As a consumer, you can store your CBD properly to help prolong its viable shelf life. Specifically, avoid light, heat, excess exposure to air, and moisture.
When purchasing from a reputable manufacturer, certain precautions have likely been taken to extend the shelf-life of your CBD oil. For example, pure CBD oil is best, without added ingredients that can diminish the life expectancy of the product. Many manufacturers use dark green glass bottles for packaging, to reduce or eliminate exposure to light or sunlight. The extraction method is also important, as CO2 extraction is considered to be the gold standard for CBD manufacturing, and also promotes a longer shelf life. Also, consider the delivery method. For example, softgels tend to last longer than capsules since they are fully sealed and airtight.
CBD works in an integrated manner with the body’s own ECS (Endocannabinoid System), a kind of complex communication system among cells, that works toward maintaining a state of homeostasis within the body.
Consumer Considerations for Extended Shelf Life
It seems everyone lately is talking about cannabidiol, CBD oil, or hemp oil. Full spectrum CBD oil is a natural substance that is extracted from industrial hemp, and is federally legal as it contains no more than trace amounts (<0.3%) of THC, the substance responsible for providing marijuana’s “high.”
On average, a bottle of CBD oil will be good for approximately 14 to 24 months. Don’t worry if you have some CBD that’s older than this, though. CBD that’s past its prime won’t typically spoil, turn rancid, or make you sick; however, it may begin to lose potency once it’s expired. Over time, the CBD can begin to oxidize and break down (and evaporate), making it less effective as compared to when it was fresh.
As far as how much CBD to keep on-hand, CBD has an approximate shelf life of 14 to 24 months. If you’re using a full dropper or more on a daily basis, you’ll typically experience cost savings by purchasing the largest bottle available from your trusted manufacturer or retailer. It’s also a good idea to have a backup bottle, just in case your main supply is dropped, broken, lost, left behind, or lent to a friend. You’ll want to stock up somewhat, but don’t keep more CBD oil than you could use in a year since a bottle typically lasts for one to two years before it begins to lose potency.
How much CBD oil you need will depend on your personal dosing and frequency. Many individuals take CBD consistently, on a daily basis, as this provides the most reliable results.
If you buy a variety of CBD products because you want lots of choices, try to keep the oldest ones at the front of the shelf and be conscious of the dates.
Most regular CBD users think that proper handling and storage practices will double the life of CBD from the manufacturer’s one-year recommendation to two years. Beyond that, it’s questionable.
If you’re very cautious, you can simply trust the printed expiration date, and discard CBD before there’s any doubt. If you use CBD for relief from specific conditions, you’ll probably notice if it stops working properly. Finally, for products you eat, drink or inhale, the flavor will tell you when to toss the product. If it tastes musty or slightly rotten, it’s finished.
How to preserve and extend the life of CBD oil
The good news is that you’ll probably use your CBD long before it gets close to losing its potency or spoiling. You would have to be extremely careless handling CBD products for them to noticeably degrade in less than a year. Beyond that, there are a couple ways to tell if your CBD is still okay to use.
For users who want to extend the life of their CBD products as long as possible, there are some simple strategies to help keep it fresh. Using good storage practices can prolong the life of your CBD, even if we can’t be sure exactly how long the CBD will retain its full therapeutic strength.
First and foremost, keep your CBD away from the elements as much as possible. Heat, light and oxygen degrade both the carrier base and the cannabidiol in CBD products. You don’t have to be obsessive about your CBD. Just remember to:
Although it’s rare in CBD products, oils can become rancid when the fatty acids oxidize. Coconut oil, for example, begins to break down in about 18 months. Tinctures made by alcohol infusion are likely to keep longer than those made with oil, but some people dislike them because they definitely taste like medicine. CBD vape juice, like all e-liquid, is not likely to “go bad” to the point that it’s unvapeable, but some flavorings in e-juice can get stale, and sweeteners (if used) can clog coils and wicks as they thicken and degrade with age.
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
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.
What is the best way to store CBD oil?
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.
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.
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.
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