July 30, 2021 5 min read

So you’ve found an old bottle of CBD oil in the back of a cabinet. Or maybe you’re wondering if it’s a safe move to buy CBD oil in bulk. Before you crack open an old bottle or make a big purchase you want to know—does CBD oil expire?

The answer is yes, CBD oil does expire, but a well-made CBD oil is shelf stable for a long time. Here’s how to identify a CBD oil that is past its prime:

Table of Contents
What is the Shelf Life of CBD?
Signs Your CBD Has Gone Bad
Is Expired CBD Oil Unsafe?
Conclusion: How Quickly Does CBD Oil Expire?

Key Takeaways

  • CBD does expire, but it may last 1-2 years if properly stored.
  • The ingredients impact the overall shelf life, and quality definitely matters.
  • CBD oil should be clearly labelled with an expiration date, but there are other signs that your oil has gone bad, like a rancid smell.

A woman measuring out a portion of CBD oil from a glass tincture bottle

What is the Shelf Life of CBD?

The shelf life of a CBD product varies by product type and also depends on different manufacturing factors. For instance, certain edibles (like baked goods) may expire rather quickly. Since CBD oil is our primary topic, we’ll focus specifically on CBD oil in liquid form, like sublingual oils that are dropped under the tongue.

The typical shelf life of CBD oil is 1-2 years after manufacturing, but some may last even longer. Of course, the actual shelf life of a CBD product depends on how it’s stored (which we discuss below).

Other factors that impact the shelf life of CBD oil include:

Manufacturing Quality

The old adage “you get what you pay for” sometimes rings true (although we don’t think high-quality CBD oil should break the bank either). The $10 price tag may tempt you to pick up that sketchy bottle of CBD oil at your local convenience store, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Not only is low-quality CBD oil sometimes unsafe and often ineffective, but it also spoils more quickly. It boils down to growing conditions, the original hemp quality (like being free of mold and contaminants), and the overall quality of all ingredients. The simple truth is that high-quality CBD oil lasts longer than the cheap stuff.

Ingredients

We mentioned that the quality of ingredients is an important factor in how long a bottle of CBD oil will last, and that’s very true. The type of ingredients also matters quite a bit, since certain additives, flavoring, terpenes, or herbal ingredients may spoil faster than the CBD oil itself.

For instance, products that contain sugar or artificial flavors are subject to the shelf life of those ingredients, too.

Extraction Techniques

There are a variety of different extraction methods that can be used to make CBD oil, but not all of them are created equal. Some methods use solvents (and may even leave some of those solvents behind) that can affect the shelf life. The Supercritical CO2 extraction method is known to produce a CBD extract that’s incredibly stable.

Packaging

CBD oil needs to be stored in a way that protects it’s integrity. There are things you can do as a consumer to protect your CBD oil from spoiling (see below), but the manufacturer should also take steps towards proper storage for their CBD oil. Usually, this means that CBD oil is stored in an amber colored or opaque glass bottle with an airtight lid.

Storage

The amber bottle we described above is used to block out light that may degrade cannabinoids and ruin the quality of your CBD oil. Oxygen and heat can also break down some cannabinoids. It’s best to keep your CBD oil stored in a cool, dark, dry place, like a cabinet.

Looking for high-quality, shelf-stable CBD made from premium ingredients? We recommend checking out our Vitality CBD Collection.

Vida Optima Vitality CBD Oil

Signs Your CBD Has Gone Bad

The first sign that your CBD has gone bad is that it’s past its expiration date, which should be printed on the bottle. Expiration dates aren’t always accurate or can wear off with age, so you’ll need a back up plan for determining if your CBD has spoiled.

Here are some signs that your CBD oil may be expired:

It smells strange.

Oil can turn and go rancid, but you’ll be able to smell it. If it smells unpleasant, it may be bad. CBD oil should smell slightly earthy and may smell a little “green.”

The consistency has changed.

If your once-thin oil is thick, cloudy, or dark in color, it may not be any good. CBD oil may get thicker when it’s kept cold, but if it doesn’t return to normal at room temperature then it may be better to toss it out.

It tastes bad.

This may go without saying, but then again, some people aren’t sure what to expect from the taste of CBD oil. Some people describe the taste as nutty or grassy, which can be normal for some CBD oils. Still, the oil shouldn’t taste rancid, spicy, sour, or be otherwise unpalatable.

A dropper full of CBD oil that is potentially expired

Is Expired CBD Oil Unsafe?

There’s not really any evidence regarding whether expired CBD oil will make you sick or not, but it’s unlikely that a high-quality CBD oil will make you sick just because it went bad. Of course, some people get sick when they ingest rancid oils, which may lead to an upset stomach, but that usually only happens when consuming larger amounts of oil than you’ll get from a dose of CBD oil.

Expired CBD oil won’t really make you sick, and it probably won’t do anything at all. If the cannabinoids are degraded, you aren’t going to get the benefits of CBD or any benefits at all.

Conclusion: How Quickly Does CBD Oil Expire?

Yes, CBD oil expires eventually, but it may last up to two years. CBD oil with fewer ingredients will usually last longer than oil with lots of flavorings or sweeteners. Abide by the expiration date on the bottle, but also be wary of weird smells, tastes, and textures—they may mean that your CBD oil is rancid.

Store CBD oil in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to extend its shelf life. You should also make sure you start with high-quality CBD oil made from clean hemp material, which helps prevent mold growth or other contaminants from ruining your CBD oil.

Our Vitality Collection includes gummies, chews, softgels, and oils that are made from hemp that is carefully tested for potency and purity before manufacturing. Our Vitality CBD Oil is a great choice if you’re looking for a shelf-stable, powerful daily CBD dose that truly optimizes your wellness routine (thanks to the addition of essential vitamins).


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