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Does CBD Oil Expire? Learn About CBD Shelf Life

Posted by Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD on May 31st 2020

Does CBD Oil Expire? Learn About CBD Shelf Life

As more people become aware of the potential health benefits of the cannabis plant, they start to ask more questions about one of the key components, cannabidiol (CBD). One of those questions is: "How long does CBD last?"

If you’re wondering if CBD products have an expiration date, we cover those questions here. Other people just want to know how long will a bottle of CBD oil last if you take one full dropper once a day? We got you covered there, too.

Reading this article will give you all the information you need to make informed decisions about using CBD, and about expiration dates for CBD products. Most important, reading this article will answer the question: how long does CBD last?

Does CBD Oil Expire?

Whether you keep your CBD in the medicine cabinet or in your purse, it’s a question that people often have. Does CBD oil go bad? Is there a shelf-life? Here’s everything you need to know about CBD oil and expiration dates. How long does CBD last? We're about to find out.

What is the Shelf Life of CBD Oil?

Most CBD oil products are understood to last 18 months to two years from the date of production. At Cornbread Hemp, we print the production date on every third party lab report to ensure you’re receiving a quality product. To access the lab reports, you can visit the website or scan the QR code on any Cornbread Hemp package with your smartphone.

But that expiration date based on the batch date might not be accurate if you don’t store your CBD oil appropriately. Store your CBD oil away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Good CBD Hygiene

If you use a dropper to administer CBD oil sublingually, be very careful NOT to contaminate the dropper by touching your mouth or tongue. You can transfer bacteria back to your CBD bottle through your saliva. The saliva will begin digestion just as it does to food in your mouth.  

If contaminated with saliva, your CBD oil could foster bacteria and other pathogens. Over time, this could get nasty and render your CBD oil expired before the expiration date set by the batch date. If you’re concerned about potential saliva contamination, transfer your CBD dose from the dropper into a spoon to administer yourself or another person or even CBD for pets.

CBD Carrier Oil Expirations

How long does CBD last? The answer largely depends on the carrier oil. That’s the oil that is blended with the CBD extracts to create the desired dosage or serving size. The type of oil used can vary from brand to brand. Oils typically consist of triglycerides, which are formed by a bond between glycerol and three fatty acids, hence the “tri-“ prefix.

Different oils have different sorts of triglyceride profiles, and these profiles can determine if they are ideal as a carrier oil for CBD. Cannabinoids like CBD are fat soluble, so finding the right oil can make a big difference. The carrier oil can also play a role in the expiration date of a CBD oil. Here are several common types of carrier oils and how they are different:

  • Olive Oil: Olive oil consists of long-chain triglycerides, or LCTs. LCTs take longer to break down in your digestive system than medium-chain triglycerides. The shelf life of extra-virgin olive oil ranges from 16 to 20 months.  
  • Hempseed Oil: Hempseed oil contains eight different triglycerides, the most abundant of which is trilinoleoyl-glycerol, an LCT similar to olive oil. Some CBD brands use hempseed oil as the carrier oil in their CBD products, but the shelf life of hempseed oil is actually quite short. Hempseed oil can go rancid in as little as 6 months. That’s why most CBD brands don’t use it.
  • MCT Coconut Oil: MCT stands for “medium-chain triglycerides.” MCTs are better because they break down faster than LCTs in the digestive system. The two best sources for MCTs comes from palm oil and coconut oil. But palm oil is one of the world’s leading causes of deforestation, so we never use that. The better option is coconut MCT oil. And the best option is certified organic coconut MCT oil. The shelf life of MCT oil is about two years, or longer if stored properly.

Should You Refrigerate CBD Oil?

CBD by itself does not need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness. Most CBD edibles and CBD gummies do not require refrigeration, neither do CBD topicals or CBD capsules, but CBD oil might. Whether your CBD oil should be refrigerated depends on which carrier oil is blended with the hemp extract.

If the CBD oil uses hempseed oil as the carrier, then it definitely must be refrigerated to extend the short shelf life of the hempseed oil. However, if the carrier oil is MCT oil derived from coconut, like we use at Cornbread Hemp, then no refrigeration is necessary.

Is CBD Oil Impacted by Light Exposure?

Yes, CBD could be affected by the sunlight because UV rays can break down the cannabinoid compounds, rendering them ineffective. This is why we always recommend that you store your CBD oil bottle away from direct sunlight. It’s also why Cornbread Hemp and other reputable CBD brands only use amber glass bottles to package their products.

Any CBD oil out there that uses a clear bottle is dramatically shortening the shelf life of that CBD product. We recommend you only use CBD oil that is stored in an amber glass bottle.

How Long Does a Bottle of CBD Oil Last?

You can calculate how long your bottle will last by dividing the total amount in the bottle by how much you take. This takes some quick math and a general familiarity with metric units. If you’re not used to dealing with metric units, it could take a minute to figure out. But once you understand this, you’ll be fine.

First, most CBD oil tinctures come in a 1-ounce bottle, which is the same as 30 milliliters, which we abbreviate as 30 ml. One full dropper contains 1 ml of oil. Depending on the concentration of the CBD oil, how much CBD is in each dropper can vary. Cornbread Hemp offers two strength levels: one that contains 25 mg of CBD per 1 ml dropper, and double-strength formulas that contain 50 mg of CBD per 1 ml. The 25 mg-per-dropper formulas contain 750 mg in the full 30 ml bottle, while the double strength contains 1,500 mg per 30 ml bottle.

If you are using one of our 750 mg CBD tinctures in a 30 ml bottle, and you take two full droppers per day, then how long will that CBD product last you? Thirty divided by 2 equals 15, so your CBD tincture bottle will last 15 days. If you only take 1 ml per day, then the bottle will last 30 days.

Final Thoughts: How Long Does CBD Last?

When wondering how long does CBD last, as far as the expiration date for CBD products, that depends on a number of variables concerning the quality of ingredients or additives. Some carrier oils have a shorter shelf life than others, so it's important to make sure you know what is in the product you are purchasing.

The ingredients for our organic CBD oils are generally fresh for 18 months to 2 years. But to be safe, our packaging says it is best to use our products within 1 year of the batch date.