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How to Store CBD Oil and Does it Expire?

Posted by Lewis Olden on
How to Store CBD Oil and Does it Expire?

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of over 100 phytocannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant. Unlike its close cousin THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not cognitively impair the user. However, it still manages to retain a wide range of therapeutic benefits. You can read all about the benefits of CBD here

Simply put, this means that CBD products contain active plant compounds. As a result, these active plant compounds must be stored correctly in order to maintain efficacy. If you store CBD oil in the wrong way, then the product could well become ineffective.

It is also important to note that all CBD products have a shelf life, and they should always be used prior to the expiration date stated on the packaging. Once this expiry date passes, the potency of the cannabinoids contained within the products will degrade, rendering the product less effective.

This article will go on to examine the following:


  • Why it is important to store CBD oil correctly
  • How to store CBD oil correctly
  • How long you can keep your CBD oil once opened
  • Signs that your CBD oil is expired
  • Should CBD oil be refrigerated?
  • How to store CBD products when travelling
  • How to store other types of CBD products

Why is it important to store CBD oil correctly?

As is the case with all natural wellness products, or any products with natural ingredients, they will all degrade and expire over time. This is no different with CBD products, especially edibles and CBD oil tinctures, which lose their potency with age.

Many CBD products also contain other natural ingredients that will expire before the CBD itself does. This is particularly pertinent in flavoured CBD oils that use natural flavourings. Many of these typically expire sooner than CBD.

While it is, of course, impossible to make natural products, such as those containing CBD, last forever, there are steps that can be taken to elongate their usage and avoid a premature expiry through effective storage. 

Most CBD products have a shelf life of around 24 months, or 2 years, meaning you are in no rush to use up the product immediately. What’s more, this means it is also possible to buy wholesale CBD products without being too worried about them expiring any time soon.

Now, let’s move on to highlight the necessary steps that must be taken in order to ensure effective storage of CBD oil.

What to consider when storing CBD oil

When storing your CBD oil, it is important to store your product in a cool, dry place at room temperature. You should also avoid direct sunlight and store the product in an airtight container in order to avoid exposure to both oxygen and moisture. 

On a more basic level, it is also recommended to leave the CBD in its original packaging and ensure that it is stored upright to avoid spillage.

Let’s look at why this is important in more depth.

Always store CBD oil at room temperature

High temperatures are one of the most crucial factors that can contribute to a deterioration of the quality of your CBD oil. It is important to store your CBD oil at room temperature. Naturally, each room will have a different temperature so it is important to see which will be optimal for storage.

Any temperature of 23 degrees Celsius (or 70 degrees Fahrenheit) or above will degrade the quality of the CBD, as well as other terpenes, which are crucial contributing ingredients in any given CBD product.

Furthermore, when you are looking at where to store your CBD oil, try to avoid windows and other spaces that are exposed to direct sunlight. Your best bet will be to store the CBD oil in a cool, dry place such as a dark cupboard, away from sunlight.

Never store CBD oil in direct sunlight

While high temperatures will damage your CBD oil, there is no doubt that exposure to direct sunlight can be even more damaging. In fact, certain studies have highlighted that storing CBD in sunlight is the worst place that you could do so, as sunlight is the most significant contributing factor in the deterioration of cannabinoids. 

In order to understand why this is the case, we need to build an understanding of how light works. 

Firstly, the majority of light is not visible to the naked eye. The whole spectrum of light in its entirety is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. However, we cannot see most of these. While sunlight contains plenty of visible light, there are also two types of light that fall on either side of the visible spectrum: UV rays and infrared rays.

As the name suggests, UV (ultraviolet) rays are past the violet end of the visible spectrum. What’s more, they also play a significant role in the degradation of CBD.

This is the primary reason that good quality CBD oil comes in opaque containers made of brown or blue glass, that is designed to protect the CBD from UV light, heat and other such external factors. Cheaper CBD oils often come in transparent bottles, which leave your CBD at a higher risk to external factors.

It is important to always keep your CBD oil in its original packaging for exactly this reason. Cannacares’ CBD oil will always come in a dark brown bottle to offer maximum protection. 

Always store CBD oil in an airtight container

Air contains a blend of multiple molecules that can react with, and negatively impact, CBD oil. This includes nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. 

Out of these three, oxygen causes the most damage to CBD. While exposure to oxygen is less damaging than high temperatures and UV exposure in relation to the degradation of CBD, it still contributes to a premature breakdown of cannabinoids, rendering them less effective.

This is why it is imperative to keep your CBD oil in an airtight container. All premium CBD vendors, such as Cannacares, will always sell their CBD oil in airtight bottles. As long as you keep your CBD oil in its original container and ensure that it is properly sealed, quality should be maintained.

It is imperative to close the cap tightly after every use, ensuring that there is no room for oxygen or other such contaminants to infiltrate the bottle.

Finally, it is always recommended to check the seal prior to opening the bottle. You should never accept a CBD product that comes with a broken seal as the CBD is likely already damaged.

How long can you store CBD oil for and what is the shelf life? – Does it expire?

One of the most common questions asked is whether CBD oil expires and how long it can be stored for.

Typically, the vast majority of CBD products will last for up to 2 years when stored properly, although some may be 12 months instead. This information should be available on the product label.

