We know that oxygen can slowly affect the chemical balance of CBD oil, thus reducing its effectiveness. This is a process known as oxidative stress, and it’s something that manufacturers and bottlers plan for during production. This is why manufacturers design CBD tincture bottles specifically to prevent light or air from spoiling the product.
Fortunately for consumers, the shelf life of a bottle of CBD oil is a bit longer than a gallon of milk. There are a lot of variables that can impact the outcome, including how well you store the product, but most experts peg the shelf life of CBD oil to be anywhere from 1-2 years .
The easiest (and fastest, for that matter) way to discover if a CBD oil has gone bad is by the smell and taste. Thankfully, it may not come to that since expired CBD has one other telling sign: visual appearance . CBD oil that has expired will often appear murky and cloudy. By holding the bottle up and examining its contents, you should be able to tell if your CBD oil is nearing (or has reached) the end of its shelf life.
How to tell if your CBD oil has gone bad
Now that we’ve answered the question of does CBD oil expire, you might be wondering what you can do to extend the shelf life of your product. It’s crucial that you protect your CBD oil from exposure to harsh elements like extreme heat, bitter cold, or stifling humidity.
Most packaged goods have a shelf life, including Cannabidiol. If you’ve recently found an old bottle of your supply buried in a drawer and wondered, “Does CBD oil go bad?” we have the answer for you.
Like many therapeutic or food products, the ideal location to store your CBD oil is in a cool, dry, and dark place like your pantry. Some people choose to keep their CBD oil in their refrigerator, which is fine, but it can result in the oil thickening. All you need to do is dip your bottle in a cup of hot water before use to solve this problem.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
Tinted bottles prevent damaging sunlight from penetrating and hastening the product’s expiration date. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps