July 07, 2021

Does CBD Oil Expire + Other FAQs About CBD Shelf Life

Does CBD Oil Expire + Other FAQs About CBD Shelf Life (Part 1 of 3)

Spoiler Alert: CBD can go bad! Yes, stale or rotten CBD is a thing. And boy can it sour your mood.

Info? Solutions? You bet we’ve got them for you! Keep reading to learn:

  • How long CBD is good for
  • What factors influence CBD shelf life
  • How to tell if your CBD is bad
  • The potential dangers or downsides of using CBD that’s turned

We’ll help you help your CBD oil products to keep on keepin’ on!

And just so ya know — This is Part 1 of a three-part series. Be on the lookout for these upcoming companion articles:

  • Part 2: Tips For Buying CBD That Will Last Longer
  • Part 3: How To Properly Store CBD For Max Shelf Life


Does CBD Oil Go Bad? Yes!

Just like other supplements, CBD oil can turn for a number of reasons. Primarily, though, it’s due to your CBD oil product’s age or insufficient/improper storage.

  • Like other plant matter that decays, cannabinoids naturally degrade over time.
  • Things like open containers or heat can speed up the decline of your CBD products.

That said, CBD oil is reasonably shelf-stable. It’s believed that — with correct handling — CBD oil maintains its effectiveness for about 12-24 months. So, your CBD should keep long enough for you to finish the product, if you use it on a somewhat regular basis.

Pro Tip: In addition to the CBD oil in your products, you also have to consider the other included ingredients. They may be perishable as well and spoil at a faster rate than the CBD.

Does CBD Expire

Absolutely. All CBD products should have an expiration date printed on them. The expiry date isn’t a marker of when your CBD gummies or CBD cream will instantly become a frothing fetid mess. It’s more of a best-if-used-by guideline, indicating the time after which your product will be less and less effective.

CBD Oil Shelf Life

Shelf life is the amount of time a thing is viable. So, for CBD, we’re referring to the duration for which it can be stored and continue being suitable for your use.

We already mentioned that — all things being perfect — your CBD oil product could enjoy a nice, long life. Possibly up to about two years, unless — you know — you make it disappear sooner. (Consistent use and all….)

Factors That Influence CBD Shelf Life

Actual shelf life can vary — a lot. Many factors influence the longevity of your CBD. Here are some of the biggies:

  • Storage. How you keep your CBD makes a huge difference. Exposure to heat, light, air, and humidity can hasten your CBD product’s demise. Tightly closing your product’s bottle/jar/tube/pouch and safeguarding it in a cool, dark, dry environment can help preserve your CBD. Some people even like storing their CBD oil in the fridge.
  • Packaging. CBD oil is kind of like a vampire — it doesn’t like daylight. Products in dark or opaque packaging fare better. It’s the main reason Pure Craft CBD products come in dark containers with black, non-see-through labels. (Though it looks pretty South Beach sleek, too….)
  • Type of CBD. Full- and broad-spectrum CBD contain other organic substances (e.g., other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.), which may break down faster than CBD. So, CBD isolate may endure for longer.
  • Purity. Soil contamination can lead to hemp contamination. These impurities — like heavy metals or pesticides — can impact the rate at which your CBD breaks down. CBD derived from purer, organic hemp may have improved shelf life.
  • Other ingredients. The formulation of your CBD product could bring other elements into action that can affect its lifespan. For example, an edible product — let’s say a brownie — could only be good for a few days. Conversely, CBD tinctures and CBD softgels could be A-OK for that full one to two years life expectancy.
  • Extraction method. CBD oil derived from a solvent-based extraction method may not last as long as CBD oil extract via a CO2 The CO2 process yields a purer CBD oil.
  • Purity. This is another nod to product quality. Brands that have a good reputation have probably earned it by selling superior products. In general, you can expect higher-quality CBD products to stand the test of time better than inferior products.

Is Your CBD Funky (In A NOT Good Way)

So…how exactly does one know if his or her CBD’s passed its prime? Like waaaay beyond….

After all, a bit of funk is just fine if you’re talking about rum or music. Not so much with your CBD.

Just because the expiry date of your CBD has come and gone doesn’t mean your CBD’s rotten. Here are some telltale signs your CBD product is no longer good:

  • It looks weird. If your room-temp CBD tincture — which is usually a silky, glistening fluid — is now thick and dark, it could be dead. If your CBD softgels were once little golden “eggs” and could now be described as hard, shrunken, murky pellets — they could be spoiled. Basically, the appearance (color and viscosity) should resemble what it was like when you first got the [new] CBD.
  • It smells weird. Trust your nose; your nose knows as they say. You know what your CBD normally smells like — grassy, earthy, vegetal. If your ol’ olfactory gets a wonky, skunk-vs-wet-dog-ish whiff one day — it could be registering that your product’s off.
  • It tastes weird. Yah, some people don’t have faith in their first two stop-gate senses. They gotta sample a little bit of their odd-looking, foul-smelling CBD before they really believe it’s not fit for consumption anymore. Good CBD oil (sans flavoring) will have a flavor that’s on the toasty-wheaty-earthen spectrum. CBD that’s bad may have an unpleasant putrid zing.

Urm…Can Old CBD Oil Make You Sick?

Probably not.

Over time, the CBD (and other cannabinoids) degrade. This is a natural, expected process that happens to all biological matter. (Except maybe those people who’re hooked on cosmetic surgery or foods with lots of preservatives….)

When the CBD breaks down, it loses its potency. As its mojo declines, so does its potential to effect any kind of results in your body. Old CBD is often quite powerless — you may not feel anything from it. Because aging CBD becomes ever more impotent and inert, its therapeutic benefits could diminish as well.

This said, it’s recommended that you don’t use old or rancid CBD products. Chuck’em and treat yourself to some brand-spankin’-new CBD goods!

Long Live CBD!

CBD can go bad because it’s a substance made from plants and all organic matter eventually degrades. Properly cared for, most high-quality CBD should have a shelf life of 12-24 months.

It’s pretty easy to tell when your CBD has gone bad. Expiration date — listed on all legit CBD products — is a big clue. Other than that, trust your senses — soured CBD will probably look, smell, and/or taste abnormal.

CBD that’s spoiled or past its “best by” date probably won’t make you sick. It’s more likely that it will have no effect on you at all. Err on the safe side, though, replace CBD that’s beyond its prime with fresh product.

Be mindful of the many factors that can shorten your CBD’s shelf life. Premium CBD products tend to withstand the tests of time and handling better.


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