Does CBD Oil Expire & Tips for Preventing it From Going Bad

One of the most important aspects of being a consumer is making sure the products you buy are “good”, as in they haven’t gone past their expiration date. CBD oil is no different, as it must be used or consumed in a particular length of time after manufacture in order to work properly and not cause harm. This is because, yes, CBD can indeed expire. While slightly-expired CBD is unlikely to hurt the user, it does lead to a subpar product and results. 

How long does CBD last? The majority of CBD oils have a shelf life of 1-2 years. However, the recommended range can fluctuate based on three main characteristics that influence this shelf life: how you store it, the added ingredients, and the overall quality of the CBD oil. Therefore, it’s always best to follow what is printed on the packaging of the oil you purchase and keep an eye out for the CBD's expiration date.

What Happens if You Use Expired CBD Oil?

Can using expired CBD oil hurt you? The most likely scenario when you use expired CBD oil is that its potency will be significantly less than if it was “fresh,” because the cannabinoids gradually weaken. Ultimately, using recently expired CBD oil is much like ingesting a generic plant-based oil. To learn more about the benefits of CBD oil, read How CBD Interacts With Your Body and Its EffectsHowever, chances are that using expired CBD oil won't hurt you, though it's not impossible. 

The physical risks to a person that uses CBD oil that has expired are incredibly low, especially if you’re only consuming CBD in small doses. It is possible to feel unwell if you do consume “bad” CBD oil (as is true for most edible items which expired), but there aren’t any known long-lasting health concerns. 

How to Store CBD To Prevent it From Prematurely Expiring

First and foremost, do not leave your CBD oil in direct sunlight. Ideally, store the CBD in a cool and dark in order to prevent it from expiring prematurely, such as in a cabinet or cupboard. This can present challenges if you want to carry it on-person or store the CBD in places like the glove compartment of your car (which can get quite hot). Therefore, smaller-sized CBD vials might be particularly helpful in such scenarios, such as our Illuminating Mini Skin Elixir Trio, as you’re more likely to use it fully within a lesser amount of time. 

As long as you are buying from a company with a good reputation, it’s likely that they’ve done research into the best bottling practices while also having aesthetic appeal. Just be sure that whatever container it does come in can be closed tightly to avoid unnecessary air exposure.

Additional Steps To Extending the Shelf Life of CBD Oil

While properly storing CBD after it’s opened helps it not expire so soon, your purchasing decisions play a large role in its estimated shelf life. Keep the following in mind when shopping for CBD solutions: 

Consider the Credibility of the Brand 

There are too many companies trying to take advantage of the rising consumer interest in CBD with no regard for the quality of what they put out. This could result in impure formulas, the utilization of subpar hemp, or even the selling of CBD oils close to (or beyond) their expiration date. 

Therefore, make transparency a top consideration when choosing a CBD oil provider. You should be able to find information about the manufacturer, both on their own site and third-party sites like Verify Hemp. If you purchase CBD oil that doesn’t have a clear expiration date or list of ingredients, beware!

Additionally, see if the brand offers third-party testing. This is something that many consumers may overlook, but it is a crucial tool for understanding whether the CBD oil is pure and pesticide-free. 

Verify Hemp Results

Confirm the Quality of the Extraction Method

Not every extraction method is equal, and several can even leave a lasting toxic residue that leads to the CBD oil “going bad” at a faster rate. Here’s a brief look at the different extraction methods, in the order of acceptability and their impact on the expiration date.

CO2 Extraction: CO2 as a solid is also known as dry ice. Following a very specific and skilled process, the CO2 is liquified, then the temperature and pressure are raised to a “supercritical” point. Now, the CO2 is in a safe state to perform chemical extraction, and is safe as a consumable additive, as well. Hint, Botanika Life chose this method for our CBD oil in order to provide the best quality with the longest shelf life. 

Ethanol Extraction: This method does extract the cannabinoids and terpenes, but it carries along chlorophyll. If the CBD oil is extracted this way, it must be properly filtered afterward, which reduces the efficacy of the oil. 

You would need to be very sure of the reputation of the company that uses this method because you would be trusting that they perform the proper filtration before it hits the shelves for the general consumer. 

Hydrocarbon Solvent Extraction: Other types of hydrocarbons, like butane or propane, can be used to extract CBD oil. However, they can be dangerous. Not only is butane highly flammable, but these hydrocarbon solvents can leave behind chlorophyll, as well as residues that would damage delicate tissues and even organs if ingested. 

There is no acceptable reason to take the risk of buying and consuming CBD oil extracted in this way.

Signs Your CBD Oil Has Expired or “Gone Bad”

So, how can the average person deduce if their CBD oil expired? There are a few main indications to watch out for:

1. Smell: CBD oils can be near odorless, but they may smell slightly earthy. And, if there are added elements, your oil may take on that fragrance. However, a good CBD oil that hasn’t expired should never smell skunky or rotten. 

2. Texture or Consistency: It may not need to be said, but CBD oils should be liquid. It’s ok for the oil to be a bit viscous, but just be aware of the proper texture and consistency of the oil at the time you purchase it. Though topical creams and ointments have a thicker, creamier consistency, your CBD oil should not be the same. For more insights, look into our guide for the optimal CBD look and color.

3. Price: Unfortunately, as with most commodities, the price matters when it comes to CBD oils. You pay for the purity of the ingredients and the guarantee that it is what it says it is. If you happen upon a CBD oil that has a price too low to be believed, it’s possible it may have already expired or is actually fake

FAQ: CBD Oil and Expiration

1. Does opening the CBD oil make it expire more quickly? If you follow best storage practices, have bought a quality product, and are semi-regularly using the CBD oil, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about whether it will go bad before you can use it up completely. Keep the oil in its original bottle, make sure it is closed properly after use to preserve the airtight aspect, and use a clean dropper or spoon each time. 

2. Are expiration dates printed on Botanika Life CBD oil bottles? Yes, and they are best consumed within 2 years of purchase.

3. Can I refrigerate or freeze my CBD oil? Yes, refrigerating or even freezing can help extend the life of your CBD oil, but it isn’t strictly required. A cupboard, cabinet, or covered shelf is adequate to keep your CBD oil at its best, as long as you are aware of the temperature, amount of direct sunlight, and moisture the oil receives in your choice of storage location.

4. How much CBD oil should I purchase at a time to keep it from expiring? We recommend purchasing what you need, when you need it. If you use CBD oil daily, then it probably wouldn’t matter whether you decide to buy a larger quantity. But, if you only use CBD oil sporadically, start with a smaller bottle or amount, and go from there. You can always re-evaluate how much and how often you buy.

5. Do CBD gummies have a greater or lesser shelf life than CBD oil? CBD gummies have an estimated shelf life of roughly a year before they expire. To learn more about how the two common options compare, read CBD Oil vs Gummies - Which is Best For You.



Final Takeaways About Understanding CBD and Expiration Dates

Consider the reputation of the company that produced the oil, as well as the retail outlet where you are making the purchase. If there is a lack of information verified by outside resources or the price is “too good to be true,” steer clear. Finally, if you have CBD oil in your home, periodically check on the conditions where it is stored, and look at the expiration date if it has been a while since you used or bought it. 

While using slightly expired CBD oil isn't likely to hurt you, it will deliver lackluster results. And, simply put, you and your body deserve the best of the best. 

Need to replace your recently expired CBD Oil? Check out our Elite Elixir (made only with full-spectrum CBD and hemp oil) or our other skincare elixirs.