Does CBD Oil Expire

The short answer to this question is, yes, CBD oil does expire just like any other natural product. It’s important to point out whether the CBD oil has an expiration date so that you know when the product is no longer good. When CBD oil begins to expire, the cannabinoid content begins to break down and the carrier oil can go rancid. You will also find that CBD oil will start to taste bad, but it also will not be as potent as it originally was. Most consumers will finish their bottle well within 12 months so the issue of having the CBD oil go bad shouldn’t be a problem. However, the problem can occur on the manufacturer’s end where products are being poorly stored and can be sitting on the shelves for too long before they make it into the consumer’s hands.

The bottom line is CBD oil can expire within three years of manufacturing. The CBD oil needs to be stored correctly to get the complete life cycle out of it. Storing the CBD oil consists of leaving it in a cool, dark, dry location. If not stored properly, the CBD will begin to break down earlier than expected and the carrier oil will start to go rancid.
The four main factors that can affect CBD oil’s shelf life are oxygen, heat, UV light, and humidity. Storing CBD oil successfully means keeping it away from these factors. But keep in mind that you will not be able to stop the process completely and CBD oil will eventually end up expiring.

Factors that affect the freshness of your CBD oils

Let’s look at other factors that can affect the freshness of your CBD oil below:

Carrier Oil Quality

Firstly, and most importantly, the shelf life of your CBD oil can be dependent on how fresh the carrier oil is being used. Most often, carrier oils such as olive oil, MCT oil, and hemp seed oil are the first ingredients to go rancid in your CBD product. Oxidation is the number one culprit for your carrier oils to begin to go rancid. When looking at the chemical makeup of these oils, being an unsaturated fat, these oils contain carbon bond chains that break down over time when they are exposed to oxygen – this is known as oxidation. It is very easy to tell when coconut oil or MCT carrier oils go bad because they start to discolor from white to yellow and will become murky. By taste, you will notice that rancid carrier oils have a sour taste and smell putrid.

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Essential Oils

The way the product has been formulated can affect the shelf life of your CBD oil. For example, essential oils can be infused into your CBD oils to offer aromatherapy benefits and flavoring. Having essential oils in your CBD oil can prolong the shelf life of your CBD oil because some essential oils naturally have antibacterial and antifungal properties.


You may notice that many CBD products come in amber bottles and that is not just for the aesthetic or branding of the CBD oil. Amber bottles help to minimize the UV light from accessing the CBD oil and therefore prevent the active compounds from degrading.


Depending on how fast a manufacturer can move their product and get it into the hands of the consumer will affect how much actual time you have left to use the CBD oil. The less time the CBD products spend on warehouse shelves, the freshest the product is when it gets to you, eliminating the CBD oil from going rancid earlier than expected. Smaller companies will choose to produce in small batches to maintain quality and freshness in their products. Always be sure to check the manufacturer’s date of the product to ensure the ultimate freshness in your product.

How to tell if your CBD oil has gone bad

Here are some signs to look out for when identifying if your CBD oil has gone bad:

The CBD oil has changed in colour or it has become cloudy

In the beginning, your carrier oil will look clear, white, dark brown, or dark green depending on the hemp extract and carrier oil used. For example, if the carrier oil is MCT coconut oil, it could have a cloudy consistency when stored in a cool place and this is not something to worry about. What is the major concern is when the oil starts to become chunky or brown at room temperature. This is the initial sign that the CBD molecule is beginning to break down. You can test the consistency of your CBD oil by holding it up to the light to check for floating chunks or fill your pipette with some oil to test the colour.

There is a change in taste and smell

Naturally, CBD oil can have a bitter-earthy scent and flavour. Some consumers can describe this as “nutty” or “grassy”. Some may not like the taste of fresh CBD oil, but you will know that it has gone bad because it will be musky and taste rancid or sour. Always check the colour and consistency before you taste it, that way you don’t put a bitter taste in your mouth with CBD oil. You don’t want to tarnish your experience with CBD because of an expired product.

The CBD oil is no longer working

Surprisingly enough, when your CBD oil begins to go bad, it may not have any inconsistencies that can be identified with your sense of taste and smell. On the other hand, when exposing the CBD to UV light or heat, the cannabinoids will begin to break down and therefore will no longer have the effect that they originally did.
If you find that the CBD oil is not working for you, try increasing your dose slowly. Sometimes the oil is not completely expired but because of the way that it has been stored, it could be a little weaker than when it was first bought.

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If you notice no difference in the effects of your CBD oil even with higher doses, the CBD oil can either be fake or expired. We hope that this article can be useful to you when identifying whether your CBD oil has expired. Always be sure to know your source and do your research on the manufacturer to make sure they have proper documentation to support the quality of the CBD product. Use the above-mentioned tactics to check out your CBD oil if you find that the oil is not what it used to be when first purchased. Be sure to always store your CBD oil in the proper environment that it needs to get the best out of your product!

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