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Shelf Life Unveiled: Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

amber CBD Oil container on the counter: Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

If you haven’t jumped on the CBD train yet… it’s better late than never! This health supplement has exploded in popularity in the last decade and not without good reason! 

Odds are, if you’ve landed on this page you are probably on the CBD train with the genuine question: does CBD oil go bad? Maybe you’ve had a good old tincture you were gung-ho about at first purchase but decided to pick it back up again after some time has passed. But did you buy it last year… or was that two years ago? Hmm.. 

Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

Long story short, yes. Just like any organically made product that comes from a plant or living thing, its potency starts to decline as time goes on. According to Gold Bee, (makers of an award-winning CBD oil) a good oil can be kept from 14 months to approximately 2 years. Worst case scenario, extremely expired cannabinoids can make you feel not so great. [1] 

Several aspects can affect a CBD oil’s shelf life including: 

  • Ingredient quality
  • CBD extraction method
  • Storage 

The rest of this post will briefly go over things you might want to consider when buying a CBD oil - one of quality, that hopefully lasts longer and things you can do to keep it from spoiling sooner than it should.

Ingredient Quality 

The purer the CBD oil, the longer it is expected to last. Adding extra ingredients (such as flavors, preservatives, or other oils) can affect shelf-life. 

Ingredient quality starts all the way back to how the cannabis is grown.

Going back to before the CBD oil is even produced can affect quality states one study, “External factors such as light duration, oxygen, and harvest time (floral maturity) have been shown to influence the secondary metabolite production in cannabis.” [2] This makes one question: was the plant cultivated in the most optimal environment possible? That way it can be used in its prime moment to make CBD oil.

Another element to consider is whether or not the cannabis plants were grown organically and locally. This also contributes to ingredient purity and processing up until it lands right in your hands.

Companies that value transparency make use of third-party lab testing to reflect that their products are of superior quality. Then you won’t have to question if the oil you’re using is of premium quality or just pretending to be! 

Extraction Methods Used

CBD extraction methods vary depending on the company. Because of this, the resulting product has cannabinoids that differ in molecular stability. Some commonly used extraction methods include the following:

  • CO2 extraction: This process uses carbon dioxide under a low temperature and high pressure to extract the CBD from cannabis/hemp plants. This method is known to create high-quality and pure CBD extract.
  • Solvent-based extraction: As noted in the name, solvents are used in this method. Some examples are ethanol or hexane to dissolve CBD from the plant. This method requires purification afterward due to the remnants of solvents.
  • Olive oil extraction: This is known to be a safe and simple process where the cannabis is heated and mixed with olive oil. This method, despite its convenience, makes a less potent CBD oil.
  • Steam distillation: This process uses steam to pass through the cannabis to extract CBD. While it’s considered a gentle method on the plant, CBD yields are thought to be lower. 

There are more extraction methods out there, however, CO2 extraction has been recognized to create a more potent and higher-quality product. 


Just like most supplements or food products, how you store it and use it affects its shelf-life. There are different things to consider when it comes to storage and you’ll want to do so properly.

Air Exposure: Just like most organic products, exposure to air will cause the CBD oil to oxidize. While this is a normal occurrence and is bound to happen every time you open the bottle, it also decreases the potency and changes the chemical composition.  Make sure you keep it in an airtight container.

Light Exposure: You’ll want to store your CBD oil in a dark place. A super bright bathroom counter or in front of a window might not be a good idea. UV light breaks down the cannabinoids so an opaque or amber bottle is ideal for storage as well. 

Temperature: You may wonder, does CBD oil go bad in the refrigerator? The answer is also yes. You’ll want to keep your CBD oil in a cool place - while storing it in the fridge may help it isn’t always deemed necessary.

Time: This factor may be obvious, but of course how long you store it affects when it will go bad. A tip to prevent storing for too long is to only purchase how much you need. CBD oils come in different sizes so you’ll want to consider how much you’ll really be using on a daily basis. 

Hands holding up dropper from CBD bottle: Does CBD Oil go Bad?


Does CBD Oil Go Bad? How Will I Know?

Aside from storing your CBD oil as instructed by the manufacturer and reading the label for an expiration date, there are some signs that your oil has gone bad. 

Color: If the color has changed from its original form, it typically means the compounds are disintegrating within the oil. This can happen if heat or light exposure has sped up the breakdown. I wouldn’t take my chances on that oil! 

Texture: Any fogginess or murky texture means that the cannabinoids are breaking down as well and may even be starting to spoil. Also, this may mean the carrier oil and CBD have started to separate, which isn’t good. 

Taste and Smell: I may be stating the obvious here, but if either of these is repulsive, I wouldn’t hesitate to toss the bottle. Don’t do it. Buy a new one! 


Does CBD Oil Go Bad? What Happens If I Took Some?

Assessing your oil may be tricky as some of the characteristic changes might be subtle. You might be thinking, it didn’t quite taste as pure or something smells different. The signs won’t be like bad milk where it just goes putrid. 

So despite CBD oil being a safe supplement (not even a lethal dose documented to date), taking some past its prime likely won’t cause any harm. Anyway, why keep taking something whose benefits, quality, and potency have declined? 

Does CBD Oil Go Bad? Key Points

Knowing the proper storage helps you keep your CBD oil longer, so remember to keep it in a cool and dark place in an airtight, opaque container. Hopefully, you’re buying high-quality, lab-tested, organic, or USA-grown oil. 

Buy only what you need and pay attention to the company’s label for the expiration date. If you’re not sure, anything past 2 years probably wouldn’t be good. Just as with any health supplement you take, being diligent in your research for the best product can help you find one that fits all your needs! 

Check out our other informative posts about CBD: CBD dosage chart, CBD massage, and CBD Cream 1000mg. Our go-to CBD topical salve is 750mg CBD Arnica for fast-acting and long-lasting pain relief. And YES, it’s also organic and USA-made. If you haven’t made your way over to trying out CBD skin salves yet, they’re also great for skin health. Don’t miss out! 


[1] Does CBD oil expire? Storage tips to extend its shelf life., 2022. 

[2] Lazarjani, M. Young, O., Kebede, L., Seyfoddin, A. Processing and extraction methods of medicinal cannabis: a narrative review. Journal of Cannabis Research, 2021. 

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