CBD Oil Shelf Life: How Long Does it Remain Safe to Use?

cbd oil shelf life

Posted on April 6th, 2021

Most of the things we use have a shelf life, and CBD oil is no different. The definition of a product’s shelf life is the length of duration for which a particular item remains fit for consumption. So what is the actual CBD oil shelf life? Does it become less effective or weaker over time? How long will the bottle last before it is no longer suitable to consume? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

What Are Cannabinoids?

A cannabinoid is a chemical substance that binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the body. They are present in the human body and in plants, but the highest concentration is in cannabis. In general, the three forms of cannabinoids that most people use are synthetic, medicinal, and recreational. 

The cannabis plant contains between 80-100 cannabinoids and around 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. Generally, the two major cannabinoids are CBD and THC. THC is the more popular of the two. It’s also the chemical that’s responsible for cannabis’s intoxicating effects. 

When it comes to these two cannabinoids, the key difference is that THC possesses stronger psychoactive effects. It makes a person “high”. On the other hand, CBD can moderate or control this feeling. Additionally, CBD may also alleviate some of the other negative effects that users can encounter from THC, like anxiety.

side effects of cbdaWhat Is CBD?

Cannabidiol is a chemical compound in the cannabis sativa plant. It is a natural substance that is used in products such as edibles or oils to impart a feeling of relaxation. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause an intoxicated feeling. If anything, it causes users to simply feel relaxed.

CBD oil is essentially the raw cannabinoid combined with a carrier oil. The specific carrier oil can play a role in CBD oil shelf life. Among the dozens of chemicals in cannabis, CBD is one of the chemicals that offers the most health advantages. Typically, CBD oil products don’t contain THC, but things like full spectrum tinctures do contain trace amounts.

Hemp seed oil and coconut oil are popular carrier oils in CBD products. CBD oil tinctures come in a wide array of concentrations. You can also find CBD capsules, salves, and even sublingual CBD sprays.

Making CBD Oil

Since marijuana plants contain too much THC and are illegal in most US states, the hemp plant is the best candidate for making CBD oil. When the hemp reaches maturity, the farmers will harvest, then air-dry and mill it into hemp grounds. Afterward, manufacturers extract the plant nutrients and cannabinoids from the processed material. Then, the resulting extract is mixed with a carrier like a coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil. Lastly, it’s bottled, and then samples of all batches are analyzed for purity and quality. 

Each CBD brand or manufacturer puts its spin on the entire process. Typically, the specific technique that they apply at each stage establishes the final product’s quality and its level of cannabinoids. Of course all of this also establishes the CBD oil shelf life.

Hemp vs Marijuana

Hemp is cannabis sativa that has less than 0.3% THC. Although many people consider marijuana and hemp to be different strains of C. sativa, this isn’t quite the case. Marijuana and hemp are the same plants, just with different features.

However, since there are different levels of THC in marijuana and hemp their roles are usually different. Historically, people have used hemp for its fibers and seeds as much as for its cannabinoids. Marijuana however, is mostly recreational, though it too has medical uses. The main practical difference these days is the legality of each plant. Hemp is federally legal, while marijuana is not.

full spectrum hemp cbd on bathroom counter topCBD Oil Shelf Life

Since each CBD oil product is quite different, there is no single accurate amount of time that your CBD oil will last. For instance, premium products that are manufactured to industry-leading standards will last longer than relatively cheaper and lower quality ones that might not be manufactured as carefully. Furthermore, the way you store your product will also affect the overall CBD oil shelf life. 

Generally speaking, a top-quality CBD oil product from a reliable brand like Tanasi will last for around 12-14 months. This does depend on its being stored correctly (room temperature out of direct sunlight).

That means that you will be able to take your CBD oil product for at least a year before tossing it. Since CBD oil usually comes in a tiny container, most people will end up using their CBD oil products in less than a year. 

Before using a CBD oil product, it would be prudent to note the actual date you opened it. That way, you will be able to check once 12 months have elapsed if you haven’t used it up.

Signs of Exceeding CBD Oil Shelf Life

If you have CBD oil that has exceeded 12-14 months, check out the taste and odor before you use any substantial amount. In some situations, old CBD oil can develop an unpleasant taste or odor. If your CBD oil product no longer tastes or smells like it is supposed to, you should throw it away.

Generally speaking, bacteria doesn’t readily develop in CBD oil. This is because it is an oil-based substance and not a water-based one. Nevertheless, it is still possible for bacteria to develop within the CBD oil bottle after a while. Chances for bacteria go up particularly if you store it in an environment that is too warm.

If a year has elapsed and your CBD oil product doesn’t taste or smell strange, then you might be able to take it as usual. With that said, it would be best to discard any CBD oil product that has exceeded 24 months.

If your CBD oil has expired, don’t worry right away. It may remain effective for quite a long time after the expiration date on the container. Cannabinoids do, however, start to degrade and lose their potency over time. That simply means that if you consume expired CBD oil, you won’t reap the full potentially therapeutic benefits of the product.

Extend CBD Oil Shelf Life

Storage is a vital issue to consider when it comes to CBD products. Of course, you need to store your CBD oil in a way that ensures that it lasts as long as possible.

Although there is no single way to store CBD oil, there are certain recommended solutions. Many people agree that you should keep the CBD oil in some bottle. Additionally, make sure that the bottle remains in an upright position, and away from extreme temperatures, moisture, or sunlight.

Many people believe that storing it in a refrigerator can extend CBD oil shelf life. However, if the product gets too cold, some of the ingredients could potentially separate a bit. If the CBD oil is too cold, the best way to thaw it is by running it under a warm tap. Do this until it appears to be back to normal consistency, then shake to ensure it mixes properly.


Hopefully you have learned that the actual CBD oil shelf life depends on several variables. The quality of the initial product and how you store your CBD oil play major roles. Treat your CBD oil with the proper attention it deserves and it should be safe to use for up to a year or even two. If you have a large amount of CBD oil that you want to test thoroughly, you can do just that. Companies like Kaycha Labs perform tests on products to determine how much of a product has degraded and whether it is safe to use.

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