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  • by Nicola Boulton September 05, 2022 5 min read

    CBD Shelf Life: Does CBD Expire?

    CBD is known to have various therapeutic properties, and even though conversations surrounding CBD are becoming more popular, one may not be able to stress enough how vital of a role CBD plays.

    CBD is an organic compound and therefore has minimal side effects, especially in comparison to inorganic supplements and compounds. Athletes and yoga enthusiasts use it to relieve muscle pains and inflammation. Additionally, people who have insomnia use CBD to improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety. A question that lingers in the mind of CBD users includes: does CBD expire? Does it have any negative side effects after the expiry date? What is the shelf life of CBD? In this article, we shall dive deeper into CBD oil, its benefits, its shelf life and whether it expires, how CBD works, and where to buy CBD oil.

    What is CBD Oil?

    According to Millar et al. (2018), CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in hemp. Hemp and marijuana are the main plant strains of the cannabis plant. They contain several cannabinoids, such as THC, cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC). However, CBD is more popular due to its non-psychoactive nature; therefore, it does not make you feel high. Moreover, CBD is known to have various therapeutic properties, such as reducing inflammation, improving sleep quality, and reducing high-stress levels

    CBD oil also contains other essential oils such as terpenes and flavonoids. Terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds in plants responsible for their characteristic scents. According to Cho et al. (2017), terpenes have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce muscle pain and inflammation. On the other hand, flavonoids help in preventing oxidative damage to the body, which would otherwise cause diseases

    CBD Oil: The Legality

    Most people blissfully presume that CBD oil is also illegal, especially due to its close association with cannabis and marijuana. Marijuana contains THC, which is a psychoactive chemical compound majorly considered illegal under federal law

    However, Congress passed the Farm Bill in 2018. This legislation, considered a hallmark decision, led to hemp legalization since hemp was removed from the legal definition of marijuana. Despite hemp being considered federally legal, state governments were required to develop laws regulating the use of CBD in their states. Currently, 17 states have legalized CBD oil for medical and recreational use, while 33 states have legalized THC for medical use.

    Even though CBD has been deemed federally legal, it is worth noting that the FDA does not regulate CBD oil products and has only approved CBD oil for treating a rare form of epilepsy. Therefore, it is incumbent on you to ensure that you purchase high-quality CBD oil.

    How CBD Oil Works

    According to Di Marzo & Piscitelli (2015), CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system by binding with endocannabinoid receptors. This leads to the transmission of impulses, which helps alleviate inflammation. The receptors are located in various body parts, such as the skin, spine, and spleen. While CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system, CB2 receptors are in the immune system.

    Further research also suggests that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system by preventing endocannabinoid reuptake. This enables the formation of more endocannabinoids which would efficiently interact with CBD oil.

    CBD also triggers the production of higher levels of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, anxiety, and sleep. According to Sales et al. (2018), CBD oil also triggers the production of higher serotonin levels, which helps reduce high anxiety levels and stress, improve mood, and alleviate depression.

    CBD Shelf Life: Does CBD Expire?

    CBD oil does expire like any other processed product. Fortunately, CBD oil is not perishable; therefore, when kept under the right storage conditions, it can last for an extended period.

    There are various factors to look out for to ensure the longevity of CBD oil. They include: Learn more about top 6 workout recovery tips

    Quality of CBD Oil

    The hemp source largely determines the quality of CBD oil. States such as Colorado and Kentucky are popular for producing high-quality CBD oil because their hemp plants are grown using organic farming techniques. Additionally, their soils are highly fertile, and the weather conditions are favorable for growing hemp plants

     Storage Conditions

    As mentioned, the right storage conditions ensure that your CBD oil lasts for a longer time. Therefore, CBD oil must be stored in an air-tight container to maintain its potency of CBD oil. Moreover, CBD oil must be kept away from direct sunlight since the heat and light produced would adversely affect the quality of CBD oil

    Ingredients Used

    The ingredients used in processing CBD oil can also affect its shelf life. CBD oil products like CBD gummies commonly use natural or artificial flavors, additives, and preservatives. These ingredients also have their shelf life, and when interacted with CBD oil, they dictate the longevity of CBD oil

    Extraction Process

    CO2 and alcohol extraction are the two main extraction processes used to obtain CBD oil

    Alcohol extraction involves using butane to "pull out" essential oils such as terpenes. However, it leaves the risk of depositing solvent residues in the final CBD oil extract. This undoubtedly reduces the lifespan offered by CBD oil

    Conversely, CO2 extraction involves using pressurized CO2 to pull out essential terpenes and plant waxes. CO2 extraction is more popular among manufacturers since it does not leave behind a solvent residue that would interfere with the purity and potency of CBD oil.

    How To Identify Expired CBD Oil

    Does Expired CBD Oil Have Adverse Effects On Your Health?

    Expired CBD oil does not necessarily affect your health. Expired CBD oil is usually ineffective since it has lost its potency. Therefore, CBD oil would not be able to dispense its therapeutic effects, such as reducing inflammation and improving mood. Learn more about what are flavonoids?

    What To Consider When Purchasing CBD Oil

    • Purchase CBD oil from reputable brands
    • Confirm the hemp source
    • Confirm the extraction method, preferably CO2 extraction
    • Read the product label, and ensure that the product does not contain harmful substances such as heavy metals, pesticides, and molds


    CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound obtained from hemp. Like any other product, it expires after a while, and this is also influenced by various factors such as storage, quality of hemp, and ingredients used. Several indicators would notify you when CBD oil has expired, such as a rotten smell, an intolerable taste, and a dramatic color change, from clear to dark brown

    While purchasing CBD oil, look out for the hemp source, the extraction method, the ingredients present, and whether or not the product has undergone intensive independent third-party testing. Additionally, keep CBD oil free from direct heat and light, and store it in a cool, dry place.


    Cho, K. S., Lim, Y. R., Lee, K., Lee, J., Lee, J. H., & Lee, I. S. (2017). Terpenes from forests and human health. Toxicological research33(2), 97-106.

    Di Marzo, V., & Piscitelli, F. (2015). The endocannabinoid system and its modulation by phytocannabinoids. Neurotherapeutics12(4), 692-698.

    Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O'Sullivan, S. E. (2018). A systematic review on the pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in humans. Frontiers in pharmacology9, 1365.

    Sales, A. J., Crestani, C. C., Guimarães, F. S., & Joca, S. R. (2018). Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry86, 255-261.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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