Everything we consume has a shelf life, CBD oil included.
The shelf life of a product is defined as: “the length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption or saleable.”
So, what is the shelf life of CBD oil? Does it really become less effective over time?
How long will that bottle actually last before it’s no longer “fit for consumption?”
Joy Organics has answers.
Exploring the Shelf Life of CBD
The shelf life of CBD actually depends on a few things. How long your CBD oil lasts is determined by its quality, how it’s packaged and how you store it once it’s in your possession. Let’s take a deeper look.
No matter what they might be, quality products tend to last longer. Cars, clothes, appliances…you name it. The higher quality a product is, the longer it’s likely to last. CBD oil is no different.
The quality of the hemp the CBD was derived from, as well as the method used to extract it, can both have a significant impact on the shelf life of the final product. CBD oil from high-quality hemp grown in nutrient-rich soil extracted using state-of-the-art extraction methods will have a much longer shelf life than CBD oil poorly extracted from industrial hemp grown in unfit conditions.
It’s simple. Quality hemp + quality extraction = high-quality oil with a longer shelf life.
Packaging is another important factor that will determine the shelf life of CBD. CBD oil tinctures store best in amber or blue dropper bottles, which is why you’ll find most CBD tinctures are sold in just that.
These colored bottles help keep the product protected against exposure to heat, light and air, which all have a role in the breakdown of both cannabinoids and terpenes. Packaging really does matter and plays an integral role in the shelf life of your CBD.
Seeing that exposure to heat, light, and air all play a huge role in the shelf life of CBD, proper storage is essential. In order to prolong the shelf life of CBD, it’s best to avoid these elements as much as possible.
The best place to store your CBD oil is in a cool, dark environment. This ensures it stays as fresh as possible for as long as possible. If you’ve purchased a high-quality CBD oil, how you store it is one of the most important determining factors in how long it will last.
How to Properly Store Your CBD Oil
Let’s just assume you’ve done your research and bought a high-quality CBD oil from a reputable company. If so, it’s likely packaged in an amber or blue dropper bottle. Now, how you store this CBD is up to you. If you want to extend the shelf life of your CBD oil for as long as possible, keep the following things in mind.
Store Your CBD Oil Away from Light
Research shows that exposure to light is the single greatest factor in the loss of cannabinoids. Exposure to sunlight or artificial light can significantly speed up the degradation process of CBD. While it might be tempting to display your bottle of CBD on a sunny kitchen window ledge, doing so should be avoided at all costs.
Sure, the bottles are designed to filter light so freshness is maintained, but when kept in direct light or in a well-lit location, your CBD oil won’t stay fresh as long as it can. Our recommendation is to keep CBD in a pantry cupboard away from any appliances that produce heat.
Another option is to store your CBD in the refrigerator or freezer, which isn’t only beneficial for keeping light exposure at bay but will also help protect your product from heat.
Store Your CBD Oil Away from Heat
The cooler the temperature your CBD oil maintains, the fresher it will stay. Warmer temperatures can cause slight changes to the chemical composition of your product. While this won’t render your CBD useless, it can diminish the quality a bit and cause your oil to become somewhat cloudy.
One of the best ways to avoid this is by keeping your CBD oil in the refrigerator. Not only does this ensure that your CBD oil doesn’t get too warm, but it also guarantees it’s kept out of direct light (save for when you open your fridge). If you want to avoid light at all costs, you could wrap your bottle of CBD in aluminum foil, but it’s not really necessary.
If you really want to extend the shelf life of your CBD, keeping it away from heat is key. This means keeping it out of a window where it’s exposed to direct sunlight, not leaving it in your car and keeping it away from the oven or stove.
If you’re looking to hold on to your bottle of CBD oil for as long as possible, you might want to consider keeping it in the freezer. While freezing CBD oil generally won’t cause it to solidify, it could become thicker and cloudy. Anyone who plans on keeping a bottle of CBD oil around for emergencies should keep it in the freezer, where its shelf life will be extended considerably.
Keep Your CBD Oil Away from Air Exposure
Most bottles CBD oil comes in are designed not only to keep out light but are also made airtight to prevent air exposure. Exposure to air plays a fundamental role in the breakdown of cannabinoids and can radically reduce the shelf life of CBD oil.
Oxidative stress is the process in which oxygen exposure can slowly cause changes to the chemical composition of certain products. Once CBD oil is exposed to oxygen over time, there are changes that occur to the oil that will not only reduce shelf life but also the quality of the product.
When purchasing CBD oil, try your best to leave it in its original container. Always make sure that you tighten the lid or replace the cap after each use. If you must transfer it to a different container, make sure the new container is airtight.
When Stored Properly, What’s the Shelf Life of CBD?
If you adhere to proper storage methods, the shelf life of your CBD oil is approximately 1-2 years. If kept in the dark at room temperature (or even in the freezer), your oil might last even longer.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your CBD oil, it’s all about taking the best possible care of it that you can. Proper storage will also ensure that your CBD oil maintains its potency and that you’re actually receiving all the benefits it has to offer.
If you’re not looking to store your CBD oil for a long time, keeping it in the freezer or even refrigerator isn’t really necessary. Some people go through CBD oil quicker than others.
If you’re one of them, storing your CBD in a dry, dark, cool cupboard is completely fine. Just make sure it’s not exposed to direct light, you keep it away from heat and you don’t allow excessive exposure to air (just don’t forget to screw the lid back on when you’re done).
Give Your CBD Oil a Long Shelf Life
As you now know, the shelf life of CBD all depends on the quality of the original product and the way your CBD oil is stored.
When it comes to wellness, CBD oil can do wonders. Give your CBD oil the proper attention it deserves by ensuring it’s stored properly, and there’s no reason you won’t be able to use it for months (and even years) to come.
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Joy Smith is Joy Organics Co-founder and visionary. After her own life-changing experience with CBD, Joy started Joy Organics to create a line of sustainable and premium CBD products consumers could trust. Before founding Joy Organics, Joy worked as an itinerant speaker, traveling to over four continents to empower women across the globe.