Hemp-derived CBD is now available in countless types of products. Whether you prefer oils, tinctures, inhalable vapor, edibles, or beauty products, you will be able to find the mode of administration that suits your preference. Once you have chosen a CBD product, it is important to know how to store it properly to ensure that it stays fresh, safe and effective.
CBD oils and edibles can be categorized as a food and health supplement which is why they are often stored with common food items in the kitchen. CBD salves can also be classified as cosmetics and are therefore stored with other skincare products.
Because CBD is extracted from hemp, it is a plant-based substance. And just like any natural compound, CBD can deteriorate and break down with age. With proper storage, high-quality CBD products can preserve not only their cannabinoid content but other elements such as terpenes and flavonoids as well.
Whether your CBD product of choice is oil, tincture, liquid concentrate, pill, gummy, or cream, it is essential to prevent exposure to direct light, humidity, and extreme heat to preserve the natural botanical properties of CBD. Light, heat, and air exposure can accelerate the breakdown of CBD and may shorten the shelf life of your product.
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Storing CBD
- Keep CBD away from direct light
Many hemp-derived CBD products come in packaging that is designed to provide protection from light damage.
Do not expose CBD oil, edibles, salves and other products to direct sunlight. CBD content can degrade when placed near a sunny window, on a counter, or car dashboard.
The most optimal place for storing your CBD product is the pantry where it is dark, dry, and cool. CBD last the longest in these conditions.
You may also keep your CBD oil in the refrigerator which remains dark except for short periods when the door is opened.
Another way to protect your CBD product from light degradation is by wrapping it with aluminum foil.
- Keep CBD away from heat
Heat can ruin your CBD products, which is why it is important to store your stash away from extreme heat.
While CBD oil is a pure and organic substance derived from the hemp plant, the extraction process can never guarantee 100% purity. There are minerals in the oil that may react differently to heat and change the properties of the CBD content. Heat can make the oil look murky and more buttery.
Five things to keep in mind when storing CBD products away from heat:
- Do not store CBD in cupboards that are located near appliances that give off heat
- Keep CBD away from direct heat of the sun
- Do not store CBD near the stove, range, or oven
- Do not store CBD near a window where the sun can reach it
- Do not leave your CBD product inside the car as the sun can heat it up like a large oven
If you live in a hot climate and you have no air conditioning, it is imperative that you store your CBD in the coldest place possible. You want to keep your CBD product in the coldest conditions that is still accessible when you need to take your CBD. Even though the freezer is the coldest place in your home, it can be very inconvenient to thaw your CBD every time you need it. If you are taking CBD daily, the best place to store it is the refrigerator. The freezer should only be used as a long-term storage option.
If the CBD oil becomes too thick when stored in the refrigerator, it could be difficult to dispense from the dropper. What you can do is run the bottle first under warm water before dispensing.
If you are looking to store your CBD product for an extended amount of time, the freezer could help maximize storage life. You should, however, consult with the manufacturer or read the product manual as some hemp products include a botanical blend that might not do well in extreme cold. Some CBD products are also impossible to administer once they turn solid.
- Keep CBD away from air
Similar to direct light and heat, exposure to air can degrade your CBD and significantly reduce its effectiveness. Oxygen has the ability to alter the chemical balance of CBD oil – a process known as oxidative stress. Manufacturers take into account the amount of exposure to heat and air when extracting and bottling hemp CBD products to maximize potency and effectiveness.
Most hemp CBD products come in airtight bottles or oral applicators. These are specifically designed to prevent air exposure. Try to keep your CBD product in its original container for quality assurance. After opening, make sure to put the cap back on with a tight seal to extend the product shelf life. If you need to transfer your CBD product, make sure the new container is adequate for long-term storage.
Whether you are putting CBD oil under your tongue, vaping it, cooking with it, rubbing it on your skin, or popping a pill or edible, all cannabinoids will degrade when exposed to light, heat, or oxygen. The best way to keep any CBD-infused product fresh and safe is to ensure that all three of these elements are well-controlled. Store your CBD bottle in an upright position in a place with stable temperature and away from extreme light, heat, or moisture.
The best places to store CBD products are the pantry, low cabinet, refrigerator, freeze drier, cellar, and basement.
Do I Need to Refrigerate CBD?
Cool, dark, and sealed – these are the three most vital elements when storing any CBD infusion. The pantry or medicine cabinet can meet these conditions, making them good options for the safe storage of CBD products.
Maintaining a stable temperature is important to prevent heat damage. And when it comes to temperature control, refrigerators provide the best solution for CBD products. Any cannabis infusion will last longer when stored in a refrigerator. The best way to prevent degradation of CBD is to store it in the fridge for short periods or the freezer for long periods.
