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  • August 26, 2022 4 min read


    The longevity and shelf life of CBD oil can depend on various factors such as; quality, way of storage, the extraction process, ingredients, and packaging. You can easily tell that the CBD oil has gone bad when you notice a funky smell, rancid taste, and its thickness and murky.

    All botanical products expire, including CBD oil. The cannabinoid in the CBD degrades with time hence losing its potency, making the CBD oil expire. CBD’s shelf life goes for about 12-18 months, depending on its quality and storage. The full therapeutic results you're craving will not be achieved when you take an expired CBD. Due to quality levels, poor packaging, wrong ingredients, and an extraction method, its products can expire. This article will address the mentioned factors and how to tell if CBD has gone bad.

    Factors that Promote CBD Oil’s Expiry


    The higher the quality, the longer the storage period. Fake products of less quality are found on the market, and if you are not careful, you will buy them. Quality depends on the hemp plant's conditions and the ingredients added to the product. According to Pavlovic et al. (2018), CBD oil quality varies, hence affecting the end product. Excessive and unnecessary compounds like water-soluble, heavy metals, and pesticides can degrade its value.


    Ingredients in CBD oil, such as flavors, have their own shelf life, creating a mismatch with CBD oil's shelf life. CBD shelf life takes 12-18 months, and in case an ingredient has a shorter shelf life as opposed to CBD oil, it will lessen the shelf life of CBD oil. According to Wakshlag et al. (2020), impurities such as pesticides, heavy metals, gums, and lipids, when added to the CBD oil, they result in their expiry.

    The Extraction Process Used

    The best method that ensures the longevity of the oil is the carbon dioxide extraction method. This method is termed gold and cleanest since it can maximize the CBD level and other cannabinoids. The method also ensures the stability of the compounds. Other companies consider using cheaper methods like alcohol or butane for extraction. Those methods are not safe because they tend to leave traces behind, harming your health. The method also affects the shelf life of the CBD oil, so consider products that were extracted from C02.

    Packaging and Storage

    Vendors penetrate light into the product, which might cause a faster rate of decay hence expiration. The use of dark-colored and airtight bottles for storage is a good idea. Dark-colored bottles minimize light to the product, and an airtight lid saves the product from air exposure. Research shows that exposure to heat and light of CBD oil leads to degradation in its freshness and potency, which may shorten its shelf life. For good storage, keep the CBD oil at a cool room temperature, avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, use airtight containers, and don’t keep it near the oven or stove as it will be exposed to heat.

    How do you Tell if CBD Oil has Expired? What you Need to Know

    When it Doesn’t Work Effectively

    All CBD products that have been legalized by Farm Bill 2018 have a manufactured and expiry date. Check on the label to find out if the product is still safe or has gone bad. CBD is fine if it works perfectly well, and you can feel the effect after a short while compared to the normal duration. If this is not the case, it has gone bad because the cannabinoids and CBD have been broken down by heat or UV rays. Sometimes it might seem weaker in function; maybe it hasn't expired. If you notice this, then increase the intake portions. When the effect does not show even after adding portions, it indicates that it has gone bad; discard it.

    Funky, Skunky Smell, and Rancid Taste

    According to Gilbert & DiVerdi (2018), CBD oil that is fresh will have a bitter earthly scent. Most people prefer to smell nutty or grassy. CBD users can easily tell if the CBD oil has gone bad or not. If it has expired, they are in a position to notice a rancid taste and skunky smell as it takes a sour taste. Buy CBD from a reputable source to avoid these conditions.

    Looks Thick, Murky, and Dark in Color

    For signs of degradation, you will notice a change in viscosity and color, it gets thicker, and the color darkens. According to Raymond et al. (2021), the normal color of CBD oil can be clear, dark brown, white, or dark green, depending on the carrier oil used and the hemp extract. CBD infused with coconut oil will have a cloudy consistency when stored at room temperature; this is normal. It becomes a concern when you notice when the oil turns chunky and lacks inconsistency at room temperature, this is a signal that maybe the CBD oil is breaking down.


    The shelf life of CBD oil takes 12-18 months. Sometimes this shelf life can be shortened due to compromised quality, extraction method used, ingredients added, and the way of packaging and storing are done. Ingredients such as heavy metals, gums, lipids, and pesticides can make CBD oil go bad. The cleanest and gold method to extract CBD is the carbon dioxide method; it doesn't leave any traces compared to alcohol and butane methods. Store CBD oil in dark-colored glass with a tight lid so that air does not skip and UV sun rays do not penetrate, a cool room temperature away from heat. Expired CBD oil can be noticed from its skunky and musky smell, dark color, and less effectiveness in how it used to work. If you notice this, stop using it because it may be harmful.


    Gilbert, A. N., & DiVerdi, J. A. (2018). Consumer perceptions of strain differences in Cannabis aroma. PLoS One, 13(2), e0192247.

    Pavlovic, R., Nenna, G., Calvi, L., Panseri, S., Borgonovo, G., Giupponi, L., ... & Giorgi, A. (2018). Quality traits of “cannabidiol oils”: cannabinoids content, terpene fingerprint, and oxidation stability of European commercially available preparations. Molecules, 23(5), 1230.

    Raymond, O., McCarthy, M. J., Baker, J., & Poulsen, H. (2021). Medicinal Cannabis–The Green Fairy Phenomenon. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 74(6), 480-494.

    Wakshlag, J. J., Cital, S., Eaton, S. J., Prussin, R., & Hudalla, C. (2020). Cannabinoid, terpene, and heavy metal analysis of 29 over-the-counter commercial veterinary hemp supplements. Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports, 11, 45.