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Does CBD Oil Expire? And if it Does, Does it Matter?

does cbd oil expire

Have you ever wondered, does CBD oil expire?

Maybe, with all the extra time off right now, you’ve decided to give those kitchen cupboard or bathroom medicine cabinet a good clean out. While emptying to the back of the cupboard, maybe you run across a bottle of CBD you forgot was in there.

Opened or unopened, you’re probably curious if it’s still good.

And that’s a very good question – one you should have the answer to.

Does CBD Oil Expire?

Like all packaged goods, CBD oil does have a shelf life. Any reliable CBD product should have an expiration date on its label, so make sure you check it if you’re buying off the shelf, or when it arrives in the mail. Typically, a high quality CBD oil will last 2 years, but there are a few factors that determine this.

  1. Extraction Method
  2. Additional ingredients

Extraction Method

Extraction method refers to the method used to get the CBD oil from the hemp plant. There are several different ways to do this, including CO2 extraction, solvent extraction, or even steam distillation.

RELATED: We covered all of these and more recently in a post – check it out here.

Generally, the CO2 extraction method is considered the best for a number of reasons. It’s the cleanest and results in the highest quality oil. As for the expiration date, CO2 extraction will result in the longest lasting oil. This method preserves the chemical integrity of the plant, ensuring that the CBD remains stable. A more stable chemical composition means a longer shelf life because it takes a lot longer for those compounds to break down.

Lower-quality extraction methods don’t last as long because these methods can produce more unstable products.

Additional Ingredients 

Most CBD tinctures on the market contain at least one additional ingredient, and for good reason. A product’s shelf life is determined by the ingredient with the shortest shelf life.

Carrier oils are plant-derived oils that help “carry” the primary oil (in this case, CBD) to where it’s needed in the body. These carrier oils increase what’s known as the bioavailability of CBD. Bioavailability refers to how much the human body can process and use of a substance.

Typical carrier oils are coconut oil, hemp oil, or olive oil.

The shelf life of these ingredients impact the shelf life of your tincture. So, if, for example, a company uses coconut oil as a carrier, with a shelf life of 2 years, that’s going to mean your CBD is good for about 2 years.

Another common ingredient that you may find in a CBD tincture is a flavoring additive, like mint for example. If this flavoring has a shelf life of only one year, that means that the product only has a shelf life of one year.

RELATED: What’s the best carrier oil? Read this to find out.

does CBD oil expire

How to Tell if Your CBD is Expired

Beyond the date on the bottle, there are a few ways to tell if your CBD has expired. One of the easiest ways to to watch for a separation in the bottle. If you notice that the oils have separated, this is usually a good indication that it’s past the “best before” date.

Another way to tell is with a “sniff” test. CBD oil has a very distinct smell, but if it starts to smell different from when you first bought it, that might mean it’s expired. It will also start to taste different.

Texture and color can also help. If the oil starts to look different from when you purchased it, foggy or cloudy for example, that’s also a sign.

Will expired CBD make you sick?

So, if you notice the date on the bottle has passed, should you throw it out? Is it still safe to use?

Technically, if your CBD tincture has expired, it isn’t dangerous to consume, as long as it doesn’t also contain ingredients such as foods that decompose over time. There’s no indication that the CBD itself can be harmful.

The worst thing with expired CBD oil is the degradation of quality of the infusions and extracts. Once the compounds in the oil start to break down and evaporate, it becomes less potent over time. So, this means that expired CBD may not be as effective as it once was.

Best Way to Store CBD Oil

One of the best ways to extend the shelf life of your CBD, keeping it as potent as possible for as long as possible, is with proper storage.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Store your CBD oil in a cool, dry place like a pantry or drawer, away from the sun, strong humidity or extreme cold. Light and heat both promote oxidization which can cause the compounds to break down at a fairly rapid pace.
  2. Keep it in its original packaging. If your CBD comes in a dark, glass bottle, for example, the manufacturer has chosen that bottle for a reason. Don’t transfer your oil to a different container.

Does CBD Oil Expire? Final Thoughts

So, will CBD oil expire? Yes, technically it will. You can tell by smell, taste, or look, but also be sure to check the expiration date on the bottle.

And, if you’ve found a stash that’s past its “best before” date, use your judgement. If it’s month over, you’re fine. If it’s 3 years over, it might be best to toss it.