After a chaotic day where all the things went wrong, you feel a glimmer of joy as you turn towards your afternoon ritual with your favorite CBD tincture. You grab it, take the perfect serving amount, and wait, but nothing happens. This is weird because you usually notice an effect by now. You look at the bottle to double-check the expiration date, but you still have another 4 months to go. Yet something is wrong and it’s looking like your day just got even worse.
Sadly, this is more common than you would think and it has a lot to do with the different factors that impact CBD shelf life. ‘Shelf Life’ is a term that defines how long a product is usable, saleable, or fit for consumption’. While some products like milk become unsafe after the expiration date, many also lose their effectiveness over time. The speed at which that effectiveness is lost can depend on a few very important things, which luckily are under your control.
First and foremost is product quality. Whether you’re buying a car or a good pair of shoes, higher quality products last longer and this is also the case for CBD. There are a wide variety of brands out there, but not everyone uses the highest quality hemp or most up-to-date processing techniques. Understanding what you’re buying and having trust in the brands that sell it to you is of the utmost importance, not only for your health and safety, but for the longevity and effectiveness of what you purchase. For more information on how to navigate this space, check out our Wild West of CBD blog.
Even assuming you’ve managed to get your hands on a high quality CBD product, there are certain environmental factors that CBD doesn’t get along well with. These include light, heat, and long-term exposure to oxygen. Just as too much sunlight can damage your skin, CBD is no different. The ultraviolet wavelengths of sunlight can break down the chemical bonds of CBD and other broad spectrum compounds that contribute to effective CBD products. So always store your products in dark places where they’re not exposed to sunlight. Also avoid buying CBD products packaged in clear bottles. Darker bottles and packaging protect CBD from sunlight and prolong its shelf life. This is something you commonly see for other products, like craft beer, because the sun and prolonged storage don’t get along for most things.
Similar to sunlight, heat breaks down the chemical composition of CBD products over time as well. Leaving your CBD gummies in a hot car will not only melt them into a big mess, but more importantly, they may lose their effectiveness. Even storing your cbd next to appliances that create heat, like a refrigerator or microwave, will also damage your CBD products over time. However, storing them inside your refrigerator may actually make them last longer (just take them out a few minutes beforehand to let them get back to room temperature).
Finally, make sure to keep your CBD products air tight. Despite our need for oxygen to survive, oxygen can be surprisingly damaging to most materials. Imagine that CBD is like metal, and if left outside and exposed to the elements, over time it will begin to rust and fall apart. CBD and other full spectrum chemicals can oxidize and break down if left open and in contact with the air. So make sure you seal your CBD in airtight containers and double check the lid whenever storing them away.
If you carefully follow the guidelines presented here, your CBD shelf life can last up to a year and up to two years if stored in a refrigerator. However, if you allow your CBD to be exposed to sunlight, heat, or the air, you can expect that shelf life to drop drastically. Fortunately, most people use up their CBD long before the shelf life expires, but it’s usually possible to tell when CBD goes bad by it’s smell. The flowery and aromatic scents that it starts out with turns bad and it’s not too difficult to tell the difference.
So be smart, be safe, and make sure that your bad days aren’t made worse by a shortened shelf life. At Asha, we have sustainably sourced the highest quality, USA-grown hemp and have designed our packaging for maximum shelf life. Head over to our shop to check out some of our latest magic!