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How Long is the Shelf Life for CBD Products?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has a range of potential benefits, from helping you fall and stay asleep to improving many symptoms of anxiety, stress and other conditions. 

Just like many other natural products, CBD oil and other CBD products aren’t designed to last forever. However, with the proper level of care and effective storage, many CBD products can last for one year or longer before you’ll need to dispose of them.

Below, we’ve explained CBD’s shelf life, as well as what you can do to get the most use out of your CBD oil, e-liquid and other CBD products.

How Long Does CBD Oil Last?

Because every CBD oil product is slightly different, there’s no precise amount of time that CBD oil will last. For example, high quality products that are made to industry-leading standards will generally last longer than cheaper, lower quality ones that may not be made as carefully. 

The way you store your CBD oil will also affect its shelf life. We’ve covered this in more detail a little further down the page. 

In general, a high quality CBD oil from a reputable brand such as those stocked in our shop will last for 12 to 14 months, assuming it’s stored properly and doesn’t contain any additives with the potential to affect the shelf life. 

This means that you’ll be able to use your CBD oil for one year, at the minimum, before it needs to be replaced. Of course, because CBD oil typically comes in a small container, the majority of people will use their CBD oil in less than one year. 

When you first use a CBD oil product, it’s helpful to note the date that you opened it on or near the packaging. This way, you’ll be able to check when 12 months have passed, assuming you only use it occasionally. 

If you have CBD oil that’s older than 12 months, check the odor and taste before you consume any significant amount. CBD oil that’s sat for 12 months or longer can, in some cases, develop an unpleasant odor and/or taste.

If your CBD oil no longer smells or tastes as it should, it’s best to dispose of it and replace the product with a new one. 

In general, bacteria doesn’t readily grow in CBD oil. After all, it’s an oil-based substance, not a water-based one. However, it’s still possible for bacteria to grow inside the CBD oil bottle over time, especially if it’s stored in an unclean, unsanitary environment.

If more than 12 months have passed and your CBD oil doesn’t smell or taste unusual, you may be able to use it as normal. However, you should always throw away any CBD oil product that’s older than 24 months. 

How to Store Your CBD Oil For a Long Shelf Life

Like many other products, the location you choose to store your CBD oil can have a significant effect on its shelf life. If you store your CBD oil or other CBD products correctly, they should last for between 12 and 24 months. If stored incorrectly, they may last for less than 12 months. 

Below, we’ve listed a few tips and tactics for extending the shelf life of your CBD oil and other CBD products as much as possible.

Store Your CBD Oil in a Dark Location

As with many other natural products, CBD oil can potentially degrade and become less effective if it’s stored in an area that receives direct sunlight. In fact, a 1976 study shows that many hemp and cannabis products lose cannabinoids when exposed to light. 

Interestingly, this study found that artificial light is damaging to cannabinoids, meaning that even an indoor light could potentially make CBD oil less effective over time. 

Because of this, the optimal approach is to store your CBD oil in a dark location that’s far away from both natural and artificial light. This is recommended even if your CBD oil, e-liquid or other product comes in a dark bottle.

Recommended locations include your bathroom vanity unit, medicine cabinet, bedroom cabinet, bedside table, dressing table or chest of drawers. A home office, kitchen cabinet or other secure and non-bright location is also suitable.

In general, it’s best to store your CBD oil like it’s medication. Keep it out of direct sunlight, away from bright sources of light within your home and in a safe, secure place that’s not within reach of children. 

Avoid Warm Locations or Locations That Change in Temperature

CBD oil stays fresh when it’s stored at a relatively mild, steady temperature. When it’s exposed to heat, both the oil and its active ingredients can become less stable, making the CBD oil less effective. 

It’s common for CBD oil to take on a more opaque appearance after it’s been exposed to heat, especially when it’s stored in a hot, sunny location. 

If you live in a warm region, or in a region with a significant difference in temperature between daytime and nighttime, it’s best to store your CBD oil in the fridge. This way, the CBD oil won’t be exposed to any natural fluctuations in temperature that could affect its potency. 

When you take your CBD oil out of the fridge for use, make sure not to put it next to the stove, oven or any hot dishes, pots or pans that could transfer heat into its contents. 

If you plan to use your CBD oil regularly, storing it in the freezer is not recommended. However, it’s perfectly safe to store CBD oil in the freezer for future use. Before use, it’s recommended to bring the oil back to room temperature. 

Store Your CBD Oil the Right Way Up

Although it’s uncommon, it’s possible for your CBD oil dropper bottle to leak if it’s stored on its side. This can occur if you forget to seal the bottle correctly, or if the cap wasn’t properly fitted during manufacturing.

This is rarely an issue with high quality CBD products, but it can occur with lower-end CBD oils that use lower quality, less costly packaging.

Other Tips for Extending Your CBD Oil’s Shelf Life

Want to make sure your CBD oil lasts as long as possible? In addition to storing your CBD oil the right way, there are several other tactics that you can use to get the longest possible shelf life from your CBD products:

  • Choose high quality, reputable CBD products. Many lower quality CBD products, including those marketed on social media, are manufactured outside the UK, USA or European Union. These products often aren’t made to international standards.

    Many of these products contain additives and use lower quality ingredients that can affect their average shelf life. To avoid buying a low quality CBD product, check that you’re buying from a reputable brand and vendor.
  • Seal your CBD oil bottle after use. In addition to light and heat, exposure to the air could shorten the shelf life of CBD oil. After you’ve used the oil, make sure to carefully close and seal your CBD oil bottle to prevent any particles from getting inside.
  • Store other CBD products properly. As well as CBD oil, it’s important to store CBD e-liquids, capsules and other products properly. Use the same principles as above to limit the potential for light or heat to damage your CBD products.
  • Pay attention to the carrier oil. It’s always worth checking the carrier oil that your CBD oil is made from. Depending on the type of oil that’s used for your CBD oil (MCT, coconut and hemp seed are all common), it might require special care.
  • Avoid using old CBD oil. Finally, if your CBD oil smells or tastes unusual, or if it’s just been sitting around for more than 12 to 24 months, it’s best to throw it away and use a new bottle instead. Doing so will help you avoid consuming older, less potent CBD. 

Summary

Most of the time, CBD oil will last for between 12 and 24 months before you’ll need to throw it away and replace it. You’ll usually notice an odd odor or taste if your CBD oil is old, or it might simply no longer be as effective as it normally is.

To extend your CBD oil’s shelf life, make sure you store it properly. You can also get a longer shelf life by buying high quality CBD oil products from reputable brands and sealing them as soon as possible after you use them. 

Searching for the right CBD oil for you? Browse our selection of CBD tinctures, e-liquids and other CBD products in our online shop.