Like all natural products, CBD oil will eventually expire. A quality CBD oil will last between 1 and 2 years before expiring. There are however a number of precautions you can take to extend its shelf life. In this blog we take a look at how to store CBD oil to keep yours fresh.

If you want to know what affects the shelf life of CBD, what happens if you take expired CBD and more then you’re in the right place. If you are in a hurry simply open the table of contents below and click on skip to the section you need to skip right to it!

Bottle of CBD oil with dropper half full and almost out of the bottle in front of a green backgroun

Does CBD Oil Expire?

As a natural remedy derived from the hemp plant, CBD oil degrades over time and will eventually expire. How quickly this happens will hinge largely on how well you store your CBD oil. Good storage ensures your oil remains stable and potent which means maximum relief for you.

In addition to storage, a few other factors can influence how long CBD oil lasts. Developing an understanding of these factors will help you store products to last longer. Moreover stretching the shelf life of your favourite CBD products guarantees better value for you.


You’ve probably noticed that CBD oil comes in an dark amber or green glass bottle. This isn’t just because it looks cool, these dark-coloured bottles also protect CBD from exposure to light and air. These elements can speed up the breakdown of cannabinoids like CBD. That’s why CBD oil lasts longer in a dark coloured bottle.

Extraction Process

A quality extraction will also result in a more stable and longer lasting CBD oil. Supercritical co2 extraction remains the gold standard as it gently extracts while preserving and maximising cannabinoid levels.

Above all co2 extraction is extremely safe and leaves behind no harmful residues that may compromise the shelf life of your oil. A CBD oil from a less reputable brand which has used another extraction method such as ethanol, may not be so stable.


What’s inside your CBD oil can even affect how long CBD oil lasts. For example typical CBD oil contains CBD extract and a carrier oil such as MCT, olive oil or hemp seed oil. However some brands such as Vitality add flavour to their CBD isolate oil.

Additives such as flavouring will have its own shelf life independent from the CBD extract and carrier oil. Therefore should flavouring expire first it could compromise the integrity of your oil. That’s why it is important to understand what each product contains when choosing a CBD oil.

At Hemptations you can view the full list of ingredients in the product listing. Moreover you can even see a product lab report for each CBD oil we sell. Find out the cannabinoid profile of your favourite CBD oil today.


Good storage is absolutely imperative to keeping your CBD oil fresh for longer. For example if you leave your oil open on a window sill in direct sunlight don’t expect it to last too long. Like any perishable product keep CBD oil in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

We will discover what elements contribute to the break down of CBD oil below. Follow these tips to keep your CBD oil potent and fresh for longer.

CBD Brothers Full Spectrum CBD Oil Green Edition with box green background

What causes CBD oil to expire?

While cannabinoids naturally begin breaking down the moment the plant is cut down, there are other factors that can accelerate the degradation of CBD. Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the quality of your CBD oil. Moreover keeping a CBD product away from the following elements will slow down the expiration of your CBD oil.


CBD remains more stable in cooler environments. Because of this we recommend storing your CBD in a cool place. Ideally you will keep it in the fridge which will keep it in the dark in addition to below 20°C. This will protect your CBD and help it keep longer.

CBD oil may separate while in the fridge but this is normal. It may look cloudy akin to water soluble CBD but don’t be alarmed. Simply shake it to remix the cannabinoids with the carrier oil before use.


Light can also contribute to the breakdown down of CBD. To help avoid this, keep your CBD products in a dark area such as a drawer or even better – the fridge.

Quality CBD oils come in dark amber or green coloured glass bottles. The reason for this is to keep out the light and prevent it from breaking down the oil.


Additionally you should protect your CBD from air by keeping it in an airtight container. Oxygen too can accelerate the break down of cannabinoids including CBD so keep the lid on your products.

Most CBD products come with some form of resealable packaging to prevent air getting in. Ensure you keep your CBD product air-sealed between use to maintain its integrity longer. To achieve this simply screw the oil back on tight after each use.


Although CBD is a known antibacterial/antimicrobial there are also other food ingredients present in CBD oil such as a carrier oil. Therefore when bacteria gets inside a bottle of CBD oil it can proliferate using these ingredients as a food source. Then as bacteria eats its way through the natural compounds within the oil nasty gases will be released. This will then be reflected in the smell and taste of the now rancid CBD oil.

To prevent bacteria getting inside CBD oil avoid licking or putting the pipette into your mouth while administering the oil. Doing this may result in bacteria from your mouth making its way into your oil and spoiling it. You don’t want this so use it carefull. Morever keeping bacteria away from your oil will keep yours potent and fresh for longer. Win win.

Using CBD Oil in hemp field sunshine

How long does CBD oil take to expire?

CBD oil will typically last between 18 and 24 months from the date it is created. However thanks to the above factors, this can vary greatly. For example a bottle of CBD oil that is left exposed to heat, light, air and/or bacteria will keep for significantly less time than a well looked after CBD oil.

All of our CBD oils come with a sell by date on the box or bottle. While this is not absolute it is usually a pretty good indication of when it is time to replace your oil. As always we recommend buying a quality oil and storing it correctly to get the most out of your CBD experience.

How to tell if CBD oil is expired?

