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cbd oil shelf life

Out of more than 100 cannabinoids, the scope of CBD extracted from hemp plants has elevated exponentially over the last couple of years. Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, or industrial hemp plant, with bounteous benefits. Its effects, as shown by a study,[1], and the glorification by the wellness influencers make the product worth trying. A high-quality CBD oil will cost you a generous amount, which is probably why we get asked a lot how long does CBD oil last after opening? Well, it can last for up to two years provided it is of good quality and you store it properly. There are lots of factors that determine the shelf life of CBD oil and products. We will discuss them and shed some light on ways by which you can prolong the shelf life.

Cannabidiol – An Overview

Cannabidiol

CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound that is present in the leaves, flowers, and stems of the cannabis sativa plant. The extracted oil from these aerial parts of the plant also contains some terpenes and other minor cannabinoids, and less than 0.3% of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system for overall betterment.[2

How Long Does CBD Last?

how long does cbd last

Generally, the CBD oils stay good for 14-24 months if stored properly. High-quality products will offer you a good shelf-life, especially the ones that have undergone minimum processing such as full-spectrum CBD oils. CBD gummies can remain good for up to 12 months, and the CBD-containing topicals have a shelf life of 24 months. 

Signs of a CBD Product Gone Bad

Signs of a CBD Product Gone Bad

Before knowing how your CBD-containing product has gone bad, it is important to know how to detect a product that has gone bad. So how to tell if your hemp oil has gone rancid? Check the following points:

  • The aroma and flavor of the product change. The usual earthy flavor of the CBD oil will go pungent and the aroma will become rancid. 
  • The consistency of the oil will also change, and become loose if it has gone bad.
  • The appearance of the oil may change – the degradation of the ingredients results in the darkening of the oil. Sometimes, a cloudy appearance can also be seen indicating that the oil has gone.

Factors That Affect Shelf Life

The CBD oil loses its effectiveness if it is stored improperly or stored past its expiration date. The degradation of cannabinoids weakens the potency of CBD oil. How long a bottle of CBD oil will last depends on many factors:

1. Quality of Product 

The quality of the product decides the stability of the product. As per the cannabis experts, the CO2 extraction method produces the most stable CBD extract with regard to shelf life. Usually, the other methods lessen the potency of compounds by introducing impurities such as heavy metals, pesticides, etc. (Read more about extraction methods here

2. Ingredients 

The shelf life of any product will depend on its ingredients as well. Therefore, the additional chemical compounds that are added to the CBD oil product also affect the final shelf life.

  1. The quality of the carrier oil that is used to dilute the extracted CBD affects the shelf life. This is because of the oxidative reaction of the fats when exposed to oxygen. The oils mostly start getting rancid before the other components. The medium-chain saturated fats such as MCT oil, olive oil, coconut oil offer molecular stability against light or heat exposure.[3]
  2. Additional colors and flavors may affect the shelf life of CBD products as well.
  3. The naturally occurring ingredients such as terpenes, minor cannabinoids also affect the stability of the product.
  4. Some CBD products have essential oils as ingredients that are natural antifungal and antibacterial agents, thus helping in the prolongation of shelf life.

3. Storage Conditions

Exposure to direct light and extreme heat can result in the degeneracy of the cannabinoids, and fatty ingredients, thus making the oil go bad before its expiration date. 

4. Packaging of CBD 

The packaging of a product has a major role to play in influencing the shelf life, because it creates a controlled environment around the product. Glass bottles which are tinted with dark color help in preventing the degradation of the active ingredients by filtering the UV light, and also help control the temperature. Moreover, look for companies who have GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified packaging facilities, just like us here at Divine Hemps. GMP certification is standard to ensure maintenance of high-quality standards when it comes to safety in operations. 

CBD Oil Storage

cbd oil storage

The potent product that is CBD oil is delicate with regards to fluctuations in light, temperature, and oxygen level. The high-quality CBD oil will come in medical-grade packaging – a dark-tinted bottle that is air-tight, which provides enough protection on its own. Tinted glass filters the light, and helps control the internal temperature, while the air-tight cap protects against exposure to oxygen or any other potential contamination agent. But you can prolong the life of the CBD oil to utilize its benefits to the maximum till the expiration date provided by the manufacturer arrives.