One thing to consider when refrigerating CBD is that most extracts are processed with carrier oil. And when oil is stored in the fridge, it thickens and sometimes even solidifies. You can run the bottle under hot water to turn the oil back to its original consistency. If you do not want to do this, keep your CBD oil in the pantry.
Shelf Life of CBD Products
Many people take CBD daily and most CBD products come in small packaging so shelf life is not really an issue. Generally, CBD oil can last for about one year when properly stored.
Storing CBD Oil
As mentioned earlier, hemp CBD extracts are diluted in a carrier liquid. The most common carrier oils mixed with CBD are hemp seed oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. The best place to store your CBD oil is in a dark cabinet where you also store your bottle of olive oil or coconut oil. If you have a bottle of CBD oil that you want to keep for an extended period, then put it in the fridge.
If you are adding CBD to food as an ingredient – such as CBD butter – be sure to refrigerate it in an airtight, opaque container.
Another way to store CBD-infused cooking oils is to put them in ice cube trays with herbs and spices and freeze them. CBD butter can also be frozen for long-term storage.
Storing CBD Edibles
CBD edibles may contain ingredients that could affect its perishability. You might notice that the expiration date of CBD edibles vary greatly. Breads, pastries, and other baked goods are expected to expire sooner than hard candy or a bar of chocolate. Cooking oils can last months, or even years, with proper storage. No matter their form, CBD edibles always last longer when frozen instead of stored under room temperature.
CBD-infused products often come with a "best by" date. Manufacturers take into consideration the different ingredients that go into an edible when deciding on an expiration date. Do not hesitate to ask the retailer about shelf life and proper storage. If you are preparing infusions at home, check all the ingredients and note the perishability of each one of them when determining shelf life and storage options.
If you plan to store perishable infusions for an extended period, consider putting them in a freezer instead of the refrigerator. Bread, butter, and cooking oil are just some of the homemade CBD infusions that last longer when frozen.
Storing CBD Tinctures
CBD tinctures are among the longest-lasting oral forms of cannabidiol. If stored properly, a well-made tincture can last for years. The best way to prevent the degradation of CBD tinctures is to put them in an amber or blue dripper bottle and store in a refrigerator or freezer.
Keep in mind that tinctures processed with glycerin have a shorter shelf life than those made with pure alcohol distillation. Undisturbed and well-stored alcohol infusion can last many years before degrading.
Final Thoughts on CBD Storage
When storing Cannabidiol (CBD) products, always keep your infusions away from excessive light and heat and do not leave them exposed to air for a long time. This will help maintain their potency and freshness. If you are not taking CBD daily, you may also store your sealed infusions in a refrigerator or freezer to guarantee a longer shelf life.
To avoid exposure to light and oxygen, make sure your CBD product is stored in an airtight opaque container. If you purchase CBD infusions from a dispensary or retailer, the containers they come with are often designed for optimal storage so try to keep them in their original packaging. If you need to transfer your CBD infusion, make sure the new container is made of dark glass and is properly labeled. Plastic containers may compromise the integrity of your CBD product during long-term storage. Always tighten the bottle lid or snap-on cap after each use and store the product in an upright position.
If you are making homemade CBD edibles, always take into account the perishability of each ingredient. Check the expiration dates and store your CBD creations according to recommended conditions of the recipe.
If you are taking CBD daily and expect to consume it within a month or two, then the best place to store your infusion is in a cool, dry and dark cabinet or cupboard. Your bedside drawer, medicine cabinet, or office desk can provide quick access whenever you need an instant dose of CBD. Make sure the temperature is around 74°F or 23°C and that the cabinet is not located near a source of heat.
When taking CBD during a road trip, store the product in a cooler if possible. If you do not have a cooler, at least keep your CBD in a dark place such as your backpack. Keep CBD products away from direct sun and high heat. Never store CBD inside a car for an extended period of time as your vehicle can heat up like an oven.
Storing your CBD infusion properly can make a world of difference in terms of its potency and longevity. Take note of these important steps in proper storage to preserve the quality of your CBD product. Store it in a cool, dark and dry place or wrap in aluminum foil and put in the freezer.
Keep in mind that even with proper storage, CBD products will not last forever. Over time, the CBD concentrates will begin to change. The color of CBD oil might darken after a certain period. While it is still safe to use, you may need a larger dose to feel the effects. Generally, CBD oil should last up to a year.
If your CBD product seems to have a rancid or questionable smell, throw it away and replace it with a fresh product.
Here at PrismCBD, we pack our CBD oil in brown glass bottles and our CBD edibles in airtight opaque bags to minimize exposure to light. Always read the instructions on the label to get the most out of your CBD product.