How to Store CBD Oil

CBD oil offers a wealth of benefits, but as you know, it doesn’t come cheap. You want to keep your product fresh for as long as possible to get the most from your investment. In order to avoid premature expiration, you should know how to properly store your CBD oil.

How to Store Your CBD Oil

Store your CBD oil in an environment that’s dry, cool, and dark. Heat, air, and light are elements that contribute to the degradation of cannabinoids. Many users recommend the refrigerator, as this appliance provides a cool, airtight environment with the ideal conditions.

There’s a simple acronym that can help you with CBD storage: HALT.

  • Heat
  • Air
  • Light
  • Time

These are the four factors that will hinder the quality of your CBD oil. The time factor is unavoidable, but you can minimize the product’s exposure to heat, air, and light—just as you would with any cannabis concentrate.

How Long Can You Store CBD Oil?

When properly stored, you can store CBD oil for 12 to 24 months without risking it losing its freshness and potency. The total lifespan will vary depending on the manufacturing process and ingredients, but how you store your CBD oil will be the No. 1 determining factor in how long the oil holds up. Proper storage is the difference between a product that stays good for two years or six months.

What Affects the Shelf Life of CBD Oil?

We’ve already established the critical importance of proper storage. However, the extraction process also plays a role in the shelf life of CBD oil. When shopping for CBD oil, you’ll notice that different products are produced using different extraction methods. Some products are extracted using CO2, others with ethanol. Some CBD products are even produced using olive oil extraction or dry ice.

Each extraction method has its pros and cons, but if we’re talking about shelf life, CO2 is the way to go. CO2 extraction is the most effective method for acquiring pure CBD isolate, and it results in a product that is free of chlorophyll and most contaminants. This means slower degradation and a longer shelf life. CO2-extracted products typically cost more, but you’re paying for the quality, purity, and longevity.

Aside from CO2, ethanol is the most popular means of extraction. While still a high-quality method, ethanol extraction may produce oil that contains contaminants like chlorophyll. This may reduce the shelf life of the product.

Should You Refrigerate CBD Oil?

Refrigerating CBD oil helps prolong its shelf life. The fridge and freezer are both viable storage solutions for CBD oil, but each has its pros and cons. Both provide an environment devoid of light, air, moisture, and heat.

Due to the excessive cold temperatures, refrigeration may cause the oil to thicken, making it difficult to use. This can be remedied if you run the bottle under hot water for a few seconds.

Freezing the bottle may cause the oil to thicken and become cloudy. Again, you can often remedy this by warming the bottle, and the cloudiness should not affect the quality or longevity of the product.

Both the refrigerator and freezer provide an environment devoid of light, air, moisture, and heat. As a result, they can help you to ensure the maximum shelf life of the product.

Storing CBD Oil at Room Temperature

You don’t have to refrigerate your cannabidiol oil, but you do need to be careful when storing it at room temperature. In general, you should always store CBD Oil at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Prolonged exposure to higher temperatures will contribute to the degradation of the cannabinoids and terpenes inside the bottle.

Dark pantries are safe locations for storing CBD oil, as are drawers and closets—as long as the temperatures remain cool. The important thing is to avoid any areas exposed to direct sunlight, including countertops, windowsills, and high shelves where sun exposure may be present.

It’s also important to avoid areas where artificial heat sources may be an issue. For example, keep the bottle a safe distance from your stove, range, oven, and heating vents. The heat can react with the minerals in the oil, altering the molecular composition of the solution and causing it to degrade.

Choosing the Right CBD Oil Packaging for Sun Protection

Research shows that light exposure is the largest contributor to cannabinoid degradation. When shopping for CBD oil, you can give yourself an immediate advantage by examining the packaging. Some CBD oils are sold in bottles that are designed to minimize light exposure, thereby reducing the risk of sunlight degradation.

For example, amber glass bottles provide excellent UV protection. When shopping for CBD oil, look for bottles labeled “amber,” “CBD sun protection,” or “UV protection.”

If your favorite CBD product doesn’t offer this type of packaging, you can still prevent light exposure by wrapping the bottle in aluminum foil. The foil will afford you an additional barrier as you store your product for later use.

How to Avoid Air Exposure When Storing CBD Oil

It’s one thing to avoid sunlight and heat. Avoiding exposure to air is a whole other story. After all, air is ubiquitous. Even though CBD oil products are contained in airtight bottles, a certain amount of air exposure is inevitable as you use the product.

Air will get inside, and it will cause the product to degrade over time. The exposure to oxygen causes oxidative stress; it’s the same reason why you can’t eat the leftovers that have been sitting in your refrigerator for three months. The key is making that degradation process go as slowly as possible. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Always maintain an airtight seal on the bottle when you aren’t using it.
  2. If possible, always keep the solution in its original container.
  3. If you must transfer it to a new container, make sure that the replacement container is airtight, non-porous, and suitable for long-term storage.

Of course, also make sure to follow all of the aforementioned best practices for storing CBD oil.

How to Travel With CBD Oil

Rules like “avoid sunlight” and “avoid heat” become a lot more complicated when you need to take your CBD oil with you on the go. It’s okay to keep the product with you, but the same rules apply.

For example, don’t leave the bottle in a hot car, and don’t keep it out in the open where sun exposure may be present. Purses, handbags, and messenger bags can provide the necessary coolness and darkness.

When you’re not traveling with your CBD product, restore it to its primary location, whether that be the refrigerator, the pantry, or any other safe storage space.

How to Know if CBD Is Expired

We’ve spent a lot of time addressing the question of how to store CBD oil for maximum longevity. But the question still remains: How do you know when your CBD has expired?

If you’ve purchased a high-quality product and followed all of the best practices for CBD storage, you can expect about 14 to 24 months of quality product. As the concentrates degrade and the product loses its potency, you may notice three specific warning signs:

  1. A change in odor. This is often the first change that users notice, as the aroma becomes strong and unpleasant.
  2. A change in color. The oil will darken and may become cloudy.
  3. A change in the effects. If the CBD oil no longer has the same effects, or if you need a higher dosage to get the same effect, the product may be past its prime.

If you notice any combination of the above signs, it’s time to replace.

Can You Consume Expired CBD Oil? 

When CBD oil expires, the carrier liquid takes on a rancid taste and the cannabinoids no longer provide you with the same benefits. While there are no specific dangers to consuming expired CBD oil, there are no benefits either. It’s better to spare yourself the bad taste and disappointment by purchasing a fresh bottle.

Final Tips for Storing CBD Oil

We’ve thrown a lot of information at you, so here’s a quick recap of the most important storage essentials:

  • When storing CBD oil, your biggest enemies can be summed up as HALT (heat, air, light, and time). Opt for storage locations that are cool and dark.
  • Always store your CBD oil at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
  • Use your refrigerator or freezer to maximize the life of your CBD oil.
  • Wrap the bottle in aluminum foil for additional light protection.
  • Keep your bottle away from your stove, range, and other heat-generating devices.
  • Keep your bottle away from window sills and other areas with direct sun exposure.

CBD oil is a costly investment, so you want to do whatever it takes to get the most life out of the product. With a bit of knowledge and planning, long-term storage is easy—and it pays for itself.


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