Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

Written by

Mell Green

Mell is a cannabis connoisseur who has been published in Cannabis Industry Association, Analytical Cannabis, Terpenes and Testing Magazine, Plant People, Byrdie, and many others over the last several years....

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CBD oil proper storage
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Everybody wants their CBD products to last forever. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible. Like most substances, CBD oil does that have the potential to go bad if you’re not careful. 

Thankfully, it’s not as quick as the milk in your fridge or even the bread in your pantry when it comes to going bad, and there are myriad precautions to take to get your CBD oil’s shelf life extended significantly.

First glance:

  • While CBD oil does have the potential to go bad, it has a very long shelf life that can easily be prolonged. 
  • CBD oil and topicals can last for up to two years, while edibles have a shelf life of closer to six months.
  • Mistakes like harsh lighting, heat, and fluctuating environments can cause your products to spoil.
  • Bad CBD oil will likely look foggy, taste poorly, and smell bad. 
  • To properly store CBD oil, your products need to stay away from excessive light exposure, heat, and moisture. 
  • Consistent environments are key.

CBD Shelf Life

CBD oil extract

CBD products can stay fresh for a fair amount of time when stored properly away from light and heat.

CBD ProductShelf Life
CBD Sublingual Oils12-24 months
CBD Concentrates6-12 months
CBD Flower6-12 months
CBD EdiblesUp to 6 months
CBD-infused DrinksUp to 6 months

How long you have before your CBD oil goes bad truly depends on you. CBD oil can potentially have an almost indefinite shelf life if you’re careful and follow proper storage procedures. 

When keeping it in the right environment at the right temperatures, you can have your CBD oil for close to two years.

But, if you’re not as rigorous as you should be, you probably have a few months before your oil starts to transform.

This is similar to what you’ll find with CBD topicals such as balms and salves; they can last for up to two years as long as they’re kept safe and secure. 

Other CBD oil infused products like edibles aren’t as indefinite but still have quite a lengthy shelf life. If stored properly, gummies can last up to six months before either their consistency or flavor is disturbed. 

Most CBD products have a relatively short shelf life, largely due to their ingredients. That said, it’s extremely vital to follow label guidelines about storing and using these products, especially if you’re a newbie.

Common Storage Mistakes: How Your CBD Goes Bad

Let’s talk about how CBD oil goes bad in the first place — below are the top 3 biggest factors that can play a huge role in the preservation of your CBD.

  1. Time

One of the most obvious factors here is time. CBD is a chemical compound that simply loses its touch the older it gets. While it may take over a year for your CBD oil to spoil just on time alone, it definitely is a common occurrence for those who store it and forget it. 

  1. Temperature

More common than just age, external environmental factors also play a huge role in the preservation of your CBD oil.

If you’re storing your CBD oil in places that aren’t consistently cool, dark, and dry, your CBD oil is going to experience some inconsistency. Cool temperatures are crucial for the composition of cannabinoids, with heat having the potential to transform some cannabinoids completely.

More than just CBD oils, too, CBD gummies can be completely ruined by heat, as they’ll melt together and ruin the dosing, consistency, and structure of your infused treats. 

  1. UV Light

Light, more specifically UV light or direct sunlight, too, can easily affect your product and cause it to break down. What does that mean? Two words: cannabinoid degradation. Too much light can degrade your cannabinoids, effectively losing potency. This is typically why most CBD oils come in a super-opaque packaging to ensure that no extra light seeps in. 

Signs of Bad CBD Oil

To the naked eye, you may be able to tell that your CBD oil is going bad by the lack of clarity the oil is boasting. Often, expired CBD will look more cloudy or foggy than it once did, and this is a tell-tale sign that your product should be thrown out. 

If the oil isn’t cloudy and you simply cannot tell just by look, you’ll definitely notice once you smell it. Just like spoiled food, your spoiled CBD is going to smell funky the minute you take off the cap. As soon as you notice that your CBD oil no longer smells herbaceous, it’s time to toss it out. 

Reduced aromas mean reduced potency, and there’s no use subjecting yourself to something that simply won’t work the way you need it to.  

Best Ways to Store CBD 

If found that your CBD oil doesn’t look, smell, or taste the way that it once did, it’s probably been exposed to elements that it didn’t agree with, resulting in a chemical change. No doubt, there’s quite a difference between a few months and a few years, so learning ways to extend your CBD’s shelf life is key.


  • Ensure that your chosen storage spot is a cool, dark place that isn’t exposed to much light. 
  • Store your CBD products in environments that are constant in temperature. Changes in the atmosphere like moisture and temperature can be detrimental to your product, so we always suggest starting with a spot that isn’t subject to change.
  • While too much moisture and heat can be detrimental to the condition of your product, you should also avoid a lack of moisture and heat.
  • Consider buying freshness packs, and other cannabis products that may be able to help extend the shelf life.


  • Store your products in the refrigerator or freezer — ever. This is a rumored tactic said to extend shelf life, however, such a move runs the risk of freezing your product and affecting its consistency— even freezing trichomes on CBD flower. Generally, to avoid adverse degradation in either direction we suggest keeping your products in a storage spot with humidity ranging from 59%-63%.
  • Don’t store your CBD with other products or accessories such as sharp objects, grinders, etc. You don’t want a big mess when it comes time to ‘medicate’. 
  • Don’t place your CBD near hazardous objects, flammable substances, electronics because well, just don’t.

Final Thoughts

Preserving your CBD, along with any of your CBD products, doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With a little love and a lot of care (and cool, dark places), your CBD can stay potent, delicious, and perfect consistency. 

As long as you’re rigorous about ensuring consistency and avoiding potential environmental changes, every one of your CBD will continue to perform, appear, and taste just the way you want it to — even if it’s been a while since you’ve tried it.

You may also like: Signs that your weed has gone bad

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