Does CBD Oil Go Bad?
Yes and no. CBD oils expire just like other ingestible products, carrier oils, and even other CBD products like CBD edibles. However, does CBD oil go bad (as in "bad for your health")? Not necessarily! Taking a tincture past its expiration date is unlikely to make you sick. Over time, cannabinoids like CBD and CBG don't decompose—Instead, they lose potency. This negatively influences the potential benefits you may experience. You can also extend the shelf life of your CBD through proper CBD oil storage techniques. In addition, CBD users can purchase higher quality CBD oil, opting for recently produced batches or organic CBD products.
The shelf life of CBD is 12 to 24 months, on average, but these figures can be misleading. For starters, CBD oil is often made using a combination of hemp extract and carrier oils. The latter is responsible for binding CBD molecules—or "carrying" them—to endocannabinoid receptors found within your body, as CBD is non-binding on its own.
The most common carrier oils are fractionated coconut oil (MCT) and hemp seed oil (not to be confused with hemp oil), both of which have a shelf life of about two years. This is in line with the shelf life of CBD oil, meaning fresh carrier oils should NOT affect the expiration date of CBD oil. Extra virgin olive oil, often used as a carrier oil as well, offers a similar shelf life of about 18 months. Keep this in mind when buying olive oil-infused CBD tinctures. Furthermore, check third-party lab testing certificates to verify when your CBD oil was produced. You don't want to purchase CBD that's already six months into its shelf life!
How to Extend the Shelf Life of CBD Products
Worried about storing CBD oil improperly? Don't be! Storing CBD oil is easy, simple, and effective when done correctly. CBD products can often be kept at room temperature in a cool, dry place like a medicine cabinet. However, there are many ways to improve your CBD storage.
Think About Spatial Needs!
To properly store anything, you need the space for it. Luckily, CBD products are packaged small and neat! Keep in mind how many CBD goodies you buy at one time, adjusting spatial requirements as needed. CBD thrives in darkness, meaning a shut-off space like a cabinet or drawer would be perfect for any cannabinoid stash. Keeping your CBD products in a dark bag would also block out light, potentially extending the shelf life of CBD in your home.
CBD products do well at room temperature, but that might mean different things for different people. "Room temperature" generally refers to about 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16-21 degrees Celsius). If you live in a hotter climate, make accommodations to store your CBD oil slightly cooler. If you live in a colder climate, try to store your CBD oil in a slightly hotter space. Also, make sure to remember what your thermostat is set to!
Depending on the product, we also recommend putting your CBD products in the fridge. With CBD-infused edibles like cookies or other delicacies, the fridge is okay! Be aware that oils like olive oil can coagulate in the fridge, however. So if you have an olive oil-infused tincture, be sure to keep it at a temperature that the oils will not coagulate.
Good Handling Practices!
Believe it or not, there are good and bad ways to handle just about everything, including CBD products. For example, never press a CBD product directly to your lips (unless instructed otherwise). Saliva can enter CBD tinctures and affect potency. Also, avoid using your hands to reach into packages (say, when pulling out a delicious CBD gummy), as you could introduce germs to the tight packaging that affects potency.
How to Gauge the Freshness of Your CBD Oil
Now that we know how to effectively store CBD products, extending their shelf life, let's discuss how to properly identify if your CBD has gone "bad."
That is the best advice we can give. If your CBD products smell, taste, look or feel off, trust your judgement. Like we said, it is not dangerous to your health to ingest CBD past its expiration date. However, you want to use high quality CBD that offers health benefits as advertised. Expired products are potentially less potent, taking away from your cannabinoid experience.
Luckily, you can easily smell or taste if CBD oil has gone bad. We've also received reports of CBD crystals forming at the top of CBD oil tinctures after long periods of inactivity. This is completely normal and does not mean that your products have expired! In fact, those crystals can be taken like CBD concentrates or reintroduced to your CBD tincture.