Does CBD Oil Expires: 10 Things You Should Know

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This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.

 

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

CBD oil

Like every good thing has an end, CBD oil expires too. A high-quality CBD oil can be expensive and can burn a hole in your pocket. and we do not want that to go to waste due to expiration. Many factors affect the shelf life of CBD oil. One needs to be aware of these factors before starting to use CBD oil. Because, that is what wise people do. In this read, you will know everything about its expiry, storage, and factors that affect the shelf life.

How long does CBD oil stay good?

The shelf life of CBD oil generally ranges from 1-2 years, depending on how it is stored. Extreme heat and direct sunlight[1] are two main factors that can degrade CBD oil even before its expiration date. Higher quality products tend to last for a long time, precisely, the ones that have been minimally processed like full-spectrum CBD oil. Furthermore, pure CBD oil tends to last longer than flavored CBD oil.  

When does CBD oil expire?

CBD oils expire when they lose their potency, mainly due to poor storage conditions, or when they surpass the prime time of two years. Poor CBD oil is nothing but broken cannabinoids that do not work at peak levels in the body. The ones that are sold at a bargained price might be nearing their expiry and you might want to use them before that.

Older ones are mostly not as effective as fresh ones, unlike the new ones, old CBD oil has fewer potential therapeutic properties like pain relief. If you are using CBD oil to address the pain, you might want to avoid the older products. The fresh and high-quality product can relieve pain better than the old ones.

What factors affect the shelf life of CBD oil ?

Few factors determine how long CBD oil lasts. From the quality and ingredients to the storage of it, understanding these factors can help you choose the right product that will last longer. You can also extend the shelf life and save some bucks. 

Quality of the CBD product

It goes without saying, high-quality CBD oil products tend to last for a good long time. When we say quality, it includes the growing conditions, quality of the plant, and quality of the ingredients. Unflavoured CBD products last longer than the ones that have flavours.

Ingredients used in making CBD oil

What goes into making CBD oil matters most as it can affect the shelf life of the product. Like sometimes less is more, lesser the ingredients longer the shelf life of CBD products. Every individual ingredient that goes into this has its own shelf life. This, in turn, affects the shelf life of products. Make sure to read the certificate of analysis and labels before you make a buy.

Extraction process of CBD product

The CO2 method of extraction[2] is believed to be the gold standard to produce premium quality oil, as it increases the level of CBD and cannabinoids. When it comes to full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oils, it keeps the compound stable during plant extraction.

The CBD product stays potent and lasts longer as the cannabis or hemp compounds stay stable during the CO2 extraction method. Whereas, other methods may destabilize the compounds, thereby creating a low-quality CBD oil with shorter shelf life.

Packaging 

If you ever wondered why some medicines are stored in amber bottles, that is because it increases the shelf life. CBD oil lasts longer in dark and airtight glass bottles. This protects the oil by blocking the sun and air exposure.

Storing CBD oil

Studies show that light and heat accelerates the degradation of CBD oil. This is why storing it properly is vital. Ideal light and heat conditions can keep CBD oil fresh and potent for longer times. Store CBD oil in dark and cool places.

Temperature 

Store it at room temperature, between 60-70°F or 16- 21°C. Keep it away from windows, radiators, humidifiers, air conditioners, and stoves. Since these are potential sources of cold and heat. 

Properly handling the bottle containing CBD product.

Use a clean spoon or dropper to take CBD oil to avoid contamination. Make sure to put on the lid immediately after use. Oxidation is an enemy of CBD and can shorten the shelf life. Keep CBD capsules and soft gels in their original packaging, make sure they are airtight. Store the bottle upright and not horizontally. 

How to find a good quality CBD product that lasts long?

Buying a good quality CBD oil is as important as storing it properly. So, here are a few things to consider while buying a bottle of CBD oil. These shall help you buy a genuine product that lasts long.

Premium quality carrier oils

As we all know, higher the quality of the oil, the longer the shelf life. For consumable CBD products, look for fractionated coconut oil, as it will last longer than the cold pressed hemp seed oil.

Choose products with high quality carrier oils. Look for cold pressed or expeller pressed oils in the packaging. Cold pressed vegetable oils are a great option. Look for sunflower seed, hemp seed, grape seed, apricot or coconut oil.