Make It Last Longer

  • First and foremost, keep it in its original packaging.
  • Store it away from light, in a dark place. Direct sunlight and even artificial light can fasten the deterioration of cannabinoids. Even the tinted glass bottles cannot keep the freshness of CBD oil alive if exposed for long periods.
  • Lower temperatures ensure the freshness of your CBD oil for a longer time. Heat may alter the chemical composition of the ingredients, thus, compromising the quality and potency. Therefore, store it away from any heat-generating appliance.
  • Always make sure that the bottle is sealed properly when not in use. Oxygen exposure results in an oxidative reaction of the ingredients, thus curtailment of the shelf life.
  • Use the dropper accurately. Make sure not to touch any surface with the dropper as it can result in cross-contamination by introducing microbes to the oil, and result in spoilage. 
  • Even though it is not a mandatory storage condition, you can store CBD oil in the refrigerator to protect it from light, and temperature. 

Storing Cannabis Products – Edibles, Tinctures & Topicals

How long does a bottle of CBD tincture last? The storage guidelines for CBD tinctures are the same as that of CBD oil. CBD tinctures have an alcoholic base as a carrier, thus making the shelf life stable. Even though the alcohol content of the tincture helps in the extension of the shelf life, the potency of the CBD active ingredient will decrease. Make sure to store it in its original packaging away from direct light and heat.

CBD Edibles such as delectable CBD Gummies have a shorter shelf life of 12 months. You need to keep the gummies in the original packaging, avoid exposure to direct light, oxygen, and intense heat. Purchase your edible goods in such a way that you can consume them within a few weeks to attain maximum potency. Otherwise, to maintain the freshness, store the edibles in the freezer.

The topical products consisting of CBD provide a good shelf life of 24 months. Usually, the CBD topicals contain essential oils which offer antifungal and antibacterial properties for shelf-life stability. However, you must store the topical application products in cool, dry, and dark places. Our CBD Cream 4000 mg has a shelf life of 24 months and has been designed to provide localized relief and comfort to the target area.

The shelf life of THC oil and THC oil-infused products is also between 14-24 months. Air, heat, and light are also a concern for THC, thus the storage should be appropriate to avoid exposure. 

What Can An Expired CBD Do?

Fortunately, an expired CBD product will not cause serious harm to you, other than being a terrible nuisance to your taste buds. It will lose its potency and not deliver the expected benefits. So whenever you feel that your CBD oil has started tasting awful, just chuck it in the bin.

Final Thoughts

To answer how long a bottle of CBD oil lasts for you – well, anywhere between 14-24 months. That is plenty of time! Be aware of the quality you are buying, check for the ingredients, production dates, and expiration dates as well. To maintain its freshness and potency, make sure you store it properly, away from heat and direct light. So many factors, namely quality of the product, additional ingredients, packaging, and storage conditions affect the shelf life of CBD products as well. Make sure you buy a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer, because CBD, as the world is discovering, is worth the investment!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Does CBD oil require refrigeration?

  • Not necessarily. CBD oil can be stored at room temperature (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit) as long as it is away from direct light and sealed properly in its original packing. However, cold temperatures may result in the thickening of the oil. So to use it, you may have to bring it to room temperature. 

Q: Does CBD oil lose potency over time?

  • Like any biochemically active product, CBD does lose its potency over time due to the natural degradation process. However, the normal shelf life of CBD oil is 14-24 months which is a good period to consume one bottle even if you aren’t using it every day.

Q: Can I freeze CBD products to prolong shelf life?

  • If you can use your CBD product within a month, freezing it is not required. But if you are not a regular user, freezing may prolong the shelf life. You would have to thaw it completely before use whenever you decide to use it.

References 

  1.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
  2.  https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cbd-understanding-how-cbd-works-with-our-bodies/96718/
  3.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236170001_Long_-_term_Storage_and_Cannabis_Oil
Charlie Thompson is an expert cannabis botanist and a plantsman who believes that our lives revolve around plants and that a person can create the healthiest version of himself by exploring the power of plants. Charlie, who's the Chief Editor at Divine Hemps suggests that choosing the right CBD product is as crucial as getting the right form of treatment for your ailment. He closely works with the team of Divine Hemps and helps them create unique formulations of CBD that are tailored to customer's needs and are safe, pure, and lab-tested.

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