How long does cbd vape oil keep for

Does CBD / THC Vape Oil Expire – What You Need to Know & How to Tell if it’s Time to Toss it

Hidden in the pocket of those nice “going out” pants. Tucked away in the go-to weekender bag. Wherever an out-of-sight THC or CBD vape oil cartridge may live, they can be a nice surprise during seasonal cleaning sessions. But does THC oil expire? And exactly how long does THC oil last? Sometimes the answers to these questions aren’t as straightforward as one might assume. Let’s explore the idea of THC and CBD oils’ shelf life.

Do oil cartridges go bad?

The short answer to this question is yes. But, that “yes” is largely contingent on just how long an oil cartridge has been sitting out and where. If the cartridge’s oil is still the same color and viscosity — no sludge or strange separation — as when first purchased, it’s probably just fine.

However, the oil cartridge still might’ve lost some of its potency, especially if it’s been sitting out in bright or warm environments. It’s also incredibly important to check old cartridges for any mold; even just a touch is an absolute no-go and the oil should be tossed immediately. Ultimately both THC and CBD oil can last for a very long time, but this extended shelf life is only possible under the right conditions.

Why do THC/CBD vape oils expire?

Asking how long THC oil lasts really means digging into what makes it, and CBD oil , go bad in the first place. Oxygen, time, light, and heat are the four major culprits for quickly affecting THC and CBD’s shelf life. In their own ways, each one of these elements encourages the degradation of cannabinoids, terpenes, and will even speed up the process by which some concentrates or infusions change.

Oxygen
  • Even the air we breathe can slowly degrade THC and CBD oils. Cannabis oils such as these often contain a lot of fatty acids that don’t play well with oxygen molecules. While maybe not the worst element when it comes to oil preservation on its own, when oxygen is combined with an abundance of sunlight or heat these elements can easily ruin a cartridge through oxidation . THC and CBD oil will expire in just a month or two under these harsh conditions.
  • Objectively, there’s no exact way to keep time from degrading oil cartridges. A good rule of thumb is to use THC or CBD oil cartridges in the first four to six months of ownership. Because it’s more difficult to control the other elements on this list, controlling the time that one is using a singular cartridge is both easy and helpful.
Light
  • One of the most impactful elements when it comes to cartridge degradation is direct light. If intense sunlight hits THC or CBD oil, its rate of photosynthesis (at a molecular level) decreases. When these molecules break down, its tiny plant atoms break down as well, degrading THC crystals if present. This degradation , if serious, can turn THC to CBN over time — taking all psychoactive effects with it. To avoid this, cartridges should always be kept in a cool, dark place.
  • Both direct and indirect warmth can break down the THC in oil cartridges. Even simply keeping oil cartridges loose in your purse or backpack — being taken inside and outside amongst unregulated temperatures — can lead to degradation. Vape pen carrying cases can help curb this issue as well as light by encapsulating the cartridge in a safe and protected way. Anything from balmy California weather to natural body heat can shorten potency and THC / CBD shelf life.

Shelf life of vape oil and potency

The degradation of THC and CBD vape oil is tied somewhat directly to their beginning potency and ultimate shelf life. Most budtenders will agree that there’s a significant correlation between the quality of cannabis and what remains post-extraction. Terpenes usually experience a low-level of degradation through extraction, therefore impacting the taste and medicinal effects of the end product.

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Concentrates and wax — products being used for dabbing — are extracted with the intention of terpene preservation. However, extractions that are used in products like edibles, tinctures and topicals may not be made intentionally for preservation and therefore have a shorter shelf life.

Removing impurities from cannabis is always the aim, but many fats and lipids in solventless concentrates can remain since they’re more difficult to remove. Solventless extractions though, produce a combination of terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids plus these fats and lipids. The specialized process of “winterization” can remove such materials and leave behind a purer product. This does cause some degradation and compromises the final substance. But, this is actually necessary for the making of very stable shatters, saps and sugars.

How to store vape oil

  • Try to eliminate the factors that can negatively impact the vape oil.
  • Understand which kind of THC or CBD vape oil is being used / is found to judge its usability.
  • Store in a cool, secure location such as a cupboard, bedside drawer, or even the refrigerator.
  • Remove from any well-lit areas and spots in direct sunlight.
  • Use the THC or CBD oil within its shelf life — approximately a few months depending on type.
Can old CBD oil make you sick?

No — if the proper safety precautions are being taken to confirm the oil is still good, CBD oil should not make someone sick. If there is anything concerning about how the CBD oil is being stored or appears, it should be tossed. Always air on the side of caution and consider the prime culprits of degradation: oxygen, time, light and heat, before consumption.

How do you know when CBD oil goes bad?

Consider all of the leading factors of degradation and study the product in question. Ask: How long have I had this cartridge? Has the color of this oil changed? Where has this cartridge been stored? Is there anything wrong visibly (discoloration, mold, cracks, etc.) with the cartridge? Positive responses indicate an all-clear, while negative ones suggest the product is bad and should be tossed.

Does CBD oil need to be refrigerated?

