How long does CBD oil last?

by Tim W. Shaw December 22, 2021

How long does CBD oil last

An unopened bottle of CBD oil should last for 18 to 24 months. Exactly how long depends on the ingredients used, packaging quality and how well it is stored. After 24 months, the cannabinoids may begin to degrade, resulting in a lower potency and fewer beneficial effects. Once a bottle of CBD oil has been opened this process will speed up and a bottle may last for around 6 months or more.

Fast facts

  • An unopened bottle of CBD oil lasts from 18 to 24 months.
  • Exposure to sunlight, heat and air can speed up the breakdown of the cannabinoids in CBD oil.
  • A bottle of CBD will last for up to 6 months after the seal is broken.
  • CBD oil that’s gone bad has an unpleasant smell and a thicker texture.
  • Gone off CBD oil is unlikely to harm you but will have a different cannabinoid profile and reduced potency.
  • The best way to prolong the life of your oil is to keep it tightly sealed and store it out of direct sunlight at room temperature.

What factors affect how long CBD oil will last?

How long a CBD oil lasts depends on the individual ingredients maintaining their integrity and chemical composition. Most oils contain hemp extract and a carrier oil, but others have additional items such as flavourings, vitamins, or terpenes.

The quality of these components and how they were extracted can dramatically affect how long they will last. Once one component begins to break down it will affect the quality of the entire oil.

Light, heat and air

The speed at which any natural item begins to break down or go off depends on three key environmental factors:

Light – The presence of UV light provides energy for reactions to occur that can degrade and break down natural products such as oils and cannabinoids. This is why some companies choose to store their CBD oil in brown glass bottles.

Hemp in darkHeat – An increase in temperature also provides energy for degrading reactions to take place. This allows substances in the oil and hemp extract to transform over time.

Air – Oxygen is a vital component of many of the reactions that take place as natural products break down. The combination of light and heat with oxygen allow it to take on a more reactive form which can cause CBD oil to go off faster.

Christoph Werdenich the Managing Director of BioBloom told us that if CBD oil is appropriately stored the change to the cannabinoids after the expiration date will be minimal. However, if it is exposed to light, heat and air the higher the chances that the cannabinoids will degrade. For example, any THCa will convert into THC, CBDa into CBD and even THC into CBN.

How to tell if CBD oil is bad?

If your CBD oil has gone bad you will notice:

  • A change to the normal earthy smell; it becomes sharper and unpleasant.
  • The colour becomes darker, and the texture is sludgy and harder to pour.
  • The normal grassy, nutty taste changes and becomes completely unpalatable.

These changes are different for every oil but if you notice a difference in the appearance, flavour or smell, it’s likely that it’s begun to go off.

Can bad CBD oil make you sick?

CBD oil that’s gone bad is unlikely to make you sick or cause you harm, but you should still avoid taking it. As the ingredients break down the cannabinoid content will change, and the new chemical composition will be unlikely to provide the results you bought it for.

Does CBD oil expire?

+24 months

Yes, it’s not just the hemp extract that will break down over time, the carrier oil is suspended in also has a shelf life. According to Christoph Werdenich, the most sensitive component in their CBD oils is the hemp seed oil;

“In general, hemp seed oil has a shelf life between 1 and 1.5 years. Its shelf life increases to a minimum of 24 months in BioBloom CBD oils, due to the high antioxidant content of our organic extract.”

How to store CBD oil

Although how and when CBD oil goes bad is unique for different brands, there are some simple things you can do to slow this process that should work for all types of CBD oil:

  1. Store the bottle out of direct sunlight – Keeping your oil in a dark cupboard will prevent the cannabinoids from breaking down prematurely from UV exposure or heat.
  2. Keep it at room temperature – A steady temperature of about 20℃ will prevent the cannabinoids from breaking down due to excess heat.
  3. Only open it when you’re ready to use it – The longer you keep the bottle sealed the longer it will last before the active ingredients begin to decay.
  4. Close the lid tightly after every use – Keeping the lid tight will minimise the amount of air that can enter and will prevent leaks. If air can enter or oil can escape it’s likely that your product will slowly go off.

CBD oilTo prevent leaks and ensure a tight seal try these often-overlooked steps:

  • Swirl the bottle before every use but don’t shake it – This makes sure the cannabinoids are distributed evenly in the oil but prevents them from getting into the thread of the lid or the seal around the dropper.
  • Wipe the rim of the bottle with your finger after every use – This will prevent wastage and stop oil from getting into the thread of the lid and allowing it to come loose.
  • Always store the bottle upright – This prevents leakage and stops oil from accumulating around the lid and in the dropper.

With some oils, you may notice some clouding or crystallisation. This is usually not a sign of ageing or decay but a result of the extract being exposed to low temperatures. It’s most common in high strength products that contain 25% CBD or more.

If you notice this happening, place the bottle in a mug with freshly boiled water and the oil will go back to its liquid state. Repeat if necessary. This won't affect the quality of the oil.

Should I refrigerate CBD oil?

You can refrigerate CBD but it’s unlikely to extend its life any longer than storage at room temperature. The best option is to keep it at a steady temperature of between 10℃ - 21℃. If you do choose to keep it in a fridge, make sure the door isn’t opened regularly. Although a fridge usually maintains a consistently low temperature, opening the door too often can cause large changes of temperature that could damage the oil and affect the cannabinoids.

Conclusion

By storing your oil carefully, you should be able to keep it for two years or possibly even longer. However, the best way to ensure it’s always fresh is to just buy what you need and only buy a new bottle when you run out.

At for the Ageless, we choose suppliers who make their products in small batches. This means that their products haven’t been sitting in a warehouse for a long time before you can use it.

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Tim W. Shaw
Tim W. Shaw

Author

Tim W. Shaw writes extensively about CBD oil and other groundbreaking food supplements. He and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime’s collection of books.


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