With CBD being so popular right now, a lot of us are tempted to stock up on as many CBD-infused goodies as possible in order to experience all of the different ways to consume this compound. However, before you do that, it’s important to know that CBD, like all organic goods, has an expiration date. That means that y You may have noticed that your CBD products, whether it’s a CBD oil tincture, a pack of gummies, or an e-liquid, will always have a ‘best before’ date on the label. But what exactly happens to the CBD after they expire? Well, it’s slightly different for each different product. In this article, we will explain what happ Making gummies that retain their flavor and consistency is a complex science. When in doubt about the quality of your CBD gummies, the best thing to do is to buy a fresh package.
Can Taking CBD Past Its Expiration Date Decrease Its Potency?
With CBD being so popular right now, a lot of us are tempted to stock up on as many CBD-infused goodies as possible in order to experience all of the different ways to consume this compound. However, before you do that, it’s important to know that CBD, like all organic goods, has an expiration date. That means that your CBD will only be good for so long a period of time until it’s no longer worth taking.
So, when does CBD expire? And, what happens when you take expired CBD? We’ll be covering all of that and more.
What Happens When You Take Expired CBD?
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Taking expired CBD doesn’t mean that you’re exposing yourself to bodily harm. When we think of expiration dates, we often think of food items that can develop harmful bacteria as they sit in your refrigerator. However, CBD products contain a concentrated hemp extract without the plant material that’s prone to decomposition. Therefore, expired CBD shouldn’t make you sick.
However, expired CBD can disappoint you tremendously. That’s because as CBD ages, its potency level decreases, similar to the way that medications become less and less potent as they sit in the medicine cabinet. This means that taking expired CBD will likely be less effective than what you’re used to.
Typically, CBD lasts for about two years, give or take. The exact length of time before CBD expires has to do with the extraction method used to produce the hemp concentrate, as well as the ingredients with which the CBD has been mixed in order to produce a particular type of product, whether it be an edible, vape oil or something else.
Also, CBD can technically expire sooner than the expiration date that’s printed on the label due to improper storage. Two things that can cause CBD to lose potency at a faster rate are light and heat. This is due to oxidization. Oxidization breaks down the molecules in CBD, making them gradually weaker as the formula becomes less stable. CBD that’s been extracted using a subpar method can make the compound molecules fairly unstable to begin with, which is why we suggest opting for CBD products that were extracted using the CO2 method, as this is considered superior to the rest.
How to Avoid Taking Expired CBD
Now that you know that CBD can absolutely decrease in potency once it’s passed the expiration date, let’s talk about what you can do to make sure that you never take weak, expired hemp products.
Tip #1: Check the Expiration Date Before Purchasing
First, always check the expiration date of a CBD product prior to purchasing it. Just because a store is selling a CBD product doesn’t automatically mean that the expiration date is two years from the purchase date. Store owners make mistakes, and sometimes they sell hemp products that are due to expire within a short period of time. If the expiration date isn’t printed on the package for whatever reason, check the batch number on the packaging and contact the company to ask them when that particular batch is due to expire.
Tip #2: Only Buy as Much as You Need
It’s also wise to only buy as much CBD as you need, rather than stocking up on a ton of products that will last you well beyond two years. Inevitably, buying too much CBD means that you won’t be able to use it all up before it expires, which will result in a waste of money. Most CBD users buy as much as they’ll need for a month. This way, they’re always using up their CBD before it expires.
Tip #3: Store Your CBD Correctly
Another key factor is proper storage. Like we said earlier, due to the natural oxidization process of molecules found in CBD’s compounds, light and heat negatively impact the formula, causing it to expire sooner than the expiration date. So, avoid bright light and high heat when it comes to your CBD. If you can, store your CBD products in a place that maintains a dark and cool atmosphere such as a drawer, cabinet or closet. We urge you to avoid keeping your CBD in front of a bright, sunny window or in a car, especially during the summer months.
Avoid Low-Quality CBD Products
The best thing that you can do is make sure you only buy high-quality CBD products from reputable companies. Low-quality CBD is more likely to expire sooner for a couple of reasons. For one thing, low-quality CBD was likely extracted using a cheap extraction process that leads to a less stable end product. Additionally, low-quality CBD products can contain synthetic additives that aid in the breakdown of the molecules in hemp.
Use the Tips Above to Avoid Taking or Letting Your CBD Expire
While expired CBD isn’t necessarily dangerous to take, it probably won’t give you the strong hemp experience that you’re looking for due to the fact that its potency decreases with age. This means that it’s important to take your CBD products before the expiration date that’s printed on the packaging.
