We’ve covered in previous articles the importance of accurate labeling of CBD products. It is essential to know the concentration of CBD in order to be able to work out the correct dosage. The concentrations of other cannabinoids that may be present is equally important, both for the legality of the product (when it comes to THC) and to be able to take advantage of the entourage effect of a broad spectrum of cannabinoids.
Check our article on CBD bioavailability for more on how CBD is absorbed by the human body.
However, like any product with active ingredients, CBD oil and other CBD products have a certain shelf life. After that period of time, the product deteriorates and the concentration of CBD and other components may decrease, thus affecting dosage and effectiveness.
This leads us to the important questions “can CBD storage affect its potency and shelf life?” and “does CBD oil need to be refrigerated?”.
The short answer to the first question is yes: if you want to maintain the potency and shelf life of your CBD product, you need to store them properly. The second question is a little more complex, and we’ll explore this later in this article.
How and where you store your CBD plays an essential role in keeping the product safe, fresh, and effective. Therapeutic drugs can’t be used after they expire and CBD products are no different. Depending on the product, CBD can have a shelf life of 1 to 2 years as long as you keep it away from sunlight, oxygen, contaminants, and high temperature.
Let’s take a look at the best way to store CBD so you can get the most out of it!
Basic CBD Storage Tips
Let’s start with the basics: CBD products should be stored in an airtight container and kept away from sunlight and heat. The best way to extend the shelf life of this beneficial product is to store it in a cool place. This is particularly a good idea if you’re not taking it on a daily basis.
Here are some other things you should know about CBD storage:
Always keep CBD oil in its original bottle. The shelf life of the product remains unaffected as long as it is sealed in an airtight container. When the product comes in contact with oxygen and impurities in the air, it loses its potency and freshness. Manufacturers put CBD oil in opaque bottles for a reason: light can also affect the product.
Never store CBD oil in plastic bottles.
If you can’t store it in the original container, then transfer the product into a dark, airtight bottle only. Remember that CBD must not be exposed to air or sunlight.
Always keep the bottle in an upright position
If making CBD edibles, pay special attention to the ingredients you use as the expiry date of each ingredient will be different. If storing home-made edibles for any length of time, it is best to store them in the freezer.
CBD products can be stored in a cupboard at room temperature. However, it is important to check the temperature and store only in spots that are below 23 degrees Celsius.
If you are planning to take your CBD on a long road trip, then consider storing it in a cooler. If that isn’t possible, find a dark place to store the product away from sunlight. Remember that vehicles tend to get hot quickly, so never store CBD products in a car for an extended period.
CBD products lose their potency and even colour over time. They don’t last forever. Even though CBD tinctures can last for several years, they may not remain that effective. If you notice an unusual odour or a change in the colour of your CBD, it’s a sign you need to replace the product.
Equally, if your CBD has been exposed to heat, sunlight or air and you think it may have been damaged or contaminated, it is best to play it safe and replace it.
Why does CBD Storage Matter?
Like other natural wellness products, products containing cannabinoids do not stay at the same level of effectiveness forever. CBD products, especially edibles and tinctures, lose their potency as they age. Although you can’t make them last forever, you can ensure that they do not experience a premature breakdown.
The effectiveness of the CBD products depends on a number of factors, including their bioavailability and how they are stored. In order to preserve their efficiency and bioavailability, you must store these products in a cool, dry place so that it isn’t exposed to sunlight, oxygen or moisture.
You should avoid storing CBD products:
- In the car
- In a washroom, near the swimming pool, and around wet areas
- Close to heating and electronic appliances
- In places that receive direct sunlight
The good news is that you can use CBD oil for up to two years as long as you store it properly. This means that, particularly if you use CBD regularly, you can save money by buying a larger volume of CBD and not worry that it will expire before you use it all.
The Best Way to Store CBD products
It’s important to store the CBD products away from moisture, light, and high temperature. You need to store CBD somewhere that the temperature is relatively stable. Simply put, any place that isn’t exposed to high temperature, light, and moisture will be a safe place to store Cannabinoids. Try to look for a dry and cool place to store your CBD products.
We’ve already covered the basics of CBD storage. Now let’s dive a little deeper into the best practices of storing your CBD products so that you can get the maximum benefits for as long as possible.
1. Always Choose a Cool Place to Store CBD Products
Nothing will damage natural products more than exposure to heat, and cannabidiol is no exception. Storing CBD products in a cool place does not necessarily mean keeping them inside the refrigerator. You only need to find a place away from sources of heat. Keep in mind that this includes electrical appliances that generate heat like the oven, hairdryer, and fridge.