Check for proper labelling 

A reputable product will have the Certificate of analysis (COA) from a third party testing lab that doesn’t have a stake in the brand. Counter check the CBD and THC concentrations on the COA match on the product label. Labeling inaccuracies are a major issue with CBD oil products. Look for brands that have labeling accuracy, as this will be the deciding factor to know the genuinity of the product.

Cannabinoid profile

Look for cannabinoids[3] like cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol(CBN), and cannabichromene (CBC) should be on the list. Consider these when buying both full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oils. 

How to store CBD Oils?

CBD oil is vulnerable to changes in light, temperature, and air exposure[4]. A good glass airtight container maintains its potency and freshness. Protect the CBD oil from direct sunlight, extreme heat, and air exposure with the help of the right container. Premium quality CBD products are packaged in airtight amber bottles or dark green bottles. Dark bottles control temperature and reduce light exposure. 

Store it in a dark and cool place such as cabinets, drawers, cupboards, or closets. All these make an ideal place to store your CBD oil and CBD tinctures. Avoid the areas with excess moisture like washrooms, as this can promote the growth of mold. Do not store your CBD oil in your pocket or purse for long durations as warm places can be breeding centers for bacteria.

How to know if CBD oil has expired? 

Firstly, before buying CBD products, look for a clear label and the expiration date on the package. Just in case if you lost the package or the label on the bottle fell off, then these signs should help you: 

  •  Fresh CBD oil smells earthy and not unpleasant at all. Whereas, expired CBD oil has a foul smell to it. 
  • It becomes thick and murky. But, this should not be mistaken with the oil that has gone thick due to cold temperature. Few minutes at room temperature should make the oil return to its natural consistency and color. Or else, thick and dark oil is a sign of degradation.
  • It tastes rancid. CBD oil has a nutty, earthy, or grassy taste to it unless it is artificially flavored. Expired oil will taste off.

What happens when you use expired CBD oil?

Expired CBD oil will not harm your health. It will not have any effects. As mentioned earlier, cannabinoids undergo degradation and lose their potency once expired. When you use expired CBD oil, the therapeutic effects of CBD oil may not be up to the mark. 

CBD oil does not turn fetid or spoil like other oils. So, consuming a little amount of this product that is out of date will not make you sick. It is even more negligible if you are micro-dosing. But it is always advisable to play it safe. So, discard CBD oil that has passed the expiration date. 

Final words 

Everything has an expiry, so does CBD oil, however, make sure to choose a product that has a long shelf life. It is always wise to invest in high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil as it lasts longer. If you want the full effects of the therapeutic properties CBD has to offer, then unflavoured CBD products are the best choice. 

Moreover, they tend to stay longer. In addition, even though you have a good bottle of CBD oil, if you do not store it properly, it will not last. Remember, things shall last when taken care of. So proper storage is the key to prolonging the shelf life of CBD products.


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  1. Fairbairn, J.W., Liebmann, J.A. and Rowan, M.G. (1976). The stability of cannabis and its preparations on storage. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, [online] 28(1), pp.1–7. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6643/ [Accessed 22 Jun. 2021].
  2. ‌Qamar, S., Torres, Y.J.M., Parekh, H.S. and Robert Falconer, J. (2021). Extraction of medicinal cannabinoids through supercritical carbon dioxide technologies: A review. Journal of Chromatography B, [online] 1167, p.122581. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33639334/ [Accessed 22 Jun. 2021].
  3. ‌Meissner, H. and Cascella, M. (2021). Cannabidiol (CBD). [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556048/#:~:text=Other%20identified%20compounds%20are%20cannabidiol,as%20flavonoids%20such%20as%20quercetin. [Accessed 22 Jun. 2021].
  4. Zamengo, L., Bettin, C., Badocco, D., Di Marco, V., Miolo, G. and Frison, G. (2019). The role of time and storage conditions on the composition of hashish and marijuana samples: A four-year study. Forensic Science International, [online] 298, pp.131–137. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30901710/ [Accessed 22 Jun. 2021].

Medically reviewed by:

Lakshmi Vemuri holds a bachelor’s degree in Dentistry. She is also a published author of several Food and Wellness books. Lakshmi has a profound interest in alternative medicines, various forms of physical exercise, mental health, diets, and new inventions in medical sciences. Besides being a dentist, Lakshmi is passionate about gardening and is an environmental enthusiast

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