All organic products including CBD products have a definite life span, beyond which they do not remain suitable for consumption.
There are different techniques to study and evaluate the shelf life of CBD products.
Based on these studies, manufacturers declare expiration date on the label of any CBD products.
The Food and Drug Administration department has yet not approved any CBD oil product. Therefore, the labeling requirements related to the expiration date should be checked with respective state regulations.
Now, a very basic question that pops up in our mind is,
How to know if CBD oil has gone bad?
It is not so easy, at times, to evaluate whether CBD Oil has gone bad or not. However, in most of the situations, the oil appears to be somewhat cloudy due to the separation of different ingredients.
The CBD oil though does not become toxic after the expiration date yet loses its potency because of the evaporation of compounds present in the oil.
What makes CBD products and, in particular, CBD Oil expire?
This is a good question because once you understand this; it will be very easy for you to understand the importance of manufacturing, handling, and storage of CBD Oil.
All organic matters degrade. It is a natural phenomenon. The following are the broader reasons for CBD Oil degradation.
- Chemical or biological breakdown due to its exposure to air, heat, light, and moisture.
- Reaction among different ingredients present in the product and,
- The reaction of the product with the packaging material.
So, by avoiding these situations we can prevent CBD oil from going bad.
How to extend the Expiration date of CBD Oil?
You can not altogether stop these reactions to occur. However, its shelf life can definitely be extended by.
- Using the right ingredients and packaging
- Following good manufacturing practices and
- Ensuring proper handling and storage of the product
However, as a customer, you cannot control some of these factors. Hence, you would want to know the factors that you can control to extend the expiration date of CBD Oil.
Well, you should consider these 2 factors to extend the shelf life of CBD Oil,
- Selecting the right quality and
- Proper handling after receiving it.
How to Select the Right Quality?
As discussed above, there are three factors that determine the expiration date of CBD Oil.
This is one of the most important factors contributing to the shelf life of CBD Oil. Therefore, it is important to know what goes inside CBD Oil.
The following ingredients are used in making CBD Oil.
- Carrier Oil
- Minor Ingredients
So, the quality of these ingredients would define the quality of CBD Oil and, in turn, its expiration date.
Good quality hemp cultivated in nutritious soil increases the possibility of extracting good quality of CBD Oil.
In addition, the age of extracted CBD would also impact the expiration date of the final product.
CBD isolate oil normally uses either Hemp oil, MCT oil (derived from Coconut), or Olive oil as a base. The quality of the carrier oils and their specific properties, would decide the quality and, in turn, the shelf life of CBD Oil.
MCT Oil normally stays longer as compared to the other two, thus, helpful in extending the shelf life of the final product as well.
Some CBD Oil manufacturers use added flavors, aromas, or other minor ingredients in their CBD Oil.
The selection of these ingredients is considered based on their reactivity with the major ingredients.
The manufacturing process of CBD oil includes two aspects responsible to extend its shelf life.
- Extraction Method
- Manufacturing Practices
Most of the reputed industries use the CO2 extraction method to extract CBD from the hemp plant.
Further, it also depends on the condition of the extraction plant that determines the quality of CBD extract.
A plant having a state-of-the-art method would deliver a much better quality of CBD product compared to an outdated extraction plant.
The other important aspect is the quality control measures taken while extracting CBD from the hemp plant.
Plant following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is sure to deliver a good quality of CBD products. And the good quality of the CBD product would ensure good quality CBD Oil and thus, a longer shelf life.
However, the big question is,
Can you control these Manufacturing related factors?
Well, you do not have any direct control over these factors. However, you definitely have control in selecting the product you buy.
What does it mean?
It means that if you buy CBD Oil from a reputed company, which follows Good Manufacturing Practices, there are higher chances of getting a high-quality product as compared to buying through an unknown seller.
Therefore, if you want a longer shelf life of your CBD Oil you should buy it from a well-reputed brand.
How does packaging impact shelf life?
Packaging of any product contributes immensely in preserving the product packed inside it.
The type of packaging material is important from two aspects,
- An unsuitable packaging material itself can react with the product and cause its degradation over time, thereby, reducing its shelf life.
- It protects the product from the outside environment which can cause oxidation of the product. The oxidation due to exposure to heat, light, and air can lead to degradation of the CBD Oil.
Moreover, protection from air and moisture also prevents the product to develop molds or any other microbial contamination that may lead to even faster degradation of CBD Oil.
Best Packaging Material
From this aspect, dark color glass bottles are the best type of packaging material to pack CBD oil.
Glass does not react with CBD Oil and the dark color of the bottle would not allow light to pass through. It thus would help in avoiding oxidation and, in turn, extend the expiration date of the product.
For this reason, you find most of the CBD oil available in the market in amber, brown or blue color bottles with airtight capping.
Handling and Storage
Once you have received a good quality CBD Oil from a reputed company, the next important thing is to ensure its proper handling & storage. The good news with this aspect is that it is in your full control.
To ensure proper handling and storage you must avoid exposure of CBD Oil to heat, light, and air during storage.
You should store your CBD oil in a cool, dry, and dark place to extend its shelf life.
You can keep them inside closed cabinets in your kitchen storeroom, away from the stoves, ovens, or windows that get direct sunlight.
During summer, you should not store your CBD Oil in other high-temperature areas like inside your car.
To keep it protected from the exposure to outside air you should never leave the bottle open and always tightly fit the bottle cap after use.
Avoid Excess Storage
You should not unnecessarily store an excess quantity of CBD Oil with you and should avoid stocking just to take advantage of bulk offers.
Finally, we can say that CBD oil also has a limited shelf life. However, if we are aware of the factors contributing to the degradation of CBD Oil, we can take measures to avoid it to a great extent.
In this connection, it is important to note that if we buy our CBD oil from a reputed brand and handle & store it properly it can have an expiration date of up to 1-2 years from the packing date, without losing its freshness.
Reference Resources: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305385492_Techniques_in_Shelf_Life_Evaluation_of_Food_Products  https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd  https://acslabcannabis.com/services/lab-testing/shelf-life-and-stability/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25188345  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6643  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315417305_Supercritical_carbon_dioxide_extraction_of_cannabinoids_from_Cannabis_sativa_L_plant_material