Most CBD oils come with an expiry date printed on the box or bottle. This should be your first port of call to determine whether its still within expiration. With that said, expiry dates are merely an approximate date and not an exact science. A quality CBD oil that has been well looked after can remain usable well after its expiry date.

Moreover because of the oily nature of CBD oil, expiry labels are prone to falling off after a little use. With a little common sense and a little knowledge however, you can determine yourself whether yours is still safe to use. Here’s what to look out for to tell if CBD oil is expired.

CBD oil smells bad

Smell is a good indicator of the rancidity of CBD. Fresh CBD oil typically contains naturally occuring, fragrant terpenes and offers no unpleasant smell. Its scent should be earthy and cannabis-like unless flavoured, therefore if it smells different it may have gone off.

CBD oil tastes off

Similarly the taste will unfavourable in a departure from the nutty and earthy taste we associate with fresh CBD oil. For those of you who are thinking all CBD oil tastes bad, we hear you, but the taste should still be palatable. Expired CBD oil on the other hand, tastes like it has “gone off.”

CBD oil looks murky

You may also observe changes in the oil such as a change in colour. Bad CBD oil may go murky, thicker and/or darker than usual. This shouldn’t be confused with cloudy CBD oil which can typically happen when the oil is left in the cold. In this case the cannabinoids inside have began to crystalise and separate from the carrier oil.

To resolve simply return the oil to room temperature for a few minutes until its returns to its previous colour and viscosity. Thickening and darkening of your oil on the other hand, are tell tale signs that your oil has expired.

CBD oil stopped working

Expired CBD oil doesn’t always exhibit the above characteristics however, other times it looks and tastes perfectly fine. If this is the case but it has stopped working for you though, it is possible that it may have expired. Remember that when CBD exposed to light, heat and/or air it can break it down weaking the potency of your oil.

Even if you have stored your CBD products correctly cannabinoids can still break down when enough time passes. Check out the best before date on your oil and conduct some of the above tests if you are unsure.

Normally the reason CBD oil has stopped working is due to dosage. In fact even if the CBD within your oil has broken down you still may be able to achieve effects at a higher dose.

What happens if you take expired CBD oil?

While expired CBD oil likely won’t make you sick it probably won’t do much of anything at all. Cannabinoids naturally degrade over time and lose potency. This means you either won’t get any therapeutic effects or will need to take a much higher dose to feel any.

CBD that has been spoiled by bacteria on the other hand, possibly could make you unwell. If you suspect your CBD has been spoiled by bacteria then it is time to replace it. As mentioned above, taste, smell and look are all giveaways of spoiled CBD so keep an eye out for that.

A bottle of Elixinol CBD Oil stored inside a fridge

Should you store CBD oil in the fridge?

The fridge is one of the best places to store CBD oil. The cold temperatures help protect the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes from breaking down. Moreover it is dark and airtight inside the sealed fridge which will also protect them from breaking down.

Don’t be surprised if your oil begins to separate after spending time in the fridge. Never worry though as a simple shake and a few minutes at room temperature will return your oil to its usual state. This natural separation under cooler temperatures is normal and won’t damage CBD in any way.

An additional benefit to storing your oil in the fridge is as the oil becomes thinner in viscosity in the cold the flavour is less noticable. A useful tip for those who don’t enjoy the taste of full spectrum CBD oil.

Evidently the fridge is an awesome place to store your CBD oil. At Hemptations, we always advise storing your CBD oil in the fridge. However if you can’t do this for any reason, storing it in a cupboard or a drawer is the next best thing.

What is the best way to store CBD oil?

Quality CBD oils from reputable brands are well packaged and will usually last past their shelf life. Storing your oil properly however will help keep it fresh and maintain its potency by slowing the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes.

If you follow the above principles for storing CBD oil your favourite cannabinoid will remain fresh throughout. Here’s a quick list of our best storage tips to keep your CBD oil fresh for longer.

How to store CBD oil: Storage Tips

  • Keep your oil tightly sealed in its original packaging to avoid exposure to air which can break down CBD.
  • Store your product somewhere cool (below 20 degrees) away from heat sources such as radiators, boilers, air conditioners, ovens and stoves or windows.
  • Keep it in a dark place away from light such as the fridge, a cupboard or the pantry.
  • Avoid touching the pipette with your mouth or fingers while using the oil to prevent bacteria and other contaminants from entering the bottle.
  • Always ensure to close the bottle properly after use to prevent air or contaminants getting inside.

Have you found the perfect place to store CBD oil? Why not browse the Hemptations store for an extensive selection of full spectrum, isolate and broad spectrum CBD oil? We have a pleathora of options to suit all tastes and budgets.

Woman with white t-shirt taking CBD oil sublingually from a pink and clear pipette

Want to learn more about CBD?

If you’ve enjoyed this post you may like to read more about using and storing CBD. Here are some of our most popular posts on Using CBD.

Alternatively check out our other blog categories to learn all about – Learning CBD | Buying CBD

Any questions?

We would love to help if you have any questions around this topic. Let us know by dropping us an email or comment on one of our social channels. We will endeavour to get back to you asap but while you wait the answer to your query may lie in our CBD FAQs.

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