Does CBD Oil Expire and After How Long?

does cbd expire and after how long


We've all known that feeling.


You stumble across something hidden in the back of the refrigerator.


"How long have I had that salad dressing??"


Of course, you fall back on the time tested and thoroughly scientific action.


You smell it!


Not too close to the nose just in case and your face is already wrenching in disgust before anything even hits your nose. 


Preemptive scrunching.


We all do it!!


So...what about CBD? 

  • Does it expire?
  • How long can we safely keep it around?
  • Should it be in the refrigerator?


All good questions and all need answers.


Let's get into it.


CBD's not exactly cheap so we want to get the most out of it! 


We'll cover the following sections below: 

  • Does CBD expire
  • Does the oil CBD is in go bad
  • Should CBD be refrigerated
  • How should you store CBD
  • Does sun break down CBD
  • What should CBD smell like
  • Does full spectrum CBD expire faster than isolate


Lots to cover.

Does CBD expire

The first question.


Does CBD expire?


First, let's clarify what we mean by CBD.


CBD itself is a white crystal.


It actually starts its "life" as a honey-like resin.


This then gets processed down into the crystal or diluted and added directly to the base oil.


There's also "full-spectrum" CBD which includes much more of the plant material.


We'll discuss below if that affects how long you can keep it before it expires below.


It's possible to buy CBD in its crystalline form but that's not very convenient and definitely is not the most popular way to take CBD.


The crystalline form of pure CBD isolate will not expire for a long time.


It's a chemical extraction basically.


Like sugar or salt.


Now...most people buy the CBD oil.


How long can we keep that around?


The general rule of thumb is up to 2 years for CBD isolate.


This depends on the oil base of course.


Think how long can you keep olive oil around on the kitchen counter?


That's a good indication!


The base for CBD Isolate oil is usually one of three options:

  • Olive oil
  • MCT oil (extracted from coconut oil)
  • Hemp oil


All have a pretty long shelf life of about 1-2 years.


That's the basic answer to how long before CBD expires since the CBD itself is pretty inert.


Add to this that CBD is antibacterial and antifungal!


Of the three, MCT oil lasts the longest followed by olive and hemp oil.


Having more plant material will make them prone to expiring more quickly.


This is the full spectrum type and it's best to use within 6 months.


cbd isolate versus full spectrum


You'll end up finding that CBD goes a lot quicker than that once you feel the effects!

Does the oil CBD is in go bad

The base oil is more likely to go bad long before the CBD extract itself.


This brings up a key point.


Hemp oil will not last as long as the other options.


You'll notice a change in smell and color.


Even a change in viscosity of hemp oil.


This is the "full-spectrum" that is touted so much.


We've mentioned the issues with full-spectrum and histamines here.


CBD isolate oil on average will have a longer expiration period.

Should CBD be refrigerated

Refrigeration is generally not required for CBD oils with any base.


Again, think back to olive or coconut oil.


Of course, refrigeration will allow the CBD oil to last longer but lasting longer is rarely the issue with CBD.


Lasting long enough is!


One note...refrigeration will affect the viscosity (how easily it flows) slightly due to the base oils.


We also see this quite a bit with the topical balms.


More on refrigerating CBD here.


Occasionally, its good to put the topical CBD balms in the frig to "harden" up a bit.

How should you store CBD

Just like olive and coconut oil…


Cool, dark, and dry is the general recommendation for CBD oil.


This is primarily driven by the base oils.


That being said, moisture is not great for CBD crystals as well.

We want to avoid mold in anything that might go on or in our bodies!

Does sun break down CBD

Sun does break down CBD.


Sun breaks down everything (50-year-old skin included apparently).


If possible, try to keep your CBD oil out of direct sunlight and avoid other stronger sources of heat and light.


The bottles we use at IndigoNatural are dark amber for this reason.


To keep the harmful effects of sunlight from affecting the potential of CBD.

What should CBD smell like

CBD isolate will generally not have any strong smell.

The CBD crystal or resin has almost no smell.


You'll likely get a hint of the base oil of course.


MCT oil has a very slight coconut oil smell.


Hemp oil can be very strong depending on how much plant material is in there.


We have smelled full-spectrum oils that probably were past their prime and the smell can be very strong.


You will not have that effect with Indigo Naturals since we focus on CBD isolate in MCT oil.


The goal is to be able to use it before a date or public speaking and not smell like wheatgrass!

Does full spectrum CBD expire faster than isolate



The base oil is really what drives how long it takes for CBD products to expire.


Unless you're plowing a CBD bottle with preservatives, there's live plant material in full spectrum.


Anything organic like that is going to break down unless prevented from doing so with preservatives.


It's the rule of the universe!


That's why people with allergy or histamine issues can have trouble with the full-spectrum.


See CBD Isolate versus full spectrum for allergies and histamines.


CBD isolate does not have all this plant material and it's time to expire is dependent on the base oil.


MCT works best there since it's an extraction from coconut oil.


Hemp oil will expire first since it's a plant after all.


Let us know your results below or ask us questions!


Related Research:

Should CBD smell like weed

What does CBD taste like

Tips to get the most out of CBD


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Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!

The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.

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