CBD, CBD Products, Expiration Date

Do Certain CBD Products Really Have a Set Expiration Date?

Did you know that cannabidiol (CBD) is more accessible than ever before?  Plus, it’s also becoming one of the most popular natural products on the wellness market.  So, it is unsurprising then that many people are stocking up on CBD-infused tinctures, edibles, capsules, topicals, etc. in order to try out all of the different ways to consume this unique and exciting plant compound.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that your CBD product might not last forever, which means that you have to consider expiration dates before grabbing loads of hemp goodies at one time.

Many CBD enthusiasts wonder if their products will go bad after a certain point.  After all, CBD is derived from plants, and plants are prone to decomposing, right?  Well, before you start throwing out those bottles, jars, pouches, or containers of cannabidiol that have been sitting around for a while, it is crucial to understand how, when, and why CBD products expire, and what you can do to make your hemp-infused goodies last for as long as possible.

Do CBD Products Have a Set Expiration Date?

Real short answer, yes, CBD-based products do have an expiration date.  However, that expiration date is dependent on a wide range of factors, which we will be getting into.

Factor #1: The CBD Itself

As you know, cannabidiol is a compound that’s extracted from the hemp plant.  Very generally speaking, CBD lasts between one and two years.  After that, its chemical composition starts to break down.

Although cannabidiol generally lasts between one and two years, there are some CBD products out there that will only be good for a few months while others will continue to deliver results for years after you purchased them.  Why?  Because how long your CBD stays good has a lot to do with the quality of the plant itself as well as the extraction method that was used. 

If the cannabidiol is extremely high in quality and was extracted via the CO2 method, which is considered the gold standard in terms of extraction methods, your CBD will probably stay good for more than two years.

On the flip side, if the CBD plant was low in quality or if the extraction method did damage to the integrity of the plant’s composition, expect that shelf life to decrease.

Factor #2: Type of Product You’re Using

As we covered in the beginning, cannabidiol comes in many forms, so the expiration date of the CBD product you’re using has just as much to do with the other ingredients as it does the CBD.

For instance, if you’re taking CBD in the form of a gummy, that shelf life will be lower because of the ingredients used to make the gummy-based formula. 

Typically, the longest-lasting CBD product will be a tincture because it contains only two ingredients, usually: CBD and a carrier oil.  So, if you’re the type of person who likes to space out their CBD usage, a tincture is probably the best way to make sure that you use all of that product up before it expires.

Can Taking an Expired CBD Product Be Harmful?

Here is where things get a little complicated.  When cannabidiol itself expires, it’s not actually bad for you.  It’s just not going to be very effective because of the fact that the beneficial compounds have mostly broken down and oxidized.  However, the other ingredients in that CBD product may become unsafe to consume after the product has expired. 

An example of this would be certain ingredients used in edibles can decompose and develop bacteria after the product has been sitting around for a while.

How Can You Tell if a CBD Product is No Longer Good?

If your CBD product is past its expiration date and you want to know if you can still take it regardless, there are some things to look out for. 

  • If your CBD product is in the form of a liquid, such as a tincture or vape oil, check the color and the consistency.  As liquid CBD products sit around, they start to oxidize, meaning that certain molecules evaporate.  This will cause the liquid CBD product to be darker in color and slightly thicker in consistency.  This likely means that the CBD has oxidized as well and is therefore not very effective.
  • If you’re using CBD in the form of an edible, the smell and consistency of the product should tell you whether or not it’s still good.  That’s because both of these products contain ingredients that can go rancid after a while. 
  • If you’re using CBD in the form of a topical, look at how the solution itself has changed coupled with the aroma it produces.  Examples: CBD cream you are using after a while starts to look watery, means it’s most likely expired.  A CBD topical has a weak aroma after a while, so chances are it has slowly begun to expire.

Of course, the best way to tell if your CBD is no longer good is to try it.  You should clearly notice whether or not the cannabidiol is as effective as it’s supposed to be. 

How Can You Prevent a CBD Product from Going Bad in the First Place?

As we have now established, yes, CBD products do have expiration dates.  However, many CBD products can safely be used after their expiration date has passed.  Still, here are some quick prevention tips you should follow.

Quick Tip #1: Storage is Crucial

How you store your CBD product has a lot to do with its shelf life.  Keep your CBD product away from light, extreme heat and extreme cold as these three factors can alter its chemical composition and, therefore, its effectiveness.  We always recommend keeping your CBD product in its original package and storing it in a cool, dark place like a cabinet, closet, or drawer.

Quick Tip #2: Product’s Overall Quality Makes a Difference

Always opt for high-quality CBD products as they will last longer.  Cheap CBD products will break down more quickly, meaning that they will have shorter shelf lives.

Quick Tip #3: Choose Your Formulas Wisely

If you want to make your CBD product(s) last, choose one that does not have ingredients that are known to go bad within a few months.

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