What Happens when CBD Products Expire?
You may have noticed that your CBD products, whether it’s a CBD oil tincture, a pack of gummies, or an e-liquid, will always have a ‘best before’ date on the label. But what exactly happens to the CBD after they expire? Well, it’s slightly different for each different product. In this article, we will explain what happens when each of these CBD products expires and how you can ensure you preserve their shelf life for as long as possible.
Do CBD Oils Expire?
Most CBD oils will have a shelf life of about 1-2 years. However, after this date, they are not going to be necessarily harmful (as long as you have bought a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer!)
Instead, the CBD will start to lose its potency. This is because, after time, the cannabinoids start to break down so they can no longer function as well in the body. So basically, an older or expired CBD oil will be less effective at providing you with the therapeutic benefits of CBD.
In addition to this, the smell and flavour of the CBD oil may begin to change. This is quite a good way to identify if the oil is past its best if you don’t have access to the expiry date, for whatever reason. The flavour and smell can go from that earthy hemp aroma to a more skunky aroma. Plus, the oil may become more cloudy and thick, or even change in colour.
Although an expired oil won’t make you unwell, it’s best just to get rid of it and buy a new one. It won’t be very pleasant or effective using an expired CBD tincture.
It’s also important to note that these effects can happen sooner if the CBD oil is stored improperly. You should always keep your oils in a cool, dry, dark place, like a kitchen cupboard. You should also ensure that the cap is always tightly screwed on and the bottle is placed upright. These simple steps will help to preserve your CBD quality for as long as possible.
Do CBD Gummies Expire?
When it comes to edibles like CBD gummies, it’s slightly different from CBD oils since the product is technically a food. CBD gummies will usually have a shelf life of about 1 year but are best when consumed within 6-9 months.
The same thing will happen to the CBD as we explained with the oils – the cannabinoid will break down and lose potency meaning the gummies are less effective. Also, the flavour of the CBD may change which could ruin the gummy taste.
In addition to this, CBD gummies will begin to dry out and go hard after their expiration date, just like any gummy sweet would. They probably won’t go ‘bad’ in the sense that they could make you unwell, but they won’t be very pleasant to eat.
In order to prevent your CBD gummies from going unpleasant before their expiration, ensure you store them in a cool, dry, dark place in a tightly sealed container. You want to minimise warmth and moisture as much as possible, but don’t store them in the fridge (unless the specific storage instructions state otherwise).
Do CBD E-Liquids Expire?
CBD e-liquids are quite similar to oils when it comes to expiration. With most CBD e-liquids, you could still safely use it shortly after the expiration date, but there’s not really much point. The potency and strength of the CBD will deteriorate over time, so it won’t be as effective as it should be.
Also, with e-liquids, the flavour is very important – vaping a nasty flavour is pretty grim. After the expiration date, the flavourings in the CBD e-liquid will deteriorate as well as the skunkiness of the old cannabinoids beginning to take over. So, vaping an old e-liquid would probably be quite unpleasant!
The storage guidance for CBD e-liquids is the same as with the other products. Store it in a cool, dry, dark place with the cap tightly screwed on in an upright position. When we say ‘cool’, we mean somewhere like a kitchen cupboard, away from sources of heat. Don’t store the CBD e-liquid in the fridge or anywhere too cold, otherwise the CBD could begin to crystallise.
It seems the general trend when CBD products expire is that the CBD and other cannabinoids lose their potency. There is not much point using a CBD product after expiration, but it won’t likely cause any harm. You are best off simply buying a fresh, new product.
Avoid this happening to your products pre-expiration by storing them properly. Keep your CBD products in a cool, dry, dark place in a tightly sealed, upright container. Limit the air and heat exposure, and your products should last for as long as possible!
Ways to Store CBD Gummies to Make Them Last Longer
The confection loses moisture when left exposed to the air due to evaporation. Research has found water content is an important characteristic that determines the gummy texture, and shelf life is determined by the interaction of air and candy ingredients and the interaction of the candy’s ingredients in the gummy. The bottom line is that CBD gummy’s shelf life can be extended through proper storage.
Do You Need to Store Your Gummies Properly?
Knowing how to store gummies is important to extending the gummy’s shelf life. CBD gummies are essentially made with sugar, water, gelatin or pectin, flavorings and CBD. There may be other ingredients, but these are the essential ones.
Gelatin is a protein obtained from the collagen of animal bones and connective tissues. The protein material sets in cool temperatures and needs refrigeration to maintain the gel.
