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Does CBD oil expire?

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  1. How long does CBD oil last?
  2. Does CBD oil go bad?
  3. What is the best way to store CBD oil?

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.

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. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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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.

Tinted bottles prevent damaging sunlight from penetrating and hastening the product’s expiration date. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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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.”

Does CBD oil expire? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents How long does CBD oil last? Does CBD oil go bad? What is the best way to store CBD

When Does CBD Oil Expire?

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When Does CBD Oil Expire?

Natural products have a shelf life and CBD oil is no exception. If you’ve been using CBD oil for a while you may not have ever seen it go off— or it’s used up before it can. So how long does it take for CBD oil to go bad?

CBD oil has a long shelf life of between one and two years. It’s a natural product, which means it will always go bad eventually. It can either spoil (go bad because of bacteria) or go stale (because of air and/or sunlight). Stale CBD can still be taken but may not have all the beneficial effects of fresh oil. Spoiled oil must be replaced.

So, how can you tell when CBD oil goes bad? And what can you do to keep it fresh for longer? Read on to find out.

When Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

So, CBD oil goes off after around a year. If it’s kept at room temperature in a cool place, unopened, one year is a rough estimate. Two years is if it’s kept cool in a fridge. This slows the breakdown of any foodstuff or supplement.

There are two ways in which CBD oil can go bad. The first is through spoiling, i.e. contact with bacteria, which then proliferate and eat what they can in the product. When bacteria get into something—anything—it will keep reproducing for as long as there’s food. Because there are lots of natural compounds for them to eat in CBD oil, they can spoil it. This has the usual smell you associate with spoiled things.

The second is natural degradation, where the molecules in the product break down not in response to bacteria, but sunlight and heat. If you have herbs and spices in your pantry, then this is something you will have experienced before. The product loses its colour and its flavour and might become dry and unpalatable. Something similar can happen to CBD oil, too.

The better the conditions you keep your CBD oil in, the longer it will last. You, therefore, have a lot of control over the process.

Does CBD Oil Have a Best Before or Use By Date?

There are two parts to every shelf life: the ‘best before’, and the ‘use by’. It’s important to understand the difference between the two, so you know how long you can use your oil for.

‘Best before’ refers to the time during which the oil (or any other product) is fresh. If you keep the product past the best before date, you can still use it, and it should still be fine. But it might not taste as fresh as it used to, perhaps because it’s begun to break down.

The ‘use by’ date is more important. It refers to the time at which the product will become unusable. This could be because the product has likely gone rancid/spoiled, at which point you won’t be able to consume it, and it may even hurt you. It could also be because its active ingredients have completely broken down. Once this happens, there’s no point taking the oil.

The issue is that not all CBD oil is the same. Some are distilled through different processes, for example.

How Long Does CBD Oil Last Once Opened?

This depends on a number of factors. The first is how much air is in the bottle of CBD. The more air, the more quickly the bottle will go off. The air reacts with the oil and makes it go stale, but this doesn’t happen overnight.

The closer the bottle is to being completely used, the more air and less oil there is, so the quicker it will go stale. Once opened, the process takes a year. But when the bottle is almost used, it can take just months.

The effect is worse if the bottle is an open one, i.e. it doesn’t have a built-in dropper. If the bottle is open, this also allows bacteria to enter the bottle more easily. This is something you want to avoid. If it’s an open bottle without a dripper to seal it off, then putting anything unsterilised inside like your finger will make it go off much quicker.

How to Tell CBD Oil Has Gone Bad

There are two main ways to tell whether CBD oil has gone bad.

The first of these is the smell. Natural degradation of a product usually causes it to change its smell, and in the case of products that you eat, its flavour. CBD oil is the same. Over time, the cannabinoid and aromatic phenol molecules inside break down into smaller parts. This leads to its smell gradually disappearing.

If the product is going off because of bacteria, you can expect a similar rancid smell to other consumable products. This is caused by the gases that bacteria create when they eat their way through natural products. If the smell is present, you will definitely notice it. Needless to say, if you were to taste it, it wouldn’t taste very nice.

Aside from the smell and taste, you may also tell that CBD oil has gone bad from its appearance. The same process as described above also causes the appearance of the oil to change from clear to murky. This applies both to full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils.

What to Do When CBD Oil Goes Bad

If the product is spoiled by bacteria, throw it away. By microwaving it or cooking it you would kill the bacteria inside, as can be done with food before a certain point. But in doing so you would destroy the compounds that make CBD oil what it is. Your oil would end up useless—so don’t bother. Throw it away and start again.

A product that’s simply old rather than bad may still be usable. It’s not clear exactly how CBD oil breaks down over time. But if it’s like other foodstuffs, then the chemicals like CBD are breaking down into smaller pieces. This will likely make them less effective. As such, you may not get the full effects of CBD if you take it when it’s gone a little stale.

If you do plan on buying more CBD oil, you should consider buying a smaller bottle next time. People that forget to take the occasional dose, or only want to take small doses, will take their time to finish a bottle. By buying a smaller one, you will ensure that it won’t go off before you’re finished.

Alternatively, if you’ve only just bought the product, you could always make use of the company’s returns policy

How to Stop CBD Oil Going Bad

It’s surprisingly easy to stop products going bad, provided that you know how. Below are all the best ways to stop CBD oil from going off.

  • 1) Store the product somewhere cool. The most important thing to do is to keep the product cool. Heat breaks down chemical bonds and causes bacteria to grow. Both are bad. Ideally, keep your CBD oil in a drawer away from any heat sources.
  • 2) Store the product away from direct sunlight. The warmth of the sun is powerful. Even just one afternoon in the sunshine can warm up a product to the point where it goes bad. So, again, keep your CBD oil stored somewhere like a drawer or cupboard where light can’t reach it.
  • 3) Don’t open the bottle unless you need to. If your product is still sealed, there should be no bacteria inside it. And often, the only ‘air’ inside is nitrogen which keeps things fresh. Opening a bottle before you use it allows both air and bacteria inside.

Most importantly, remember to take your CBD oil regularly. Normal-sized doses of CBD oil will allow you to get through a bottle long before it’s supposed to go off. If you use your product at a regular pace, then you won’t have any problems with it going bad.

Should You Keep CBD Oil in the Fridge?

The fridge is a good place to keep CBD. Like a cupboard drawer, it keeps the oil away from natural light. This slows the breakdown of the product.

If the bottle is open, then bacteria may have been introduced into it. If this is the case, then keeping the oil at fridge temperature rather than room temperature is a good idea. This ensures that the bacteria are much slower to reproduce and render the product unusable.

The coldness of the fridge won’t have any negative effects on your CBD oil. The only issue is that you may find it too cool to take, especially if you have sensitive teeth or gums. You may, therefore, want to allow a spoonful to warm to room temperature before taking it (but don’t heat it, as this will break down the beneficial cannabinoids and phenols of the product).

If you take a regular CBD dose, there won’t be any need to keep it in the fridge. You will take your supplement quick enough that it won’t get the chance to go off, even at room temperature.

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