Do you ever keep your medicines near the oven, refrigerator or other electrical appliances? Similarly, you can’t store your CBD products anywhere near sources of heat or electrical devices.
If you live in the area with a humid or hot climate, then storing CBD oil or edibles inside the fridge isn’t a bad idea. Note that low temperatures can cause CBD oil or other liquids to thicken. If you put them in the refrigerator for hours, there is a good chance the product will turn into a solid state. If this happens, don’t panic: simply place the CBD oil bottle in a bucket filled with warm water. Alternatively, you can let the oil sit at room temperature for a while. It will be ready for consumption in as little as a few minutes.
Tip: Never store Cannabinoids in the car. Whether CBD oil, lotion or edibles, CBD products can lose their potency if exposed to high temperature and cars tend to heat up easily even on relatively cool days. Temperatures in excess of 23 degrees Celsius can cause CBD products lose their beneficial properties. If you have the habit of carrying the CBD products with you, then make sure you don’t leave them in the car!
2. Never Expose CBD Products to Sunlight
The worst place you can store CBD products is in or near direct sunlight. Exposure to UV rays in sunlight can damage CBD products to the point that they reduce their potency or lose their cannabinoid content entirely.
Generally, CBD is packaged in an opaque container that is designed to protect the active compounds from light and heat. That is one of the reasons that you should keep CBD oil and tinctures in the original bottle.
Additionally, never keep these bottles near an open window and any other place that could expose the contents inside the container to sunlight. In addition to the storage, check the container of the CBD oil before making a purchase. Transparent bottles make CBD more at risk of exposure to sunlight so it is best to buy CBD that comes in a dark or opaque bottle.
3. Store CBD Products at Room Temperature
Contrary to what some people believe, CBD oil doesn’t lose its freshness if stored at room temperature. This depends on the room you’re storing it in, of course – some rooms are much hotter than others! Check the temperature of the space where you’re planning on storing your CBD: it should be 23 degrees Celcius (70 degree Fahrenheit) or below.
Exposing Cannabinoids to extreme temperatures can degrade them, as well as affect the terpenes which are another important part of the mixture. While you can store CBD at room temperature, avoid windowsill and other places exposed to the sunlight. Exposure to direct heat through sunlight affects the molecular composition of the product, as the CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes can breakdown. In a similar way, artificial heat can have a negative impact on the shelf life and potency of the product.
4. Store CBD in the Refrigerator if you Live Somewhere Hot
CBD needs to be stored at a moderate temperature. So, if you live in an area with cool to moderate temperatures throughout the year, then there’s nothing wrong with storing your CBD products outside the fridge, as long as they aren’t exposed to sunlight or moisture.
Some people store CBD in the refrigerator as they believe that a cool temperature can increase the product’s shelf life and preserve its potency. While there is no scientific evidence supporting this idea, it is certainly safe to store CBD oil, edibles and other CBD products in the fridge. This will protect the CBD product from sunlight, high temperature, moisture, and other the harmful contaminants that can affect the product’s shelf life.
Storing CBD in the fridge is optional in most climates, however if the ambient temperature will rise above 23 degrees Celcius storing your CBD in the fridge becomes essential. So if you live in a warmer climate, you are probably best keeping your CBD oil in the fridge especially during summer.
5. Store CBD in an Air-tight Container
Exposure to oxygen is another factor that can cause the premature break down of cannabinoids, including CBD. Even if it doesn’t degrade the CBD compounds completely, there is a good chance that oxygen in the air can make the CBD oil and other CBD products less effective.
All good CBD manufacturers pack their products in air-tight containers, so as long as you keep them in their original containers and make sure they are properly sealed, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Take care to always close the cap tightly after using the product so that there is no space for the oxygen or contaminants to pass through the cap.
It is also a good idea to check the seal of the container every time you buy a new product. Never accept any CBD products that come with a broken seal.
6. Never Use Expired CBD Products
The CBD products come with a shelf life, and the expiry date should always be clearly marked on the label. Many CBD products will last for up to 2 years if stored properly, though some have a shelf life of a year only.
As well as ensuring the products is within its official expiry date, you also need to make sure it has not prematurely expired. Generally speaking, the expiry date that manufacturers print on their products represents a best case scenario. That is, this date is how long you can expect the product to remain effective if it is stored properly.
You need to make sure you store your CBD products properly, following the rules we have covered above, in order to get the maximum shelf life. You should never use a CBD product that is past its use-by date or has otherwise expired. Expired products are not effective, and you will not receive the same benefits from a standard dose. At worst, an expired CBD product may have unwanted side-effects.
