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Does CBD Go Bad?

scientist analyzing cbd oil

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CBD is quickly becoming one of America’s favorite supplements. One in seven Americans has now tried at least one CBD product. That’s according to Gallup, who also reported that the top reasons people are using it include relief from pain, anxiety and insomnia. 

But a high-quality, third-party tested CBD tincture doesn’t come cheap, and the last thing you want to worry about is if it has gone bad or not. So while most folks will find benefits in using their CBD products regularly, others may leave them sitting on the shelf for a little longer. That’s why we’ve put together this little guide to help you better understand CBD and what might cause a CBD product to be off.

We’ll focus mainly on CBD tinctures to start and then get into some of the other CBD products you’ll find on the market. 

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The Lifespan of a CBD Tincture

The first thing you’ll want to check is the packaging or bottle of your CBD tincture for the best before date. If, for some reason, you can’t find one, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with other tips that you’ll see below. But also, don’t throw your CBD products away just because they might be a little out of date. Keep reading to find out why!

CBD tinctures will generally be good for 14 to 24 months, which, yes, is quite the range. However, some important considerations will help you get the longest shelf life out of your CBD tinctures.

If you can, find out when the CBD tincture you’re buying was bottled. If it has sat around for an excessively long time, that will impact how quickly you need to use it. Not an issue for folks who use it daily, but it’s something to think about if you are more of an occasional user.

What’s in your CBD tincture also matters. High-quality carrier oils – like organic, C8 MCT oil – are preferred. Also, some folks believe that full spectrum CBD products may last longer than broad spectrum or isolate. As of yet, there’s no clear evidence to support this, but the theory is that the minimal processing of full spectrum CBD will enhance its longevity. As well, flavored products may go off sooner due to the additional ingredients. 

dropping oil into bottle

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There are also some conditions you’ll want to avoid that can cause CBD tinctures to go bad. These include direct sunlight and high heat. In addition, proper storage is a must! But before we dive deeper into that, let’s take a look at other CBD products.

How Long Other CBD Products Last

CBD tinctures generally rank as the most popular CBD product on the market. But you might be wondering about your other CBD products. 

Fortunately, when it comes to these sorts of products, they’re going to be quite similar to other ones you already have in your home. 

Just like CBD tinctures, they’ll come with a best before date on them. So that’s the first thing you’ll want to check. 

CBD topical creams, like other lotions, may also have a jar or bottle image with 12M, 18M or some other number on it. This shows how many months the product is good for after opening, similar to other lotions. Using a topical cream or lotion past this point isn’t generally harmful. It just won’t give you the same benefits.

man putting cream on elbow joint

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Products like CBD gummies may harden a little over time and lose their freshness, especially if stored improperly. Generally, you’ll want to consume gummies within three to six months after opening to avoid this.  

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The Best Way to Store Your CBD Products

Keeping your CBD tincture or other in its original packaging is essential. The bottles that tinctures come in are deliberately designed to block light from getting in, as is most packaging for CBD products. If they’re not opaque (meaning, you can’t see through them), they’ll at least be an amber color to cut down how much light gets to the product.

Keeping your CBD products away from heat-producing appliances is also a good idea. That means store them away from obvious culprits like ovens and microwaves. But also be wary of computers, televisions and other electronic devices you might not normally associate with heat.

Lastly, keep those lids sealed tight. The less contact with air your CBD products have, the better!

Expired CBD Products

Generally speaking, expired CBD products won’t make you sick or cause any damage to your body. Of course, this can vary depending on what additional ingredients are in the product. But most notably, minimal ingredient products like CBD tinctures won’t go rancid, so they’re unlikely to make someone sick like spoiled milk. 

The main issue with expired CBD products is their potency. The cannabinoids in a CBD product will break down over time, and you’ll lose some or all of the beneficial effects of the product if it’s too far outside its best before date.

To avoid running into issues with expired CBD products, follow these tips:

  • Daily, consistent use to get maximum benefits and prevent wastage.
  • Don’t overbuy products.
  • Note the best before date on the packaging or container.
  • Know when you opened the container.

And always purchase from reliable, third-party tested retailers to ensure you are getting top-notch products that you can trust!


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