CBD Oil Color
How CBD Oil’s Color, Clarity and Extraction Affect your Experience
Here’s The Deal:
CBD oil has exploded in popularity in recent years. Consumers are digging for more information about cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, as more research and media stories come out to the public. What is it? How do I shop for it? How do I know if I’m purchasing high-quality products?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 112+ known cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical components that are found in the cannabis and hemp plants. THC is another popular cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects. It’s the cannabinoid that gets you high. CBD is known for its therapeutic benefits and is non-psychoactive, so you won’t get high from consuming it alone. CBD is popular among those seeking relief from anxiety, pain, inflammation, sleep-deprivation, spasms or other conditions. First, CBD must be extracted from the plant before it’s infused into products like gummies, oil, salves, lotion, pet treats, and vape oil. CBD products are hitting the market with force. One of the most popular products is CBD oil, also known as CBD tincture. These oils are taken orally by placing the product beneath your tongue, holding for a few seconds, and then swallowing.
Oils mentioned in this video: Endoca (Raw/Dark Oil), BlueBird (Decarboxylated/lighter) and Medterra (Isolate/clear)
The color of CBD oil can offer some clues about the quality and makeup of the product. In order understand more about this, it helps to understand how CBD oil is made.
Further Reading: CBD Tincture Review
How CBD Oil is Made
Most CBD products available for purchase in the United States are sourced from industrial hemp that’s grown either domestically or abroad. CBD products containing less than .03% THC, sourced from the seeds or stalks of industrial hemp, are federally legal and may be sold in any state, regardless of its marijuana laws.
Why Do Growing Conditions Matter?
Hemp is a known soil remediator. This means that hemp will suck up toxins in the soil that it’s grown in and will clean these toxins out. Hemp is great at doing this job, so it’s worth noting where the hemp is sourced from in any hemp-based CBD product that you purchase. Clean soil and growing conditions make for a better end product.
Extraction Methods Matter Because…
There are two main ways that CBD can be extracted. The first is by using a solvent and the second is by using temperature and pressure. Solvent-based extraction methods involve passing a solvent through the product and then burning off the solvent, so that only the desired chemical compound, like CBD, remains. There are a number of different solvents that can be used, but ethanol and butane are the most common. Solvent-based extraction methods are used frequently with the cannabis plant because the solvents work well with the cannabis flower.
Because CBD oil is often made from industrial hemp, in which case CBD must come from the seeds and stalks of the plant, CO2 extraction methods are most often used. CO2 extraction methods use a combination of temperature and pressure to extract the CBD from the plant material. In the CBD industry, CO2 extraction methods are often considered the gold standard because they don’t involve the use of chemical solvents and do a better job of preserving CBD and other beneficial chemical compounds.
CO2 extraction methods are even further classified into two — supercritical and subcritical extraction. Subcritical CO2 extractions use low temperature and low pressure and take more time. They produce smaller returns but can retain terpenes and oils, creating a full-spectrum CBD product in the end. Supercritical CO2 extractions use high temperature and high pressure. This process may damage terpenes and other chemicals, but it will extract larger molecules like omegas, creating a different, but still potentially potent product. Full-spectrum products take the “entourage effect” into consideration. The entourage effect states that the plant chemicals work better together than they do alone. To put it simply, a CBD oil that has terpenes and other cannabinoids mixed in will have a greater impact on the body than a CBD oil with only CBD in it.
CBD Oil Color
Once the CBD has been extracted, it can undergo a filtering process that determines the color of the oil. There are generally three different categories that CBD oils fall into:
Raw CBD oil is exactly what it sounds like: "raw." Once extracted from the hemp plant, this type of oil undergoes no further processing or filtration, resulting in a green, viscous oil packed with plant compounds and cannabinoids like CBDA and THCA.
These compounds work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid, a phenomenon referred to as the "entourage effect."
