What is the Shelf Life of CBD?

Green Shoppers Written by Green Shoppers
Updated on September 6, 2019

The shelf life of a product refers to the window of time during which it has the best quality and is at its most effective. Sometimes, the shelf life will dictate how safe a product is, because consumable products can cause illness if consumed after their expiry.

A lot of things affect the shelf life of any product, including the quality of the product itself to the packaging and how it is stored. This means that there are ways to prolong the shelf life of various products, by looking after them and storing them properly.

CBD products, like anything else, degrade over time. They can lose potency and effectiveness, and after a certain point, they become pointless and potentially harmful. So, what is the shelf life of CBD oil? And how can you extend it?

In today’s article, we will explore the shelf life of CBD products and explain what you can do to make the most out of your purchase.

The Average Shelf Life of a CBD Product

There’s no point denying it – CBD is expensive. When you spend that much on a quality product, you don’t want it to go to waste. This is especially true when you have invested in your health because you want the product to be as effective and safe as possible.

Normally, CBD products come in fairly small containers. A 10ml or 30ml bottle probably won’t last you very long at all, and isolate products usually come in tubs of 1g that will be gone before you know it! You will probably never arrive at the “use by” date of CBD, but it’s handy to know what it is just in case.

The shelf life of a particular product can be impacted by many factors. CBD topicals or edibles, for example, may expire more quickly due to other ingredients which degrade in a short amount of time. Food, in particular, is likely to spoil faster than a tincture.

Generally, though, a CBD oil will last between 14 and 24 months depending on how it is stored. After this point, it might start to taste bad – yes, worse than it already does. To be honest, if you haven’t used up the 10ml of oil after 2 years, we’re pretty impressed you’ve made it last so long.

It’s always a good idea to check the expiry date on any product you buy; certain factors and other ingredients may reduce the shelf life.

Does Extraction Method Impact the Shelf Life?

You might be wondering whether the extraction method used has any bearing on the shelf life of your CBD. Ultimately, the quality of the CBD will affect the shelf life, but does this mean that the extraction method is important?

In a way, this is true. It’s important to have a high-quality product, and the extraction method is relevant in the quality of the end product. Look for companies who have used CO2 extraction if you want the best quality and therefore the longest shelf life. Second best would be solvent extraction, although make sure you can see third-party lab reports to ensure that no solvent remains in the final product.

You may also want to look at where the hemp was grown and whether it was grown organically. Factors like these will all contribute to the final quality, and so you may want to see what process was used to produce the oil.

How Can I Prolong the Shelf Life of CBD?

There are a few storage tips we can give you in order to prolong your CBD’s shelf life. No matter what the product is, the storage will be the same if it contains CBD. Ever wondered why all CBD oils come in dark-coloured glass bottles? This material prevents the degradation of cannabinoids as much as possible, but you will also need to look after the oil following purchase.

It is best to store your CBD product in a cool, dark, and dry place. Light and heat are both damaging to cannabinoids and terpenes and will reduce the potency of the CBD. In other words, don’t keep the CBD oil out on a windowsill or in a room that is always warm. CBD can be stored in the fridge, but it does just as well in a cupboard away from appliances that create heat.

If you are extra protective of your CBD, you can wrap the bottle in aluminium foil to block out any and all light. Stick it in the fridge to make sure it isn’t heated. This isn’t a necessity, but you might find it to be helpful. Freezing the oil will also prolong shelf life, but it may also make it thick and hard to use. The same can occur in the fridge, so just warm up the oil by rolling it between your palms before use.

Air exposure is also damaging to cannabinoids. Most products are sold in airtight containers, so your job is just to make sure that the container is sealed properly after each use. We don’t recommend changing the container, but if you have to, then make sure the new bottle is also airtight and stored in the dark.

The reason air is so damaging is because it causes oxidative stress, which alters the chemical balance of the product. Again, this reduces the potency and effectiveness, which is the last thing you want when you have forked out a lot of money on a CBD product.

Final Thoughts on CBD’s Shelf Life

The shelf life of CBD is already pretty long, and can be up to 2 years. Normally, CBD users will not make it this long and still have any product left, so the shelf life is not normally a problem. If you have decided to bulk buy CBD, however, then you may want to prolong the shelf life.

It’s pretty easy to keep your CBD oil safe and potent. Just make sure it is stored in a cool, dark and dry place, and it is not exposed to air too much. Heat, light and oxygen are the biggest threats to CBD oil, so just try to keep it out of the way of these things. The fridge is a pretty good option for promoting longevity of your CBD, and you can also wrap it in aluminium foil for extra protection.

Regardless, the CBD will become less effective over time. Even with the correct storage, you basically have a 2-year window to use the product. If you use CBD every day, then this shouldn’t be a problem to you.

Our last tip is to always read the product packaging. We have given some general guidelines, but each product is different and the shelf life can vary dramatically. Especially if you buy an edible or a topical which contains other ingredients, you might find that the shelf life is just a few months.

As long as you read the product packaging, you should have no problems with the effectiveness of your CBD.