How Long Does A Bottle Of CBD Oil Last?

CBD Oil Last

Can CBD Oil Expire? The Shelf Life of CBD Explained

CBD products have become widely available since the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp (cannabis plants containing 0.3% or less THC) in the United States. 

Cannabidiol is now a mainstream health trend, and lately, it seems like everyone is talking about it. 

A common question by most CBD users is ‘how long does a bottle of CBD oil last?’ Like many other consumable goods, CBD has an expiration date.

However, it’s difficult to determine the shelf life of CBD oil, as it typically depends on different factors.

For instance, exposure to direct sunlight can reduce the shelf life of CBD oil. 

Other factors like the quality of the starting material and the type of CBD product also affect how long CBD oil remains fresh and fit for consumption. 

In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about the shelf life of different CBD oil products, factors affecting the shelf life of your product, and the best way to store your CBD products.

Does CBD Oil Expire?

Short answer? Yes. Whether you are using CBD gummies, CBD tinctures, or any other CBD-based product, it can expire.  

Most manufacturers print expiration dates on the labels of CBD products.

However, a CBD product won’t typically spoil or turn putrid once it has passed its prime. 

The general consensus is that a CBD oil bottle will be fit for consumption for approximately 14-24 months from the date of manufacture.

How you store your CBD oil greatly determines whether or not you can use it past its expiration date. 

With time and air exposure, CBD will begin to oxidize and break down. Will old CBD oil make you sick? 

Not necessarily. However, the effects of CBD will be less potent compared to when it was fresh. 

That said, there are many ways to extend the shelf life of your CBD oil tinctures (we talk more about this in a few).

For instance, storing CBD oil tincture in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, can maintain its freshness and keep it from degrading. 

A number of factors can affect the quality and freshness of your CBD oil, including light, humidity, heat, and air. 

Storing your CBD properly technically means protecting it from these factors. 

Let’s explore some important factors that influence the shelf life of your CBD products:

CBD Ingredients

Every ingredient has its own shelf life that influences the product’s stability. Hence, it’s a good idea to buy products with fewer ‘extras.’ 

It’s also important to check the product’s certificate of analysis (COA) to ensure there are no harmful ingredients like heavy metals, pesticides, or mold.

Extraction Method

The extraction method used to source CBD oil is fundamental to the stability of the cannabinoids. 

Products extracted using carbon dioxide are safe and highly potent compared to other refinement processes, as discussed below.

Quality of the Product

Generally, a high-quality product tends to last a long time

That’s because they are properly extracted from high-quality organic hemp plants grown under superior conditions.

CBD Packaging

The best CBD companies use a dark or opaque glass bottle to protect the oil from being broken down by light. 

Storing CBD oil tincture in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, can maintain its freshness and keep it from degrading. 

Other Factors That Affect The Shelf Life Of Your CBD Oil

The Extraction Method

Unfortunately, the manufacturing process of CBD oil is largely unregulated. 

In other words, the extraction methods are not standardized. Hence, different brands use different methods to source hemp extracts

These techniques differ significantly, impacting the CBD oil’s shelf life and quality.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction

Perhaps the most common way of extracting CBD is through the use of naturally occurring CO2 (supercritical extraction). 

The CO2 method utilizes extremely cold temperatures and high-pressure chambers to extract CBD oil while maintaining its purity throughout the extraction process

When the CO2 is forced through hemp plants, it separates pure CBD oil from the plant material.

Products made from this type of CBD oil have a long shelf life and are highly potent, thanks to the high amounts of pure CBD. 

Whichever method of consumption you use, you’ll only need a few mg of CBD to experience relief from serious medical conditions.

Solvent CBD Extraction

On the other hand, some companies use solvents like ethanol and butane to extract CBD from the plant. 

Though this is one of the oldest and cheapest CBD extraction methods, it has major drawbacks. 

For instance, synthetic solvents risk contaminating the final product with potentially dangerous by-products. 

Such contaminants impact the overall quality and significantly reduce how long CBD oil lasts.

Steam Extraction

Steam extraction is another straightforward method of extracting CBD oil.

Water is exposed to extreme heat to create a vapor that removes the volatile compounds of hemp plant material. 

The resulting vapor contains beneficial hemp compounds. It is then cooled and condensed before CBD oil is separated from the resulting water. 

This method is safer than using solvents.

However, it is very cumbersome and requires more plant material to yield much less CBD content compared to CO2 extraction.

Quality Of The CBD Carrier Oil

CBD carrier oils are plant or nut-based oils in which CBD is placed to help your body absorb and process the total amount of CBD in your product easily. 

MCT oil (derived from coconut oil) is the most commonly used carrier oil by many brands. Other types of carrier oils include olive oil, avocado oil, and hemp seed oil. 

Each carrier oil has its own shelf life. Generally, carrier oils have a shorter shelf life than CBD and are often the first to go rancid. 

Without launching into too many details, carrier oils have carbon bond chains that break down when exposed to oxygen, a process known as oxidation. 