Raw CBD has proven beneficial for those with mild anxiety or insomnia, and it’s usually the product of choice for those looking to benefit from the entire hemp plant and not necessarily just cannabidiol.CLICK HERE: See Our Favorite Raw CBD Oil
Decarboxylated CBD is slightly heated after extraction to convert CBDA into CBD but still retain a high level of phytonutrients, as indicated by the greenish brown color.
By consequence, decarboxylated oils have a higher concentration of CBD and generally take effect more quickly than raw oils as they’re easier for your body to process.
This makes decarboxylated oils a great choice for those with more severe cases of anxiety, arthritis, migraines, and insomnia.CLICK HERE: See Our Favorite Decarboxylated CBD Oil
FILTERED OR DISTILLED
Filtered or distilled CBD oils are created by further refining decarboxylated oils to strip everything from the cannabinoids within, including chlorophyll and lipids.
The resulting product is a mild-flavored, light gold liquid with a higher concentration of CBD and lower concentration of terpenes and other cannabinoids.
This makes filtered and distilled CBD oils extremely versatile and easy to consume sublingually or in your favorite beverage.CLICK HERE: See Our Favorite Filtered CBD Oil
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, produced by removing all other plant compounds found in hemp including terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, and other cannabinoids.
The highly refined CBD is then combined with a base like coconut or MCT oil for a final product that’s usually flavorless, nearly transparent, and extremely fluid.
While products that combine different cannabinoids may provide a greater entourage effect, CBD isolate is extremely potent in CBD and contains zero THC, making it great for those looking to avoid THC while still gaining the health benefits of CBD.CLICK HERE: See Our Favorite CBD Isolate Oil
FULL, COMPLETE, OR BROAD SPECTRUM
Typically dark or light gold in color, these oils contain a wide range of compounds found naturally occurring in the plant, including terpenes, cannabinoids, and essential oils.
These extracts may also undergo additional processes like nanoemulsion encapsulation, which gives the product higher bioavailability to help CBD and other compounds enter the bloodstream with greater ease.
While there’s a lot of discrepancy between products labeled full, complete, and broad spectrum due to lack of industry standards, most companies provide third-party lab results on their website so you know exactly what’s in your CBD.CLICK HERE: See Our Favorite Full Spectrum CBD Oil
The darker or more opaque a CBD oil is the less amount of processing it’s had. Clear, gold CBD oil is considered the highest quality, but it doesn’t mean that the other forms are not valuable. It is important to remember that color can often be indicative of the manufacturing process and thus the quality of the oil, but it’s not the only consideration.
There is a new type of CBD product that is becoming popular — the CBD vape additive. This product can act as both a tincture and an inhalable when used in a vaporizer. Vape additives (often marketed as dual-purpose sublingual) are commonly mixed with vegetable glycerin. Vegetable glycerin is an odorless, clear or murky-white liquid, made from plant oils. It’s thick and when mixed with CBD oil, turns the final product darker than the original extraction process would allude to. So, you may have purchased a filtered CBD oil product so it should be clear gold, right? If it’s mixed with vegetable glycerin, it may appear opaque or darker than a pure, filtered oil.
Color can tell us a lot about CBD oil. Is it opaque or clear? If it’s opaque, is it mixed with vegetable glycerin? If it’s clear, has it been decarboxylated and filtered? Is it dark brown or green or is it lighter and gold in color? These are the types of questions that you can ask yourself when shopping for CBD oil. Color is a great way to compare what the label says to the product itself and to learn more about how the manufacturers process the product you are consuming.
CBD companies are fairly new to the market, so it’s important to understand what you’re shopping for and how to shop for it. The best CBD companies independently lab test their products for purity and potency and make these results easily available to the consumer. Just because a product is light gold in color (implying that it’s high quality), doesn’t always mean that it contains the amount of CBD that the label states. The manufacturing process is intricate and potency and quality can be lost if manufacturers aren’t careful. You can make reasonable inferences about CBD oil based on color, but you can always reach out to the manufacturers directly to make sure you understand what you’re purchasing.
Further Reading: The Top 10 Cannabinoids and How They Help You