Vegan CBD gummies are made with pectin. Pectin is a water-soluble fiber obtained from the fruit. Pectin needs other ingredients that attract water, like sugar and an acid source, in order to gel.
Gummies need to be stored properly because water evaporates in either type of CBD gummy. Gummies made with gelatin or pectin contain water. If you store them where air can reach them, the water evaporates and the gummies get hard. However, many factors influence the rate of evaporation.
Things to Consider When Storing Your CBD Gummies
CBD edibles are one of the most popular ways to consume CBD, and gummies are one of the fastest-growing market segments. It is not surprising, since they are convenient, portable and come in a variety of flavors. Since you will buy a package of gummies and will not eat them all at once, you need to know how to preserve edibles made with gelatin or pectin. The goal is to prevent gummy dehydration and contamination.
There are several things to consider when storing your CBD gummies.
Store your CBD gummies in a place that has low humidity. Scientifically speaking, higher humidity means there is more water in the air, so less evaporation occurs.
Moisture promotes the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria and other contaminants. Too much moisture can quickly spoil your CBD gummies.
3. Sunlight and light
Direct sunlight speeds up the evaporation process by heating the CBD gummies. It also promotes mold and other contaminant growth. This is also true for direct lighting which can promote excessive product heating.
Extreme temperatures can lead to physical destabilization of the ingredients which leads to decay. The same thing is true for extreme temperature fluctuations.
Storing CBD Gummies
By now, you may be wondering how to store gummies. There are two options outside of keeping CBD gummies fresh.
First, you should place your gummies in a sealed bag or sealed jar before storing, if you want the gummies to remain fresh as long as possible. The product may come in a resealable bag. It is important to make sure you reseal the package each time you remove a gummy if you keep your gummies in the original packaging.
The best storage for CBD gummies place is the refrigerator because it has a controlled environment. The refrigeration is not humid, has low moisture, is dark and has a cool temperature. It is better to not store them on the refrigerator door because the gummies will get exposed to frequent temperature changes.
2. Pantry or cupboard
You can also store CBD gummies in a pantry or cupboard as long as the conditions for ideal storage of CBD gummies are met. The pantry or cupboard should be dry, dark and have a cool and stable temperature.
Do not forget that ants love anything made with sugar. When storing a gummy, ants are a pest to keep in mind. By storing the CBD gummies in the refrigerator, you can stop worrying about attracting ants or other insects.
Frequently Asked Questions on Storing CBD Gummies
- How long can you store gummies?
The storage time for gummies depends on the way they are stored and the ingredients. How long do gummies last in the fridge? If stored in the fridge, they usually have a shelf life of at least six and possibly nine months once the product bag is opened, as long as you properly reseal the bag.
Another point to keep in mind is that CBD potency will begin to decline at different rates in products too. Potency strength could begin declining after six months. To ensure you are getting full CBD potency, it is recommended you consume all your gummies within six months once the bag is opened.
If the bag of gummies is not opened and is properly stored, the shelf life could be as long as 12 months or longer. The CBD manufacturer stamps an expiration date on the product bag. You can use this as a guide.
You can freeze gummies with one caveat. Place them in a true freezer bag or an airtight container. Thaw the gummies slowly to preserve the ingredient balance, though some people eat them while they are still partially frozen. Frozen CBD gummies will maintain their quality for up to a year (12 months). Freezing gummies is a good idea if you know you will not be consuming them for a while or want to keep extra gummies on hand.
If stored properly, expired CBD gummies are safe to eat. They will not make you sick. However, the CBD potency is likely not going to be full strength. The expiration date applies to the viability of CBD and the other ingredients. In addition, expired CBD gummies are more prone to developing issues like a change in their taste or quality.
CBD gummies can lose flavor, typically after the expiration date or earlier if not properly stored. In some cases, the gummy may taste rancid if the decaying process is advanced. A lot depends on the type of flavoring in the product. If the fruit flavor is off, the taste of CBD will become more prominent.
Knowing how to keep edibles fresh is a matter of understanding that gummy candies left exposed to the air will experience evaporation. The CBD candy hardens when it loses water. You can try to rehydrate them by soaking the gummies in a bowl of warm water for 15-20 minutes. Making gummies that retain their flavor and consistency is a complex science. When in doubt about the quality of your CBD gummies, the best thing to do is to buy a fresh package.
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About the Author
Michael Levin is a CBD enthusiast, a researcher, writer and editor in the cannabis space, experienced CBD user and educator. He believes CBD can help improve our overall health and wellbeing.