Why Are Dark Glass Bottles the Best for Storing CBD Oils and Tinctures?
If you have already browsed various CBD oil and tincture brands, you have probably noticed they are in dark-colored glass bottles. There is a reason tinted glass bottles are chosen. The black, dark brown, dark green and dark blue glass bottles help keep light out because light and heat can cause CBD and other contents to degrade. With the right bottle and storage practices, your CBD oils and tinctures can stay fresh for a year or longer.
Light, Heat and CBD Oils and Tinctures Do Not Mix
CBD extracts are mixed with a carrier oil to make CBD oils and tinctures. In most cases, the products can stay fresh for at least a year or two but only if carefully stored. There are three elements that can degrade CBD and also the carrier oil it is mixed with like olive oil and coconut oil.
CBD is often purchased as an oil or tincture because of increased bioavailability compared to a CBD powder in a capsule. However, CBD oils are not as stable as CBD powders. A stability study of CBD in the form of powder mixed with sunflower oil found CBD powder to be significantly more stable than CBD in an oil solution. This has implications for storage conditions. Following are some of the findings concerning CBD in sunflower oil.
- The CBD stored at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, away from light and heat and in a closed vial, was stable for at least six months. At 270 days or nine months, the amount of CBD in the sunflower oil sample had decreased by 41.97 percent.
- The CBD degraded 20.2 percent within 90 days when stored in open vials at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but the closed vials showed no decrease under the same conditions.
- The CBD stored at 104 degrees in the open vials had degraded 98.97 percent at one year, and the CBD in the closed vials had degraded 75.91 percent.
The temperature has a significant impact on the rate of CBD degradation. The study also mentioned that previous studies found that heated oil changes color due to the chemical processes that take place. The oil that changes in color from orange to brown has gone through oxidation, polymerization and other chemical changes. One study compared hemp seed oil, olive oil, and MCT oil. MCT oil was the most stable oil.
A study of CBD in e-liquids found similar results. At 98 degrees Fahrenheit, CBD degraded 20 percent within 30 days. It degraded 15 percent due to light exposure. Storing CBD oil at 39 degrees Fahrenheit preserved the CBD almost intact for at least 30 days. The conclusion was that CBD stored in the best storage conditions and in light protective containers will help maintain CBD quality.
There are also studies showing the change in viscosity when CBD oil was heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit versus 158 degrees. The change was a 40.5-point difference over a 30-degree temperature change. Maintaining the right temperature is important during the manufacturing process. This points to the importance of buying CBD oils and tinctures from companies with strict quality control procedures.
High-quality companies do not use plastic bottles for CBD oil. Plastic is thinner than glass and can break down and leach plastic molecules into CBD oil. You should only purchase CBD oils and tinctures bottled in dark-colored glass bottles to provide the greatest protection from environmental factors.
Color of CBD Oil
What color is CBD oil? It is a good question because it is normal to want to use color to determine if a product has degraded. However, CBD oil colors range from clear to dark brown and plenty of shades in between. A change in color can indicate a chemical reaction is taking place, but the color change depends on the beginning color. The color of CBD oil is largely determined by the extraction process used and the ingredients included in the product.
- Raw CBD oil is a green or dark color because the CBD extract is not processed further and contains chlorophyll, raw plant material and phytochemicals
- Decarboxylated CBD oil has been heated, causing a chemical reaction, so will have some brown color mixed with green
- Distilled or filtered CBD oil is refined oil in which all the chlorophyll and other elements are removed, leaving a light or clear color
- The ingredients added to CBD oil can affect the color, i.e., the type of carrier oil, flavoring, botanicals, etc.
What color should CBD oil be? The answer is that it depends on how the CBD is extracted and then processed. The darker the color, the less the CBD oil has been processed. Full spectrum CBD oil contains more hemp plant material than broad spectrum so is usually darker in color.
Also impacting CBD oil’s color is the carrier oil used. Olive oil and hemp seed oil are gold-colored while coconut oil is clear. Thus, CBD oil made with olive oil or hemp seed oil is darker than CBD oil made with coconut oil.
There are indications the CBD oil made with MCT oil like coconut oil has been exposed to oxygen and light. For example, a CBD tincture made of CBD extract and coconut oil may turn pink when exposed to oxygen and light. It is due to the fact that coconut oil contains an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase which is an antioxidant. In this case, the color change is not necessarily bad. It indicates the MCT oil is of high quality.
Detecting CBD Oil That Has Degraded
The challenge the researchers face is that heat, light, exposure to oxygen plus the CBD potency and the type of carrier oil used all impact the shelf life of CBD. For example, CBD content degraded most when stored at 71.6 degrees and exposed to light.
The more common indications a CBD oil has degraded include the following.
- Smells bad and not earthy or not like the flavor’s natural scent
- Oil has thickened and at room temperature does not return to its original viscosity
- Color has darkened which could be due to CBD and botanicals degrading or oils going through a chemical change
- Tastes rancid
Use Your CBD Oils and Tinctures
There is agreement that CBD oil should be stored in a cool, dark place and the bottle kept closed when not used. You can store it in a cabinet or pantry if the room temperature does not get too hot or too cold. Ideally, 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. You can also store the CBD oil or tincture in the refrigerator to control the temperature and exposure to light.
Though CBD oils and tinctures can last a year or longer, it is best to use them sooner rather than later. When CBD degrades, it loses some of its potency. You are not getting the full benefits of a newer product. Always purchase CBD oils and tinctures from companies that use tinted glass bottles.