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Are Expired CBD Capsules Safe to Take?

There are several reasons why you should never take a CBD product that has expired, whether they be expired CBD capsules, expired tinctures, or gummies.

It makes perfect sense. Your favorite CBD company is running a huge special and you can stock up on bottles of the CBD capsules you love! But, later on down the line…one by one, those expiration dates sneak right by you.

Today, we’re taking a look at expired CBD capsules – how to recognize them and dispose of them properly, and also, what you should be doing with your CBD products to extend the shelf life.

Key points


  • Does CBD expire?
  • How do you know your CBD capsules are expired?
  • Should you shop CBD sales?
  • Should you take expired CBD capsules?
  • Storing your CBD capsules properly to extend the shelf life
  • How to dispose of expired CBD products properly


Does CBD Oil Expire?

The US Food and Drug Administration is the federal administration that helps to guide you, as a consumer, on ingredients and substances that you may use.

One distinction needs to be made here: they focus on CBD, THC, cannabis derivatives, etc., but are not on specific CBD products or brands. They may advise you on the safety of CBD, for example, but not on the safety of “Company Z’s Fancy Schmancy CBD Capsules for Health.”

This is why as a CBD company, we feel the need to discuss our expiration dates with you and make sure our products are always used safely, as directed.

So, does CBD oil go bad? Yes. It does.

Like other plant derivatives, there’s a shelf life of the components and also of the carrier oil, in this case MCT oil. CBD appears to have a shelf life of one to two years. Exposure to light, air, and heat can speed up the degradation of your CBD oil.

Tip: If you accidentally leave your CBD capsules in the car for a few days…you may just want to toss out that bottle and get a fresh one. The exposure to heat will have caused alterations or breakdowns of the ingredients in the product and it is no longer safe for consumption.

Here are some of the things you can do to safely use your CBD:


Premium cbd oil 1000 mg softgels with the lid taken off next to individual cbd softgels - cbdMD


  1. Use CBD that comes from safely grown hemp – this helps you avoid things like pesticides and heavy metals.
  2. Pay attention to this page on the US Food and Drug Administration’s website so you can stay in the know as a CBD consumer.
  3. Only buy high-quality products from a reputable CBD company that uses a CO2 extraction method, which is the cleanest CBD extraction method and produces a more chemically stable final product.
  4. Check the packaging. Some packaging helps extend the shelf life of the CBD oils. The CBD tincture form will be in glass bottles with a child safety lid. CBD capsules would be in an airtight, light-blocking bottle with a child safety lid. These packaging methods protect the life of your CBD (and protects curious youngsters).
  5. Pay attention to the expiration date on every single CBD product you buy. If you cannot read the expiration date but can find a batch number, call the CBD company and ask them for the expiration date on that particular batch.
  6. Pay attention to the CBD product, as well. If it changes flavor drastically or takes on a suspicious or foul smell – then it could be that the CBD oil has gone bad. Also note, for tinctures, any cloudiness or presence of floating materials. For tinctures, contamination could be more of a problem because the dropper is re-inserted into the bottle and could be contaminated with germs.
  7. Always follow packaging instructions and the advice of your medical professional when using a CBD product.


Should You Shop CBD Sales?

Here’s a newsflash – some companies actually run specials to unload batch numbers that need to get out of the way for new batches coming into their warehouses. This is a win-win for both parties as CBD companies can keep stock moving – and you can get a significant discount.

For you as a consumer, there’s a real advantage to those sales on CBD, and if you’re informed and strategic, you can save a great deal of money.

But try to buy what you know you will use:


  • Get an extra bottle or two of what you normally use.
  • Get bottles of CBD products on sale for the purpose of trying new CBD products you’ve been wanting to try.
  • If you buy several bottles of the same product, use them in the order of expiration dates.


