A woman holds a dropper of oil over a jar on a table, surrounded by soft gels, hemp leaves, and an open container of CBD cream

Does CBD Oil Expire and How Long Does it Last?

After spending all that time and energy searching for the best CBD on the market, it only makes sense that you’d want to know other general but important information about it. Since some people may not take their CBD regularly, they often wonder if it will expire. While this question may seem like one of the more common ones, it’s definitely a good one to know the answer to. 

Does CBD Expire and How Much is Good to Buy at One Time?

How much CBD you take on a daily basis depends directly on what your own unique dose is. Since everyone’s body is different, a dose that is excellent for one person may not work that well for someone else. Therefore, when taking CBD, everyone should spend some time finding a dose that works best for their body. Likewise, how much CBD you use also depends on how frequently you’ll be using it. For example, it should go without saying that you’ll go through less CBD if you take it once a day as opposed to twice a day. For best results, it’s recommended to take CBD on a daily basis. 

Knowing how much CBD you use and how often you take it will help you to decide how much CBD you may need to keep stocked in your home. So, if you take a dropper full or more of CBD each day, you’ll most likely want to purchase the largest bottle that your preferred brand sells. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt to keep an extra bottle on hand just in case there’s an issue with the existing bottle that you’re currently using. While it’s great to have a small stash of CBD, it’s not worth it to purchase more CBD than you can use in a year. CBD generally decreases in potency after about a year. 

What is the Shelf Life of CBD Oil?

Most CBD products typically have a shelf life of roughly 14 to 24 months. However, potency of CBD can begin to decrease after one year, especially if you are not following certain simple guidelines for maintaining the correct environment for your CBD. Taking just a little extra care can extend the shelf life of CBD oil.

What Factors Give CBD an Extended Shelf Life?

When purchasing CBD, we strongly recommend buying it from a reputable brand. Most reputable brands take necessary steps to ensure that their products have an extended shelf life. For example, some brands, like FAB CBD, use dark brown or dark blue glass bottles for their CBD oils. The reason for this is that the darker glass helps to prevent or stop the CBD oil from being exposed to sunlight or other sources of light that can decrease the oil’s overall potency. 

A red box of berry CBD oil on a green background with raspberries and strawberries sprinkled around

Additionally, the manner in which the CBD oil was extracted also makes a big difference. The CO2 extraction method is not only the industry gold-standard of extraction, it’s also the cleanest method. Moreover, the CO2 extraction process also helps to foster a longer shelf life for CBD products. Because CBD extracts using the CO2 extraction method are typically free from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other contaminants, there’s less of a chance for bacterial growth or degradation of the CBD over time. Most reputable brands use this type of extraction process to ensure that their products are clean, effective, and have a fairly extended shelf life.

Interestingly, delivery method also matters when it comes to how long a CBD product will last. For example, if you’re a fan of CBD capsules, be aware that soft gels have a longer shelf life over CBD capsules. This is because unlike capsules, softgels are seamless, airtight, and completely sealed off. At the end of the day, no matter which type of CBD product you choose, you should become fully aware of what its shelf life is.

Lastly, CBD ingredients matter. Every single ingredient in a CBD product, like flavoring, has its own shelf life. This can also have an affect on how long a CBD product will last. A good rule of thumb to follow is that less ingredients is more. The fewer ingredients in the CBD product, the better and longer shelf life it can have. In order to find out what’s inside your CBD product, you need to both read the ingredients listed on the packaging and review the product’s certificate of analysis, or COA. The certificate of analysis is just a fancy way of saying a third-party lab report. Independent third-party lab reports will provide you with a detailed list of anything and everything that’s in the CBD product as well as tell you how potent it is.

A woman reads the label of her CBD product

How Can You Tell if Your CBD Oil Has Expired?

Aside from looking at the expiration date that’s printed on the packaging, expired CBD oil may have a rancid smell to it. However, don't rely on your nose entirely, as it may be difficult to tell if an oil has gone bad simply by smell alone. Some other prominent signs that your CBD oil has expired are: 

  • The color of the oil has darkened significantly after a couple of years
  • The overall texture of the oil has gone from thick to thin
  • There appears to be a foggy coating that you can visibly see on the inside of the bottle

What Happens if You Use Expired Oil?

The main reason to avoid using expired CBD oil is related to decreased effectiveness of the CBD itself. The results you get from taking expired CBD oil will not match those of a fresh bottle with CBD that's still intact and potent. 

The other problem with using expired oil is that there is always more of a possibility of contamination in older oils. There has simply been more time and opportunity for oxygen, light, or microbes to enter into the oil and begin degrading and altering it over time.

Can Old CBD Make You Sick?

Old oils of any kind are not likely to make you sick if you are consuming them in small quantities. However, as oil ages, it changes its properties and can become harder for the body to process. So instead of taking a healthy medium chain triglyceride that's supportive of your wellness, your older oil could pose challenges to your body's system as it attempts to process a difficult substance.

How To Store CBD Oil Properly

The best way to keep your CBD oil fresh is to keep the bottle closed tight when not in use, and to store it in a cool, dry place away from heat and light. This usually means looking for places like your vitamin cabinet or a remote corner of the kitchen where there isn't any direct sunlight. Some people prefer to keep it on their bedside table, within reach in the morning and night. Others like to keep it in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.

Does CBD Oil Need to be Refrigerated?

CBD oil does not need to be refrigerated. In fact, the less you mess with its liquid state, the better. While intense heat is probably the most damaging, it's not recommended to alter the temperature of your CBD oil to any extreme. So stay away from the refrigerator and just let your CBD oil stay within a relatively small range of temperature fluctuation.

What Can You Do to Help Extend a CBD Product’s Shelf Life?

While reputable brands take the necessary steps to ensure that their products have a long shelf life, there are some small things that you can do on your own to help ensure that your CBD products last as long as possible. Some simple things that you can do to prolong the shelf life of your CBD are to avoid air exposure, moisture, bright light, and heat. 

Specifically, you should try to: 

  • House your CBD products in a cool, dark location
  • Abstain from keeping your CBD near any heat sources
  • Make sure that your CBD oil bottles are closed well and are kept in an upright position
  • Never leave CBD products in your vehicle for extended periods, especially in extreme heat.
A man checks the clarity of his CBD oil as it drops from the dropper into the bottle.


    Closing Thoughts on CBD Shelf Life

    Even though more thought goes into finding the best CBD products for your health goals and wellness needs, it’s also important to think about the shelf life of the products that you end up buying. While there’s not really an exact time to know when to get rid of your CBD products, you still can do a few things to help extend your CBD product’s life. For example, some simple things you can do are:

    • Look for signs that your product may be expiring. 
    • Be sure to store your CBD products properly (away from heat or light)
    • Select a high-quality CBD product from a reputable brand
    • Look for brands that use the industry preferred CO2 extraction method
    • Buy CBD oils that are packaged in dark brown or dark blue glass bottles

    Even though most reputable brands go out of their way to take steps to make their CBD oils last for as long as possible, by doing simple things at home, you’ll be sure to get the most time out of any CBD product that you buy. Additionally, when you set out to buy CBD, it’s best to steer clear of brands that make bold claims about their products or that do not have any third-party lab reports to speak of. Sadly, products from these brands are most likely not worth your money, have a short shelf life, and can potentially be loaded with a lot of unwanted harmful chemicals. As with anything in life, discernment is key.