The refrigerated section of a grocery store

Does CBD Oil Need to Be Refrigerated?

With CBD products reaching peak popularity with no signs of plummeting any time soon, there are more questions than ever.

You can find CBD oils all over—from dispensaries to organic food stores to specialty shops. And most of the time, those CBD oils are not refrigerated; however, some users argue that you have to chill CBD to preserve its freshness.

Others claim that you need to keep it in a cool, dark place. So how should you store your CBD oil? In the fridge? At room temperature? Another way?

Let’s find out.

Did you know high-quality CBD products have a longer shelf life than the stuff you find at the grocery store? Learn more about CBD here.

Related: Here’s What to Look for When Shopping for CBD Oil

Should You Refrigerate Your CBD Oil?

If you want to maintain the proper shelf life of your CBD oil and ensure it stays potent, storing it properly is crucial.

First, you do need to store your CBD oil where it is not exposed to air or sun—both of these can cause terpenes and cannabinoids to degrade, compromising your CBD’s potency.

But what about storing CBD oil in the refrigerator? Does it really preserve the active compounds?

Well, not really.

The exception is if you buy CBD in bulk—CBD oil typically has a shelf life of one year and refrigerating it can extend its life.

However, if you use CBD oil regularly and purchase it every month or two, storing it in a cool and dry place is perfect—there’s no need to refrigerate it. Plus, when refrigerating CBD oil, it can thicken, making it difficult to dose; this problem is more of an issue with high-strength CBD products.

What About Freezing CBD Oil?

Like refrigerating CBD oil, freezing is only necessary if you stock up months (or years) ahead. Otherwise, there is no reason to store it in the freezer.

In addition, extremely cold temperatures change the oil’s viscosity and consistency, particularly if it’s mixed with a carrier oil that solidifies at low temperatures.

When taking CBD out of the refrigerator or freezer, it might look cloudy, but it won’t affect its quality. And if you stored your CBD oil in the cold because you didn’t know better, don’t worry—let it sit at room temperature for a day, and it will return to its normal state.

Just make sure you don’t store it anywhere with extremely high temperatures, or the active ingredients will begin to degrade.

How Long Can CBD Oil Last?

CBD oil generally lasts for about a year, and alcohol-based CBD tinctures can last even longer—up to two years. However, how long your CBD oil will last largely depends on how you store it.

And by understanding a few important factors, you can extend its shelf life without worrying about refrigerating or freezing your CBD products.

Dropping CBD oil into small dark bottles

Related: CBD Isolate & Full-Spectrum CBD Compared

  • High-quality CBD products last longer than their counterparts. When we say high-quality, that means the quality of the extract, added ingredients, flavorings, carrier oils, etc.—not just the CBD itself.
  • The ingredients used in your CBD oil will also affect how long it will last.
  • CBD oils made using the CO2 extraction method don’t use toxic solvents that leave residue behind and compromise the product’s stability, making them last longer than ones made with other methods.
  • The packaging matters, too. The best CBD companies will bottle their oils in dark containers to help preserve their freshness—dark containers prevent light exposure and minimize the risk of cannabinoids breaking down over time.

How Do I Tell If My CBD Oil Is Safe to Use?

CBD oils fall into the category of health supplements, and they do expire. If you shop with a reputable CBD company, there will be an expiration date, giving you an idea of how long you can continue using the product.

However, maybe the label fell off, or you can’t find the date listed anywhere—how do you tell if you can safely use your CBD oil?

Luckily, it’s relatively easy to tell if your CBD oil has gone bad or if it’s still safe to use—look at its color. As your CBD oil ages, it gets darker, and the darker it gets, the less potent it is. So if you notice your CBD oil begins to change color, you should try to use it ASAP.

Another good indicator is how it smells—if it smells off at all, it’s likely to have gone bad, and you’ll want to replace it with a fresh bottle.

If you consumed some CBD oil and noticed a funky taste or smell afterward, don’t worry too much—the oil may degrade and lose its potency, but it’s unlikely to make you sick.

What Affects How Fast CBD Oil Ages?

Okay, so you don’t have to refrigerate your CBD oil, but what causes it to lose quality and potency? And how can you prevent it?

Three factors play into how fast your CBD oil will go bad:

  • Temperature: Storing your CBD at high temperatures will weaken its potency. Cannabinoids and terpenes start to degrade when exposed to high heat, breaking down the oil’s essential components.

  • Light: If your CBD oil gets exposed to too much light, the quality will degrade (even with dark-tinted bottles).

  • Air: You’ve likely noticed that CBD oils come in relatively small bottles (typically around 30 mL)—that’s because CBD interacts with molecules present in the air, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen, causing it to degrade.

  • Shop CBD for sleep, pain relief, and everything else with our Dope Human collection!

    So How Do You Store CBD Oil the Right Way?

    An empty storage box

    So, no, you don’t have to refrigerate your CBD oil unless you buy it in bulk—it will last one to two years without being refrigerated. And as long as you meet the right storage conditions, it shouldn’t lose its potency or degrade in quality.

    Because CBD oil is reactive to heat, light, and air, the best way to store it is in its original container. Dark-tinted bottles do a great job of preventing light exposure, so as long as you can find a cool, dark spot, you can store it there without any issues.

    Related: Can People Take Pet CBD Oil?

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