Wondering whether to throw away that old bottle of CBD extract you found in the back of the medicine cabinet? You’re not alone. Most consumers have no idea how long CBD lasts or how to determine when to chuck it. Here’s a quick primer on safe CBD storage.
Like most consumables, cannabidiol (CBD) has a shelf life. While hemp itself is fairly robust, the carrier oils and other ingredients mixed in with CBD tinctures may not be. The rule of thumb is that a typical bottle of CBD oil will last up to two years.
Regular users go through several bottles a year, so spoilage is generally not a concern. The problem arises when consumers come across the odd bottle and wonder if it’s safe to use. While it’s probably not unsafe, it may very well have lost much of its potency. Check the expiration/manufacture date, and if your tincture is over two years old, consider disposing of it.
The same goes for any extract or oil that tastes, smells, or looks odd compared to when you first purchased it, as these can all signify that your product has gone bad.
What’s the Best Way to Store CBD?
CBD oil and other hemp-based products are not cheap, so proper storage is critical to protecting your investment. To keep your tinctures and extracts as fresh as possible, store them in a dark, cool place away from pets or children. Heat and exposure to sunlight can cause carrier oils to go rancid and can break down the compounds in any formulation, so this is a must. While it may be tempting to store a bottle in your vehicle’s glove box, stifling summer temperatures will quickly degrade your product and may render it ineffective.
By the same token, don’t store your CBD in the top of a closet (where heat rises), on a windowsill, near an oven or heat source, or in the medicine cabinet where it will be exposed to humidity. Make sure you keep all containers and jars tightly closed when not in use to prevent oxidization, which can decrease a product’s potency and quality.
Most brands are careful these days to ensure their oils are packaged in dark glass bottles to avoid light exposure. If your CBD comes in a clear container, you may want to pour it into a dark green, blue, or amber bottle to preserve it for as long as possible.
Can I Refrigerate CBD?
Many people wonder if they can refrigerate CBD oil, and the answer is yes. The refrigerator is a great place to store CBD oil, especially if you live in a hot climate without air conditioning. Terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids will stay fresh longer in the coolest conditions.
While any CBD product can benefit from refrigeration, you may find that oils, in particular, can get thick and difficult to dispense from a dropper when they are cold. If this happens to you, take the bottle out and let it reach room temperature before dosing. If you’re in a rush, you can even run it under warm water until the compound warms up a bit.
If you have a stockpile of CBD that you know you won’t use before the expiration date, you can even freeze the excess. If you go this route, be sure to pack it in a sealed, airtight container to avoid degradation. Since many of the ingredients in CBD oil won’t freeze completely, the product may separate and look a little strange. Shaking or stirring thoroughly once the tincture has thawed will return it to its original state.