Does CBD Oil Expire and How can you check it ?

Does CBD Oil Expire and How can you check it ?

Does CBD Oil Expire - How do you check it ?

Factors which affect the shelf life of CBD Oil

How to tell if your CBD Oil has expired ?

What happens if you take expired CBD Oil ?



Does CBD Oil Expire - How do you check it ?

Just as all good things must eventually come to an end, the same is true of cannabidiol (CBD) oil. However, there is good news; typically, CBD oils are shelf stable for one to two years after production. The shelf life of your CBD oil is dependent on several factors such as ingredients used in production, type of packaging employed, and storage methods applied. This means that an awareness and understanding of those aspects can help prolong the lifespan of your product while maximizing value through prolonged usage enjoyment. Below we will examine these critical elements more closely to offer guidance on how best to optimize both value and product longevity moving forward.


Factors which affect the shelf life of CBD Oil


                Each ingredient in CBD Oil will have its own expiry date, so all have to be considered. For example, any flavourings used may degrade and expire quicker than other components, which will reduce the overall shelf life. Check the product labels and Certificate of Analysis (COA).

Generally, the more pure the product, the longer the shelf life – Oils made with CBD Isolate are more pure than Broad or Full Spectrum for example, so would be expected to last longer as the latter may contain additional ingredients such as waxes or essential oils.


                As you would expect, the higher quality products usually last longer. This is due to production factors such as quality of plants used, the growing conditions and the chemicals or other ingredients used in production. Non-organic hemp grown in poor conditions may have been subjected to greater levels of pesticides and chemicals, which will hasten the final product’s expiry date.

Method of Extraction

                The way the CBD Oil has been extracted also impacts its shelf life. Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is considered the best method, as it maximises the level of CBD (and other cannabinoids in full or broad spectrum oils) obtained during extraction, giving a purer oil with a longer shelf life.

The use of CO2 as an extraction method in the food industry has persisted for years, since it is both effective and provides delicate treatment to cannabis plant's active constituents. This approach reduces the probability of contamination as no harmful substances are used during the process

In contrast, using other extraction methods such as solvents can actually reduce the shelf life of the product, so it’s worth researching the extraction method before purchasing.


As with many liquids CBD Oils degrade when exposed to light, heat or oxygen. Hence, dark coloured, air tight bottles are used to protect the oils inside.  


                Similarly, how your CBD Oil is stored will impact how long it lasts. Ideally they should be kept in a dark cabinet or other area, with a room temperature between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius.


How to tell if your CBD Oil has expired ?

                Ideally there should be an expiration date on the product label, and whilst that isn’t an exact indicator (due to the factors mentioned above) it should give a good idea. However, with a shelf life of up to two years it’s possible the label may become worn, difficult to read or fallen off altogether. Here are a few indicators to look out for;


                Fresh CBD Oil has an earthy smell, and is not at all unpleasant. As with many foods, if it smells more rotten and ‘stinky’ it has likely expired.

            Thickness and Colour

                If your CBD Oil has become thicker in consistency or darker in colour it indicates the compounds are breaking down and it has likely gone off.  Another indicator of expiry is if you can see the oil separating in the bottle.

                Please note – the oil may appear thicker or cloudy if it has been refrigerated. Simply leave at room temperature for a few minutes and it should return to normal colour and thickness – if not it has likely expired.


                Perhaps the most obvious way to test, although potentially unpleasant ! Users generally say CBD Oil has a ‘nutty’, or ‘earthy’ flavour (unless artificially flavoured), certainly something pleasant. If it tastes at all rancid or has a pungent smell it has likely expired.


What happens if you take expired CBD Oil ?

                Consuming expired CBD Oil is unlikely to make you sick, but equally it won’t give you any benefit either. As cannabinoids degrade over time they lose their potency, so taking expired CBD Oil will give you little if any of the intended therapeutic benefits.

            How should I store CBD Oil ?

                As mentioned above CBD Oil is sensitive to light, heat and oxygen, so needs to be stored carefully to preserve its freshness and potency – store it in the same way as other oils you may have, like olive oil or coconut oil.

                CBD Oil is usually packaged in medical grade, airtight dark glass bottles and that is no accident. The dark glass limits exposure to light and helps temperature control, whilst the lid prevents oxygen contaminating the oil and hastening expiry.

                To maintain the integrity of CBD Oil, it is recommended that it be stored in an area with minimal light exposure and maintained at a cool yet temperate climate between 16-21 degrees Celsius. Avoid exposing the oil to extreme temperatures by keeping it away from heat sources like radiators and windows. Consistent cleanliness is key for preventing unwanted bacteria or possible contaminants from entering the oil, so always use a fresh spoon or dropper each time you dispense it.



                Whilst CBD Oil will eventually expire, the shelf life of 1 to 2 years should be sufficient to allow you to enjoy your purchase. Choosing the best quality product possible, and storing it correctly as outlined above, will help preserve its potency and freshness. If you suspect it may have passed it’s prime a quick sniff or taste should help you decide whether to keep or replace it.

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