Hence, the overall CBD oil shelf life depends on the freshness of the carrier oil. 

You can easily tell when the carrier oil goes bad as it typically discolors. For instance, MCT oil will change from a clear white color to yellow and become chunky. 

Besides the visual changes, a putrid carrier oil will have a sour and rancid smell. 

In a nutshell, the higher the quality of the carrier oil, the higher the quality of the CBD oil product.

3 Factors Affecting CBD Shelf Life

1. Additives

The formulation of your CBD edibles or capsules significantly impacts how long CBD oil stays good before expiring. 

As noted earlier, every additional ingredient has its own shelf life. 

Besides, some untrustworthy brands may not add the best ingredients, essentially reducing the quality and shelf life of CBD products.

For instance, a company may add essential oils with antibacterial and antifungal properties, subsequently making the CBD oil last longer. 

Conversely, additives like artificial coloring and flavorings may significantly impact CBD’s molecular structure and dramatically reduce the number of days the product remains good for.

2. Light and Air

Amber-colored bottles and dark green bottles have a function beyond the aesthetic appeal of CBD oil and branding. 

Dark bottles prevent exposure to harmful UV light, protecting the CBD compounds from degrading fast. 

If your CBD is stored in a clear/transparent bottle, the best way to ensure longer shelf life is by storing it in a cool, dark place.

Over time, oxygen will disrupt the chemical balance of CBD oil, essentially compromising its effectiveness. 

However, most CBD tincture bottles are designed to prevent light exposure and air exposure, keeping the active ingredients from breaking down.

3. Time

The length of time a manufacturer takes to move its products to the consumer can determine the amount of time the CBD oil remains fresh while in your hands. 

Fast and safe delivery means that there’s a lot of viable time left for a consumer to use the entire bottle of CBD oil. 

Comparably, CBD products that remain in the warehouse for a longer period will start losing their potency as soon as they get to a consumer. 

Fresh CBD oil products maintain high quality, potency, and taste. 

Therefore, you must check the manufacturer’s date on the product labelling before purchasing.

How Long Does CBD Oil Last- According To Research

CBD is a supplemental dietary product whose organic molecules are susceptible to change and degradation over time. 

Current research suggests that CBD oil can be stored and remain viable for 24 months. 

A study done in 1976 found that when CBD in ethanol (stored at room temperature) was exposed to light, it resulted in almost total degradation within 21 days! 

Another study published in 2018 found that when CBDA was stored at 77°F, nearly half the cannabinoid degraded within two months. 

However, it took at least 20 months to degrade half the cannabinoids when stored at 41°F.

How Long Does CBD Remain Good For When Opened?

How long CBD stays good for when opened largely depends on how you store it.

Although evidence suggests that CBD will begin losing its efficacy many months after being opened, a 2020 study concludes that CBD will degrade quickly when stored in the wrong conditions.

3 Signs Your CBD Oil Has Expired

CBD oil eventually expires.

And though old CBD oil won’t make you sick, you will find that it doesn’t provide the best results.

Below are signs that your CBD oil is expired and unusable:

1. Dark and cloudy appearance:

Fresh CBD oil can be brown, white, or clear based on the type of carrier oil used.

Should the oil turn dark or chunky at room temperature, that may be an indication that it’s breaking down.

2. Skunky taste and smell:

The best quality product will naturally have a bitter taste with an earthy smell.

If the oil develops a potent funky taste and smell, the high chances are that it has gone bad.

3. Lack of CBD effects:

If your CBD oil just isn’t helping with chronic pain or insomnia anymore, it’s time to throw it out.

Note that some CBD products may be fresh but less potent than you’re used to.

In this case, you would need to consume a larger CBD dosage to experience the same therapeutic effects.

The Best Way To Store Your CBD Oil

It’s clear that proper storage can improve CBD’s shelf life by discouraging degradation of the cannabinoid and proliferation of other chemicals. 

Now that we’ve discussed the variety of factors that affect how long CBD oil lasts, let’s quickly discuss the best way to store your CBD products and make them last longer: 

  • Store CBD oil away from direct light and intense heat– Exposing CBD oil to direct sunlight, for instance, near a window, will quickly degrade it. Hence, the best place to store the oil is in a dry and dark area to preserve maximum freshness.
  • Avoid exposure to air when storing CBD oil- Air quickly breaks down natural cannabinoids like CBD. Luckily, most CBD oil products come in airtight bottles or packaging specifically designed to prevent air exposure. Hence, it’s important to keep your products in their original containers and ensure the container is tightly sealed at all times.

How Long Does CBD Oil Last? The Bottom Line

Even the highest-quality CBD oil can eventually expire or go bad. 

The consensus is that CBD oil will remain good for consumption for 1-2 years. 

While this is a lot of time for most consumers to use up CBD, poor storage can dramatically reduce CBD’s shelf life. 

You want to protect your product from light and air exposure and ensure that you only purchase fresh and high-quality CBD oil.