Like most good things, cannabidiol (CBD) oil does eventually expire. Shelf life typically ranges from 1 to 2 years.
Here’s a closer look at what affects CBD oil’s shelf life and what you can do to keep yours fresh.
How long CBD oil lasts depends on a few factors, from the quality and ingredients to how you store it. An understanding of these factors can help you choose products that’ll last longer. It can also help you stretch the shelf life, giving you even more bang for your buck.
Here are the big ones:
- Quality. Not surprisingly, higher quality products tend to last longer. This comes down to things like growing conditions and the quality of the plants, as well as the quality of any other ingredients. Speaking of which…
- Ingredients. What’s in CBD oil matters because every ingredient, like flavoring, has a shelf life of its own, which can affect the lasting power of the overall product. Less is usually more when it comes to CBD oil shelf life, so read the product label and the certificate of analysis (COA).
- Extraction process. The carbon dioxide method of extraction is considered the gold standard. It maximizes the level of CBD — and other cannabinoids, if we’re talking full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil — obtained from the plant during extraction. It also keeps the compounds stable.
- Packaging. Those amber bottles aren’t just for looks. CBD oil lasts longer in dark-colored, airtight glass containers. The right packaging helps protect the oil from exposure to air and sunlight.
- Storage. Research shows that heat and light accelerate CBD degradation, which is why proper storage is important. Ideal conditions can help CBD oil keep its potency and freshness longer.
There should be an expiration date on the bottle that can give you an idea of whether or not it’s past its prime. That said, expiration dates aren’t an exact science, labels can fall off, and sometimes you just don’t want to put your glasses on to read the fine print. This is where your senses come in.
Here are indicators that CBD oil has gone bad:
- It smells funky. More like skunky, actually. Fresh CBD oil should smell earthy and not unpleasant in any way.
- It’s thick and murky. This isn’t to be mistaken with cloudy, which can happen if the oil’s been sitting in a cold room or the refrigerator. A couple of minutes at room temperature should take care of any cloudiness and return the oil to its natural viscosity and color. Otherwise, thickness and darkness are signs of degradation.
- It tastes rancid. Unless it’s artificially flavored, CBD oil is usually described as tasting “nutty,” “earthy,” or “grassy.” Even if you don’t care for these flavors, the taste should still be palatable. Expired CBD oil, on the other hand, will taste “off,” like most other oils that have seen better days.