If you’ve ever purchased cannabidiol (CBD) oil, you might have wondered if that bottle will ever expire. The short answer is yes–CBD oil eventually loses its potency. However, it doesn’t curdle like fresh milk. The process is slow, taking months before there is an appreciable difference in the potency. And, you can mitigate the effects of time by properly storing your products.
CBD oil is often packaged in dark-colored bottles, as it’s sensitive to both temperature and oxygen. Exposure to the latter triggers a process known as oxidative stress when the oxygen in the air interacts with the cannabinoids in the oil. You can try to prevent this by leaving CBD oil in a sealed bottle placed in a cool, dry place.
In 2017, Italian researchers examined the stability of cannabinoids over time. They looked at oils infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD as well as infused tea and found higher stability of cannabinoids in oil samples comapred to tea samples. However, after applying heat, there was a signifcant reduction in cannabinoid concentration in the oil.
In another study, researchers evaluated cannabis oil confiscated in criminal persecutions. The oil was stored for four years in laboratory light at a warm temperature or in darkness at a cool temperature, and samples were measured every three months. While there was a steady decay in Δ9-THC, this degradation was further accelerated in samples stored at warmer temperatures in the light. CBD followed the same trend.
This evidence indicates that storing your CBD oil in a closet or refrigerator may help it last longer. Companies selling CBD often state their products remain potent for up to a year. If your CBD oil does degrade, it may look cloudy or have an unpleasant odor.
To conclude, if you store your bottled CBD oil in a dark area safe from harsh temperatures, it has the best chance of lasting longer. At some point, however, the cannabinoids will degrade. Take care with your CBD and store it properly for longer user.
Image source: https://www.npr.org/player/embed/784562677/784935118
- Pacifici R, et al. Evaluation of cannabinoids concentration and stability in standardized preparations of cannabis tea and cannabis oil by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Chemical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. 2017;55(10):1555-1563.
- Trofin IG, et al. Long-term storage and cannabis oil stability. Revista de Chimie-Bucharest-Original Edition. 2010;63(3):293-297.