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. 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. 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.
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? 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.
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.