CBD: Comprehensive Guide to CBD Shelf Life and Storage

CBD: Comprehensive Guide to CBD Shelf Life and Storage

CBD: Comprehensive Guide to CBD Shelf Life and Storage

You love how CBD makes you feel. You’ve purchased a few different CBD products. How long does CBD last? Can you still use that old CBD tincture you found in the back of your cabinet? What is the best way to store your CBD to make sure it lasts longer?

This is your comprehensive guide to SBD shelf life and storage.

How Long Does CBD Last?

CBD is a supplement. It doesn’t go rotten like milk if you keep it too long. But, over time CBD will lose its potency. That means in you find old CBD, using it isn’t going to make you sick, but it may not work as well as it did when it was new.

What is the shelf life of CBD? It depends on what CBD product you’re using and how you stored the CBD.

In general, if stored properly. CBD remains at full potency for 14 to 24 months.

How Do You Know Your CBD Oil is Bad?

Many CBD products come with a “best if used by” date. If you follow that date, most of the time you won’t have any problems.

CBD that is past its useful point will often have a bad odor or taste. If you find an old CBD bottle and it tastes funny, it’s time to throw it away.

What Happens to CBD Over Time

CBD is an organic compound found in hemp. Like all organic compounds, it degrades over time. Because it has been extracted and preserved in either a tincture, topical, gummy, or vape juice, the breakdown process is slowed.

But, exposure to heat and light cause the CBD to breakdown faster. The more the CBD compound has broken down, the less effective it will be when you use it. There isn’t as much of the CBD in a serving to enter your bloodstream.

Near the end of its life, the individual CBD molecules begin to come apart. This means that even the CBD that does make it into your bloodstream will not be as effective as it would have been earlier in its lifecycle.

Best Ways to Store CBD

There are four core principles for storing your CBD. You need to keep it:

  1. Cool
  2. Dry
  3. Dark
  4. Still

Light, air, and heat are the biggest threats to the integrity of CBD. But, moisture and excessive motion will also decrease the useful shelf life of any CBD product.

The best practice is to keep CBD products in the refrigerator. Most products will also do well in the freezer for long term storage. However, if you are going to be using the CBD regularly, the refrigerator is the best place.

If you’re using a refrigerator isn’t an option, you can use a dark, dry cabinet as long as it doesn’t get too hot.

Wherever you store your CBD, make sure it is in an airtight container. This means making sure you close the cap tightly after every use. Loose edibles like gummies that don’t have an airtight bottle should be kept in an airtight Tupperware container.

Special Storage and Shelf Considerations Based on Type of CBD Product

Because CBD shelf life depends on the individual product, here are some special guidelines based on CBD product type:


The alcohol in tinctures helps preserve the CBD. Tinctures tend to last the longest of any CBD product. However, you should still not use a tincture that is older than 24 months, or that has a strange taste or odor. Many people prefer the taste of tinctures that have been refrigerated.

Vape Juice

Vape juice also has a reputation as long-lasting product. However, it tends to lose potency a little faster than a tincture. Make sure and check vape juice for a strange taste or odor if it is older than 18 months, even if it has been kept in a refrigerator.


Many people have a hard time applying topicals that have been kept in a freezer or refrigerator because they spread best at room temperature. For this reason, most topicals are kept in cool, dark cabinets or cupboards. But, this means that the CBD in a topical will not last as long. Check your topicals for strange smells after 12 months. Do not try and taste a topical.


Edible CBD like gummies has the shortest shelf life of any CBD product because you also have to deal with the expiration of the edible portion of the product. Gummies may get hard if kept in a freezer for extended periods of time.

Many people prefer the taste of gummies that have been kept in a cupboard over ones that have been stored in a refrigerator.

Gummies that have been stored in a cool, dry place will usually last 12 to 18 months. But, the gummy is hard, has a strange smell or taste, it needs to be thrown out.

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