How long does CBD oil last? Does CBD oil expire?
Written by Zia Sherrell and reviewed by our qualified expert, Moyra Cosgrove, Head of Nutrition at Naturecan, SENR Registered Nutritionist and DProf candidate at LJMU
- In common with other natural food supplements, CBD has an expiry date.
- It’s best to use CBD within 2 years of manufacture to ensure optimal benefits.
- CBD should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from moisture and in an air-tight container
Like other dietary supplements and consumables, cannabidiol or CBD eventually expires and the expiry date can be found on the label. However, there’s a window of time when CBD’s effects and active compounds are optimal and therefore contribute the most to your well-being.
So, how long does CBD last? Like many natural products, it’s challenging to pinpoint its shelf-life with complete precision. The longevity of CBD oil and other products depend on factors that range from the quality of the raw materials, extraction process, packaging, and ultimately, its storage.
It’s critical to take proper care of CBD products to preserve their natural hemp compounds and maintain their freshness. You’ll need to protect your CBD oil, capsules, topicals, or edibles from heat, light, and moisture to safeguard their active components.
In this article, we’ll answer pressing questions such as “how long does CBD last?” and “does CBD expire?” We’ll also look at ways to preserve its shelf life and provide storage tips.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is an active compound found in the hemp plant. CBD has great potential in supporting well-being, and research is ongoing into its effects.
For example, in a recent 2020 review, the authors noted that CBD could improve quality of life, enhance sleep, relieve chronic pain, and reduce inflammation.
One of the most important points to know about CBD, is that unlike the cannabinoid THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it cannot cause a cerebral ‘high’ feeling.
What factors affect CBD's shelf life?
How long does CBD last? Well, that depends on several factors. Firstly, the way you store your CBD has a huge impact on its useful life, which we’ll discuss in detail later. Here are some of the other contributing factors:
It makes sense to choose the purest, highest quality CBD oil possible for best results. CBD produced under good manufacturing practices (GMP) and laboratory tested ensures a pure, non-contaminated product, and therefore lasts longer. When you opt for first-rate CBD, the raw materials are high quality, meaning superior hemp plants and growing conditions.
Also, CBD produced under prime manufacturing conditions guarantees the product is free from mould, microbes, and other contaminants.
The combination of ingredients in CBD oil matters because each has its own shelf life, and contributes to overall product longevity. Therefore, it’s best to opt for something with minimal added ingredients. You can check this by reading the label and certificate of analysis (COA).
3. Extraction process
There’s no one, standard method used to extract CBD. However, carbon dioxide extraction is considered the gold standard as the hemp compounds remain stable during the extraction process. The outcome is a premium oil with long-lasting potency.
When asking “How long does a bottle of CBD oil last?” packaging is key. CBD oil is best packaged in dark-coloured glass containers that protect the contents from light and air. This helps ensure the preservation of the active botanicals and hemp compounds.
Exposure to oxygen and light causes cannabinoids to deteriorate rapidly. Therefore, proper storage is critical to preserve potency. Manufacturers and vendors must use correct storage protocols to ensure the consumer receives their products in perfect condition.
How long does CBD oil last?
As a plant-based compound, CBD is susceptible to changes and degradation, but providing you store it correctly, you can expect a shelf life of between 1 to 2 years.
Few studies have tried to answer the question “How long does CBD last?” but research from 1976 found that light exposure was the single greatest factor leading to the loss of cannabinoids. The authors also found that cannabis extracts are reasonably stable for up to 2 years if stored in the dark at room temperature.
The amount of organic material in a CBD product may also play a role in its stability. For example, full and broad-spectrum products may degrade more rapidly than pure CBD isolate as they contain whole plant extracts. Additionally, edibles and cookies may go stale much more rapidly than other forms of CBD.
Ultimately, you’ll benefit the most from CBD oil and products that contain the full range of beneficial plant compounds. However, because these begin to degrade after long periods of storage, it’s best to use CBD in a timely manner to reap the most benefits.
How to tell if CBD has expired?
If you’re asking yourself, “how long does CBD last?” always check the product’s expiry date.
Here are some other telltale signs that CBD oil is past its best:
- It smells musky and unpleasant. Fresh CBD smells deliciously earthy and herby and never obnoxious. Bear in mind it may also contain added botanicals that influence the scent, such as lavender, but these should also be pleasant.
- It’s discoloured and dark brown. Although CBD colour varies between brands, it should be on the spectrum of clear to golden-green due to the plant extracts
- It’s thick and murky at room temperature. This could indicate that CBD and other active ingredients are beginning to break down. However, if the oil’s been in the fridge, it can appear cloudy, but this should disappear after sitting at room temperature for a couple of minutes.
