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So you’ve had the same bottle of CBD oil for a few months now and you’re worried that it’s expired. Or maybe you’ve found an older bottle of CBD oil and you’re wondering if it’s good.

If so, then this blog post is for you. We’re going to cover:

  • How to tell if your CBD oil is expired
  • What makes your CBD oil expire faster
  • And, how to extend the shelf life of your CBD oil

How To Tell If Your CBD Oil Is Expired

Chances are if you’re a person that eats food (ahem *everyone*) you’ve probably experienced food waste in the past. Like our expired food, there are a few different ways to tell if our CBD oil has expired. 


This can be a tough tell for some, especially if the CBD oil you buy is flavored. Unflavored CBD oil has a mild, earthy flavor. If your CBD oil tastes “off” as in bitter or sour, your CBD oil may be expired. 


Just like a nice craft beer, your CBD oil can skunk. If your CBD oil has a skunky or sour smell, it’s likely expired. 


When your CBD oil starts to break down, it may become dark and take on a ‘murky’ look. 


Your CBD oil’s texture is a big tell. If your CBD oil has become “thicker” or looks like it’s separating, it may be because your carrier oil is rancid. 

Note: if your CBD oil is cold; for instance, if you store your CBD oil in the fridge, it will be thicker. Don’t confuse this thickness caused by temperature with rancidity. 

When Does CBD Oil Expire? 

Your CBD oil’s shelf life depends on a few factors. They range from what kind of bottle your CBD oil is packaged in, to how much sunlight your CBD oil is exposed to. 

Just because most of the following factors are under the manufacturer’s control, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know them. Having knowledge of these factors will help you extend your CBD oil’s shelf life. 

Carrier Oil 

Your CBD oil’s shelf life is most dependent on the carrier oil: the oil that your CBD extract is suspended in. The most common industry carrier oils are MCT oil, hempseed oil, and olive oil. You can of course make your own CBD oil at home with other oils. 

  • MCT oil is very shelf stable, has little taste, and has a shelf life of 12 – 18 months. This relative stability has made MCT oil a popular carrier oil in the CBD industry. 
  • Hempseed oil is less stable than MCT oil. Once opened, unrefined hempseed oil has a shelf of 3 – 6 months. 
  • Olive oil is roughly as stable as hempseed oil and should be used within 6 months of opening. 

If you’re unsure of which carrier oil your CBD oil is made with, get in contact with your vendor and ask questions. 


Your CBD oil’s shelf life is also greatly affected by UV light exposure. Not only is UV light bad for your CBD— it will break down the cannabinoid rapidly— but it will also break down your carrier oil and cause it to turn rancid much more quickly. 

This is why packaging is a crucial factor in the shelf life of your CBD oil. Your CBD oil should be bottled in opaque or dark brown glass to protect it from UV light. If your CBD oil comes bottled in clear glass, you’ll need to take extra care to store it in a dark place. 


If you plan on stocking up on your favorite CBD oil, you’ll want to store the bottles you aren’t using in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. A cupboard or nightstand drawer would be a fine storage space for your CBD oil. 

What Happens If You Consume Expired CBD Oil? 

Do you think you’ve accidentally consumed some expired CBD oil? Here’s what you can expect to happen: not much. 

Thankfully, consuming expired CBD oil shouldn’t make you feel unwell. You may get an upset stomach from the rancid oil, but that’s the extent of what you may expect. 

How To Store Your CBD Oil

You’ll want to protect your CBD oil’s potency by storing it in a cool, dry space out of direct sunlight. 

The following factors can all lead to CBD breakdown in your product: 

  • UV light 
  • Excessive heat
  • Moisture
  • Oxygen exposure 

If you want to extend the shelf life of your CBD oil, you’ll want to consider keeping it inside a climate-controlled environment and away from sunlight. 

Should CBD Oil Be Refrigerated? 

A question we get all the time is: should I refrigerate my CBD oil once I open it? You should not. 

Because Sunset Lake CBD makes our CBD oils with MCT, if you refrigerate your in-use bottle, you’ll make it exponentially harder to use and apply your oil as colder temperatures will make your oil more viscous.

Does CBD Oil Expire: Final Thoughts

CBD oil does expire, but if stored properly, shouldn’t for many months. This should be long enough for you to enjoy your CBD oil with no issues. But, if you’re one to stock up on CBD oil during a sale, you should know CBD oil storage best practices to extend your oil’s shelf life. 

And as always, if you’ve had your current CBD oil for a while: the nose knows. If you think your CBD oil looks, smells, or tastes off, it’s probably time to get a new bottle.