As consumers, we are used to checking expiration dates on food, medicine, and even products like sunscreen. We know that many products can spoil at some point, whether that means that your milk has curdled, your bread has gone moldy, or you get a bad sunburn from expired sunscreen. The same is true for products like CBD oil.
Like many other products, CBD oil has a shelf life of between 1 and 2 years. The longevity of CBD oil is based on the quality of the product, how it is packaged, and how it is stored. While expired CBD oil is unlikely to make you sick, it may be less effective.
If you are in the market for CBD oil, it is important to understand what it is, how it is made, and how to take care of it in order to extend its shelf life. Below, we outline what you need to know about how to use CBD oil — and when you should toss it.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD — or cannabidiol — is a naturally-occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. It is a type of cannabinoid that may interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in the human body. Another well-known cannabinoid, THC, is also found in cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and will not cause a sensation of getting high.
CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD itself from the cannabis plant. The CBD is then diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut, olive, or hemp oil. CBD oils are taken by placing the oil under the tongue with a dropper.
CBD oil, like other CBD products, is becoming popular in the wellness communities due to preliminary research that indicates that it may promote health. Recent studies have found that CBD oil may:
- Relieve pain
- Help with acne
- Promote heart health
- Help with substance abuse disorder
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce seizures
- Reduce inflammation
While more research is needed to determine exactly how CBD may benefit these and other conditions, initial studies show promise for the use of CBD oil.
Does CBD Oil Expire?
If you have decided to purchase CBD oil, you may have questions about whether it will go bad — particularly if you decide to buy a bigger bottle of capsules, a larger tincture, or a higher quantity of CBD products. Every CBD product has an expiration or “best by” date. In most cases, the shelf life of CBD oil is 1 to 2 years.
There are several factors that impact the shelf life of CBD oil. First, and perhaps most importantly, the quality of the product will affect its longevity. Quality is determined by how the CBD was extracted, the type of carrier oil used, and whether any other ingredients (such as flavorings) were added to the oil.
There are several types of extraction methods that may be used to extract CBD from the plant material. If lower cost methods are used, such as solvents, there may be some impurities in the finished product that cause the CBD oil to degrade more quickly. The CO2 extraction method is the gold standard for CBD, allowing the compounds to remain stable and extending the shelf life.
The type of carrier oil used and any other additives will also affect the longevity of the CBD oil. Generally, the shelf life of the finished product will depend on when the individual components expire. If an additive (such as flavoring) has a shelf life of 1 year, then the product as a whole would expire in 1 year.
The second factor that affects the shelf life of CBD is packaging. Even the highest quality CBD oil will degrade more quickly if it is put in packaging that does not protect it. Tinctures are best sold in blue or amber dropper bottles; the colored bottles protect the product from exposure to heat, light and air, all of which contribute to the breakdown of cannabinoids.
Third, the way that you store your CBD oil will affect its shelf life. Exposure to heat, light and air can cause your CBD oil to go bad more quickly. Properly store your CBD oil by keeping it away from light and heat — such as in the refrigerator — and making sure to close the lid tightly after each use.
Because CBD oil can go bad, particularly if it isn’t stored properly, it is important to only buy as much as you need. You may be tempted to buy a large quantity to take advantage of a deal. However, unless you know that you will regularly use the product and consume it all within 1 to 2 years of purchase, it is best to buy smaller quantities more often.
Is My CBD Oil Safe to Use?
If your CBD oil is past its expiration or “best by” date, you may wonder if it is still safe to consume. Consuming expired CBD oil will generally not make you sick. However, CBD oil that is past its expiration date may be less potent and effective.
Of course, the expiration date is not the only way to determine if a product is safe to use. Before ingesting any product or supplement, particularly one past its expiration date, take a few moments to examine it.
The texture and color of the product may indicate that your CBD oil has gone bad. For example, if your CBD oil is murky or has changed color, the compounds may have broken down or the oil may have separated from the compounds. However, if you store your CBD oil in the refrigerator, it may be thicker and appear to be murky when it is still chilled. Allow your oil to come to room temperature before making a decision about whether to use it.
The smell and taste of your oil may also indicate that it has gone bad. If your CBD oil smells rancid or tastes much worse than usual, it probably has gone bad. In this situation, you should toss the oil and purchase a new product.
Buying High Quality CBD Oil
If you have done the research and decided that CBD oil is right for you, the next step is to choose a product that meets your standards for quality and safety. At Green Wellness Life, we offer a full array of CBD products, including an extensive line of CBD oils, that are designed to meet your needs. All of our products are independently tested for quality and purity, and are made from American-grown hemp.
While we are not medical professionals and cannot diagnose or treat any condition, we can offer you the latest research on CBD, as well as our own insights on the best CBD products. If you have questions about CBD or need help finding a product, you can call us at 1-888-772-7875 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email us at any time.