How To Tell If CBD Oil Is Expired And What Happens If You Take It?

For your peace of mind, it’s a good idea to know what happens if you take expired CBD oil – are there any risks to watch out for?

It’s also useful to know how to tell if CBD oil is expired. It’s not always straightforward, since for example, some people think that if the product looks cloudy, it’s gone off, but that’s not necessarily true.

In this article we’ll cover:

Elsewhere on our blog, you can find answers to other common questions, such as – what is CBD? Is CBD legal in the UK? How do you use CBD? And can CBD oil help with anxiety?

What’s in CBD oil?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a natural substance present in hemp plants – Cannabis sativa. As a natural substance, it is perishable – but thankfully, it takes a long time to break down, as we’ll cover shortly.

It comes from CBDA, or cannabidiolic acid, which is raw CBD that has been extracted from CBGA (cannabigerolic acid). This is a parent compound and one of the most important of the 113 or more cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.

So, your CBD is extracted from industrial hemp – a strain with next to no THC, which is the cannabinoid that would make you feel a ‘high’.

To create CBD oil, cannabidiol is diffused into a carrier oil – like hemp seed or olive oil – just to make it suitable for human consumption.

What’s in your CBD oil then? It may just be the hemp extract and carrier oil. Higher-quality products usually have fewer ingredients. A CBD tincture may have an added flavouring.

One way to get a sense of how long your CBD oil will take to expire is to check the list of ingredients – be wary of products with lots of additives.

A higher number of substances in a CBD oil means that there are more individual ingredient shelf lives to factor into the equation. That’s something to bear in mind when thinking about what happens if you take expired CBD oil.

How to tell if CBD oil is expired

There are several signs to watch out for – here’s how to tell if CBD oil is expired:

  • It smells rotten

Good CBD oil shouldn’t have a strong smell. It might smell herbal or earthy – that’s fine.

If it’s been flavoured or sweetened in some way, it’s probably a CBD tincture and of course, it may smell of whatever ingredient has been added.

But after a long time, it might start smelling rancid, like rotten vegetation – after all, CBD oil is produced from industrial hemp. If that has happened, then it’s probably expired.

  • The oil looks murky

A darker colour, perhaps dark brown, suggests that your CBD oil has degraded and broken down. If you use it, you may feel less of an effect at this point.

However, cloudy CBD oil isn’t a sign of expiration. Instead, it usually means the product has been kept in cold conditions – for example, a fridge – and it should return to its normal colour and viscosity if you leave it alone at room temperature for a while.

  • It tastes bad

Representative of its natural smell, good CBD oil should taste earthy or nutty. Some people don’t like the taste, in which case a flavoured CBD tincture is a good alternative.

Whatever you think of the taste though, it shouldn’t be unpalatable. A rotten-tasting CBD oil is a clear sign that it’s gone bad.

Is it ok to taste it, if it’s gone bad though? What happens if you take expired CBD oil exactly? Here’s our verdict.

What happens if you take expired CBD oil?

The good news is, taking expired CBD oil shouldn’t make you feel unwell – there aren’t any known side effects from using it, after it’s gone bad. However if you’re worried about using expired CBD oil, throw it away if you’re in any doubt.

In other words then, what happens if you take expired CBD oil? Nothing bad is likely to happen, so don’t worry if you think you’ve done this.

If that’s the case though, does it even matter if your CBD oil has technically expired and looks, smells or tastes bad?

Well, your product may still be usable – but it will likely be less of an enjoyable or pleasurable experience to take it. For many, that defeats the purpose of buying CBD oil in the first place.

Therefore, it’s worth keeping in mind how long CBD oil tends to last for – and how you can extend its shelf life.

How long does CBD oil last?

Always check the ‘best before’ or expiration date on your CBD oil – there should be a label or imprint on the bottle.

As a general rule though, unopened CBD oil should last for up to two years, as long as you store it as instructed by the manufacturer.

Opened CBD oil shouldn’t go bad for at least six months and as mentioned, it’s still usable for longer than that.

Product quality is the main variable affecting how long CBD oil lasts.

How to maximise the shelf life of CBD oil

Here are our three top tips for preserving your product, so there’ll be no need to find out the hard way what happens if you take expired CBD oil without expecting it:

  • Keep it in a dark place: CBD oil should be kept away from direct sunlight in particular
  • Keep it in an airtight container: Moisture or air oxidation exposure can cause CBD oil to break down, so always close the cap tightly after using it
  • Keep it at 20℃ or lower: For many, that’s room temperature but if you live in a hot climate or it’s a warm summer, keep your CBD oil in the fridge

Again, it’s a good idea to read any storage instructions provided by your CBD provider.

For more information on this subject, we’ve recently written a whole blog explaining how to store CBD oil. We also discuss how to store other CBD products safely apart from your oils or tinctures.

Summary: How to tell if CBD oil is expired and what happens if you take expired CBD oil?

You’ll know whether CBD oil has expired from its rotten smell, murky dark brown colouring or a taste that has worsened over time.

And what happens if you take expired CBD oil? Rest assured, there are no known side effects from taking cannabidiol products that have gone off. However, you’ll likely wish you had used them earlier!

For a long-lasting CBD oil, we recommend sticking to supplements that are high quality and from reputable companies. That means they’ve been verified by a third-party ISO-accredited testing lab and secured approval from the Food Standards Agency, amongst other criteria.

Read up on any new supplier, because some untrustworthy CBD providers are mislabelling their products.

If you have any further queries about what happens if you take expired CBD oil, or want to know more about CBD products and our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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