You found your favorite CBD product and have started experiencing the effects of this cannabinoid. Now you are thinking about stocking up on cannabidiol, but you don’t know enough about the shelf life of CBD products.
Shelf life is a term that describes how long an item can be stored before becoming unsuitable for sale or consumption. Just like any other consumable, CBD has a shelf life.
What Is the Average Shelf Life of CBD Products?
Let’s answer the most important question right away; the average shelf life of CBD products is typically from 12 to 24 months.
However, many factors will determine how long a particular CBD item will last. We can group these factors into two groups:
The manufacturing process and everything that happens until the product reaches the user.
How well the user takes care of the item once they receive it.
The Importance of High-Quality CBD
The process of manufacturing cannabidiol-based products starts with CBD extraction. Experts typically recommend CO2 extraction as the preferred method to maintain the benefits of cannabidiol and to ensure a high level of ingredient purity.
It is also important to ensure that CBD is extracted from high-quality hemp cultivated in soil that is rich with nutrients, ideally from organic farms.
Although a new Farm Bill was implemented in 2018 to regulate hemp products—specifically the permissible THC quantity—the market still isn’t completely regulated. As a result, we recommend purchasing brands created by reputable manufacturers and distributors.
Reliable companies are more likely to follow the latest regulations and meet customers’ expectations to maintain their reputation. Purchasing from a reputable manufacturer is the best way to guarantee that your CBD products will contain cannabidiol extracted from high-quality hemp through the CO2 extraction method.
The manufacturing process is important because it helps ensure that you receive a high-quality CBD item. However, the shelf life of CBD products starts during the packaging phase.
Quality companies should ensure that appropriate packaging is used for their CBD-based products. The best packaging choices depend on the specific item being manufactured.
For example, CBD oil is a tincture, and it is usually kept in dropper bottles. These bottles can be made of glass or other materials, but their color should be dark, such as blue or amber. Both the color and the material play a role in protecting the tincture from environmental factors that might negatively affect the product’s lifespan.
Environmental factors to consider include light, heat, and air exposure. The dark packaging color can prevent excessive exposure to light, and a tightly sealed cap plays a crucial role in protecting the item from air exposure.
Never purchase a CBD product if you notice its cap isn’t properly sealed. The lid might have a plastic cap on top or a mechanism that requires twisting harder to open the bottle for the first time. That way, manufacturers can ensure that the CBD remains in an airtight container until it reaches the consumer.
Exposure to heat will depend on the environment in which the cannabidiol is stored. First, the warehouse of the manufacturer should have adequate conditions. The area doesn’t have to be cold, but it is imperative to maintain a steady mild temperature. Significant changes in temperature can harm CBD products, especially tinctures, and compromise their quality and lifespan. The storage area should also be dark since excessive sunlight it is one of the factors that affects the longevity of CBD oil.
The road of a CBD product from the manufacturer to the end-user might also include a distributor. For example, an might obtain a certain quantity of cannabidiol items directly from the manufacturer and store these products in their warehouse. The distributor warehouse should meet the same requirements as the original manufacturer’s warehouse, which means CBD should be protected from light and heat.
Can You Tell That a CBD Product Went Bad?
It is important to note that if a cannabidiol-based product goes bad, ingesting it won’t necessarily make you sick or compromise your health.
CBD oil can degrade over time and lose its effectiveness. You may have heard that different people have distinct reactions to CBD oil. Although reactions can vary because of variances within the human body and product quality, they can also be affected by the product’s freshness. CBD oil that “went bad” will have fewer cannabinoids and other nutrients.
The best way to confirm if a cannabidiol product went bad is to check the expiration date on the label. Each CBD item should have a clearly specified expiration date. You should avoid using products when the expiration date has passed.
Another way to check if CBD product has gone bad is by inspecting it yourself. Start by visual inspection and observe how the item looks. If you are checking CBD oil, it should be clear and shouldn’t have a strong smell as soon as you open the bottle.
Cloudiness and murkiness are the first indicators that CBD oil went bad. Rancid oil will also have an odor that is much stronger than usual, and the same could be said for the flavor.
It’s not always easy to determine if a CBD product has gone bad. The best advice we can give is to look for any changes in flavor, color, smell, etc. compared to the last time you used the product. However, this might be difficult if you don’t use a particular CBD item frequently, so it is wise to simply read the expiration date.
How to Store CBD Products – User Tips
Although expiration dates are generally reliable, the shelf life of CBD products can be shorter than the date listed. Even if the manufacturer and the distributor properly controlled exposure to light, temperature variations and air, it is still up to the user to maximize the longevity of the CBD they purchased.
The good news is that you should consider the same factors regardless of the type of product you purchased:
Protect CBD Oil from Light and Heat
The first thing to decide is where you will keep your CBD product. For example, CBD oil comes in small bottles that you can store virtually anywhere. However, it is imperative to protect it from heat and both artificial and natural light sources.
Avoid placing the product on your kitchen shelves, especially if the shelves are exposed to direct sunlight even for a couple of hours a day. Far better options include a cabinet that you can close, or a basement.
You should also consider the heat factor. If the cabinet is in the kitchen, or if temperatures can increase during the summer or when you are preparing meals, the heat can compromise the quality of your CBD oil. In that case, consider storing the product in the refrigerator.
If you don’t plan to use the oil for a long time, you can also store it in the freezer. This might be a wise solution if you are stocking up on CBD products for several months, since products that you don’t plan to use soon can be stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life. However, make sure to read product instructions before you do this.
While we are discussing storing CBD in freezers and refrigerators, it is important to note that you will have to bring the product to room temperature before using it. Even if warming occurs naturally, the temperature change may cause a small loss of cannabinoids. If the product is only chilled and brought to room temperature once or twice, the effect will only be minimal, but try to avoid doing this frequently as temperature changes can reduce your CBD item’s lifespan.
One method some users use to maximize the longevity of their CBD products is to wrap them in aluminum foil. The foil will add another layer of light protection to ensure that it won’t break down extracts and compromise the product’s quality.
Following is a short summary of how to protect CBD products from light and heat:
Keep the product in a dark environment with no significant changes in temperature.
Use aluminum foil as an additional way to protect the item from light.
Storing your product(s) in the refrigerator or freezer is an option but be sure to read the instructions first.
Avoid placing CBD products in cabinets or other places that are exposed to artificial or direct sunlight.
Never store products near the oven.
Avoid keeping the products in kitchens where it can become hot, even if only for several hours a day.
Don’t leave CBD in your car or any other area where direct sunlight might damage it.
How to Protect CBD from Air Exposure
Most manufacturers will ensure that their products remain in airtight containers until they reach the user. You will therefore need to break the seal to open the product for the first time. Doing so will, however, let air in, and it is up to you to protect the item from that point.
Every time you finish using the product, tighten the lid firmly to prevent air from finding its way inside. Otherwise, CBD quality will be reduced.
It is always advised to keep your product in the original container. However, you can move it to another container provided it is airtight and designed to reduce heat and light transfer. Additionally, you should store the item in an upright position.