It’s true that CBD has amazing properties, but it can’t defy the rules of time. If you’re wondering, “does CBD oil expire?”, we’re here to tell you that CBD is just like any natural product in that the shelf life depends on the following: formulation, packaging and storage.
In most cases, properly stored CBD oil does not expire for at least one year, which is more than enough time to use most CBD supplements. However, shelf life claims vary from 1 to 2 years.
The 1 to 2 year range is a good rule of thumb, but there are some essential things you need to know to optimize the longevity of your CBD oil.
Does CBD Oil Expire? What Affects the Shelf Life?
When it comes to shelf life for CBD oil, there are many factors at play.
Here are the three most important things to know.
CBD Should be Packaged to Block Light
Pretty packaging is nice to look at, but functionality should trump aesthetics when it comes to CBD oil.
What makes packaging so important?
Exposure to light can make CBD oil go bad faster or degrade the CBD content quicker. So, you want your products packaged in a way that blocks out light.
A prime example is CBD tinctures, which come in a rainbow of colors and materials. We recommend avoiding clear, white containers or anything in plastic.
The best way to package a tincture to block out light is in a dark, frosted glass container.
Exact Shelf Life Varies by Formulation
As you know, the expiration date of a product depends on the ingredients—all of the ingredients.
There’s a large variety of product formulations out there, which makes it impossible to pinpoint a single shelf life.
Even CBD concentrates, which are pure hemp extract with zero added ingredients, are not all the same. It’s likely that full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, isolate, and other types of hemp oil will vary in longevity.
[Related Post: Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate vs. PCR]
Store CBD Oil Right if You Want it to Last
Arguably the most important part of the equation when it comes to the expiration date of CBD oil is how you store it.
Overall, your goal is to keep it away from light, heat and humidity. This becomes more and more important depending on how long it takes you to use the product.
- DO store your CBD oil in a cupboard
- DO keep air exposure to a minimum (cap/seal it promptly after use)
- DO NOT store CBD near hot appliances.
- DO NOT keep CBD oil on the counter, in your car or in your purse during the summer for long periods of time.
To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate?
While it’s not necessary to store your CBD oil in the fridge, it’s a good idea to do so if you buy in bulk or don’t use it every day. Essentially, if you don’t expect to use up the product within a few months, consider storing it in the fridge.
Keep in mind, storing CBD hemp oil in the fridge thickens it up. For tinctures, oils, or other liquid-y CBD products, that may make it harder to dispense.
Keep CBD Out of the Reach of Children
Do you remember The Flintstones daily vitamins? Certainly, I wasn’t the only kid to get my 6-year-old hands on them and delightedly devour as many of those tasty
candies vitamins as I could. Followed by some pretty intense vomiting.
The point is, it’s always a good idea to keep supplements away from children—and CBD is no exception. Taking excessive amounts of hemp oil may result in a stomachache or lethargy.
How Can You Tell When CBD Oil Has Gone Bad?
The telltale sign that your CBD oil has gone bad is the smell.
Like milk, CBD oil develops a rancid smell when it goes bad that’s hard to miss. If you’ve had your CBD product for several months and are worried if it’s still good, the first thing you should do is smell it.
Other signs of CBD oil gone bad are the taste, texture and appearance. Not to be confused with changes in color, which can naturally change over time. Rather, the oil starts to get cloudy when it’s going bad.
It’s a good idea to shake CBD tinctures before use and see if the appearance or texture has changed.
Does CBD Content Degrade Over Time?
Even if your CBD oil isn’t expired, keep in mind that the CBD content may still degrade over time. If you lab test a CBD product after production and one year later, you’ll most likely see a lower amount of CBD in the product.
So, if you’re purchasing CBD oil in bulk amounts, you might consider freezing whatever portion you don’t expect to use for 5+ months to keep it as potent as possible.
A 2016 study from the Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy in London compared tinctures stored for 15 months in the fridge and on a shelf.
They found that the cannabinoid content does change over time, however, they called the changes “moderate”, at under 10%, and concluded that it has “possibilities for a reasonable shelf life.”
Interestingly, the changes in the tinctures stored in the fridge for 15 months were comparable to those stored on the shelf for 3 months. This suggests that storing your CBD oil in the fridge may help prevent the CBD content from degrading as quickly.
There’s no doubt that more research is needed on this topic.
Importance of Thoughtful Manufacturing
At Made By Hemp, we manufacture in small batches and store our products in a cool environment before shipping to maximize the longevity of our CBD oil.
When it comes to our manufacturing facility, we store our raw CBD oil in a commercial refrigerator at a controlled temperature to maintain a consistent cannabinoid profile over the months it can take to go through each harvest/batch of oil.
Why Doesn’t My CBD Oil Have an Expiration Date?
New regulations on CBD in some states have required an expiration date on products. This is a bit of a catch-22 because, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an expiration date is a claim that must be backed up with data.
Shelf life testing is a long process that would take 1-2 years for a CBD product. Since the CBD industry is so new, we’re constantly finding new and better ways to formulate our products.
A new formulation means a new 1-2 year test.
To show you how that hinders advancements, consider this.
Made By Hemp tinctures have been made with MCT oil for years. But recently, we’ve become aware of the impact that ingredient has on the Amazon rainforest and realized we needed to take action and go palm oil free. We’ve accomplished this in a new formulation that replaces MCT oil with heart-healthy rice bran oil.
CBD companies are still figuring out how to navigate new CBD rules and accommodate them without breaking other rules.
Final Thoughts on CBD Expiration Dates
Whether or not there’s an expiration date listed on your product, you now know that CBD oil does expire and there are a few tricks for maximizing the product’s longevity —and detecting if it’s gone bad.
Made By Hemp has been in business since early 2013 and is dedicated to quality and transparency. If you have any questions and would like to talk to an expert, you can visit our store, call, email, or live chat with us by clicking the message icon on the bottom right of your screen.