The cannabis boom doesn’t seem like it’s going to end any time soon. Its popularity continues to increase tremendously as more people realize the various benefits of this herb. Cannabis oil, for example, is now sold almost everywhere. From dispensaries to organic food stores, you’re sure to find jars of the oil on the shelves. Shopping for cannabis oil is no longer the issue; the issue now is how to preserve it.
Some users argue that it needs to be refrigerated to preserve its freshness, while others claim that all you need to do to keep it fresh is keep it in a cool, dark place without having to freeze or refrigerate it.
So, what is the best way to preserve your cannabis oil? Do you need to refrigerate it, or will a cool, dark storage spot suffice? Let’s find out.
Does Cannabis Oil Need to Be Refrigerated?
Like any other edible product, you have to store your cannabis oil properly if you want to enjoy all its benefits. Proper storage will prevent the compounds in your CBD oil from decaying. It also helps maintain the oil’s viscosity.
But does this mean that you should refrigerate it? No, you shouldn’t. Although prolonged exposure to sun and air can cause the cannabinoids and terpenes in your cannabis oil to degrade, a simple pantry or cub board that stays cool will suffice.
That being said, if you buy your cannabis oil in bulk and want it to take you through the year, then keeping it in the fridge might be a good idea. This is because the shelf life of cannabis oil is around one year.
There are, however, a few factors that you should keep in mind if you decide to refrigerate your cannabis oil. First off, extremely cold temperatures can change its consistency. When exposed to extremely low temperatures, cannabis oil becomes very thick, sometimes even too thick to use. This is especially true if it’s mixed with coconut and olive oil.
If this happens to your cannabis oil after refrigeration, don’t try to warm it in the microwave or oven. Instead, let it sit in a cupboard or on your kitchen counter at room temperature until it warms up on its own.
Should I Freeze Cannabis Oil?
Like refrigeration, you should only freeze your cannabis oil if you plan to store it for a very long time. Apart from affecting its consistency, extremely cold temperatures can also cause the chemical compounds in your cannabis oil to behave differently. Moreover, when frozen, the oil can be quite difficult to draw from the jar, which ultimately results in a huge mess.
When you take your cannabis oil out of the freezer, it might look a bit cloudy. But don’t fret. Although it appears cloudy, its quality remains the same. And just like with refrigeration, you should avoid putting it in the oven since the high temperatures might cause the active ingredients to decay.
What Is the Shelf Life of Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil typically lasts for about a year, while alcohol-based tinctures last for about three years. That being said, how long your cannabis oil will last ultimately comes down to how you store it. However, several factors affect the shelf life of cannabis oil. They include:
Reputable CBD companies use dark bottles to preserve the freshness of their oils. This is because dark containers minimize the oil’s exposure to light, thus reducing the risk of cannabinoids breaking down over time.
High-quality products generally last longer, and the same applies to cannabis oil. So, before choosing the best storage option for your cannabis oil, consider both its quality and additional ingredients such as flavourings, carrier oil, etc.
There are numerous methods employed in the extraction of cannabis oil. Some of them use toxic solvents that could potentially leave a harmful residue that could otherwise compromise the stability of the compounds. The CO2 extraction method, on the other hand, doesn’t require any solvents, making it the gold standard for making cannabis oils.
What is the Best Way to Store Cannabis Oil?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one best way to store cannabis oil. However, the following tips can make your cannabis oil last much longer:
- Don’t keep it near the oven, stove, or any other heat source.
- Don’t leave the lid open.
- Don’t leave it in your vehicle.
- Don’t expose it to a lot of light.
The lid plays a crucial role in preserving the benefits of cannabis oil. That is why the oil always comes in an airtight container. Prolonged exposure to oxygen might alter the chemical balance of your cannabis oil, thus reducing its quality and effectiveness.
How Can I Tell if My Cannabis Oil is Safe to Use?
All cannabis oil products come with an expiration date on the label to give you an idea of whether or not they’re safe to use. But, if by any chance the label falls off, or you simply forget to read the fine print, this is what you should look out for:
- Colour: The darker the colour of your cannabis oil, the less potent it is. A darker colour might also indicate that it’s close to its expiry date.
- Smell: If your cannabis oil smells funky and odd, chances are that it’s already gone bad.
- Taste: Unless the cannabis oil is flavoured with sweeteners or terpenes, it should taste nutty and earthy. So, if you notice that the flavour is a bit off-putting, then the oil is probably already expired.
If, by any chance, you take expired cannabis oil, don’t be scared. It won’t get you sick. As cannabis oil degrades, it loses its potency. This just means that you won’t reap the full benefits of the product.
The Bottom Line
If you use cannabis oil daily, you might be tempted to buy it in bulk, so you never run out. While this is a good idea, you should also consider where and how you’re going to store it. Storing your oil in the fridge is not a bad idea if you intend to keep it for a long time.
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