- It tastes rancid. Natural CBD oil and products typically taste grassy or earthy and fresh. If it tastes rancid or bitter, do not consume the CBD.
Can old CBD oil make you ill?
No, it can’t make you ill. However, the expiry date is a safety precaution and is there for a reason. It isn’t recommended to take any supplement that has passed its expiry date.
Therefore, when you buy CBD, it’s best to check the expiration date on the label, store it in a cool, dark place and dispose of any products you’ve had for longer than 2 years.
How to store CBD oil
The active ingredients in CBD products are sensitive to light, heat, moisture, and exposure to oxygen. So it’s critical to store them correctly to preserve their potency and freshness and prevent the active compounds from becoming compromised.
You must store your CBD oil or other CBD products in a cool, dry, dark place with a stable temperature. For example, it’s best to avoid keeping them on a shelf near a sunny window or in a kitchen cupboard next to appliances that produce heat.
A good option is to keep CBD products in their original packaging in a cupboard or closet that consistently remains below around 22°C. Don’t worry if your CBD gets a little too cold, as although it might become slightly thicker, it won’t cause any harm. You can easily warm the oil bottle between your palms to restore the liquidity.
You also need to protect your CBD oil from air which can contribute to the breakdown of the natural hemp cannabinoids. If possible, it’s best to keep your CBD oil in its original container.
Good quality CBD oil typically comes in airtight dark glass bottles that reduce light exposure and help regulate the temperature. The lid excludes excess oxygen and other contaminants, which could accelerate expiration. If your CBD oil is exposed to oxygen, the process of oxidative stress slowly changes the chemical balance and reduces its effectiveness.
In general, the same good storage practices apply to all CBD products. Additionally, you also need to consider moisture if your favourite form of CBD includes cookies or other edibles. Although moisture or humid air might not be a major concern for foil-sealed CBD capsules or bottles of CBD oil, it can spell disaster for CBD snacks. The combination of moist air and darkness creates ideal conditions for mould and mildew to proliferate. With that in mind, you should store CBD cookies and other edibles in a cool, dry place and use them by the expiry date.
Can you refrigerate CBD oil?
There’s no need to refrigerate CBD products, provided you follow general good storage practices.
How to preserve the shelf life of CBD
When you’ve invested time and money into researching and buying a high-quality CBD products, you want to optimise its effectiveness. So besides storing the oil in a dark, cool, temperature-stable place, there are some steps you can take to preserve your CBD.
Here are some tips to help you preserve your CBD oil’s shelf-life:
- Keep the CBD oil in its original packaging.
- Place unused bottles in an airtight container or wrap them in foil to prevent unnecessary air exposure.
- Do not allow the dropper to touch your body which could transfer bacteria and germs into the bottle of CBD.
- Close the bottle properly after use to keep air and contaminants out.
How long does cannabidiol stay in your system?
There isn’t a straightforward answer regarding how long cannabidiol stays in your system as it depends on factors including:
- Your unique biochemistry
- Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
- The route of administration
- The dose Frequency of use
Even the timing of the dose and whether you took CBD on an empty or full stomach can have an effect.
There hasn’t been a great deal of research into how long CBD stays in your system, but a couple of studies provide insights.
In a small 1991 study with 14 participants, each received an oral dose of around 700 mg of CBD daily. The researchers found that the average plasma level fell to 1.5 ng/mL one week following their final dose and was then undetectable. The authors estimated the CBD half-life to be about 2–5 days.
It takes 4–5 half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated from the body, meaning that oral CBD leaves the body completely in 8–25 days. Bear in mind that blood tests may be unable to detect it well before this time.
Additionally, a 2016 study found that CBD could only be detected in urine for 24 hours following a single dose of CBD oil capsules. But, because everyone responds differently to CBD, some people may find it stays in their system for longer.
For more information on CBD’s half-life, check out our article: How long does CBD stay in your system?
Like all food supplements, CBD oil has an expiry date on the label. So how long does CBD last? Generally, it has a shelf life of around 2 years, meaning most people can enjoy their products without undue concern.
Additionally, there are a few things you can do to preserve the shelf life of CBD. The critical thing is to purchase good quality CBD products and store them correctly. You should store CBD away from light, heat, and moisture and protect it from air exposure. These steps ensure that CBD products maintain their potency and freshness for as long as possible.
Disclaimer: There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of CBD in the condition(s) mentioned above and this text by no means reflects recommended uses. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you are taking prescribed medication or are thinking of using CBD for your condition.