Bread, eggs, milk, and canned foods are all labeled with a “use by,” “best by,” or “sell by” date. The expiration dates on perishables inform you how long your item will keep its taste, freshness, and general quality. Similar dates can be seen on over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and natural supplements.

When you buy CBD oil, you should be able to see an expiration date listed somewhere on the label. Although most high-quality CBD products have a very long shelf life, some situations might cause items to degrade sooner than expected. Whether you're still on the fence about buying CBD oil for the first time or have discovered a long-forgotten tincture stashed beneath your gummies and pills, it's critical to understand the warning signs that your CBD oil has gone bad.

Why Your Tincture Could Go Bad Before Its Time 

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Hemp-derived CBD oil tinctures, like any other plant-based oil in your cupboard, have a reasonably predictable shelf life. However, whether your CBD oil keeps its flavor and general strength for six months or twenty-four months is dependent on a number of factors. Once you understand how the following variables might reduce shelf life, you'll be well on your way to buying items that are less likely to go bad before their expiration date.

Questionable Crop Cultivation 

As it develops, industrial hemp has been shown to pull heavy metals and other potentially dangerous chemicals from the soil. As a result, the greatest CBD oil comes from non-GMO, organically produced crops. If you buy CBD oil from a firm that relies on plants cultivated in soil that isn't consistently tested for heavy metals, chemical residue, and microbial contamination, your CBD oil might spoil rapidly.1

Substandard Extraction Methods 

After harvesting hemp harvests, cannabinoid-rich extracts must be separated from non-essential plant components. Some extraction techniques are superior to others. Although chemical solvent extraction of plant oils is significantly cheaper, CO2 extraction is substantially “cleaner” since the procedure is far less likely to incorporate potentially dangerous byproducts into the plant extracts. Plant extracts tainted by poor extraction procedures may not be chemically stable.2

Improper Storage or Clear Glass Packaging

Even high-quality plant extracts can spoil fast if not handled correctly. CBD oil is no different. Industrial hemp extracts should ideally be kept in dark, sealed containers at temperatures no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you buy CBD oil from a firm that permits their goods to be exposed to excessive temperatures or sunlight at any time during the extraction, product production, or distribution, your CBD oil might go bad weeks or even months before the expiration date.3,4

Has Your CBD Oil Gone Bad? Here’s How You’ll Know

Even with infrequent usage, most CBD users have no issue collecting every last serving of CBD from their tincture before it expires, but it may happen. Although it is unlikely that outdated CBD oil would cause significant disease, you should replace any expired product as soon as possible. Because cannabinoid quality deteriorates with time, your CBD oil may not perform as effectively as it did when you initially opened the bottle. You should also discard your oil, whether it is outdated or not if you observe any of the following indicators of a faulty product..5

Your CBD Oil Has a Funky Odor

Fresh hemp extract, like many other plant oils, has a unique scent. Although many first-time CBD users find the scent strange, hemp is typically characterized as fresh and grass-like, rather than unpleasant. When hemp extract, carrier oils, or flavoring compounds in a CBD oil tincture deteriorate, they can emit an unpleasant odor. If your CBD oil has a foul or skunky odor, it is most likely rancid.

Your Tincture Tastes Bad 

Hemp-derived CBD oil is commonly characterized as having a natural, nutty, or grassy taste. Even if the natural flavor of hemp isn't necessarily your favorite if a tincture you formerly thought tolerable suddenly tastes awful or “off,” discontinue use. Even though your CBD oil smells good, any notable change in flavor may indicate the presence of mold, yeast, or bacteria.

The Color or Consistency Has Changed

If you keep CBD oil in the refrigerator, you may find that your tincture becomes murky. That's all right. At room temperature, the alterations will be resolved. However, if your oil seems black or murky at room temperature, you are most certainly witnessing product deterioration. Changes in color or consistency should not be overlooked even if they occur months before the expected expiration date.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Help Keep My CBD Oil from Going Bad? 

The shelf-life of any CBD oil might differ dramatically between brands. Although most oils hold their freshness and effectiveness for 12-24 months, there are a few things you can do to help extend the life of your CBD oil or protect it from going bad before the expiry date indicated on the label. Consider how the following guidelines may assist increase shelf-life when maximal longevity is critical.

Pay Attention to Temperature 

If you reside in a hot environment, you may keep your tincture in the refrigerator, but the optimal temperature for CBD oil is 60-70° F or room temperature. Temperatures around 90° F may cause your tincture to haze. If you keep your CBD oil near your stove, oven, or on top of your refrigerator, the heat might lead to product deterioration. Instead, relocate your CBD to a cooler spot away from heat-generating equipment.

Keep Your (Original) Bottle Tightly Closed 

Keeping your CBD oil in its original (dark) glass bottle protects the tincture from moisture, air, and sunlight. Water produces hydrolysis, oxygen causes oxidation, and sunshine can reduce the potency of a substance. Neither contact will benefit you. Although there is little you can do to completely avoid exposure to air or humidity, taking a moment after each use to double-check that your container is firmly closed will help protect your CBD oil from going bad before its time.

Stick With Third-Party Tested Products 

The overall product quality has a direct influence on the shelf life of CBD oil. Sticking with well-established brands that rely on third-party testing to certify their CBD products are pure, strong, and safe for their intended purpose is one of the simplest methods to assure you're obtaining high-quality CBD oil. Sticking with a firm that consistently tests its goods lowers the danger of getting a CBD oil tincture that goes bad before you've finished the bottle.

When Shelf-Life and Expiration Dates Matter, Visit Our Store

Any CBD firm can claim that its products have been evaluated by a third party. Those statements are supported by solid proof in the most recognized firms. CBDistillery® was among the first (if not the first) to disclose third-party test findings, known as the Certificate of Analysis (COA), for each product we sell. What does this have to do with expiration dates or shelf-life? More than the majority of people realize.

When you look at the COA on our product pages, you'll see that each product we sell has been evaluated by an unbiased, independent lab. Not only will you be able to utilize the test results to confirm that your CBD oil is as strong as we say, but you'll also be aware that every product is tested for indications of microbiological contamination, yeast, fungus, mold, and bacteria that might affect product quality. A batch and sample number, collection date, and report date are also listed at the top of the Certificate of Analysis.

Those dates are critical. When you scan the QR code on every CBDistillery® label, you'll be taken to the third-party test results for the exact product you're holding. Even if the expiration date on your bottle has faded over time, you'll still have access to the date your CBD oil tincture was first evaluated for purity and potency.

Sources:

1. ACS Labs. (2020) Mycotoxins.

2. CFAH. N Julia. (2021 July 29) Does CBD Oil Expire? Things to Know About Hemp Oil Shelf Life.

3. Healthline. A Santos-Longhurst. (2021 February 12). Yes, CBD Oil Expires – Here’s How to Check Yours.

4. Cannabiz Daily. R Kavanaugh. (2019 January 14) Why You Should Store Cannabis Oils In Dark Bottles.

5. CBD Facilitator. J Murdoch. (2021) Does CBD Oil Go Bad? – How to Maximize Shelf Life.

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