The CBD oil craze has been sweeping the nation, and for good reason. It’s a product that offers natural relief from physical discomfort without any dangerous side effects or addictive qualities. And while it has become quite common for CBD oil to be sold at local dispensaries and online shops without being refrigerated, some people would argue and insist that it needs to be chilled to preserve its potency and effectiveness.
So, how do you properly store CBD oil? Does it need to be chilled or frozen to keep it fresh? How do you know if the oil is still safe for consumption? In this blog post, we will teach you proper ways to store CBD oil to extend its shelf life.
The Big Question: Does CBD Oil Need to Be Refrigerated?
If you wish to reap all the health benefits of CBD oil, you need to store it properly.
But do you really need to refrigerate CBD oil to preserve it? The answer to the question is: not necessarily. However, it may be a good idea to keep it in the fridge to prevent the compounds present in the oil from degrading and to help retain its viscosity.
Can You Hold CBD Oil in the Fridge?
Refrigerating CBD oil is highly recommended if you are buying the product in bulk. If you only bought a bottle of CBD oil and plan to use it right away, you can just store it in a cool and dark place like your health cabinet. But if you purchase it in bulk quantities and don’t plan to use them all very soon, refrigeration can extend their shelf life.
Also, if you reside in a region that is too hot or humid, refrigeration may come in handy. Since this product does not contain preservatives, it has to be stored in a cold, dry place like the fridge to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
Can You Freeze CBD Oil?
Now that you know that storing CBD oil can help improve its shelf life, you may be thinking that freezing might just be a better idea to further extend its longevity. Well, stop right there. Extremely cold temperatures can affect the oil’s consistency. Freezing CBD oil can cause it to become thick. It becomes even thicker if you mixed it with carrier oils like coconut oil.
Below zero temperatures can cause the chemical components of the CBD oil to behave differently. When frozen, the oil may crystallize. And if that happens, it will be difficult to draw the oil from the container.
Aside from that, the oil may look cloudier. While it may appear a bit strange, the good news is that it doesn’t really affect the oil’s quality.
In case you accidentally put the CBD oil in the freezer because you didn’t know about its proper storage requirements, fret not. You can still save it. But don’t think about putting it immediately inside the oven. Just let it sit at room temperature and it should warm up and melt on its own.
Alternatively, you can run the container under warm water for several seconds until the oil melts. You should then be able to use the product without any problems.
How Long Does CBD Oil Last?
CBD products like CBD oil have a shelf life of one to two years. But the exact shelf life of CBD oil is influenced by several factors, including the ingredients, product quality, the process of making, and how it is stored.
By understanding and knowing all these factors, you can stretch the product’s shelf life. Here are the major factors that affect this parameter.
- Quality – Good-quality products can withstand the test of time. And when it comes to the quality of CBD oil, the growing condition of the plant and the quality of other ingredients are taken into account.
- Ingredients – The ingredients used in CBD oil matter because they have their own shelf life, too, which also affects the oil’s longevity.
- The Extraction Process – The carbon dioxide extraction method also matters in determining the shelf life of CBD oil. It’s even considered the gold standard. The proper carbon dioxide extraction method can maximize the cannabinoid levels in the product. It also helps keep the compounds stable.
- Packaging – Those dark containers aren’t used for no reason. CBD oil can stay fresh for longer when stored in dark, airtight glass containers. With the right packaging, the oil is protected from sunlight and air exposure.
How Long Is CBD Oil Good for Once Opened?
With proper storage, you can extend the shelf life of CBD oil just as you would with other products. Once opened, a CBD oil tincture can keep its cannabinoid concentration and overall characteristics for about six months, assuming that proper storage recommendations are observed. Cold temperatures can protect the compounds in the product, keeping the oil fresh for long.
How to Know If the CBD Oil Is Still Safe to Use
Every bottle of CBD oil comes with an expiration date to give people an idea of whether or not it is already past its prime. But there are instances when labels fall off or you simply can’t read the fine print. This is when our senses can help.
To know whether or not the CBD oil is safe to use, pay attention to its color. The darker the oil’s color gets, the less effective it will be. Hence, the moment you notice color changes, consume the oil right away.
Also, notice the smell of the oil. If it smells funky and odd, then the oil may have gone bad. Fresh CBD oil smells earthy and good.
Unless the oil is artificially flavored, it should taste earthy or nutty. If it tastes rancid and unpalatable, then it must be expired.
Will an Expired CBD Oil Make You Sick?
If you suspect that you have ingested an expired CBD oil, then relax. It won’t make you sick. As a matter of fact, it may not even lead to fatalities. Over time, the cannabinoids present in the oil will degrade and lose efficiency. This only means that if you unknowingly consumed an expired CBD oil, you simply won’t enjoy its full health and therapeutic perks.
3 Factors That Affect CBD Oil’s Storage Conditions
There are no impurities in CBD oil that would spoil like milk or food, so there is nothing that would make it unsafe at room temperature. However, the items listed below are known to significantly affect CBD oil’s efficiency and potency.
- Temperature – High temperatures can affect the quality of CBD oil. When heated, the oil becomes inconsistent and may lose its health benefits. Extreme heat only breaks down the essential compounds present in CBD oil, so it has to be stored at room temperature.
- Light – When CBD oil is exposed to direct sunlight, its quality may degrade. Even if most CBD oil products come in tinted bottles designed to block the light, you can never be too careful. Don’t rely on the oil’s packaging alone. To prevent degradation, it is recommended to keep your CBD oil in cool, dry, and dark places like the cupboard.
- Air – Ever wondered why CBD oil is usually packaged in small quantities? This is because manufacturers want you not to take too long to consume it. CBD oil can react with molecules present in the air such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen. Among these molecules, it is oxygen that causes the most damage to the product. When oxygen molecules collide with the oil, it will break down faster.
How to Store Your CBD Oil Properly
CBD oil may be sensitive to light, air, and heat and can degrade if stored improperly. To keep it for the long-term, it is advised to store it in an airtight container like a mason jar with a lid. But do not seal the containers too tightly as oxygen is necessary for maintaining the potency of the product inside.
Moreover, make sure that light cannot get inside the containers as it can cause the cannabinoids to degrade over time. Keep the container out of direct sunlight because UV rays can also cause the oxidation of oils.
Also, it is ideal to store the container in an area at room temperature or in dark cool places like cabinets or closets. Keeping the oil too hot or too cold may affect its quality and shelf life.
Most importantly, store it somewhere safe. Keep the oil away from a child’s reach. Although it is safe for human consumption, it could have adverse effects on people who are not accustomed to using it like having allergic reactions or nausea. For example, if a child accidentally ingests it, he or she may experience appetite changes or nausea.
It is not necessary to refrigerate CBD oil, but keeping it in the fridge is a good way to prolong its shelf life if you buy CBD in bulk. Also, it is worth noting that there will be noticeable changes to the oil once you refrigerate it or store it in the freezer. For one, it may become thicker and more difficult to use. But a cold CBD oil shouldn’t be a major problem because you can always leave it at room temperature, let it warm up on its own, and it should be ready to use.
For proper storage instructions, read the recommendations on the product’s label.