What Does CBD Oil Taste Like? Natural, Flavoring, and Ingredients
Isn’t it funny how most things that are good for you tend to not taste so great? Almost nobody craves a green smoothie (kudos to those of you who do!) for dessert, and salads without any dressing are almost impossible to eat.
In terms of flavor, it actually is probably the least desirable flavor of almost anything you’d ever consume in its concentrated form full spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil form because of its bitter taste.
If you don’t like the taste of full or broad-spectrum CBD oil, there are things you can do to make it a more enjoyable experience for you. Some brands may even incorporate flavors or use carrier oils designed to neutralize CBD oil’s natural flavor. CBD Isolate, on the other hand, is actually a white powder that has no flavor at all and can be consumed directly without any unpleasant experience if you wanted to. We’ll dive into the details more below.
What Does Hemp Extract Taste Like On Its Own?
CBD oil is made from the hemp plant, and therefore, it tastes like hemp. Most people will bluntly describe hemp as having a bitter “dirt” taste. Hemp doesn’t directly compare to the flavor of anything. Just know that you don’t want to have it in its pure extract form by itself.
If you’re the kind of person who loves green foods (not mixed with other sweet fruits or added sugars), you probably won’t have a hard time appreciating hemp’s natural flavor when diluted into an MCT Oil or Hemp Seed Oil tincture. The two are very comparable.
The type of people who struggle to eat their vegetables and prefer their salads with a little extra dressing are usually the same kinds of people who can’t find room on their taste buds for plain hemp. If this is you and you’re looking to make something tasty or just want to take CBD straight with nothing else then you may consider using CBD Isolate in its pure powder form. It has no taste and can be added to anything without really altering the flavor. The good news is that full and broad-spectrum CBD oils can be mixed with other clean label flavors to taste good and can be mixed with things like peanut butter for an even better experience.
What Do Carrier Oils Taste Like?
CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant in a highly concentrated form. For full or broad spectrum oils, which are viscous oils that actually solidify at room temperature, companies are essentially always diluting it into other ingredients/products such as tinctures (MCT Oils, hemp seed oils, etc.), peanut butter, gummies, among others. CBD Isolate, on the other hand, is sometimes even sold as a pure powder without any other ingredients.
These carrier oils contribute to the flavor of CBD oil tinctures or change the way the hemp extract tastes. There are multiple variables at play here, with some carrier oils being more neutral than others, and as a result, the lower the potency, the more diluted the hemp taste will be. Then you have other carrier oils like hemp seed oil or olive oil that have their own flavors and, depending on whether you like those flavors or not, can impact whether or not you enjoy the tincture. All that said, given MCT Oil’s neutral flavor profile, it is typically the best base carrier oil for flavored CBD oil tinctures.
Some CBD companies (like Leafwell Botanicals!) use MCT oil as a carrier for CBD products. Although MCT oil is usually derived from coconuts, it doesn’t have a coconut flavor. MCT oil is odorless and tasteless. It heavily dilutes the natural flavor of the hemp, preventing it from overwhelming your palate and gives us a neutral base to work from when adding our pure, natural, and organic flavors. Not to mention, it’s the best option for absorption.
Do All CBD Oils Taste The Same?
CBD oil comes in many different forms such as full & broad-spectrum and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains the cannabinoids, terpenes of the whole plant, while broad-spectrum removes the THC down to a non-detectable level. CBD Isolate is the result of removing everything except for the CBD. Full and Broad spectrum both have extremely bitter tastes which is from the plant material and some of the terpenes while CBD Isolate tastes like literally nothing and can be added to anything and it won’t impact the flavor. This is because all terpenes and plant material have been removed which are what typically drive the bitter taste..
How Do Added Flavors Change the Taste?
CBD manufacturers want people to continue to experience the benefits of their products, and making them taste great is a great way to keep people on track with daily use. If you hate the taste and dread the thought of taking your CBD oil every day, you are much more likely to subconsciously forget to take it. If it’s enjoyable (or if you’re indifferent to it), it’s easier to remember to use your daily drops because there are only good things to look forward to.
Simply put, artificial flavors are in many cases going to taste great but they aren’t good for you because they’re made using chemicals to try and achieve certain flavors, which means you have literally no idea what is making up the flavor. We believe that using artificial additives in natural products often defeats the purpose of natural wellness, but many companies sneak them in there. The two main reasons companies use artificial flavors are to cut corners and save money or to appease palates that have become accustomed to the strong artificial flavors over the past many years. Truly clean label natural flavors are in some cases several times more expensive when compared to artificial flavors.
Figuring out if a product uses artificial flavors is simple… Just look at their ingredients list, and you’ll quickly know whether they use them or not. Usually, if a flavor sounds too good to be true, it is. They may taste good, but these artificial flavorings (and oftentimes, added sugar) aren’t doing anything good for your body and could potentially be harmful (impossible to say since ultimately you don’t know what they are).
“Natural flavors” is a term that sounds like a way better option, but unfortunately, it’s not as good as it sounds either. If you see “natural flavors” on a strawberry-flavored product, the natural (no pun intended) thing to do is assume that the flavor is derived from strawberries. Unfortunately, that assumption would be incorrect. Any actual clean label ingredient will always directly list their ingredients on their label (aka strawberries, strawberry puree, strawberry juice, etc. instead of strawberry natural flavors) because they have nothing to hide so just know any time you see natural flavors on a label it’s because the company is trying to save money and taking shortcuts.
Ultimately the only thing required for something to be able to be labeled as a natural flavor is that it is derived naturally and not synthetically (as you’ll see natural doesn’t always mean savory or good..) and that it is safe to be consumed which can sometimes have a % threshold.
