July 09, 2021

Long Live CBD! How To Properly Store CBD For Max Shelf Life

Long Live CBD! How To Properly Store CBD For Max Shelf Life (Part 3 of 3)

It’s probably no shocker that how you store your CBD oil products impacts its longevity. After all, they’re plant-based products and all plants eventually go to plant heaven. (RIP beloved CBD)

However, before your unused CBD — as if that’s a likely scenario! — transcends to the biological afterlife, you’re in control. Your CBD is in your care and there’s a lot you can do to delay its demise.

Most CBD products have a shelf life of one to two years. That’s a pretty wide range. By implementing smart storage strategies, you should be able to push your CBD goods towards the latter end of that spectrum.

Ready to see how you can help keep your CBD oil as fresh and potent as possible for as long as possible? Onward!

But first, perhaps you noticed that this is Part 3 of a series. We invite you to check out the first two articles of this collection:

  • Part 1: Does CBD Oil Expire + Other FAQs About CBD Shelf
  • Part 2: Tips For Buying CBD That Will Last Longer

CBD Oil Shelf Life

Shelf-stable CBD oil products have an average expected lifespan of 12 to 14 months. This time frame should be equivalent-ish to non-CBD-infused counterpart products. So, for example, a regular muscle cream and a comparable CBD muscle cream should have the same shelf life.

Non-ingestible CBD products could last longer, maybe even three years or more. This is good news for all y’all who enjoy buying your personal care lotions and potions in mega-bulk.

And, obvious, perishable CBD edibles — like CBD cookies or CBD smoothies — have a much short existence. As food items they’ll probably get stale or spoil within a few days to a week. Especially if they’re homemade and not pumped full of preservatives.

You can learn more about CBD shelf life over in our Part 1 post, Does CBD Oil Expire + Other FAQs About CBD Shelf.

CBD Over Time

Anyone else getting a mental image of your CBD with a long, gray beard, reminiscing about the days of “yore”?

Well, that’s not what happens as your CBD products mature into their twilight days and months. Other stuff happens, like:

  • Your CBD loses potency. This makes it weaker and less effective. Which means you have to take more (larger and/or more frequent doses) to get the same results as fresher incarnations of the same CBD product.
  • Your CBD can become less dependable. As with people, the aging process on your CBD oil can be unpredictable. It may be OK-ish one day and not so much a few days later. This isn’t ideal if you’re counting on it to help you manage health concerns.
  • The taste, smell, and visual appearance of your CBD can change — for the worse. The prob here is more that the sensory experience can take a sharp left turn into Yuckyland. When CBD goes bad, its flavor may sour or develop a not-good zing. The odor can become foul and rotten. And the color and texture could get thicker and murky. Mmm…appetizing…NOT!

These things happen because the organic matter in your CBD products — and that could be the CBD itself or any of the other natural ingredients in there — are decaying. It’s the same process Mama Nature uses to return old leaves, grass clippings, flowers, and fruits and veggies to the earth. That whole circle of life thing — yah, it’s that.

You can learn more about CBD’s aging process in our Part 1 post, Does CBD Oil Expire + Other FAQs About CBD Shelf, as well.

How To Preserve Your Precious CBD

Show your CBD the affection it deserves by taking proper care of it. The payback comes in spades!

By storing your CBD correctly, you help extend its viability — it stays stable and effective longer and more reliably. It’s more like the CBD you know and fell in love with way back in the beginning.

So, assuming you want to keep your CBD oil products as fresh as possible for as long as possible, you’ll want to try some or all of these things. Adjust course as needed to accommodate the specific type and formulation of your CBD products.(1)

Read The Wrapper.

All those words printed on the product — they’re there for a reason. To inform you! Check your CBD packaging and label for special instructions for storage.

Consider The Other Ingredients’ Storage Requirements.

The other things tagging along with your CBD — especially water-based additions — will affect your product’s shelf life.(2) This is because each ingredient has its own rate of decay. And that deterioration speed may be influenced by how you’re storing your CBD product.

Keep Your CBD At The Proper Temperature.

CBD doesn’t like extreme heat or wild temp fluctuations.(3) Keep your CBD products away from hot/cold spots: heaters, stoves, ovens, fireplaces, ACs, near windows, in your car…you get the picture. Some CBD products do OK with freezing, but it can change product consistency or clarity. Perishable CBD-infused edible products should be stored like similar, non-CBD edibles. In most instances, your best option is to store your CBD at a cool room temperature, which is in the ballpark of 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C).

