A bottle of high-quality CBD oil can be expensive, and if you're like us, you want to make that liquid gold last as long as possible. If you're only using a few drops a day, it could be many months or even a year before you use up the entire bottle. Which might leave you asking yourself, “Does CBD oil expire?"
Here are answers to some common questions about CBD longevity, including how to extend the shelf life of CBD oil.
How long does CBD oil last?
The general rule of thumb is that CBD oil has a shelf life ranging from 14 months to two years, depending on how the product is stored. Direct sunlight and intense heat are two factors that can cause a bottle of CBD oil to go bad before its expiration date. Higher-quality products tend to last longer, especially those that have been minimally processed like full-spectrum CBD oil. Pure CBD oil may last longer than flavored oils since any added ingredients have a shelf life of their own that could be shorter than the shelf life of the CBD.
It's also a good idea to be aware of what extraction process was used to make the product. Many cannabis experts agree that the CO2 method is best for producing premium oil that stays potent longer because the hemp or cannabis compounds remain stable during this type of extraction. Other methods may destabilize the compounds, potentially creating a lower-quality bottle of CBD oil with a shorter shelf life.
Any CBD product — whether it's top-shelf or bargain-priced — should have an expiration date clearly printed on the label. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires such labeling for consumer protection, so steer clear of any CBD products (or any products for that matter) that are not in compliance.
Does CBD oil go bad?
CBD oil can lose its potency if stored improperly or kept for longer than two years. Weak CBD oil means that the cannabinoids have broken down and don't function at peak levels in the body. So, an older bottle is less likely to deliver any of the potential therapeutic effects of CBD oil, such as pain relief.
How do I know if CBD oil has gone bad?
The aroma and flavor of CBD oil may become unpleasant over time, transforming from earthy to skunky. You can also observe visual changes in the oil, which may turn cloudy over time. Likewise, the texture of CBD oil will change and the oil may appear thicker and lose its smooth consistency. Lastly, a change in color indicates that the CBD oil is no longer fresh.
Can old CBD oil make you sick?
CBD oil does not spoil or turn rancid like milk or other oils, so you are unlikely to become ill if you consume a small amount of the product past its prime. This is especially true if you are microdosing. But to be on the safe side, toss any bottles that have been improperly stored or sitting in your medicine cabinet for longer than two years.
What is the best way to store CBD oil?
Manufacturers know that cool, dark places are optimal for storing CBD oil, which is why many of the best products are packaged in glass bottles tinted green. Dark green bottles prevent damaging sunlight from penetrating and hastening the product's expiration date. Refrigerating CBD oil is not necessary. In fact, the most favorable environment may just be room temperature, or 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
How can I make CBD oil last longer?
Here are some pointers to keep CBD oil fresh until the upper end of the shelf-life range (24 months):
- Open the bottle only when in use, then reseal the cap tightly. Oxidation is a foe of CBD and will shorten the shelf life.
- Keep CBD soft gels and capsules in their original bottle, ensuring that containers are consistently airtight.
- Store bottles upright rather than horizontally.
- Find the coolest, darkest place in your home to store CBD oils and tinctures. Drawers, cabinets, a pantry, and the cellar all make ideal CBD storage centers.
- Try not to store your CBD in a room where you use a humidifier, as excessive moisture can encourage mold to form.
- Do not store CBD oil near a window. Direct sunlight will accelerate the expiration date of any CBD product.
- Keep CBD oil away from all warm places in your home, such as radiators and ovens. Likewise, don't store CBD oil in your purse or pocket for long periods. Any warm place can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
- If you're using a spoon or a dropper to dole out the CBD, make sure the utensil is clean. Don't "double dip" a spoon, as you can introduce harmful bacteria and contaminate the oil.
When it comes to keeping your CBD oil potent, Dr. Bonni Goldstein, a medical adviser to Weedmaps and director of Canna-Centers in Lawndale, California, sums it up best: "Shelf life for most products is about one year, although the storage conditions are important. Minimizing exposure to heat and light can help extend the shelf life."