As an extreme example, for many years, one of the ingredients used in natural strawberry and vanilla flavorings was a substance called castoreum. Castoreum is produced exclusively in special glands located above a beaver’s anus. Although the majority of manufacturers have stopped using castoreum because now that beaver pelts and the like are not hunted as often so it’s expensive, the FDA still regards it as a safe, natural flavor. Another thing to keep in mind is that natural flavors are allowed by the FDA to have up to 80-90% of the formula be solvents, preservatives, and other additives that allow the flavor to hold… Believe it or not, even synthetic ingredients can be a part of this, such as propylene glycol, BHA, among many others, which are very commonly found in flavors.
These are all things you’ll want to keep in mind the next time you see that vagueness on a label. It’s probably not secretions from a beaver’s behind, but it is potentially even worse. It could be anything natural for the actual flavor component, but the additives that bind the flavors do not need to be natural. AKA if you’re trying to eat clean or take clean supplements, we strongly recommend avoiding natural flavors altogether.
Natural Ingredients That Change the Flavor
Now for the real stuff that you want to see on your product labels. Names will vary, and how it’s worded is going to depend sometimes on the state of the ingredient/flavor. As an example in our oil based tinctures some of the flavors we use are Peppermint, orange, and lemon, lime, & turmeric which are all pure, natural ingredients. We purposely choose pure ingredients with strong flavors because we want to make products that not only support a healthy lifestyle! Just so you have an example for how these ingredients are labeled they are organic food grade peppermint oil, organic food grade lemon oil, organic food grade lime oil, organic turmeric oil, and organic orange oil.
Natural ingredients can be used to flavor CBD oils. You’ll know exactly what they are and where they came from. If you prefer a flavored CBD, always check the label and look at the ingredients to make sure there are no “natural” flavors. They may be a little more expensive but if you care about what’s going into your body, it’s going to be worth it.”
Disguising the Taste of CBD
If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil and natural ingredients don’t do enough to disguise its flavor for you, you don’t have to give up on CBD’s wellness benefits. Just take CBD oil in another form that tastes better, such as peanut butter for a delicious experience and/ or capsules that don’t have any flavor. We’ll elaborate some more below.
Taking Softgel Capsules
If you take your CBD in a softgel capsule, you’ll never really taste it because all of the contents are encapsulated. The capsule holds the oil inside, and the oil doesn’t leave the capsule until your stomach begins to break it down. CBD soft gel capsules have a long way to go before they reach your bloodstream, so you won’t experience the benefits anywhere from 30 minutes to up to two hours after you take your capsule. If you don’t mind waiting, soft gels are the perfect solution for you. Given that it’s digested, it may not provide benefits quickly, but it lasts much longer.
Using CBD in Food
Functional foods and beverages made into supplements by enhancing them with CBD oil are one of the most popular ways to hide the taste of CBD oil. However, novelties like CBD gummies jam-packed with 90% sugar are still unhealthy for you, and just because there’s CBD oil involved doesn’t negate that. That said there are clean label, healthy ways to make CBD gummies an excellent option for consuming CBD!
Foods like CBD-infused beverages and CBD infused nut butters can play a role in a nutritious and balanced diet. Always opt for healthy snacks when you can, though we don’t blame you if CBD-infused milk chocolate makes its way into your pantry once in a while. If you want a healthier chocolate option considering dark chocolate may be an excellent alternative and just as delicious!
Avoiding the Flavor of Tinctures
If you want your CBD to begin to work quickly, but also have longer lasting effects one of the best ways is through a CBD oil tincture. This is because if you put the CBD oil underneath your tongue and then swallow, you can get a blind of faster-acting benefits and then longer benefits from the amount that is digested. One of the with this arrangement is that your tongue does all the tasting! So how do you get something under your tongue without tasting it?
Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth, right up behind your two front teeth. Hold it there, and lower your jaw as far as you can. This maximizes the space between the surface of your tongue and the tissue underneath your tongue.
Use your tincture dropper to apply the drops directly to the soft tissue, preventing contact with your taste buds. Hold the tincture in place for about thirty seconds, gently tilt your head back, and swallow. Chase your CBD with a few sips of a strongly flavored beverage, like black coffee or a fruit and protein smoothie, if you’re really against the flavor of the CBD oil tincture. If you don’t mind it but want to minimize any residual taste, then you can chase the CBD oil with water immediately after.
This method is less than perfect if you really don’t enjoy the taste, but it works to minimize contact between your tongue and your CBD. You might still taste it, but you’ll only taste it for a few seconds with the back of your tongue when you swallow the oil. It’s a lot better than allowing your tongue to marinate in a flavor you don’t like.
The fact of the matter is that the taste of raw, unflavored hemp isn’t really that bad and if you spice it up with some of the actually pure, organic, and natural flavors, you can actually have an enjoyable experience you don’t need to feel guilty about. It may be an acquired taste for some people, but everyone’s taste buds are different. Some people may never grow to like the natural flavors and aromas of hemp, but that doesn’t mean they need to miss out on its benefits.
Leafwell Botanicals uses clean label, natural ingredients to flavor our CBD oil tinctures. Our peppermint and citrus-flavored tinctures are formulated with actual peppermint and actual citrus, not their artificial counterparts or combinations of other natural ingredients mixed with chemicals that happen to taste like the real thing. We also have a lemon, lime, turmeric flavor made with all pure ingredients that people love!
We believe in using better ingredients. All of our products are formulated in-house by our dedicated experts who help us to create perfect CBD products. Our CBD oil tastes good and is formulated in a way you don’t need to feel guilty about after.