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Does CBD Oil Need to Be Refrigerated? Not Always, But it May Help

does cbd oil need to be refrigerated

If you’ve ever bought CBD oil, you’ve probably seen the note that says to keep it in a “cool, dark place.” Naturally, you might think about the fridge. But does CBD oil need to be refrigerated? Well, let’s explore that and figure it out, shall we?



Does CBD Oil Need to Be Refrigerated?

Most CBD oils do not need to be refrigerated. A “cool” place references the average household temperature of 60 to 70°F — not hot, but not cold, either. A “dark” place references somewhere out of direct sunlight. But you don’t need to shield CBD oil from all light all the time.


However, if the CBD oil you purchase says to refrigerate it, we recommend doing so. Just because our tincture doesn’t need refrigeration doesn’t mean other brands’ oils don’t. Some may use ingredients that require refrigeration, and it’s best to follow the storage instructions provided by the company.



Where Should You Store CBD Oil?

Medicine cabinets, toiletry drawers, bedside table drawers, and other similar places make good homes for CBD oil. Kitchen cabinets and pantries work, as well. If you take CBD oil on the go, a purse, backpack, or briefcase is also a good spot (as long as the bottle is safe from being crushed/broken).


Avoid leaving your CBD oil in your car — even if it’s in the glove box. Extreme heat can degrade the oil and decrease the shelf life. If you live in an especially hot region, this will be more of an issue than if you live in a cooler one.


However, you shouldn’t worry if you keep your CBD oil on your bathroom counter or with your bottles of perfume, cologne, or lotions. As long as the bottle of CBD oil isn’t sitting on a windowsill in full sunlight, it will likely be just fine. Just do your best to keep from leaving it out in the sun.



cbd oil with leaf on lucite



Can You Store CBD Oil in the Refrigerator? Will It Prolong the Shelf Life?

You can store CBD in the fridge, although you may not want to if the company doesn’t recommend it. Putting your CBD oil in the fridge may extend its shelf life, but if your fridge is too cold, it could break down the oil.


You can expect storing CBD oil in the fridge to result in some cloudiness. This should disappear as the oil returns to room temperature.


Some CBD oils may thicken when kept in the refrigerator, resulting in a strange and potentially unusable formula. Whether the CBD tincture will thicken in the fridge depends on its carrier oil.


A carrier oil is a balancing agent used to level the potency of CBD oil. For example, we use hemp seed oil as a carrier oil, which is highly nutritious and nearly flavorless. Hemp seed oil will thicken slightly in most refrigerator temperatures, but it’s unlikely to harden completely.


On the other hand, carrier oils such as coconut oil will absolutely solidify in the fridge. It all has to do with the carrier oil’s freezing point (you can easily look up the freezing point for most oils).


If you do choose to keep your CBD oil in the fridge and it solidifies (either moderately or entirely), try running it under warm water until it liquifies again. We don’t recommend microwaving CBD oil to melt it — this can degrade the CBD and make the formula ineffective.


Can You Keep CBD Oil in the Freezer?

You can store CBD oil in the freezer, but the cold temperature will likely diminish the oil’s quality. If you are going to store CBD oil in the freezer, be sure that it’s an unopened container – that will give it the best chance of surviving. But, we don’t recommend putting CBD in the freezer.



Does CBD Oil Expire? How Long Does it Last After Opening?

CBD oil generally stays good for about one to years after opening the bottle. But, this can depend upon proper storage. If the bottle heats up in the afternoon sun every day, it will definitely go bad quicker than if it’s always kept in the kitchen cabinet.


The best way to ensure your CBD oil’s longevity is to keep it in its original packaging. The original bottle should provide an air-tight and (ideally) tinted container that protects against air and light damage. Also, do your best to keep the CBD oil out of direct light and away from extreme temperatures.


You also want to avoid humidity around your CBD oil bottles. Humidity can quickly cause mold, which can be dangerous and unhealthy. If you love steaming hot showers and/or don’t have a bathroom fan, the medicine cabinet/bathroom counter might not be the best place to store your CBD oil.



How Long Can You Keep CBD Oil?

You can typically keep CBD oil for about a year, maybe even two, as long as you properly store it. Unopened and carefully stored away from light and extreme temperatures, CBD oil can stay good for several years. Once it’s opened, however, storage becomes more critical, and shelf life decreases.



mature man studying his cbd oil



How Do I know If My CBD Oil Has Gone “Bad?”

You’ll know if your CBD oil is going bad from a few distinct signs, including:


  • “Skunky” Odor – CBD oil that’s going bad will develop a skunky, almost rancid odor. If a whiff makes you cringe, it’s likely spoiling.


  • Thick, Murky Consistency – This is not to be confused with the cloudiness of refrigerated CBD oil. If you store your CBD oil at room temperature and notice it becoming thicker and murkier, it’s likely spoiling. This can be from light, air, heat, humidity, or a combination of multiple factors.


  • Rancid Flavor – If you don’t notice a smell, a bad taste will definitely clue you into spoiled CBD oil. Unless otherwise flavored, most CBD oils have a natural, nutty, or even grassy flavor. It’s not everyone’s favorite, but it shouldn’t taste “bad.” If the taste makes you cringe, it’s likely spoiled.



What Can Happen if You Take Old CBD Oil?

As long as there is no mold, taking old CBD oil shouldn’t cause you any harm. However, it probably also won’t bring you any beneficial effects as the CBD will have degraded. As long as your CBD oil doesn’t taste, smell, or look visibly spoiled, it’s okay to try it and see if it still soothes you.


RELATED: Does CBD Oil Get You High? [It Doesn't, Here's Why]



How Do You Store CBD Oil After Opening?

Once you open your CBD oil, proper storage becomes even more essential. Be cautious of exposing the bottle, even well-tinted ones, to sunlight, heat, and humidity. As long as you tightly close the bottle and store it in a good location, your open CBD oil can stay good for around one to two years.



Final Thoughts

Does (most) CBD oil NEED to be refrigerated? No. CBD oil’s shelf life is about one to years after opening (as long as you store your CBD oil properly). While some brands provide expiration dates, your CBD oil’s shelf life will always depend on your storage habits and your home’s environment.

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