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Does CBD oil expire? Everything you need to know and more!

Does CBD oil expire? Everything you need to know and more!

The 21st century has brought so many incredible advancements, from pocket-sized computers with processors more powerful than supercomputers of the past to 3D printed food. The incredible progress isn’t limited to just technology though. Some of our favorite improvements have been in the world of hemp.

Hemp has been around and in use for a long, long time. It’s been smoked, eaten, cooked with - you name it. Although it’s always been apparent that hemp had effects on us, like getting us high and easing our pain, the reason for this wasn’t really understood until much more recently in history. In fact, it wasn’t until 1964 when D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was discovered and isolated that we started to understand more of the incredible effects of marijuana.

In addition to the cultivation of higher THC content plants by way of selective breeding, the discovery of THC led us to begin studying marijuana much more closely. As of late, one of the biggest areas of research in the world of hemp is the study of CBD and it’s different effects. 


By now you’ve probably heard about CBD oil and the myriad other products containing CBD, but there’s so much information (and misinformation) out there that it can be difficult to know where to start your own CBD routine. We’ll take you through the basics of CBD, the different products available, and how you can take care of your CBD oil to maximize its shelf life.

What you’ll learn in this article:

  • What is CBD?
  • What types of CBD products are available?
  • How to find the best CBD oil
  • Does CBD oil expire?
  • How long does CBD oil stay fresh?


What is CBD?

Although THC is perhaps the more famous part of the marijuana plant, given that it’s the part that actually gets you high, it certainly isn’t the only active component in this amazing plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another active compound found in hemp. It’s responsible for the pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and sleep-inducing properties that hemp has so long been used for. Now we’ve bred cannabis plants with higher CBD content than ever before, and we’ve even made 99.9% CBD isolate!

Will CBD make me high?

No, CBD will not make you high. The inebriating component of marijuana is THC, and that is the only part of cannabis that will get you high. CBD oil, instead, can offer a host of relieving effects, especially when in the company of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and even a trace amount of THC (not enough to get you high, but enough to give you the further medical benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil instead of CBD alone).

What are the benefits of CBD?

CBD products can relieve you of many different ailments. The most popular use of CBD is for pain relief, particularly when anti-inflammatory effects are needed. It also can relieve patients with anxiety, as well as helping with sleep (both falling asleep and staying asleep). It’s worth noting that the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t officially listed CBD as curative medicine, but there is ample anecdotal and scientific evidence for us to use it confidently. Once you try it for yourself, you’ll see exactly why it’s being used daily by millions of patients.

CBD Oil vs Other CBD products

All these advancements with marijuana and CBD have led to a huge and ever-growing field of CBD products. While this is great news in some regards (i.e. more products means a more competitive market, which means product quality must be increased to maintain a place in the flooded market), it also has led to a swathe of less-than-reputable products being touted and sold under the guise of being high-quality CBD. First, we’ll chat about the various products available, then we’ll help you pick nothing but the best CBD product for your needs.

What are the similarities?

All of these great new CBD products offer many of the same benefits. Pain relief, improved sleep, and relief of mild inflammation. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is whether you want an oral CBD product or one that is applied topically. 

What about the differences?

You can get a top-quality CBD product in the form of anything from oil to gummies to roll-on CBD for easy topical application. For some people, CBD can be hard to digest, so they’re probably better off with CBD topicals for their pain relief needs. For others, a sweet treat might be the preferred way to enjoy a better night’s sleep, so they could try some relaxing CBD gummies. But for our purposes, CBD oil is the way to go.

What to look for in a bottle of CBD oil?

Although there are many great CBD oils available, there are at least as many poor quality products. One key pitfall to avoid is getting a product that is simply “hemp oil,” which is often completely free of CBD and any other unique components from the cannabis plant (in fact, it’s just oil extracted from hemp seed hearts which contains nothing more than a few healthy fatty acids). If a product is labeled as hemp oil, make sure you check its actual CBD content. If there is no clear indication of the CBD content, don’t trust that product.

Another reason to get higher quality CBD oil is that in addition to having a scientifically-verified amount of CBD in it, better CBD oil will have a longer shelf life than an inferior product. Here are several key aspects to look for when selecting a bottle of CBD oil.

Name Brand

Although it isn’t a complete guarantee, a recognizable, reputable name brand is often a solid indication of high-quality CBD oil. Specktra, Foria Wellness, and PlusCBD are just a few of our favorite trusted brands. Any of these CBD oil brands will give you a longer shelf life and not expire nearly as soon as poor quality oil.

Brand Transparency

When it comes to picking out good brands, transparency is always a good sign. A company that has nothing to hide won’t bother hiding it. Keep an eye out for superfluous “fluffy” language which elevates the product without ever providing any evidence of its supposed superiority.

Lab Analysis Report

If a brand offers regular up-to-date lab analysis reports, you can rest assured they’re doing the best they can to give you the highest quality products. These lab analyses can also offer an insight into which brand might be best for you, based on which exact cannabinoids are present and in what amount. While not every single reputable brand will offer these, they’re always an indication of transparency and quality.

Product Reviews

Although they’re not perfect, product reviews can offer a lot of information about new CBD oil before you actually try it. Just make sure you read the reasoning behind any particularly low or high rating - it could be a scam review. If you’re torn between two brands that seem reputable, dig into the product reviews and see if anything helps make your decision easier.

Does CBD oil expire after opening?

If you’ve ever wondered “Does CBD oil tincture expire,” we’ll go ahead and answer that with a big yes; CBD oil can, and will, eventually expire. However, it generally takes a very long time to do so - sometimes over two years! The better the CBD oil, the longer the shelf life.

How long does CBD oil last/shelf life?

All CBD oil comes with an expiration date, so that’s the first thing to check when figuring out when your CBD oil will go bad. Although good quality CBD oil may last longer, it won’t last forever. Expect to get at least 12 months shelf life, especially if you store your CBD properly by keeping it fully sealed and out of any extreme temperatures. You can make unopened CBD oil last longer than opened bottles, but it’s still wise to adhere to the expiration date for any product like this.

Are you supposed to refrigerate CBD oil?

If you prefer your CBD oil cold, you can certainly store your CBD in the fridge. However, there is no need to do so, and it won’t actually improve the shelf life of your product. CBD oil is stable at room temperature.

Can old CBD oil make you sick?

Although expired CBD oil won’t generally make you sick, it can certainly go bad and turn rancid like any other oil. Mostly, as your product approaches the end of its shelf life, it loses potency. While it probably won’t hurt you after its expiration date, it can still “go bad” in the way of not having the desired medicating effect.


Modern CBD oil is a fantastic way to find out if CBD is right for you. Just make sure you go with a brand that you can trust, and always check the expiration date. As with any new product, you’ll want to start slowly and see exactly how CBD affects you. You can always take more, but it’s not as easy to un-eat an edible! 


Author bio:
Nick Branson is a writer and longtime smoker with a passion for science and education. His hope is to destigmatize the use of marijuana, both medicinally and recreationally.