Getting the maximum benefits from your CBD oil requires storing it properly. How can you tell if yours has gone bad? Let’s look at the shelf life, optimum storage conditions and tell-tale signs of when your oil has expired.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is oil extracted from hemp or cannabis plants that contains only the non-psychoactive cannabinoid known as CBD or cannabidiol. Used topically for pain relief and skin care, or ingested medicinally as a treatment for anxiety, insomnia and addiction, uses for this "superfood" are seemingly growing by the day. CBD oils usually have a carrier such as olive or coconut oils, grain alcohol or cocoa butter. When properly made, the shelf life of these products is years or more.
Perishability will vary based on what product you have, so check first for a "best-by" or expiration date. If making infusions at home, keep in mind the ingredients used when determining shelf life and storage.
Oils are notorious for being susceptible to rancidity and degradation, as they are very sensitive to changes in temperature, oxygen, and light. Just as food-grade oils should be stored in a dark, cool pantry, so should CBD oil. Another storage solution is your refrigerator, though this is not required. Note that some crystallization or thickening can occur in the refrigerator. This is easily remedied by briefly running the container or bottle under hot water.
Pure hemp oil has a shelf life of approximately 14 months when stored in ideal conditions. Think of storing your CBD product in the same way you store the carrier oil, as it has a similar shelf life. It’s also important to research the production practices of the company who makes the product, as many manufacturers are happy to share the steps they take to safeguard the integrity of the oil. Ensuring you start with a quality product will ensure you are set up for success. Protecting against excess heat, light and air will help maintain their freshness longer.
Does CBD Oil Go Bad?
While degradation can happen, it doesn’t go "bad" in a sense that it could make you sick. The only real risk is loss of potency. How can you tell if this has occurred? First check the product visually. Murkiness indicates the product has started to degrade. Some cloudiness occurs when in cold storage, so be sure to bring the product to room temperature before checking for this. Most often, the tell-tale sign of degradation is a difference in odor and flavor. It will simply smell and taste like rancid oil.
Most users will replace an empty product long before the best-by date, but if you do plan to keep your oil for long-term storage, the refrigerator or freezer will guarantee a longer shelf life. Products aren’t meant to last forever, and of course the best way to safeguard against rancid CBD oil is to use it before it expires.