CBD contains active plant compounds that need to be stored correctly to be effective. Storing your CBD oil in the wrong way could damage the product and make it ineffective.
Your CBD products also have a shelf life, which means you should always use them before the expiration date.
After this time, the potency of the cannabinoids will start to reduce, making the product less effective.
If you’re curious about CBD shelf life and how to store CBD oil to keep it fresh and effective, this article will help. We will explore:
- The best way to store CBD oil
- Should CBD oil be refrigerated
- How long can CBD oil be kept once opened
In this guide:
Why does CBD storage matter?
Like other natural wellness products, products containing cannabinoids will degrade and expire. CBD products, especially edibles and tinctures, lose their potency as they age.
Although you can’t make them last forever, you can ensure that they do not experience a premature breakdown through proper storage.
The good news is that most CBD products have a shelf life of around two years. This means that, particularly if you use CBD regularly, you can save money by buying a larger volume of CBD and not worry that it will expire before you use it all.
This video sums up the basics if you’re short on time:
How to store CBD oil
The best way to extend the shelf life of this beneficial product is to store it in a cool and dry place. You shouldn’t leave your products in direct sunlight, and avoid exposure to oxygen and moisture.
You should also leave your CBD in its original packaging and in an upright position to avoid spills.
Here are some more essential tips for storing your favourite CBD products:
Never expose CBD products to sunlight
The worst place you can store CBD products is in or near direct sunlight. It isn’t only the heat that will damage the product, the UV light will also cause the cannabinoids to break down.
Exposure to UV rays in sunlight can damage CBD products to the point that they reduce their potency or lose their cannabinoid content entirely.
Generally, CBD is packaged in an opaque container, such as brown or blue glass, that is designed to protect the active compounds from UV light and heat. That is one of the reasons that you should keep CBD oil and tinctures in the original bottle.
Low-quality CBD products are often packaged in clear bottles, so it’s important to check the container of the CBD oil before making a purchase. Transparent bottles make CBD more at risk of exposure to sunlight, decreasing the effectiveness of your CBD.
Store CBD products at room temperature
In general, CBD will not spoil if it is stored at room temperature. This depends on the room you’re storing it in, of course, as some rooms are much hotter than others.
Check the temperature of the space where you’re planning on storing your CBD: it should be 23 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) or below. Temperatures over 23 degrees Celsius can cause CBD products to lose their beneficial properties.
Exposing Cannabinoids to extreme temperatures can degrade them, as well as affect the terpenes, which are another important part of the mixture.
While you can store CBD at room temperature, avoid windows and other places exposed to the sunlight.
Store CBD in an air-tight container
Exposure to oxygen is another factor that can cause the premature breakdown of cannabinoids, including CBD.
Even if it doesn’t degrade the CBD compounds completely, there is a good chance that oxygen in the air can make the CBD oil and other CBD products less effective.
All good CBD manufacturers pack their products in air-tight containers, so as long as you keep them in their original containers and make sure they are properly sealed, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Take care to always close the cap tightly after using the product so that there is no space for the oxygen or contaminants to pass through the cap.
It is also a good idea to check the seal of the container every time you buy a new product. Never accept any CBD products that come with a broken seal.
Does CBD need to be refrigerated?
As we discussed above, CBD needs to be stored at a moderate temperature.
So, if you live in an area with cool to moderate temperatures throughout the year, then there’s nothing wrong with storing your CBD products outside the fridge, as long as they aren’t exposed to direct sunlight, moisture, or high temperatures.
But, if you live in a hot climate, where the ambient temperature will rise above 23 degrees Celsius, storing your CBD in the fridge becomes essential, especially during the summer.
However, some people choose to refrigerate CBD oil regardless of the temperature as they believe that a cool temperature can increase the product’s shelf life and preserve its potency.
While there is no scientific evidence supporting this idea, no harm can be done by storing CBD oil, edibles and other CBD products in the fridge.
CBD products stored in the fridge will always be protected from sunlight, high temperatures, moisture, and other harmful contaminants that can affect the product’s shelf life.
Note that low temperatures can cause CBD oil or other liquids to thicken. If you put them in the refrigerator for hours, there is a good chance the product will turn into a solid state.
If this happens, don’t panic: simply leave the CBD oil at room temperature and it will return to a liquid state.
What is the shelf life of CBD Oil?
Every product will have a different shelf life. Many CBD products will last for up to 2 years if stored properly, though some have a shelf life of a year only.
The shelf life will be indicated by the best-before or expiry date on the packaging. This tells you how long CBD can be kept once opened.
However, there is the risk that your CBD product could expire before its expiry date, so it’s important to look out for the signs that your CBD is expired. We’ve listed these signs below!
Does CBD oil expire?
As mentioned, CBD products come with a shelf life, and the expiry date should always be marked on the label.
Generally speaking, the expiry date that manufacturers print on their products represents a best-case scenario. That is, this date is how long you can expect the product to remain effective if it is stored properly.