Related: How to Take CBD Oil: Combining Products During the Day

Expired CBD Capsules

Despite your best efforts, it happens: your bottle of CBD capsules passes the expiration date. Since they are capsules, it is much harder to know if the CBD oil has gone bad inside of those capsules. Other than a distinct change in smell or color of the capsules, it’s really difficult to tell if they’ve expired, except to go by the expiration date noted on the bottle.

The safest bet is to throw them away and move on to a non-expired bottle of CBD capsules.

Disposing of Expired CBD Capsules Properly

What in the world do you do with expired CBD capsules? Can you take them anyway? Is that safe to do? The US Food and Drug Administration keeps you up to date on some of the latest CBD information, but this question is not yet answered for the public. This means, for CBD companies and consumers, we err on the side of caution.

Let’s talk a bit about what this abundance of caution looks like for you:


  1. It means you have to dispose of expired CBD capsules. What money is lost pales in comparison to protecting your health.
  2. It means storing your CBD products properly to extend the shelf life and to protect the CBD oils and other ingredients in the product.
  3. It also means taking the responsibility of properly disposing of any CBD products you do not take or that have expired.


Do not flush your expired CBD capsules or pour them out into your trash bin. Both of these methods of disposal are unhealthy for the environment and curious children may see them in the trash and mistakenly think they are candies.

To dispose of your expired CBD products: Follow the US Food and Drug Administration guidelines on how to dispose of unused medications, which provides clear and thorough instructions on how to get rid of any kind of medications you won’t be using. While CBD products are not medications, these are the most thorough guidelines to follow.

Why You Should NEVER Take Expired CBD Capsules

There are several reasons why you should never take a CBD product that has expired, whether they be expired CBD capsules, expired tinctures, or gummies. If it goes into your mouth – you need to be diligent about using fresh, high-quality products.

Decreased Potency

For one, expired CBD oil products will not have the same potency of CBD as they do before their expiration date. This is due to the degradation, over time, of CBD molecules. Other ingredients in the CBD product also degrade, weakening their potency.

Potential Toxicity

If you are careful to use a natural CBD product without lots of additives, then likely you aren’t going to have to worry about toxicity of expired products. They likely won’t make you sick – but if the potency is not there, why even take them? In this case, the risk outweighs the benefits.

If your CBD products become contaminated, however, there’s a risk of bacterial growth which is not healthy for you. Play it safe by keeping your products safe and clean and by disposing of outdated products.

What If You Accidentally Take Expired CBD Product?

Firstly, do not panic. Discontinue use and dispose of the expired CBD products. Continue your normal CBD regimen with fresh CBD products. Call your doctor for medical advice if you have any concerns.

Storing Your CBD Capsules Properly

You can extend the shelf life of your CBD products by simply storing them properly.


  • Out of sunlight or other light sources. Storing them in the dark is best.
  • A cool, dark place is optimal or at a reasonable room temperature. Not hot. Not overly warm. Not overly humid.
  • You can wrap your bottles in aluminum foil until use and put them in a cool, dark cabinet. This works well for bottles you have yet to open.
  • Do not open any CBD bottles until you plan to use them. Leave that airtight seal intact to protect the CBD product.
  • For your current open bottles, be mindful of a few things. First, do not touch a tincture dropper to any part of your mouth before reinserting it into the bottle. For CBD capsules, make sure to leave the Uline silica gel package inside the bottle. It helps to absorb humidity and keep your product stable.


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Be Safe and Diligent When Taking CBD

Your biggest takeaway today is this: Expired CBD capsules and CBD tinctures are less safe to take than fresh ones.

Those expiration dates are carefully calculated from the date that product was made, not from when you purchased them. And these expiration dates are for your protection.

For more information on expired CBD capsules, how to take your CBD safely, and other relevant CBD topics, follow the “education” and “products” tabs on our informative CBD blog. Also, check back with the US Food and Drug Administration periodically to stay in the know on CBD and other cannabis derivatives from a policy and public health perspective.

As always, you’re welcome to contact us on our website if you have any questions or concerns about any of our wide variety of CBD products for your body, mind, and beauty. We’re here to help!