Avoid Humidity.

Dampness fosters microbial growth and accelerates the breakdown of plant matter. CBD is particularly known for becoming chemically unstable in wet environments.(4) For products like CBD softgels, it can also harm the integrity of the casing.

Avoid Exposure To Air.

An environment that’s overly dry or has excessive drafts isn’t ideal either. These conditions can dry out your CBD products (think shriveled softgels). They can also lead to invaders like pollen, dust, etc. comingling with your CBD (think gummies with lint fuzzies stuck to them).

Opt For A Dim Space.

CBD is sensitive to light, both from the sun and artificial sources. In fact, light is one of the most significant causes of CBD degradation.(5) Putting it in your medicine cabinet, closet, drawer, cupboard, purse, or pantry are all nice options.

Use The Right Container — Preferably Dark, Preferably Original

Any processor that’s worth their weight in CBD will have selected optimal packaging for their products. So keep your CBD in those purpose-chosen containers. That said, your CBD should be preferably be in dark packaging that helps keep light, air, moisture, and other nasties out. Oftentimes, medical-grade glass is used, which can help regulate product temperatures.(6)

Don’t Touch The Dropper Or Inside Of The CBD Containers.

This helps prevent transferring germs and other unwanted, product-quashing contaminants to your CBD. Hover the CBD tincture dropper over its target — your mouth or cup or whatever — a squeeze. For things like CBD gummies or CBD softgels, if you can’t shake one into your palm, use a clean spoon or tongs to fish out one of those little rascals.

Completely Close The Package Every Single Time.

A tight seal keeps the bad stuff (air, moisture, light, dust, critters) out and locks all the good stuff (cannabinoids, nutrients, etc.) in. Storing your bottles, jars, and pouches upright can help prevent unintentional package openings, breaks, or tears.

Beep, Beep, Beep! Back That CBD Bus Up A Minute

Storing your CBD oil like an industry insider will go a long way to ensuring you have the freshest products on hand. And, if you’re going to put in the effort to safeguard your cherished CBD, why not take it a step further? In the reverse direction….

Buying the best CBD possible — with the idea of product longevity in mind from the outset — is totally a winning strategy. Higher-quality products are more likely to endure better and longer than inferior CBD oil products.

You can learn more about why this is the truth’s truth in our Part 2 post, Tips For Buying CBD That Will Last Longer.

But, if you’re short on time or want the flare-lit path to superior CBD products, you’re already in the right place!

  • Pure Craft’s CBD is derived from only the purest hemp.
  • We use as few other ingredients as we can.
  • Our CBD’s thoughtfully package in dark and/or opaque containers.

The net effect of our dedication to excellence and detail is your Pure Craft CBD oil products are more likely to maintain their potency and max out their shelf life.

Viva la CBD (Preferably In A Cool, Dry, Dark Place)!

Most CBD products have a shelf life of about 12-14 months, after which they can expire or go bad. As CBD edges toward the end of it usability, it loses potency (becoming less effective) and can undergo negative changes to its flavor, smell, or appearance.

You can help elongate your CBD product’s lifespan, though, through proper handling. Because heat, light, and exposure to air and contaminants can shave time off your CBD — you should use them with care and store them somewhere that’s clean, cool, dry, and dim.



  1. Pavlovic, R, et al. (2018). Quality Traits of "Cannabidiol Oils": Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations. Molecules. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6100014/
  2. Gonzalez-Walker, D. How to Store Your Hemp CBD Products. Leaf411. https://leaf411.org/how-to-store-your-hemp-cbd-products/
  3. Pacifici, R, et al. (2017). Evaluation of cannabinoids concentration and stability in standardized preparations of cannabis tea and cannabis oil by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28207408/
  4. Di Bello, M, et al. (2017).Formulation and Chemical Stability in Aqueous Media of Cannabidiol Embedded in Cardanol-Based Nanovesicles. ACS sustainable chemistry. https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/5808058
  5. Fairbairn, JW, et al. (1976). The stability of cannabis and its preparations on storage. The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6643/
  6. Santos-Longhurst, A. (2021). Yes, CBD Oil Expires — Here’s How to Check Yours. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/does-cbd-oil-expire#is-it-dangerous

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