If the product has prematurely expired, you may notice certain signs and indicators that it is no good anymore. Let’s take a look at those next.
How do I Know if my CBD is Passed its Expiry?
Obviously, the expiry date printed on the packaging will be your first clue. However, if the product has not been stored properly it may degrade or deteriorate earlier than the official expiry date.
Here are some signs you may notice if your CBD product has expired:
- Unpleasant or unusual odour
- Change in colour: usually a little darker than the original colour
- You no longer notice the same results from your regular dosage
These are common signs the CBD product has expired and it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. In other cases, an expired product may not show these signs but will still not be effective. It’s therefore best to replace an product that is past its expiry date or that has not been properly stored.
Research hasn’t shown any serious side-effects of using expired CBD products, but it is best using such products as, at the very least, they will not deliver the health benefits that you’re looking for.
Storing Different Forms of CBD
Thanks to the rising popularity of CBD products in recent years, it is now available in a range of different products, including edibles, oil, tinctures, and vapes. Whichever product you are using, it is important to make sure you store it properly so that you get the
Let’s take a look at some specific guidelines and tips for storing CBD in various forms.
One of the reasons why most people choose CBD oil over other CBD products is their longevity. CBD tinctures tend to last longer than cannabidiol in other forms. The shelf life of CBD oil varies from product to product, but some CBD oil is capable of lasting for up to two years without losing efficiency.
The best way to store CBD oil is in a dark dripper bottle. Make sure you store it in the air-tight bottle, preferably in its original packaging and keep it in a cool place. The carrier oil used in the product can also affect its shelf life. For more information, check the product’s label or contact the retailer or manufacturer.
CBD Cooking Oil
CBD cooking oils and CBD butter have a much lower shelf life than other CBD products. A great way to extend the shelf life of CBD butter and CBD cooking oil is to store them in the freezer: CBD butter will stay good in the fridge for just a few weeks, but will last up to six months if frozen.
Tip: For easy storage, mix CBD cooking oil with herbs and pop it in the freezer in an ice cube tray. Then, when you want to use the oil simply pop out one or two ice cubes and leave the rest in the freezer!
Once out of the freezer, make sure to keep your CBD butter in the fridge and CBD cooking oil in an airtight container in a cool cupboard if available, or also in the fridge if the ambient temperature is too warm.
It is important to note that ingredients included in CBD edibles have a significant impact on their shelf-life. If you have been using edibles for a while, you probably know that each CBD product comes with a different expiry date. It goes without saying that some products tend to expire sooner than other products. While CBD oil can last for up to two years, edibles do not typically have a long shelf-life, so it is best to consume these products as soon as possible.
Some edible CBD products are best stored in the refrigerator, and in many cases they can be frozen to extend their shelf-life if you are not planning on consuming them straight away.. If in doubt, check the label: most edibles come with special instructions and storage recommendations. And of course, always follow the expiry date given by the manufacturer, as this is carefully calculated based on the shelf-life of the CBD in the product, as well as all other ingredients. If you still have doubts, talk to the retailer and discuss the storage options.
Can you Travel with CBD Products?
Carrying CBD products with you when you travel makes their proper storage more difficult. However, this can sometimes be necessary for you to have your regular dose of CBD. If this is the case, you can still take your CBD with you. You just need to follow basic precautions, such as storing the product away from sunlight and heat, keeping it in a cool and dark place, and avoiding its exposure to air.
Try to avoid leaving CBD in the car for too long, as cars tend to heat up quickly. Therefore, take your CBD with you rather than leaving it in your suitcase in the car for long periods of time. As an extra layer of protection from heat and light, you can wrap your CBD products in aluminium foil while travelling.
If travelling internationally, you need to be very careful about carrying CBD as laws relating to the cannabinoid vary greatly from country to country. Check this article on CBD legality if you’re not sure if CBD is legal in your destination.
The Bottom Line
All CBD products come with a particular shelf life. In order to get the maximum shelf life from your CBD products and keep the as effective as possible you need to store them properly. Heat, direct sunlight, air and oxygen can all contaminate CBD and make the compound less effective. Therefore, proper storage means keeping your CBD safe from all of these elements.
Failing to store your CBD properly will make it less effective, and expired products may even have negative side effects. It is important not to take any product that is passed its listed expiry date, or that have changed in colour or have an unusual odour.
Storing your CBD products properly will help you to get the most out of them, and if you are in doubt, it is best to replace any potentially-expired product.
Keep checking back on our blog for the latest CBD-related news and advice!