Just like any lotion or serum, CBD topicals don’t last forever. Once a product is opened, the contents inside the jar are exposed to oil from fingers, steamy bathrooms, sunlight, and other factors that impact the potency, stability, and integrity of the cannabinoid. To keep products potent in the long term, they should be stored properly in their original containers and in a cool, dark place (like your cabinets). Our guide details the factors that impact the shelf life of CBD and how these products can be stored safely at home.
What are CBD products?
CBD products are lotions, capsules, bath bombs, and other items infused with Cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid found in hemp plants. CBD, arguably one of the most well-known cannabinoids, can boost our natural supply of endocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced by the body.* This cannabinoid, unlike its intoxicating counterpart Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), doesn’t cause a high. The broad-spectrum hemp extract in Prima products, which contains naturally occurring CBD, goes through extra refinement to minimize the amount of THC contained within.
Topical CBD products are a far-ranging category that covers many product types formulated for body and face. Oftentimes, topicals are coupled with other hydrating ingredients. Options include moisturizing lotions like our Skin Therapy body butter, skin rubs like our R+R cream, face serums like our award-winning Night Magic formula, and bath bombs like our Soak It In Bath Gem.
What impacts the shelf life of CBD?
There’s no set, exact timeline for CBD’s shelf life. The timeline varies from brand to brand, from product to product, and by the conditions in which the product is stored. While it may not have an exact shelf life across the board, CBD potency does degrade over time, which means that older, improperly stored products may not retain their quality. Here are some aspects which may impact the longevity and potency of CBD products:
- Extract quality: CBD is made through an extraction process, during which a solvent is applied to the hemp biomass and the plant compounds then separated from the solvent. At Prima, we use a clean, gentle, and alcohol-free and petrochemical solvent-free extraction method to obtain our CBD.
- Correct storage: Cannabinoids are sensitive to light and temperature. Protecting CBD products from harsh conditions by keeping them away from extreme environments is key to preserving potency and longevity.
- Proper packaging: The right packaging keeps harmful elements out and freshness in. Loose-fitting lids or containers of improper sizes can encourage CBD degradation.
Science-backed tips for storing CBD products
The results of an experiment published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology uncovered some ideal conditions in which to store cannabinoid-infused products. The study stored cannabinoids under varying conditions for a two-year period, concluding that exposure to air, called air oxidation, was particularly harmful to cannabinoid content. Light and temperature fluctuations also impacted the stability of the cannabinoids. In short: keep products in a dark, room-temperature area. Under these conditions, the study found that products infused with cannabinoids can store for 1 to 2 years.
Take the following steps to ensure CBD product quality is preserved properly at home:
- Store CBD away from excessive temperatures. A 2012 study published in Revista de Chimie chemistry journal found that CBD degraded when exposed to light and stored at 22 degrees Celsius, or 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit. While the combination of light and temperature is what affected CBD content in this study, it’s still advisable to avoid excessive freezing or hot temperatures. Avoid keeping CBD near an oven or stove, and do not place it in a freezer, although some may keep CBD oil in the refrigerator.
- Always replace the cap or lid. The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology study found that air oxidation is a significant factor in the degradation of cannabinoid content. Lids on jars and packages should be tight, to keep excessive air and moisture out and all the good stuff in.
- Keep CBD away from direct sunlight. Don’t store CBD products near a sunny window. The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology study found that exposure to light is the fastest way to lose cannabinoid content.
- Do not remove CBD products from their original container. The best CBD products develop packaging designed to protect the contents inside. Removing the cream or serum from these containers and placing them into another container, especially if there’s only a small amount of product in a large container, can create more opportunities for oxidation.
Quality ingredients require proper storage
At Prima, we are dedicated to our 100% Clean, 0% Questionable ingredient standard. We only use ingredients that meet very strict health, safety, and environmental standards (ruling out more than 2,800 options in the process), but we consistently review and vet those standards to ensure we are only providing the best quality ingredients, including oils, butters, adaptogens, phytosterols, plant-based ingredients and extracts — including our sustainably grown hemp. By following our guide for proper care and storage, our products can stay as fresh and vibrant as the day they were first opened.