What Does CBD Taste Like?
It’s a brand-new year—a fresh start. If you haven’t tried CBD yet, it’s time to add it to your daily health regimen to fuel your body and mind for whatever life throws at you in 2022. Bring it on! Cannabidiol can alleviate anxiety, muscle and joint pain, digestive disorders, sleep deprivation, and mood swings to help you feel incredible all year long. What are you waiting for?
Those new to CBD might be wondering, “What does CBD taste like?”
It depends. Many people think CBD oil tastes “earthy” and “grassy,” like weed, but that’s not always the cannabis case. Multiple factors can significantly influence the flavor profile of cannabidiol supplements, including the extraction method, terpenes, and carrier oils.
Let’s break it down...
Common Methods to Extract CBD
By now, most people have heard about the healthful benefits of taking CBD supplements. However, few are familiar with the processes involved to create them. So, what are the most common extraction methods for CBD and how do they differ?
Solvent extraction involves the use of ethanol, propane, butane, isopropyl, or alcohol to extract the CBD from the hemp plant. It’s one of the fastest and least expensive methods, but also one of the most dangerous due to the highly flammable liquids involved.
How does solvent extraction work?
Hemp flowers and plant parts are washed or soaked in solvent, which strips them of their chlorophyll and cannabinoids. Once the solvent evaporates, the resulting liquid consists of concentrated cannabinoids, terpenes, and residual chlorophyll in oil form. The hemp oil is then distilled to eliminate any remaining (toxic) solvent, resulting in the desired CBD oil.
Carbon dioxide extraction is a more advanced and preferred method for extracting CBD. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive due to the complexity of the process. In this method, CO2 is pressurized to pull the healthful cannabinoids and other compounds such as terpenes from the hemp plant.
First, carbon dioxide, a gas, is converted to a liquid thru increased pressure and decreased temperature. Next, the temperature and pressure are slowly increased until the CO2 is between a liquid and gas state, known as the “supercritical” point. This supercritical CO2 then passes through the hemp plant, which separates the oil (rich in healthful compounds and cannabinoids) from the rest of the plant. In the final stage, the carbon dioxide evaporates from the hemp oil, leaving a highly concentrated CBD oil extract.
When done correctly, the resulting hemp oil is chlorophyll-free and contains a purer, higher quantity of beneficial cannabis compounds than the other methods.
Olive oil extraction is the oldest method of extracting CBD. It’s safe, inexpensive, and much easier to do than the other methods.
First, hemp plant parts are decarboxylated (heated) to activate chemicals in the plant. The decarboxylated hemp material is then combined with olive oil and reheated, which releases the rich cannabinoids and compounds. Unlike the other methods, the olive oil doesn’t evaporate, resulting in a less-concentrated CBD oil that’s highly perishable—more like a CBD-infused olive oil than CBD oil.
How Do Different Extraction Methods Affect the Flavor of CBD?
Now that you know the most common methods of CBD extraction, it’s easier to understand how these different processes alter the flavor of hemp oil...
- Solvent Extraction: Results in CBD oil with residual chlorophyll = slightly bitter.
- CO2 Extraction: Results in CBD oil with enhanced purity = better flavor.
- Olive Oil Extraction: Results in more of a CBD-infused olive oil = olive oil flavor.
In addition to the extraction methods above, terpenes and carrier oils also influence the flavor of CBD oil.
What Are Terpenes and How Do They Affect How Cannabidiol Tastes?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, with especially high concentrations in cannabis. Scientists have identified at least 200 terpenes in hemp, giving it a variety of distinctive aromas, flavors, and medicinal properties.
Each terpene has a unique flavor profile and aroma, which distinguishes the healthful effects of differing cannabis strains. When combined with CBD oil, flavorful terpenes deliver the following health benefits:
- Myrcene terpene: tastes herbal and promotes calm.
- Pinene terpene: tastes piney and promotes calm.
- Caryophyllene terpene: tastes peppery and relieves pain.
- Limonene terpene: tastes citrusy and boosts energy.
- Terpinolene terpene: tastes fruity and boosts energy.
How Do Carrier Oils Influence the Taste of CBD?
Carrier oils are often added to CBD oil because they improve its bioavailability, which means they help your body absorb the oil. CBD is fat-soluble, so it dissolves in oil, not water. Even a small amount of carrier oil aids with the absorption and digestion of CBD oil.
Carrier oils also help mask the grassy, earthy flavor of full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils.
Like terpenes, these carrier oils have distinctive flavors that influence the taste of the CBD oil. Some of the most common carrier oils are:
- MTC oil (from coconuts): Subtle, tropical taste.
- Hemp seed oil: Nutty taste.
- Olive oil: Olive oil taste.
- Avocado oil: Avocado taste.
Now, it’s time to decide...
Which CBD Products Have the Right Flavor for You?
Whether you choose CBD supplements with no flavor, some flavor, or full flavor, it’s all good...
- For no CBD taste: Choose easy-to-swallow pills and capsules. There’s no chewing, so there’s no flavor lingering in your mouth.
- For lightly masked CBD taste: Choose tinctures, which taste less weedy due to enhanced flavor from added carrier oils.
- For fruity CBD taste: Choose edibles, which combine herbal flavor with fruit and sugar.
- For full CBD taste: Choose pure vapes and tinctures, which have low or no added flavors.