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Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

Levi Roberts

by Levi Roberts

April 29, 2024 09:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Fact checked by Emily Mullins
Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

Did you find an old bottle of CBD oil lying around, but you have no idea how long ago you bought it?

No worries! In this article, we’ll discuss CBD oil, factors contributing to its shelf life, how to store it best, and—most importantly—how to tell if that bottle you found is still good. 

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a way to consume CBD, a popular cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp. CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is famous for its relaxing effects and is also used topically to help with pain.

CBD oil is a great way to take CBD because the CBD absorbs into your bloodstream more quickly than it does when you take gummies. People often take CBD oil for anxiety, to help them sleep, or for a wide variety of other physical and mental health conditions. 

Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

CBD oil does go bad. Its shelf life usually spans between one and two years, depending on various factors, especially how you store it.

We’ll discuss these factors in a bit. But first, how do you know if your oil is safe to consume? 

How to Tell if Your CBD Oil Has Gone Bad

The main ways to tell if your CBD oil has gone bad are by the smell, consistency, and taste.

The first giveaway of gone-bad CBD oil will be the smell. If your oil smells overly musky, you might be out of luck.

The next thing to test for is consistency. If you unscrew the cap and there’s goopy oil on the inside of the lid, that’s not a good sign.

If you’re unsure about your oil, pour a tiny bit into the sink. It shouldn’t be thick—it is oil, after all!

If you’ve made it this far and everything seems okay, the only thing left to do is taste it. It should taste like hemp, with absolutely no sour notes. If your CBD oil makes your lips pucker, it’s gone bad!

Factors that Influence CBD Oil Shelf Life

Okay, so we know now that CBD oil can go bad. But a shelf life between one and two years actually leaves a lot of room for discrepancy. So, what factors will help your oil make it to the two-year mark?

Quality of Oil

The better the oil, the longer it will last!

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The quality of your oil comes down to the quality of the hemp and carrier oil used. Hemp differs in quality based on growing conditions, which vary from how well the farmers water the hemp to what the weather was like that growing season. 

If your CBD oil has additives like flavors or preservatives, those are other places to look for quality. Generally speaking, CBD oil shouldn’t have all that many ingredients–and quality oils tend to only include straight CBD. In this case, more isn’t necessarily merrier. 

How it Was Extracted

CO2 extraction tends to yield the best results in preserving the cannabinoids being extracted and, hence, extending their shelf life. It is largely known as the “cleanest” extraction method.

CO2 extraction uses pressure and temperature to isolate the CBD from the hemp, rather than soaking the hemp in a solvent for an extended amount of time like in other extraction methods.

How Well it’s Packaged

Dark glass bottles with high-quality seals are the gold standard of CBD packaging. 

How It’s Stored 

How you store your CBD oil potentially has the largest impact on shelf life out of everything on this list. We’ll get more into this below.

How to Properly Store CBD Oil

Storing CBD oil falls under the infamous “store in a cool, dark place” advice umbrella.

Keep your CBD oil in the amber bottle it came in, and keep that bottle in the box it came in (if applicable). If your CBD oil does not come in an amber bottle, your best bet is to transfer it to one for long-term storage.

Although it’s tempting to leave your CBD oil out on the kitchen table or counter, the light will significantly reduce its shelf life. It’s important to keep your oil in a cupboard or cabinet to avoid sunlight penetrating the bottle.

Don’t place the dropper down on the table. Putting the dropper down risks bacteria getting on it and infiltrating your CBD oil, which is a recipe for disaster! The dropper should always either be in your hand or screwed on tight.

Final Thoughts

Although CBD oil goes bad, one to two years is a decent shelf life. Whether you like it or not, your storage practices are the largest factor in how long it lasts. 

So, put our advice into practice if you want your oil to live a long, happy life.

And remember–never just take old oil that you found lying around in the back of a drawer. Test it with smell and by pouring some out first, and if it passes those tests, pay attention to the taste. 

Fingers crossed that your rediscovered bottle is still good!

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