Can CBD Oil Go Bad?

Can CBD Oil Go Bad?

Posted on December 11th, 2020

A bottle of high-quality CBD oil from a high-quality manufacturer can be a bit pricey compared to a sketchier one. It’s therefore only natural to want it to last for as long as possible. If you just need a few drops per day, it could be months or maybe a year before you finish an entire bottle. This might make you wonder; can CBD oil go bad? And, if yes, how long would that take?

In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about the longevity of CBD, including some tips on how to extend the shelf life of your CBD oils.

How Long Does CBD Last?

Generally speaking, CBD oil has a shelf life between 14 months to 2 years, based on how you store the product. Intense heat and direct sunlight are two key factors that can make a bottle of CBD oil go bad before its expiration date. However, higher quality products will tend to notably longer, especially if they are minimally processed, such as full-spectrum CBD oil. Further, pure CBD oil might last longer compared to flavored oils. This because the added ingredients will have a shelf life of their own, which could be shorter than that of the CBD itself.

You should also keep in mind that the extraction process used to make the product affects its shelf life. Many cannabis experts will agree that the CO2 extraction method is usually best. Most of the finest quality oils can stay potent for longer using this extraction method. This is because the cannabis or hemp compounds will remain stable during the extraction. Other extraction methods tend to destabilize the compounds. This could potentially create lower quality CBD oil that will ultimately have a much shorter lifespan.

Still, CBD products should have an expiration date written clearly on the label; otherwise, it would be a hint of it being sketchy. The FDA stipulates a clearly visible expiration date as a standard for consumer protection. You should always stay away from CBD productions that aren’t in compliance with this requirement.

So, Can CBD Oil Go Bad?

CBD oil can gradually lose its potency when improperly stored or when kept for more than two years. Weak CBD oil could mean that the cannabinoids present already broke down and simply won’t work at their peak when consumed. As such, an old bottle of CBD will be less likely to deliver any of the potential therapeutic effects of CBD oil.

How to Tell Whether CBD Oil Has Gone Bad

There are a few telltale signs to point out if your CBD went bad, those are.

Taste and Aroma

Can CBD Oil Go Bad? - if cbd start to smell bad, it will taste bad, throw it out

When the CBD oil goes bad, its flavor and aroma will become unpleasant over time, usually transforming from earthy to skunky. The taste of bad CBD will be much worse than that of the normal product. This would be one flavor you would probably would prefer never to have tasted. Likewise, the odor of the CBD will likely become notably rancid; you will know when you smell it, can’t miss it.

Texture and Appearance

You might also spot some visual changes to the oil, which could become cloudy over time. Similarly, the texture of the oil may change, and the oil might appear thicker than before and even lose its smooth consistency. Chances are, the compounds that make up the product started breaking down and, thus, the oil started degrading. Murkiness might also appear as a separation of oil and the ingredients in the bottle, which again shows the CBD isn’t at its best.

However, it’s not a rule of thumb that foggy or murky CBD oil has gone bad. This is especially true for those who refrigerate their oils for a long time. Naturally, the texture of the oil will thicken, but it should be able to revert to its original appearance when left out to room temperature. However, murky-looking CBD oil that stays that way happens when the CBD oil is close to expiration.


A change in color might also occur and can serve as an indication that the CBD oil is no longer fresh. This is also mostly brought about by the breakdown of compounds typically found in CBD oils, which causes the color to change over time. The color may change if you expose the product to heat or strong sunlight. All in all, if you notice a color change in your product, chances are that it’s no longer good to consume.

Can Expired CBD Oil Make You Sick?

When it comes to CBD oil, the products typically don’t turn rancid or spoil like milk or other oils do. As such, you are unlikely to become ill if you take a small amount of the product past its expiry date. This is especially the case for people who choose to microdose with CBD. However, to be on the safe side, you should just toss away bottles that were stored poorly for long. Also, get rid of the ones that have been sitting in your medicine cabinet for more than two years.

What Are the Best Ways to Store CBD?Can CBD Oil Go Bad? - store your cbd properly

CBD’s shelf life will generally be about two years from the point of extraction from the cannabis plant and infusion with a carrier oil. This is the case when you store the product in the conditions stated on the bottle. Here are the recommended guidelines for storing CBD oil:

Keep Out of Direct Sunlight

Bottles of CBD oils, tinctures, and other CBD products typically come in dark brown glass bottles. This is to minimize their exposure to light.

Keep in A Cool, Dark Place

You can do this by keeping your product refrigerated or simply keeping the bottle out of direct sunlight and potential heat sources. If you need to store CBD for multiple years, you could store it in the freezer. Just make sure you have it thawed before use. Keep in mind that if you don’t keep your CBD cool, it will gradually start converting into other more stable cannabinoids. This will reduce the potency of your CBD.

Minimize Air Exposure

Air can easily deteriorate your CBD. This is why all CBD oil products come in air-tight containers. When using it, consider minimizing the amount of time the lid is off and make sure that you properly put the lid back on after use.

Avoid Contamination

For CBD products that come with a dropper that you can use to place CBD under the tongue, make sure that the dropper doesn’t come into contact with your mouth. Otherwise, you could pass germs into the CBD oil and gradually deteriorate it. If there’s no dropper, consider transferring your dose into a spoon before ingesting.

Also, Remember To

  • Always store your CBD bottles upright, not horizontally or upside down.
  • Keep any CBD capsules or soft gels in their original bottle; the containers are air-tight most of the time for a reason.
  • Avoid storing your CBD in rooms where there’s a humidifier because excessive moisture could encourage the growth of mold
  • Avoid storing your CBD oil near a window, or in warm places near your home, like near radiators. Don’t keep your CBD in your pocket or purse for extended periods
  • Buy only as much CBD as you need. Bulk buying is one common mistake, especially to take advantage of deals or offers.

Are There Any Exceptions to These Storage Protocols?

Well, some CBD products, especially topical ones, will be best left out at room temperature. Some consistencies will tend to thicken or harden in cold temperatures. When these products melt, they often reform in unappealing manners.

Be sure to check the specific storage instructions for your product before putting it in the freezer or refrigerator. In case they have absolutely no instructions on them, you can still look for the best possible way to store topicals that share a similar base compound. For instance, products that are beeswax-based store in a similar way, no matter the herbal infusions featured in the formula.

Do Some CBD Formulas Expire More Quickly?

Generally speaking, none of the standard CBD products are particularly prone to quick spoilage. The only way an item might be likely to spoil early is if the formulation, extraction, and packaging were poorly executed.

In an unregulated market, it can be rather difficult to determine who is following good manufacturing processes. Be sure to look for manufacturers or brands whose products are handled in premier, cGMP certified facilities. Also, verify if they have lab tests to back up the purity of their products.

Can CBD Oil Go Bad? – The Takeaway

So, can CBD oil go bad? The answer is yes. Just like any other consumable, CBD can go bad. However, the product’s lifespan is not short and, if you store it right, you can extend it quite nicely. If you’re worried about consuming expired CBD, feel good knowing you most likely won’t suffer any negative effects. The main drawback is that the potency of the product will greatly diminish.

Next time, be sure to check whether the CBD product went bad by checking the expiration date on the labels, the smell and taste of the product, and the color or texture. If any of these are no up to the expectations, chances are the product went bad. If so, you should throw it away.

The good thing is that most users will finish their CBD product way before its expiration date. Plus, if you take the precautions listed above, your CBD can keep its potency and freshness for up to two years.

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