Should CBD Oil Be Refrigerated?
Don't you just love that answer.
It really does with CBD and we'll explain why below.
This can affect how long CBD lasts and whether it expires or not.
This can also affect the effectiveness.
Not to mention the smell.
We're talking about two different outcomes however.
It depends on what type of CBD you are using and what the base oil is.
We'll get into that below.
First, a lay of the CBD land.
Quick intro to what CBD is actually made of
We'll walk through how we get to the finished product as this affects how to store it.
You start with industrial hemp which must have a THC level below .3%
We actually craft CBD with zero THC since there are some issues there (anxiety, drug test, changes to brain structure, addiction, etc).
You then run extractions to remove contaminants, certain plant materials, etc.
If you jump off at this point, you have hemp oil as a finished product.
To continue, you then extract more CBD itself and add it back into hemp oil.
You now probably have "full spectrum" CBD
If we continue to extract only the CBD itself as a resin or even crystal and add that to a base oil, you then have CBD isolate.
Where we jump off affects refrigeration.
The general rule is this…
The more plant material in the bottle, the greater the need for refrigeration!
This makes sense since anything organic can break down with time.
The CBD itself is just a chemical substance so it wouldn't "go bad" any faster than salt or pepper might sitting on your counter.
It IS in a base oil however, so we need to take that into account.
We'll discuss that below, but first...a quick note on full spectrum versus CBD isolate.
Does having CBD isolate versus CBD full spectrum affect refrigeration
Full spectrum will have more of the original plant material in addition to CBD.
Anything that comes from the ground will eventually go bad.
Think of fruit or vegetables.
Industrial hemp is no different.
If we're including more of the plant material, that's going to merit different handling of the resulting oil (generally called hemp oil).
Contrary to everything you hear out there, we actually prefer CBD isolate for two critical reasons.
CBD isolate is less likely to cause issues for people with allergy or histamine issues
This is a huge issue for 40-60% of the population (and growing. More on type of CBD and histamine here.
More importantly, the research is primarily based on CBD by itself.
Until those two things changes, CBD isolate is the cleanest way to get the benefits of CBD that are showing everywhere in the research.
What about refrigeration?
Does CBD full spectrum need to be refrigerated?
It's best to refrigerate full spectrum CBD once opened.
Otherwise, it will get goopy, slightly smelly, and expire more quickly.
Generally speaking, if refrigerated, full spectrum is best used in about 6 months depending on the base oil.
We've discussed extensively why we prefer CBD isolate here.
Does CBD isolate need to be refrigerated?
Does CBD isolate like Indigo Naturals need to be refrigerated?
Not as much.
Generally speaking, CBD isolate should be stored in the often cited "cool, dry, and dark" setting.
Your pantry is great for this or in a cupboard.
Think of olive oil. Or coconut oil.
Those are usually the base oils that the CBD isolate is added to.
You can really go based on the refrigeration rules for the base oil since CBD itself is pretty stable.
The CBD base oil and refrigeration?
We discussed above how full spectrum CBD should be refrigerated since more of the plant material is still there.
For CBD isolate, you can basically look at the rules for the base oil.
- CBD isolate in MCT (extracted from coconut oil) - refrigeration is not needed
- CBD isolate in olive oil - refrigeration is not needed
Those are the two most common.
MCT oil is the cleanest in terms of allergies and coconut oil.
Also, it's very important these days that olive oil be sourced in California due to issues outside the US in terms of purity.
We prefer MCT since it doesn't have a taste profile and the medium chain triglycerides are ideal fat carriers for the CBD itself.
You can learn more on that in our Should CBD Taken With Food article.
So...we don't need to refrigerate the CBD isolate.
How do we store it?
How to properly store CBD oil
For CBD isolate, store it in a cool, dark, and dry space.
At IndigoNaturals, we already package CBD in a light protecting, dark amber bottle for this reason.
Sun and other strong lights can break it down more quickly.
Heat can as well.
Pantries or cupboards are ideal.
The CBD isolate is a much more stable form of CBD in case you want to take the bottle with you in a purse or backpack.
You never know when you'll need a spot use of CBD (date, meeting, ex-husband, etc).
CBD isolate works better on the go without the need to refrigerate.