Although the expiry date may well be 2 years, it is important to remember that CBD is a perishable product and will degrade in quality after approximately 6 months (provided you have adhered to the above recommendations).

Six months after opening the product, you may start to notice certain changes in your CBD oil. There are certain tell-tale signs that your CBD oil is beginning to expire, such as changes in colour, odour and a reduction in efficacy (which may mean you need to increase your dosage to achieve the usual, desired effect).

We will now move on to assess the signs that your CBD oil may be expiring.  

What are the signs that your CBD oil has expired? 

As we now know, CBD oil begins to degrade approximately 6 months after opening. Ensuring you have followed all of the recommendations highlighted above, the quality of the CBD should be retained. 

You also need to make sure your product has not prematurely expired, so it is important to be aware of the signs that give this away.

  1. It smells funny – If your CBD has an unpleasant odour that differs from when you first opened the product, it has likely expired.
  2. Change in colour – If your CBD has become darker than when you originally bought it, it may well have expired.
  3. It’s past the expiry date – Pretty self-explanatory here!
  4. Same dose is less effective – If you are having to take a larger dose in order to achieve the same results, the CBD oil may well have expired.

Despite the above, it should be highlighted that research has not revealed any serious side effects from using expired CBD products. At worst, the products will likely just be unpleasant to consume and/or less effective.

Can you store CBD oil in the fridge?

As discussed earlier in the article, CBD should be stored at a moderate room temperature between 16 degrees Celsius and 23 degrees Celsius. If you live in a temperate country with a moderate climate year-round, storing your CBD oil in a cupboard is sufficient, provided it is at avoiding exposure to direct sunlight and moisture.

However, if you live in a more extreme climate where ambient temperatures regularly exceed 23 degrees Celsius, then you should store your CBD oil in the fridge – particularly during summer months.

Despite a lack of peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that CBD oil can be preserved longer in terms of shelf life and potency, many believe this to be the case. 

Although storing CBD oil in the fridge will protect it from direct sunlight, moisture and high temperatures, it can cause the liquid to thicken when stored there for elongated periods. 

This is nothing to worry about however, as the CBD oil will return to a liquid state once its left at room temperature for a few hours.

How to store CBD products when travelling

Travelling with CBD can always cause a number of difficulties. Many are confused with the legality of this. However, a simple way to consider this is that as long as CBD is legal in the country you are travelling from and the destination, then you should be fine. 

Storage of CBD products while travelling is another matter entirely, but can also present a number of difficulties.

The same principles should be followed in terms of storing the product away from direct sunlight and heat, keeping it in a cool, dark place and avoiding exposure to air.

Try to avoid long car journeys with CBD as it is likely to heat up quickly and degrade.

While you have little say in the conditions of storage while flying, you can wrap your CBD products in aluminium foil to protect them from heat and light to a degree.

If you do travel regularly and rely on regular CBD consumption, then we would recommend opting for CBD capsules over CBD oil. Anyone who has spilled CBD oil in their bag (I must confess to this!) will know exactly what we mean – it causes an almighty mess!

CBD capsules on the other hand cause no damage if spilled and are also less likely to attract suspicion. They are also easier to consume on-the-go.


How to store other types of CBD products

We have covered a great deal of theory throughout this article, although the optimal storage conditions for each CBD product can be dependent on the form of the CBD. For example, CBD oil will be stored differently to CBD skincare products.

CBD oil

One of the reasons why CBD oil tinctures are such a popular choice of delivery method is due to their longevity. The majority of CBD oils last for up to 2 years, giving them the edge over most other products. 

The best way to store CBD oil is in its original dark, opaque bottle, with an airtight cap. This should also be stored in a cool, dark place. 

CBD edibles

When it comes to CBD edibles, it is important to take note of the ingredients that are included in the product in question.

Generally speaking, edibles do not have a particularly long shelf life, so should be consumed as soon as possible. Furthermore, once the packaging has been opened, the degradation is likely to accelerate.

It is often best to keep edibles refrigerated to extend their shelf life, but every product will have specific storage instructions that can be found on the label.

If this is unclear, or you still have doubts, then it is recommended to contact the retailer that you purchased the product from.

CBD skincare products

CBD skincare products often contain a range of added natural ingredients that affect the shelf life of each product uniquely. Most products will last between 6-12 months, but petroleum-based skin care products will often last longer.

CBD content is not as pivotal to the effectiveness of CBD topicals as they are not directly absorbed into the bloodstream and contain a variety of other ingredients that contribute to its success. 

It is generally recommended to store your CBD skin care products in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard. Avoiding extreme temperatures is also important as this can alter the composition of the product.

Final thoughts on storing CBD oil

Every CBD product comes with its own shelf life and as long as you adhere to the above recommendations with regard to storing it, this shelf life should be anywhere between 12-24 months. 

When failing to follow these recommendations, you run the risk of premature expiration – the signs of which are highlighted above. Changes in colour, odour and efficacy should not be ignored.

It is important to remember that heat, direct sunlight and oxygen can all contaminate CBD and reduce the effectiveness of the product. Keep this in mind when looking for the perfect storage space.

If you have already found the perfect storage spot, why not use the code BLOG15 to enjoy 15% off all CBD products on the Cannacares website?

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