CBD oil doesn’t technically need to be refrigerated, but this act might be in the oil’s favor. Keeping THC or CBD oil in the refrigerator easily eliminates the issues of heat and light that would otherwise degrade the product slowly but surely. While oil doesn’t need to be refrigerated, most would probably argue it’s a good idea if feasible.

Does CBD oil go bad in heat?

The short answer is… sort of. Heat can be one of the most powerful forms of degradation when it comes to THC and CBD oils. The potency of such an oil can be seriously compromised if exposed to an abundance of heat, especially if it’s for long periods of time. While using such a product may not make a consumer feel bad necessarily, it probably won’t hold the same desired, full-spectrum effects as normal.

How long does THC oil last?

The answer depends largely on the individual product. It’s safe to say that when stored properly in a cool, dark environment, THC and CBD oil cartridges can easily last up to a few months. However, this time range can be vastly shortened if products are not being stored in the best of locations.

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Although it can be exciting to pull out a largely untouched THC or CBD oil cartridge from those old dress pants or travel bags, it’s important to consider the necessary safety precautions before beginning or resuming use. Luckily, THC and CBD oils’ shelf life is actually fairly long if used and stored correctly. Taking those simple extra steps — like placing newly purchased back-up cartridges in the fridge for safekeeping prior to use — can make all the difference in how one can answer questions like, “How long does THC oil last?”

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How Long Does Vaped CBD Stay in Your System?

Many people prefer to vape cannabidiol (CBD) because its effects are instant. The lungs are extremely efficient at absorbing small, fat-soluble molecules such as CBD, so it’s able to go straight into your bloodstream and start working right away (1).

For this same reason, vaped CBD is eliminated from your body quicker than other methods. In most cases, it will be cleared out of your body after about 5-6 hours.

But the precise duration can vary quite a bit depending on several factors. Here’s what you need to know to estimate how long CBD from vaping will stay in your system.

Table of Contents

Factors to Keep in Mind

The exact length of time that CBD will stay in your body depends on multiple variables, including the dosage, how often you vape, how much you weigh, and your unique body chemistry and genetics.

CBD Vape Dosage

Like most substances, the more CBD you take, the longer it will stay in your system. It takes your body (especially the liver) some time to process any substance that comes in, so the more CBD you take, the longer it takes.

How Often You Vape CBD

How often you vape also matters. If you only vape CBD occasionally, it has no chance to build up in your body. But if you vape every day, your body can begin to store in your fat tissue (like other cannabinoids), which means it can stay around for longer (2 ).

Body Chemistry

Another factor that shouldn’t be overlooked is that everyone’s body is unique. For example, your body’s metabolism might be quicker than normal, which means it can process CBD from vape juice quicker (3).

Age can be a factor too since our metabolism slows down as we get older (4).

The genes related to your endocannabinoid system (ECS) can play a role as well since CBD produces many of its effects by interacting with this system.

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For example, there are dozens of known variations of the gene for FAAH, the enzyme that breaks down one of the main endocannabinoids made by our bodies (5).

How You Take CBD Matters

The way you consume CBD also has a significant impact on how it’s processed, and by extent, how long it will stay in your system.

Unfortunately, most of the scientific studies of CBD use its oral (capsules/gummies) or sublingual (oil) method of administration rather than inhalation (vaping and smoking).

For this reason, it’s difficult to say precisely how long the CBD from vaping will stay in your system.

For example, we know that CBD and other cannabinoids have low absorption when you ingest them (6 ), which is why it can take longer for the CBD from oral products such as gummies and other edibles to clear out of your body.

What Does the Research Say?

In one study of cannabis cigarettes which contained a small amount (0.25%) of CBD, cannabidiol levels were no longer detectable an hour after smoking (7).

Also, a study using a nebulizer, a device that creates an inhalable mist that’s somewhat similar to the vapor produced by a vaporizer, reported that CBD’s half-life (the amount of time it takes for the concentration of a substance you took to be reduced by 50%) was 1.1 hours.

Considering that about five half-lives are enough to almost completely eliminate a drug (8), we can estimate that CBD inhaled from vaping will stay in your system for about 5-6 hours. However, this situation assumes that you only used CBD once.

Another comprehensive review paper concluded that CBD’s half-life can vary anywhere from an hour to 5 days depending on the way and how often you take CBD (9).

One thing we can say for certain is that if you use CBD regularly, it will take longer to clear out from your body. For example, in one 1991 study, it took more than a week for CBD to be undetectable in the blood of people who took large (700 mg) doses daily for six weeks (10).

Still, since inhaled CBD is cleared out of the body faster than oral preparations, we can likely lower this number down to several days for people who vape every day.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t enough research to give you a precise answer to how long vaped CBD will stay in your system.

We can estimate that CBD will clear out of your body about 5-6 hours after vaping if you only vape once. However, if you vape regularly it may take several days or even a week for it to leave your system completely.

Whatever the case, the great thing about CBD is that it’s non-intoxicating and doesn’t show up on drug tests, so you don’t need to worry.

The only thing to be aware of is that full-spectrum CBD products contain small amounts of THC (0.3% or less), which could potentially show up on a drug test.

If you’re worried about drug tests, it’s better to use vape products made with pure CBD isolate, which shouldn’t contain any THC. You should also check the product’s third-party test reports to verify that there’s no THC.

References

Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.