Does CBD Oil Go Bad? How to Tell if Your CBD is Expired

does CBD oil go bad

Does CBD oil go bad? We’re asked this question a lot, although that’s probably true of any company that makes wellness supplements/products.

We know that most people tend to go through a bottle of CBD oil well before it hits its ‘best before’ date. Since consistency is key, most use it every day.

However, for those who only use it on occasion, it could be an important question.

So, does CBD oil go bad, and if so, can it become harmful to your health if you use it?

Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

Does CBD oil go bad? Technically, yes.

Just like pretty much any other product you’ll find on the market, CBD oil does come with an expiration date, or shelf life.

CBD oil itself is typically good for about 2 years after it has been extracted.

That being said, a few different things can influence the ‘best before’ date:

  • Method of extraction
  • Other ingredients
  • Packaging/Storage

There are several different methods of extraction used to get CBD oil from the hemp plant. 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. It also maximizes the level of CBD and other cannabinoids obtained from the plant during extraction. Lower quality extraction methods will yield lower quality oil, and this tends to have a shorter lifespan.

For more on extraction methods, read this next!

Ingredients can also affect how long CBD oil lasts. Most CBD oils are blended with a carrier oil to make it more bioavailable. These have their own shelf life, and thus influence the expiry date of the total package. The same goes for any additional additives, such as flavorings.  

How an oil is packaged and stored will also influence how long it lasts, as will how it is stored. The best packaging is dark glass bottles which block light best.  Also, research shows that heat and light accelerate CBD degradation, which is why storing your CBD away from light and heat is recommended.

How to Tell When it’s Past its Prime

There are a few different ways to tell if your bottle of CBD is past its prime.

  1. Expiry Date. Any reputable company will print an expiry date on the bottle.
  2. Changes to Colour and Texture. If the oil starts to look different from when you purchased it, foggy or cloudy for example, that’s also a sign.
  3. Separation. If the oils in your bottle start to separate, that’s usually a good indication that it is expired.
  4. Smell. CBD oil has a very distinct, earthy smell. However, if you notice that the smell starts to, well, smell different, that could also be a sign that it’s expired.

Note: If you keep your CBD oil in the fridge, which isn’t required, the texture may change – it might thicken up. This isn’t because it has expired or gone bad, but rather because of the temperature. We recommend keeping it in a cool, dark place, and only in the fridge if you live in a very hot climate with no A/C.

RELATED: Here’s our advice on how to keep your CBD freshest, longest.

Is Expired CBD be Harmful?

So, you’ve lost a bottle of CBD at the back of your cupboard and now realize that you’ve been using a bottle that is well past that date on the label… should you toss it? Worry about side effects?

No. While it may expire, it won’t go ‘bad’ – as in it won’t harm your health at all, so don’t worry!

The worst thing with CBD oil that has expired is that it probably won’t be as effective. Over time, the compounds in the product will start to break down and evaporate. Since those compounds are delivering the effects you’re used to, you’ll probably notice that your oil just giving you the same results.