Since the federal legalization of industrial hemp in late 2018, the popularity of hemp-derived supplements such as cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp oil has increased substantially. CBD is now used by millions of Americans to help relieve a number of ailments, including inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and more — and demand appears to be increasing every year. But with bottles of CBD oil finding their way into the medicine cabinets of more and more Americans, many are wondering, “Does CBD oil expire?” The answer is yes, but it’s not all black and white. Here we’ll take a look at the factors that affect your CBD oil’s shelf life, how to tell if it’s gone bad, and what you can do to make it last longer.
How Long Does CBD Oil Last?
The average lifespan of a bottle of CBD oil is 14 to 24 months. But not all CBD oils are created equal, and there are a few key factors that can affect a product’s shelf life — for better or worse.
Factors That Affect Your CBD’s Shelf Life
There are several factors that work together to determine how long CBD oil lasts, starting with the growing of the plant itself and ending with your own care and storage of the product. Here are the main points to be aware of.
Quality: The fact that high-quality products are likely to last longer than their low-quality counterparts is no surprise. From the soil where the hemp is grown to the purity of the carrier oil the CBD is mixed with, each part contributes to (or detracts from) the final product’s shelf life.
Ingredients: While NuLeaf Naturals produces a pure CBD oil, many suppliers will include additives such as flavorings. Unfortunately, any additives will have their own shelf life, which can negatively affect how long the final product will last. For this reason, it’s a good idea to read the product label as well as the Certificate of Analysis (CoA) to find out what’s really in it.
Extraction process: The carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction method is considered to be the gold standard in CBD manufacturing. Not only does it result in a higher concentration of hemp cannabinoids, but it also maintains compound stability, increasing shelf life.
Packaging: Many manufacturers use dark amber or green glass bottles to package their CBD oil. While this is intended to reduce exposure to light, it doesn’t entirely protect the product inside. NuLeaf Naturals CBD oils are bottled in a violet glass, which only allows the violet and infrared spectrum of light to penetrate through. As neither of these visible waves have the capacity to harm or degrade the material inside, you can feel confident your product will last.
Product Type: It’s also important to consider the type of CBD product. For example, softgels tend to last longer than capsules since they’re fully sealed and airtight, removing the opportunity for the carrier oil to oxidize.
Storage: It’s well-known that heat and light will increase CBD degradation. Storing your CBD supplements in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet, pantry, or drawer, will help prolong its life. Storing your CBD oil in the refrigerator will help it last even longer.
How Much CBD Oil Should You Buy at a Time?
As with most other products, purchasing CBD oil in larger quantities can lower the cost per ounce, however — to avoid purchasing CBD that will go bad before you get to use it — you need to take into account the particular product’s shelf life as well as your own personal dosing and frequency of use.
NuLeaf Naturals CBD products have a guaranteed shelf life of two years. If you’re using our suggested dosage of 30 mg of CBD oil on a daily basis, then our largest bottle will last you about six to seven months. While individual dosing and frequency preference will vary from person to person, many individuals take CBD on a daily basis, as this provides the most reliable results.
How Good Is CBD After Its Expiration Date?
CBD works in an integrated manner with the body’s own Endocannabinoid System (ECS) — a kind of complex communication system among cells that regulates a host of functions throughout the body including metabolism, mood, and memory.
Over time, the cannabinoids in CBD oil will degrade and lose their potency, making them less effective in their interactions with the ECS. In other words, CBD will go bad. And when it does, you likely won’t get the full therapeutic benefits from your CBD oil once it’s expired.
How to Know if Your CBD Oil Is Bad
While any CBD oil that you purchase should have its expiration date clearly marked, there are factors that could shorten its life, such as excess exposure to light, heat, and air. Even so, the label may become damaged over time, making it difficult to discern the “best-by” date. Here are some things to look for when determining whether your CBD oil has gone bad.
It looks murky and has a thick consistency. Keep in mind, “murky” isn’t the same as “cloudy.” If you keep your CBD in the refrigerator, or even a cold room, it can become cloudy. However, it should return to its normal appearance after a few minutes at room temperature. Aside from that, if it becomes thicker and darker than you’re accustomed to, it’s likely degraded to some degree.
It smells skunky. A fresh bottle of CBD oil should have an “earthy” smell and shouldn’t be unpleasant. If it starts to smell funky, it may be on its way out.
It tastes “off.” Unflavored CBD typically tastes “earthy” or “nutty” — some might even describe it as “grassy.” While these might not be your favorite flavors, it shouldn’t be unpalatable. However, if your CBD oil has expired — as with most other oils that go bad — it will taste rancid.
How to Store CBD Oil to Prolong Its Shelf Life
As a consumer, you can store your CBD properly to help prolong its viable shelf life. Specifically, avoid light, heat, excess exposure to air, and moisture. Here are some specific tips to help your CBD oil last longer.
- Store it in a cool, dark place — like a drawer or cabinet — to avoid exposing it to excessive light.
- Seal it up tight. Exposure to air can contribute to faster oxidation of your CBD oil. To avoid this, store tincture bottles upright and close the lids tightly when not in use. If you have capsules or softgels, continue to store them in the original, airtight container.
- Keep CBD away from heat sources such radiators, ovens, stoves, and windowsills. Ideally, store your CBD at room temperature (around 60 to 70°F), or in your refrigerator. If the oils appear to have separated after storing the product in the fridge, just give the bottle a good shake.
- Try not to store CBD in your car, especially if you live in an area that experiences extreme temperatures and/or intense sunlight.
- Reduce contamination of your CBD oil by always using a clean spoon or dropper. This will help to keep unwanted bacteria from entering the bottle.
CBD Lifespan: The Manufacturing Difference
Since 2014, NuLeaf Naturals has been committed to creating the world’s highest-quality cannabinoid products. Our full spectrum cannabinoid extracts contain no additives, only organic hemp. To ensure a full range of cannabis compounds and other beneficial phytonutrients are preserved, we only source cannabinoids that are extracted using safe and eco-friendly methods (CO2 extraction). The result is the purest and most effective products on the market.
With a guaranteed shelf life of 24 months, it’s easy to take advantage of cost savings by purchasing a larger bottle of CBD oil. You could even keep a backup on hand in case your bottle is dropped, broken, lost, left behind, or lent out to a friend.
If you find your preferred dosage varies from our suggested serving size, the NuLeaf Naturals Expert Team is available to assist you in determining how long your desired bottle size will last based on your dosage and frequency preference.
Do you have questions about our products, or are wondering which one is right for you?
Our Expert Team is here to help via phone, email, or online chat:
Telephone: +1 (720) 372-4842
Email: [email protected]
Online chat: nuleafnaturals.com
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us between 9am and 5pm MT, Monday – Friday.