To get the maximum shelf life, you need to make sure you store your CBD products properly, following the rules we have covered above.
As well as ensuring the product is within its official expiry date, you also need to make sure it has not prematurely expired.
If the product has prematurely expired, you may notice certain signs and indicators that it is no good anymore. Here are some signs that your CBD product has expired:
- Unpleasant or unusual odour
- Change in colour: usually a little darker than the original colour
- You no longer notice the same results from your regular dosage
Research hasn’t shown any serious side effects of using expired CBD products, but it is best to use such products as, at the very least, they will not deliver the health benefits that you’re looking for.
Signs that your CBD has expired
It's past the expiry date
If your CBD oil is past the expiration date indicated on the product it is no longer safe to use.
It smells funny
If your CBD has an unusual or unpleasant odour, it is most likely expired.
It changes colour
If your CBD is darker in colour than when you originally bought it, it might be expired.
Same dose, less results
If you no longer experience the same result from your regular dose there is a possibility that your CBD is expired.
Best way to store different types of CBD products
By now you know that it’s important to store your CBD products properly so that you get the maximum shelf life from them. But, the best way to store CBD products will depend on the form of CBD, so let’s take a look at some specific guidelines and tips for each product:
One of the reasons why most people choose CBD oil over other CBD products is their longevity. CBD tinctures tend to last longer than cannabidiol in other forms.
The shelf life of CBD oil varies from product to product, but some CBD oil is capable of lasting for up to two years without losing efficiency. The MCT oil used in the product can also affect its shelf life.
The best way to store CBD oil is in a dark, opaque bottle. Make sure you store it in the air-tight bottle, preferably in its original packaging and keep it in a cool place. For more information, check the product’s label or contact the retailer or manufacturer.
CBD cooking oil
CBD cooking oils and CBD butter have a much lower shelf life than other CBD products.
A great way to extend the shelf life of CBD butter and CBD cooking oil is to store them in the freezer: CBD butter will stay good in the fridge for just a few weeks but will last up to six months if frozen.
Once out of the freezer, make sure to keep your CBD butter in the fridge and CBD cooking oil in an airtight container in a cool cupboard, or in the fridge if the ambient temperature is too warm.
Tip: For easy storage, mix CBD cooking oil with herbs and pop it in the freezer in an ice cube tray. Then, when you want to use the oil simply pop out one or two ice cubes and leave the rest in the freezer!
It is important to note that ingredients included in CBD edibles have a significant impact on their shelf-life. Edibles do not typically have a long shelf-life, so it is best to consume these products as soon as possible.
Most edibles come with special instructions and storage recommendations, so always check the label.
Some edibles will degrade faster once the packaging has been opened, while others may not be affected in the same way.
Also, some edible CBD products are best stored in the refrigerator, and in many cases, they can be frozen to extend their shelf-life if you are not planning on consuming them straight away.
And of course, always follow the expiry date given by the manufacturer, as this is carefully calculated based on the shelf-life of the CBD in the product, as well as all other ingredients.
If you still have doubts, talk to the retailer and discuss the storage options.
CBD skincare products
CBD oil for skin care often contains natural ingredients which will affect the shelf life of the entire product. CBD skincare items typically last for around 6-12 months, but this may be longer for some petroleum-based products.
The cannabinoid content is slightly less important in CBD topicals because it isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream. That said, you should still store your skincare products in a cool and dry place.
Avoid extreme temperature changes, as this can alter the composition of your skincare products and cause them to split.
CBD storage while travelling
Carrying CBD products with you when you travel makes their proper storage more difficult.
However, this can sometimes be necessary for you to have your regular dose of CBD. If this is the case, you can still take your CBD with you.
You just need to follow basic precautions, such as storing the product away from sunlight and heat, keeping it in a cool and dark place, and avoiding its exposure to air.
If you are travelling by car, try to avoid leaving CBD in the car for too long, as cars tend to heat up quickly.
If you’re flying with CBD oil you need to be very careful, as laws relating to the cannabinoid vary greatly from country to country. Also if you put CBD in the hold luggage, the temperature could change and ruin your product.
Therefore, take your CBD with you rather than leaving it in your suitcase for long periods. As an extra layer of protection from heat and light, you can wrap your CBD products in aluminium foil while travelling.
Final thoughts on storing CBD oil
All CBD products come with a particular shelf life. To get the maximum shelf life from your CBD products and keep them as effective as possible you need to store them properly.
Heat, direct sunlight, air and oxygen can all contaminate CBD and make the compound less effective. Therefore, proper storage means keeping your CBD safe from all of these elements.
Failing to store your CBD properly will make it less effective, and expired products may even have negative side effects. It is important not to take any product that has passed its expiry date, or that has changed in colour or has an unusual odour.
Storing your CBD products properly will help you to get the most out of them, and if you are in doubt, it is best to replace any potentially-expired product.