Does CBD oil go bad?

Does CBD Oil Go Bad? The Guide to Keeping Your CBD Fresh Longer

Have you stumbled upon an old CBD product in your cabinet, only to wonder if it’s still safe and effective, especially when it’s past the expiration date? This has prompted a common concern: does CBD oil go bad? 

Let’s explore the intricacies of CBD shelf life, signs of degradation, and effective methods to keep your CBD shelf stable longer.

How CBD breaks down over time

CBD oil’s degradation occurs primarily through oxidation, a process where CBD molecules interact with oxygen molecules, resulting in gradual breakdown. Proper storage in an airtight container can slow this process. While degradation doesn’t render CBD ‘bad,’ it might reduce potency. Over time, CBD and THC can transform into CBN, a sedative compound. Consuming aged CBD products might induce sleepiness due to an increase in CBN content.

Studies reveal that temperature, humidity, and air exposure significantly influence CBD oil degradation. Solid powdered CBD remains relatively stable, but open vials of CBD oil experience substantial degradation, with complete breakdown occurring after approximately 270 days. Furthermore, exposure to light, while less impactful alone, can accelerate degradation when combined with other factors.

How to tell if your CBD has gone bad

Determining if your CBD is no longer usable involves observing various factors. 

Changes in texture, such as oil becoming thicker or separating in the bottle, may indicate expiration. However, it’s important to note, refrigeration might cause temporary thickening that subsides at room temperature. 

A change in color, becoming murkier or darker than the original hue, suggests the breakdown of compounds in the oil. Fresh CBD oil typically carries a pleasant, subtle earthy scent, while a pungent or rotten odor indicates spoilage. Additionally, unflavored CBD oil usually has a mild, earthy flavor; bitterness or unpleasantness in taste could signal expiration.

Can you slow the aging of CBD?

Effective storage practices can slow CBD degradation:

  • Shield CBD from direct sunlight to prevent oxidation and color alteration.
  • Maintain storage temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius (85 F). Heat may accelerate oxidation. 
  • Store CBD in air-tight containers in cool, dark, dry spaces.
  • Long-term preservation in a home freezer can maintain quality; ensure careful thawing to prevent moisture damage.

Infused CBD products and shelf stability

The quality of CBD oil and extraction methods significantly impact shelf life. Carbon dioxide extraction yields purer, longer-lasting oil, while ethanol extraction may shorten it. Tinctures and capsules typically have longer shelf stability compared to perishable edibles containing dairy or eggs.

While CBD can degrade over time, it doesn’t go ‘bad’ like perishable foods. It’s more akin to the gradual aging of wine, where the product changes but remains consumable. Understanding degradation indicators and employing proper storage practices ensures your CBD products retain potency and efficacy over time.

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