that have a well-established reputation among CBD users. These companies use organic ingredients and don’t add any suspicious ingredients to their formulations.
If for some reason, you decide to shop for CBD locally rather than online, we recommend buying from cannabis dispensaries or, at least, specialty stores that know what they’re selling. If you live in a state with a legal recreational cannabis market, visiting a dispensary is your best bet because these places must comply with local regulations regarding the sale and labeling of cannabis products.
Type of CBD
There are different types of CBD extracts: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. Full-spectrum CBD is the least processed form, but since it contains other botanical ingredients — essential oils and plant waxes — they may degrade faster than the CBD; broad-spectrum extracts are very similar, except for the lack of THC (but this doesn’t affect the expiration date of CBD oil); isolates, on the other hand, contain just pure CBD, so it’s easier to predict its longevity. Theoretically, CBD isolate should last longer than whole-plant extracts, although no study has looked into it yet.
The overall content of your CBD oil matters because every ingredient that doesn’t come from hemp — flavorings, carrier oil, etc. — has a shelf life of its own, which can influence the longevity of the product. A little goes a long way when it comes to CBD oil shelf life, so read the product label and the certificate of analysis (COA) to learn when it expires.
CO2 extraction is the gold standard in the industry. It maximizes the yields of CBD and other compounds from hemp, keeping them stable. Therefore, it also ensures the longest shelf life of CBD oils. Ethanol extraction is an acceptable alternative if the manufacturer cannot afford the equipment required for CO2 extraction. Products made from hydrocarbon solvents, such as butane, hexane, or propane, can leave a toxic residue if not purged properly, which may negatively impact the longevity of the product.
Quality of Hemp
Hemp is a hyperaccumulator, meaning it easily absorbs every substance from the environment it grows in — both the good and the bad ones. When the soil is contaminated with heavy metals, and the plants are sprayed with pesticides, the plants will absorb them and pass them into the final product. Of course, they can be purged from the extract, but the purification process involves higher temperatures, which may compromise its cannabinoid profile. The longest-lasting CBD oils come from organic hemp that has been grown in clean and nutrient-rich soil.
Does CBD Oil Go Bad?
CBD oil can lose its strength if stored improperly or kept for longer than two years. The loss of potency means that the cannabinoids have broken down and can’t perform at peak levels in the body. An older bottle means that you’re less likely to experience the desired effects.
Losing potency is one thing, but CBD oil can also go bad in a way that can break its overall quality — increasing the likelihood of sickness.
How to Tell Your CBD Oil Has Gone Bad
The aroma and flavor of CBD oil are the first indicators that it has expired. Fresh CBD oil smells a little bit earthy, but once it goes bad, it transforms into skunky. The taste may also be bitter and you can observe visual changes in the extract. CBD oil that has expired may turn cloudy over time. Likewise, the texture will also change and the oil may seem ticker and become lumpier. Lastly, the change in color from rich to pale and dark is another sign that CBD oil has seen better days.
Here we briefly cover each of these signs.
The Expiration Date
If you’ve noticed something isn’t right with your CBD oil, you should always check the expiration date.
This may sound like a dead giveaway, but you’d be surprised at how often people miss out on this simple step before going out searching exactly how long it takes for CBD oil to go bad.
As we said, all CBD products should have an expiration date clearly listed on the label, as required by the FDA.
If you’re noticing that your CBD oil has a funky smell, it’s time to take a look at the bottle. If it’s past the “best before” date, it’s time to get rid of it and pick up a new bottle.
Color and Texture
The color and the texture of the product are another two important factors on the list, as these give obvious signs that your CBD oil shouldn’t be used any longer.
If the texture of the CBD oil turns foggy or murky, chances are that the cannabinoids and terpenes have started breaking down, which means your CBD oil is close to going bad. The murkiness may be a sign of the oil and ingredients separating from one another, again showing that the product is no longer viable.
However, a murky texture doesn’t always indicate that the CBD oil has expired. If you refrigerate CBD for long periods of time, the texture will naturally thicken. When you take it out of the fridge, it should return to its normal consistency.
Similarly, a change in color also often heralds the breakdown of the compounds found in full-spectrum CBD oil. This may happen faster to oils that have been exposed to strong sunlight or heat. If the color of your CBD oil makes your eyebrows rise, chances are that the product is no longer any good.
Smell and Taste
Here’s the final piece of the puzzle if you want to find out if your CBD oil has expired. Just smell it and give it a taste!
The taste of bad CBD oil is much worse than the normal flavor that you definitely won’t miss. Similarly, the odor of CBD will be racing, something else that shouldn’t be ignored.
If you’ve smelled and tasted the product and still aren’t sure, it’s probably good for consumption. However, if the product is murky and the smell and taste repelling, it’s best to throw it away and purchase a new set of CBD oils.
Can Expired CBD Oil Make You Sick?
CBD oil doesn’t go bad or turn rancid like milk or other organic liquids, so you’re unlikely to get sick from consuming a small amount of the product past its best days. This is especially true if you use micro-dosing. But if you want to stay on the safe side, throw away any bottles that have been improperly stored or sitting in your cabinet for more than two years.
How to Make Your CBD Oil Last Longer (Storage Tips)
Proper storage may extend the shelf life of your CBD oil. Cannabinoids are sensitive to light and heat, so these are the two most important environmental factors you should avoid. Here’s everything you need to know about storing CBD products the right way — and more.
Only Buy As Much As You Need
Most people take between 10–50 mg of CBD daily as a means of supplementing the endocannabinoid system (ECS). For some people, CBD oil may last for one month, while for others, it may take a few months or even a year to use the last drop of it. If you don’t take large doses of CBD in your daily routine, we suggest that you only buy as much as you need — it’s best to repurchase when you start noticing that your CBD oil is running low.
Prevent Access to Air
Exposure to air causes cannabinoids to degrade and lose their potency. If you want to preserve the freshness of your CBD oil along with its health benefits, it’s best to store it in an airtight container, such as its original bottle.
Store CBD Oil in a Cool and Dark Place
CBD oil shouldn’t get into contact with direct light or intense heat. Similar to exposure to air, it will destroy CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes — ruining the quality of CBD oil. Exposure to strong light and heat promotes oxidation of the oil, which causes destabilization and evaporation.
Should You Refrigerate CBD Oil?
Any cannabis infusion will experience an elongated shelf life when stored in a refrigerator, although doing so isn’t necessary if you already store it properly. Keeping CBD oil away from air, light, and heat should suffice.
Does Freezing CBD Oil Extend Its Shelf Life?
Yes, freezing will almost always guarantee a longer shelf life, but then again, it’s not an obligatory step unless you’re buying CBD in bulk.
Yes, CBD Oil Expires, Now You Know How to Check Yours
CBD oil can expire, just like bread, milk, or any other oil, but that doesn’t mean it has to be harmful to your body.
Of course, when CBD oil goes bad after breaching the expiration date, it can make you feel sick, so it’s important that you pay attention to signs like the color, smell, flavor, and texture of your product.
CBD oil may also lose potency over time, especially when exposed to environmental factors such as heat, light, and air — that’s why we emphasize the need for proper storage if you want to extend its shelf life.
Customers should easily be able to tell whether the product has expired by checking the expiration date on its bottle, viewing the texture and color, and looking for a murky appearance. If any of these features aren’t as expected, chances are your CBD oil has not only expired but also gone bad.
To correctly store CBD oil, you should prevent contamination by using a clean dropper each time you use the oil to avoid introducing bacteria into the extract. It’s also recommended to store the CBD oil in its original bottle in a cool and dark place away from heat sources and sunlight.