CBD Oil is available in different strengths & from many brands. But, what color should CBD Oil be? Should it be clear, golden, or darker brown? I set out on a mission to get to the bottom of this & to see what color we should be looking for, here’s what I’ve found.
CBD Oil can vary in color. Depending on various factors such as the extraction method, any additional ingredients, & lastly the “spectrum” (Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate). Full Spectrum oil should resemble a darker gold & sometimes brown color. Broad Spectrum Oil usually has a light golden color to it. Lastly, CBD Isolate should be virtually clear as it is the most refined.
How CBD Oil is Made
To understand what color CBD Oil should be let’s learn how it’s made! CBD is extracted from the Hemp plant. In order to process the extract to be used in the final product, an extraction must occur to pull the CBD & other cannabinoids from the plant. In this process, a solvent / chemical is used which causes the CBD to be extracted from the Hemp.
The plants are soaked in the solvent which creates a cannabinoid-rich extract. But, the solvent must still be removed. So, next the extract is filtered to get rid of the solvent, leaving a CBD-rich oil that is solvent-free! After this process, the oil is further filtered, heated, & processed to ensure the cleanest CBD extract possible.
Raw CBD Oil, straight from the plant is dark brown in color & very thick. It’s almost a paste in it’s raw form, which proves hard to work with & absorb. Which is why the raw extract is later blended with a carrier oil such as MCT or Hemp Seed Oil to thin it out & help with absorption!
There are a number of solvents that can help to extract CBD from Hemp. Although, the most widely recognized methods seek to provide effective extraction while not being harmful to the cannabinoids or to the consumer.
Different Extraction Methods
The most widely recognized & accepted as “safe” extraction methods involve one of two solvents. One is C02 extraction, which includes utilizing Carbon Dioxide to safely & cleanly extract the CBD from the plant. This method is known to be a great choice to ensure a solventless end product that is safe to consume & cannabinoid-rich. It is a method that is used to extract many different substances from plants & is our top choice.
Ethanol extraction is another very common & widely accepted solvent to use. Ethanol is a very potent alcohol that helps to separate the Cannabinoids from the plant material! The important caveat is to ensure that human AKA food-grade Ethanol is used. This ensures that the Ethanol is safe for human consumption, even though in the end product there will be minimal to none of it left.
Both of these methods are generally accepted to be the best choices. C02 extraction is more expensive than Ethanol extraction which is why many companies opt for the latter. Although the debate between using these two solvents exists, they are two of the best choices for extraction.
How Does Extraction Affect Color?
So, you might be wondering what all of this “extraction” talk have to do with the color of your CBD Oil? Well, it has a lot to do with it! In fact, it’s one of the biggest factors as to the color of your oil.
C02 extraction tends to produce a clearer, golden, & refined extract. These kinds of oils are easier to take, as they don’t retain as much of the original plant matter. This makes for a more “pleasant” experience with a less botanical, earthy taste. This can be beneficial for those who find the flavor & aroma of CBD oil to be off-putting.
Ethanol extraction usually results in a darker-colored, brown extract. This is because it preserves more of the plant material! It doesn’t filter out as much of the chlorophyll, waxes, & color of the raw extract. These kinds of oils produce a more raw, botanical flavor & texture. They are best for those who want a more raw, natural extract. It’s not recommended for those who dislike earthy tastes & textures. But, they certainly provide a more “in tune with nature” experience.
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or CBD Isolate?
Another factor in the color of your CBD Oil is the CBD “Spectrum.” This refers to the cannabinoids that are present in the oil. Cannabinoids refer to the various different parts of Cannabis (CBD, THC, CBN, CBG..).
Full Spectrum – These CBD products contain all of the cannabinoids that are naturally present in Hemp. This includes, but isn’t limited to, THC. Products that fall under this category have the most preserved cannabinoid profile of all three choices. More cannabinoids means less refinement/processing. All of that results in a darker gold & sometimes brown color. This is simply because there is less filtration that occured in the making of these products.
Broad Spectrum – This refers to CBD oil that contains most but not all cannabinoids. Usually, these kinds of products go through an additional step of processing where the THC is completely removed. This is a good choice for those who get drug tested, as it virtually eliminates the chance of you having THC in your system! Because of the additional processing, broad-spectrum CBD oil usually has a more golden/clear color. Once again, this is due to the additional refinement that this oil goes through before being bottled.
CBD Isolate – Serving as the most refined version of CBD, isolate products just that. They only contain CBD, without any of the remaining 100+ cannabinoids from the Hemp plant. This makes for the safest option for those concerned about drug testing. As sometimes the various other cannabinoids can trigger a false positive drug test result. These products are clear or light gold in color, as they have gone through the most refinement of all. Since most everything has been stripped away, the oil will be nearly tasteless & should be very easy to take.
The last factor to consider when looking at what color CBD Oil should be is the presence of any additional ingredients. Sometimes, to add to the healthy nature of CBD, companies can include additional ingredients aimed at promoting wellness. We’ve seen a number of companies infusing different ingredients.
Some examples include things like Melatonin, Hemp Seed Oil, Frankinscence & more! These added ingredients can sometimes alter the color of the CBD extract. As many times they have their own distinct color/hue which throws off the original color of the CBD oil. Bluebird Botanicals, one of our partners, has infused Frankinscence into their “Signature” line of oil tinctures.
Frankinscence has many incredible health benefits. But, it also has a dark color by nature. Which results in the CBD extract having a very dark, almost black color to it. Which makes it stand out from many of the other CBD oils. This oil looks very unlike any other that we have seen & it is simply because of the addition of Frankinscence which has it’s own distinct color.
CBD Oil varies in color & many different factors come into play. But, hopefully after reading this article you have a good grasp on what color your CBD oil should be. Based on the factors we explained, you should be able to tell if your oil’s label is telling the truth about what kind of extract it is.
So, take a look at different CBD oils that are made in different ways & you may realize some better or worse effects. Experiment & keep an open mind. Have a great day!