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How Long Does CBD Oil Last Once Opened?

When exploring the world of CBD, there’s one question that often arises: does CBD oil expire?

It’s an important consideration for those who have found using CBD beneficial and want to store it long-term.

As with many other products, understanding CBD oil’s shelf life can optimise its use and, importantly, its efficacy.

In this post, we’ll unpack the factors that influence CBD oil’s longevity and provide tips on proper storage to help maximise its lifespan.

After all, maintaining product quality is key to reaping its full potential benefits.

Does CBD Oil Expire After a Certain Amount of Time?

Like most consumable products, CBD oil does have an expiry date.

Although CBD oil doesn’t ‘go off’ in the traditional sense, over time, it can lose its potency and efficacy due to the natural degradation of its active compounds.

The typical shelf life of a quality CBD oil is generally between 1 to 2 years after opening, although this can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the ingredients, the packaging and how the product is stored.

Unopened CBD oil, if stored properly, can last up to two years from the date of manufacture, sometimes longer.

Heat, light and oxygen exposure can accelerate the degradation process.

Therefore, to prolong its shelf life, it’s recommended to keep CBD oil in a cool, dark place, ideally in an airtight container.

Always check the product’s expiry date or ‘best before’ date where provided, and pay attention to changes in colour, consistency or smell which might indicate that the product is no longer at its best.

It’s also worth noting that CBD oil’s effectiveness may decrease over time as the active compounds degrade, so you may not experience the same benefits from using older products.

How Long Does CBD Oil Last Once Opened?

Once opened, CBD oil typically lasts anywhere between 1 to 2 years.

However, this can vary based on several factors.

The ‘best before’ date mentioned on the packaging gives an indication of how long the product will last at its peak potency.

However, it’s important to remember that this is just a guideline and actual longevity can be influenced by how the oil is stored.

Exposure to light, heat, and air can accelerate the breakdown of cannabinoids (the active compounds in CBD oil), which can affect its potency and efficacy.

To get the most from your CBD after opening, it’s advised to store it in a cool, dark place, ideally in an airtight container.

Remember that while CBD won’t necessarily ‘spoil’ or become harmful to use after this time, it might lose its potency.

So, if you notice the product has changed in colour, consistency or smell, or it’s not providing the same effects, it’s probably time to replace it.

What Happens if You Take CBD Oil That Has Expired?

If you inadvertently consume CBD oil that has expired, it’s unlikely to cause any harm or significant side effects.

Unlike certain foods, expired CBD oil does not foster harmful bacteria or mould that could lead to illness.

However, there are a few caveats to bear in mind.

The primary issue with using expired CBD oil is its diminished efficacy.

Over time, the active cannabinoids in the oil, including CBD itself, break down and lose their potency.

This means that the product won’t be as effective as it once was, potentially reducing the benefits you experience.

In short, while expired CBD oil is not likely to be harmful, it’s advisable to use the product within its suggested use-by date to ensure you are benefiting from its full potency and enjoying it at its best quality.

How Can You Tell if CBD Oil Has Gone Off?

Identifying if your CBD oil has ‘gone off’ or expired mainly relies on visual and olfactory indicators. Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Change in Colour: CBD oil that has gone off may change in colour. Fresh CBD oil usually has a clear or golden hue, but if it has darkened significantly or appears cloudy, it may be past its prime.
  • Change in Consistency: Expired CBD oil may have a thicker consistency or appear murky. Over time, the oil can separate into layers, a sign that it’s no longer at its best.
  • Change in Smell: Fresh CBD oil has a mild, somewhat earthy scent. If it smells rancid or significantly different from when you first opened it, this could indicate that it’s expired.
  • Taste: While it’s less desirable to taste something that may have expired, a change in the taste of the oil could also be an indication that it’s past its prime. A rancid or extremely bitter taste can suggest that the oil has degraded.
  • Reduced Effectiveness: If you’re finding that the oil isn’t providing the same effects as it used to, it may have lost its potency due to age.

It’s always wise to keep track of the ‘best before’ date on the product’s packaging, but remember that the quality of CBD oil can degrade even before this date if it’s not stored correctly.

If you notice any of the above changes, it’s likely time to replace your CBD oil.

What is the Best Way to Store CBD?

Storing CBD oil correctly is essential to maintain its potency, freshness, and longevity.

Here are a few tips to ensure you’re storing your CBD oil in the best way possible:

  1. Avoid Light Exposure: Light can degrade the active cannabinoids in CBD oil, reducing its efficacy. As such, the product should be kept in a dark place. Many CBD oils come in tinted bottles to help protect against light damage.
  2. Keep Away from Heat: High temperatures can also cause CBD oil to degrade faster. It’s recommended to store your oil in a cool place, but not necessarily in the fridge unless specified by the manufacturer.
  3. Minimise Air Exposure: Oxygen can also contribute to the degradation of cannabinoids. Keep your CBD in an airtight container and try to limit the amount of time the bottle is open when in use.
  4. Store Upright: Always store your CBD upright to prevent leaks and limit air exposure.
  5. Avoid Humidity: Store your oil in a dry place, as humid conditions can compromise its quality over time.

By adhering to these storage tips, you can help maximise the shelf life of your CBD oil and maintain its quality for the longest possible time.

Remember, even with optimal storage conditions, CBD oil does have an expiry date, so it’s always best to use it within this timeframe.

What Factors Affect the Shelf Life of CBD Oil?

The shelf life of CBD oil can be influenced by several factors, ranging from the quality of the ingredients used to the way it’s stored.

Here are the primary factors affecting its shelf life:

  1. Quality and Type of Ingredients: Higher-quality CBD oils often have a longer shelf life as they typically contain fewer preservatives and artificial additives. The type of carrier oil used can also affect shelf life. For example, coconut oil or MCT oil may prolong the shelf life compared to other carrier oils.
  2. Extraction Method: The method used to extract CBD from the hemp plant can also influence the oil’s longevity. The CO2 extraction method, for instance, tends to produce a purer product with a longer shelf life compared to other methods.
  3. Packaging: The type of packaging plays a significant role. Dark or tinted glass bottles help protect the oil from light, which can degrade CBD. Airtight containers can prevent exposure to air, which can also speed up degradation.
  4. Storage Conditions: The way CBD oil is stored greatly affects its shelf life. Exposure to light, heat, and air can speed up the degradation process of CBD, reducing its potency and efficacy. Proper storage involves keeping the oil in a cool, dark place, preferably in an airtight container.
  5. Additives: CBD oils containing additives or preservatives may have a different shelf life than pure CBD oil. Some additives might prolong shelf life, while others could shorten it.

By understanding these factors, you can make more informed choices when buying CBD oil and ensure you’re storing it correctly to maintain its efficacy and prolong its use.

As a long-time CBD user and also someone who stores, stocks, manufactures, wholesales and sells thousands of bottles of CBD oil each year.

My biggest piece of advice for prolonging the life of your CBD would be to make sure you keep it in its original packaging, out of direct sunlight, and try to keep it in a cool, dry area.

Final Notes On CBD Oil Expiration

CBD oil does expire, typically after 1 to 2 years, losing its potency over time.

Factors influencing shelf life include the quality of ingredients, extraction method, packaging, and storage conditions.

Always aim to use it by the ‘best before’ date.

Understanding CBD oil’s shelf life and proper storage can help users across the UK get the most out of this popular well-being product, ensuring its full benefits are harnessed.

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