Once you’ve decided to try out cannabidiol (CBD) as part of your routine, the story doesn’t end there. There are certain things that the increasingly popular CBD requires to maintain its integrity and shelf life. So, to keep you up to speed on the best practices for CBD storage, we’ve listed the essential steps to making the most out of your chosen product.
Why does CBD oil storage matter?
Similar to other wellbeing products made from natural ingredients, those that contain cannabinoids all degrade and lose their potency, and eventually expire after about two years. What’s more, CBD oils or other liquids, balms and tinctures will also contain other distinct ingredients with their own lifespan, something that may also influence the product’s overall shelf life. An example of this is the natural flavouring in an oil, which typically lasts a shorter time than CBD.
Even though it’s a fool’s errand to try and make any of these products endure forever, there are measures you can take to properly store them, and prevent any premature deterioration. If you routinely take CBD, it’s also a good idea to purchase a larger amount so that you don’t run out too quickly.
Like oils or tinctures, CBD drinks also have an expiration date, and ideally should be finished off before this as with any other food or beverage. Most products last between 12 and 24 months.
What should you consider when storing CBD oil?
When it comes to proper storage of your CBD, there are a few main factors to consider to prevent it going off prematurely.
Light — specifically the high-intensity ultraviolet (UV) rays — can significantly impact the potency of CBD. Therefore, the absolute worst place to put it is in the path of or even near direct sunlight. Both the heat and the UV rays will break down the cannabinoids, and even eliminate their CBD content altogether. It is for this reason that CBD is contained in an opaque glass container — so you should certainly not remove the oil or liquid from its original receptacle.
This factor is another way to determine whether the CBD you’ve purchased is from a reputable vendor. At TRIP, we ensure our CBD is packaged in opaque bottles, limiting any exposure to sunlight in order and retaining the potency of the oil.
Aside from light, another influence on the breakdown of CBD is the exposure to oxygen and other contaminants in the atmosphere. While these may not degrade the compounds entirely, they can strongly influence the overall potency. This is why all premium CBD manufacturers will use airtight containers to store their products. After each use, be sure to leave the bottle securely sealed, closing the lid tightly so as to prevent any oxygen getting in.
So long as you’ve done that, you shouldn’t need to worry. Keep an eye out, though, for any bottles with a broken seal — don’t waste your money on these, as they are likely already contaminated.
Exposing CBD to extreme temperatures is a surefire way to diminish its effectiveness. Though one study implied that refrigeration is optimal, generally speaking, if you’re storing your CBD oil or product at room temperature, it's highly unlikely to expire early.
However, you should monitor the temperature of the area that you’re storing it in, as if it’s over 23°C, this is probably too warm. We’d therefore recommend keeping it in the bathroom cabinet, as this also avoids putting it near any windows and therefore risking any heat exposure from direct sunlight.
Do you refrigerate CBD?
Following the last section, there is no need to put CBD oils, edible and other products in the fridge. So long as the regular room temperature where you live is around 23°C and the bottle or container is not directly exposed or near to sunlight, they should not be in danger of contamination or degradation.
In fact, exposing CBD oil to low temperatures for long periods of time can make it thicken and turn solid. However, this issue can be solved easily by just transferring back into room temperature conditions.
On the other hand, if you live somewhere with a hot climate, that’s another kettle of fish. In places where room temperature rises above 23°C you will need to call on your refrigerator. If you want to freeze it, you can, as it won’t damage the oil, but it’s largely unnecessary because the ordinary shelf life is long enough — making this method surplus to requirement.
How long can you store CBD oil?
If you follow these rules then your CBD ought to last for six months (at the very least) once you’ve opened it. As we’ve discussed already, because CBD oil is perishable, it will still be usable after, but its active ingredients will inevitably start to degrade once you’ve passed the six-month mark.
In the case of premature expiration, you should be able to observe a few tell-tale signs that the oil is no longer usable, such as a strange or unpleasant smell, a change in colour, and it not having its expected effects compared to your usual dosage. In this scenario, there is no danger in using it, but the oil will have less potency and it may therefore take more to experience its effects.
In short, your CBD will be potent and fit for use for between six months and two years, so long as you are mindful of light, air and temperature. Regardless of which of our CBD products you want to use, you should have little trouble storing it properly. Even though these products are perishable, their average shelf life is more than enough for your purposes — whether you’re regularly using it or not.
Just be sure to purchase a premium quality product with an opaque or dark-tinted container. In case you want to be absolutely certain, you should also be able to tell from the smell and the appearance if your CBD is off.