When you hear “hemp oil”, you might not think of a culinary oil you can use in your kitchen. Hemp oil (or hemp seed oil) is a type of oil that is made from the cannabis plant, but you can use it in your kitchen for the whole family!
Hemp oil has a short shelf life, only lasting a few months after you open it (anywhere from 2-6, depending on the manufacturer). When sealed, hemp oil should last around 12-14 months, or by the printed best-by or use-by date.
We’ll cover all things related to the storage of hemp oil in this article!
What is hemp oil?
Hemp (seed) oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. It doesn’t contain THC (the psychoactive part of the hemp plant), and it’s different from CBD oil, which contains oil from the stalks, leaves, and stems of the hemp plant, not just the seeds.
Hemp oil can be used for low-heat cooking, such as preparing cold salads, using it as a dressing, or drizzling over roasted veggies. It isn’t suitable for high-heat cooking because it has a low smoke point.
What is the shelf life of hemp oil?
When stored properly, hemp oil should last for 12-14 months, or until the printed best-by or use-by date. Hemp oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are prone to going rancid more quickly than other types of fats in plant-based oils.
Because of its omega-3 content, hemp oil should ideally be refrigerated after you open it to help preserve its freshness and nutritional quality.
How long does hemp oil last after opening?
Hemp oil has a relatively short shelf life compared to other oils after opening. According to a manufacturer of hemp oil, unrefined hemp oil should be used within 3-6 months after opening. Another manufacturer of hemp products suggests using opened hemp products (like hemp oil) within 8-12 weeks of opening.
Hemp oil should be refrigerated after you open it to help it stay fresh. This is true for other hemp products, like hemp hearts, too!
|Sealed hemp oil||12-14 months, or use-by date||12-14 months, or use-by date||12-14 months, or use-by date|
|Open hemp oil||Not recommended to store it in the pantry after opening||3-4 months||6 months|
Can you use hemp oil after its expiration date?
Hemp oil has a shorter shelf life compared to other plant-based oils. You can likely use it a bit past its best-by or use-by date, but only if there aren’t any signs that it’s gone bad (rancid).
Because of its rich omega-3 content, the fatty acids in hemp oil are more likely to go rancid more quickly. That’s because omega-3 fatty acids are considered chemically unstable, so they’re prone to oxidation (when oxygen binds to the fatty acid).
How to tell if hemp oil went bad
Some signs that hemp oil has gone bad include:
- It has an unpleasant odor.
- It tastes rancid.
- Its appearance is thick and murky (not just slightly cloudy from being stored in the fridge).
What’s the danger in using hemp oil after it’s gone bad?
Hemp oil isn’t unlikely to cause any major issues if you consume it after it’s gone bad since it isn’t a typical host of harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.
You’d likely realize the hemp oil had gone bad before you ate too much of it (as we just mentioned, there will be some clear signs when hemp oil is spoiled).
Worst case scenario, if you did end up eating hemp oil after it had gone bad, the most likely scenario is that you’d get a bit of a sour or upset stomach. The likelihood that you’d get seriously sick from eating old hemp oil is pretty low.
(You should, of course, use your judgment and ask your healthcare provider if you suspect you’ve gotten food poisoning at any time, though!)
Best storage practices for hemp oil
- Once opened, you should store hemp oil in the refrigerator to help it maintain its quality and freshness.
- Some brands of hemp seed oil say that you can freeze it for long-term storage (six months after opening); however, you should check with the manufacturer because other companies might suggest not freezing hemp oil.
Due to the fragile nature of the omega-3 fatty acids in hemp seed oil, you should refrigerate it after opening. If you don’t refrigerate it, it could spoil more quickly and go to waste.
Hemp seed oil goes bad fairly quickly; around 3-6 months after it’s been opened. If it’s still sealed, hemp oil should last around 12-14 months, or until the printed best-by or use-by date on the bottle.