CBD oil has taken the alternative health industry by storm. People all over the world are praising the health benefits of CBD, some even calling it a “miracle supplement.” It is currently one of the most popular natural remedies available in the market for things such as pain management and anxiety relief.
Naturally, people want to learn more about how to handle CBD oil. One of the most common questions people have is about the shelf life of CBD oil. Specifically, how long does it last and how to store CBD oil for maximum shelf life.
We’ve covered all about how to produce CBD oil, and now we’ll tackle how to store it for maximum shelf life.
An important thing to note with CBD oil is that it’s made from the hemp plant. This plant source makes CBD oil an organic product. And just like any natural product, it will deteriorate over time. The goal is to extend its life as long as you can.
CBD is mostly extracted and diluted in a carrier liquid. In the case of CBD oil, the carrier is oil. Conventional oils used in CBD oil include hemp, olive, coconut, and MCT. Thus, most CBD oils are classified as a food product and stored as such. Generally, you can store CBD oil in the same place you save cooking oil (there are some exceptions that will go into more detail about later).
With that said, the average lifespan of CBD oil is around 1–2 years. When stored properly, this can even potentially be longer. How long or short the shelf life is has got to do with several factors.
The packaging of a CBD oil is about more than just marketing and aesthetics. The container where the CBD oil is has a lot to do with the longevity of the product. The more protected it is from harsh elements, the better and longer its shelf life will be.
Ever wonder why most of the CBD oil tinctures you see are in amber glass bottles? This is no coincidence. Amber bottles are the best color to increase the shelf life of your CBD oil.
It’s hard to imagine how simply a particular color is able to have that effect. The answer lies in wavelengths and light. Amber, it turns out, is excellent at blocking ultraviolet (UV) waves that come from the sun and can be very damaging. UV rays (and light, in general) are both incredibly damaging to CBD and can cause the oil to degrade much faster.
So when you place CBD oil inside amber bottles, it has better protection from UV light. And there’s more to it! Amber bottles block any wavelengths under 450 nm, which dramatically restricts any light from entering and hitting the CBD oil. With less light comes a longer shelf life.
You can see the science behind it in this experiment. They use beer bottles here, but the principles remain the same (beer is a light-sensitive product, too).
How well the CBD oil was made also contributes a great deal on the shelf life of that product.
It starts with the ingredients. Good quality hemp and oil will generally last longer than inferior ones. Hemp that was grown properly in the right conditions will hold up the best. Finally, how the CBD was extracted from the hemp can also significantly affect the quality and shelf life.
That’s why you need to buy CBD oil only from reputable companies. The higher the quality, the longer the shelf life, and the more bang for your buck.
Of course, the number one determinant on the shelf life of your CBD oil is how you store it. Even the best quality product will deteriorate quickly if it’s stored improperly.
When it comes to CBD storage, you simply need to keep it away from the elements. That includes heat, air, and light. Generally speaking, storing it in a cool, dry place is the best advice to follow with CBD oil.
But let’s break that down further. Here are things to keep in mind when storing CBD oil.
Exposing CBD to air is one of the biggest factors in deteriorating its shelf life.
This is due to the oxygen in the atmosphere. Oxygen oxidizes the chemical components of CBD, which ruins the delicate balance of the CBD oil, thus lowering its effectiveness.
Manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that air exposure is kept to a minimum when they package the CBD oil. It’s why most CBD oil is packaged in special airtight containers with applicators.
If your CBD oil comes with a screw cap, it’s important to make sure you close it tightly after using it and open the bottle only when you want to use the product.It’s also recommended to keep the CBD oil in its original packaging. In case you need to transfer it, ensure that you use an airtight bottle.
Heat is a really important factor when it comes to the shelf life of most organic products like food.
CBD oil is no different. It is a complex mixture with many different organic compounds. Some of these may react when exposed to heat, which can change the chemical balance of the CBD oil. You’ll see this when you see your oil turn buttery and cloudy.
In general, the ideal storage temperature for CBD oil is 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less. For those living in colder climates, this isn’t usually a problem. Just storing it in your cupboard where you usually place your dry ingredients usually does the trick.
Be careful, though. You need to make sure the cupboard isn’t near an appliance that’s releasing heat, such as an oven or the back of a fridge. Also, never store it near or in front of a window. Sunlight can elevate the temperature of your CBD oil rather quickly.
However, if you’re living in a warmer climate, temperature control can become an issue. Tropical climates will have room temperatures in the high 80s or even 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t ideal for CBD oil.
Depending on your house, you can try placing it in the coldest part of your pantry. Sometimes, this is enough. But the best option in this scenario is to just stick it in the fridge, where you can get reliably cold temperatures. However, you might find that the CBD oil thickens slightly while it’s inside the fridge. If this happens, simply submerge it or run it under warm water to “melt” it back to its original consistency.
For the ultimate long-term storage, though, the freezer is the best option. Frozen CBD oil can store for years, even decades. If you bought yours in bulk, this might be the most efficient way to store it for the long-term.
Short term, however, freezing is more hassle than it’s worth because you’d need to thaw it every time you want to use it. Also, a word of caution: not all CBD oils take well to freezing, such as those that have ingredients that might degrade in sub-zero temperatures. Verify with the CBD oil manufacturer, just to be safe.
As discussed above, exposing CBD oil to light, especially UV light, will damage it. That’s why they’re usually placed in amber bottles.
However, don’t rely on this too much and make sure you store your CBD oil in a dark place regardless. You can stick it into the furthest part of your cupboard, or inside your fridge. This minimizes exposure to light from the outside.
As added insurance, you can wrap your CBD oil using an aluminum foil. This trick is ideal if you’re traveling and want to bring your CBD oil with you. It will protect the container from unavoidable light exposure while you’re on the road.
When you want to enjoy your CBD oil longer, keeping an eye on its storage is crucial. CBD oil that’s properly stored keeps its potency and freshness for longer.
We’ve done a comprehensive look at the best ways to store your CBD oil. In a nutshell, here are some best practices:
Generally, you must store CBD oil in a cool, dark, and dry place. Your pantry and cupboard are prime candidates. This is ideal for most people who use CBD daily and expect a bottle to be consumed in two months, maximum. Just make sure the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
If you live in a hotter climate, you can use the fridge instead. This is ideal if you’ll be consuming the CBD oil for around half a month to a year, maximum. In case the CBD oil gets murky, simply run it through warm water. For long-term storage of more than a year, CBD oil works well in the freezer.
If you want to travel with your CBD oil, we suggest wrapping it in aluminum foil to shield it against outside light. Bring a cooler along and store your bottles there, if possible, to maintain the oil at the proper temperature.
One last piece of advice: If it looks or smells funny, it’s probably gone bad, and you should throw it away. CBD oil also darkens over time, signaling a drop in the CBD concentration. While you can still use it, you might need to increase the dosage, since it’s going to be less effective.