So you’ve been stocking up on CBD oil lately, but after some time, realized that some of the unopened bottles are way past their expiration dates. Should you ditch them right away? How long does opened hemp oil last? Can hemp oil go bad?
Packaging labels such as “expiration dates” and “manufacturing dates” are there for a reason, and yes, organic matters, even extracted ones like CBD oil, expire. However, surprising as it is, there are ways of checking which brands offer longer CBD oil shelf life, and most importantly, there are preventive ways against the increase in the rate of a CBD oil product’s eventual degradation.
So before making any decisions, why don’t you sit down for a while and try to read through what we have to say? You just might be pleasantly surprised with some unexpected facts about CBD oil expiration dates.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a product made from the extraction of CBD, diluted with a certain carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed. They are readily available in stores, dispensaries, and markets within states that allow such merchandise.
Its active ingredient CBD or cannabidiol is a compound extracted from the hemp plant. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another cannabis compound, has equally valuable therapeutic uses with CBD but with slight differences. While THC is psychoactive in nature, CBD is not, adding to the latter’s marketing appeal.
Does CBD Oil go bad?
Yes. CBD oil would eventually go bad. To those who are wondering what is the shelf life of hemp oil, most CBD oil products would last 18 months to two years from production, varying in time frames depending on brands. Brands are required to print the production and expiration dates on their packaging.
Manufacturers employ several production and expiration date codes, but some of the most commonly used codes are:
For expiration dates:
For production dates:
If the code isn’t preceded or followed by “use by,” “consume by,” “best before,” and the like, it could refer to the date of production.
If the code includes a letter and number, it refers to the month and date of production. They usually correspond to the months of a year with letters A to L, A being January.
If the code has six digits, you’re probably reading a month-day-year code.
Factors that affect the expiration rate of CBD oil:
There are several factors that dictate how long a CBD oil product would last. Here are some of the most important factors:
Quality: First, and perhaps the most important factor that determines a CBD oil’s longevity is its quality. Quality is determined by:
How CBD is extracted: If low cost extractions like solvents are used, the CBD mixture might retain some level of impurity, causing the product to degrade more quickly than intended.
On the other hand, the use of supercritical “C02 Extractions” and ethanol enhances the purity and quality of the extracted substance, which translates to a longer expiration window.
The condition of raw hemp used in the production: Hemp is a hyperaccumulator, meaning, it’s a type of plant that easily absorbs heavy metals and toxins in the soil.
Although hemp has an innate mechanism that wards off these materials, it’s best to plant hemp on healthy soils with no excessive amounts of heavy metals, toxins, fertilizers, and so on.
These factors and more maintain hemp’s health, making it an ideal material for producing quality CBD products with longer shelf life.
The type of carrier oil used and whether supplementary ingredients like flavoring were included in the mixture: Carrier oil and additives impact the degradation timeframe because of their individual expiration dates. For example, if a flavoring has a shelf life of 1 year, the whole product would probably have a shelf life of 1 year too.
Others: Factors like whether or not the manufacturing process followed the standard procedures precisely, the cleanliness of the manufacturing environment, and so on.
Packaging: Even the most premium CBD oil would have a poor expiration timeframe if its packaging isn’t done right. Bottles sold in blue-colored, amber-colored, or opaque dropper bottles would protect the contents from direct sunlight, heat, and air, fortifying the shelf life of CBD oil.
How you store the product: As soon as you have the product in your possession, the ball is yours now with regard to maintaining its original quality until the expiration date.
Unnecessary exposure to heat, light, and air might speed up the degradation rate of your CBD oil. To prevent this mishap, keep your bottle away from direct sunlight and heat. Always keep the product in a cool, dark, and dry environment. Additionally, always close the lid tightly after each use.
How to tell if hemp oil has gone bad:
The most obvious sign that hemp oil has gone bad or is about to expire is if it’s past its expiration date already. In terms of tangible signs, there are three main indicators of expired CBD oil – smell, taste, and appearance.
Smell: The first sign that a product is about to start its natural degradation course is if it emits a weird smell that’s different compared to the smell of newly purchased CBD oil.
Depending on the type of degradation course, an expired CBD oil either smells less than the original or rancid. Over time, the organic compounds in the mixture break down in simpler form, resulting in a gradual disappearance of smell. Otherwise, the smell would turn rancid if the culprit of degradation is bacterial contamination.
Taste: Needless to say, an expired product would never taste the same as its original pristine condition.
Appearance: Look out for a change of the solution from clear to murky.
How to identify CBD oil products that have a long shelf life?
As a consumer, you can identify CBD oil products and brands that would last long. Unless you thoroughly researched a brand, you wouldn’t know the behind-the-scenes of the manufacturing process, but there’s a trick in still making sure that what you’re buying would last for an ample amount of time. Here are some of the indicators:
Legitimate and credible brands: The CBD oil industry is still a widely unregulated business niche. It’s not surprising to get mixed up with dubious products with fake manufacturing and expiration dates. To be safe, always stick with trusted brands only, they’re the ones that usually follow state manufacturing protocols.
Brand transparency: Credible brands often provide third-party lab results in the form of a Certificate of Analysis (COA). The COA offers information on everything that you need to know about a certain product, down to the substances used in the extraction process. This act of transparency is a huge marker of quality and product longevity. View the COA’s from Mission Farms CBD on our Lab Results page.
Well-packaged product: Most CBD oil products are contained in vials typically made from either acrylic or glass. It’s a good indication if the vials are blue or amber-colored, well-sealed, and without any obvious signs of chip and damage. Moreover, the product should be labeled correctly according to the protocols laid down by the FDA.
How to maintain the shelf life of CBD tincture?
Maintaining a shelf life is pretty easy given that you know how. Below are some of the best practices to observe:
Proper storing: As mentioned earlier, store the product in a cool, dark, and dry environment. The bottom of a refrigerator will do, but sometimes, some products tend to freeze or change chemically in very low temperatures. If that’s the case, store them in medicinal cabinets or dark drawers devoid of direct light or heat.
Sealing with a cap if not in use: Don’t open the bottles if you don’t need to, nor keep it open for a long time. Unsealed bottles would encourage the entrance of bacteria and oxygen.
Buying products in moderation: Because CBD oil eventually goes bad, you should only buy as much as you need at the moment. Buying a package of multiple products at once might be a good deal, but unless you’re sure that you’ll consume them before they expire, buy in moderation.
The Bottom Line
CBD oil has several benefits stemming from an array of research on the cannabis compound – cannabidiol. However, like any organic substance, CBD oil expires too. There’s no need to fret since most CBD oil products are designed to completely get consumed before the expiration date dawns.
To prevent accidental waste and the resolution to scour for answers in Google by typing keywords like “shelf life hemp oil” or “CBD meaning expiration,” it’s best to only purchase one bottle after the ones in your possession have run out.
In the meantime, there are ways of maintaining a product’s shelf life. Good storage practices like storing bottles away from heat or direct sunlight make a huge difference.
To prevent the accidental consumption of expired products, indicators such as strong smell, taste, or murky appearance should be taken into account.
Most importantly, familiarize yourself with quality brands and credible CBD products. These and more are good indicators of long shelf life.