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When you start taking CBD, the initial learning curve can be quite steep because you want to ensure that you’re getting a good-quality product in order to experience the full benefits. And, when you start looking at the different options, you quickly realise that there are endless options to choose from such as CBD oils that are taking sublingually, CBD edibles and drinks, even suppositories…

The starting point for most people is a CBD oil, but narrowing your decision down to that still leaves you with hundreds of variations and brands to sift through.

When you’re making a decision, one of the factors to consider is the colour of the CBD. We’re going to break down why different oils have different colours, what colour oil you should keep an eye out for, and whether any change in colour is something to worry about.

What affects the colour?

1. CBD type

CBD Isolate

The purest form of CBD, which has had all other compounds stripped away, is known as CBD isolate. The powdery white substance, when dissolved in a clear carrier oil, will have little to no colour.

Full-Spectrum CBD

On the opposite end of the spectrum is full-spectrum CBD that contains the full range of cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes and more. This gives the extract a dark green or brown colour, so when it is added to a carrier oil, it will usually be mid-golden to dark brown in colour.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

The process that broad-spectrum CBD undergoes to remove all traces of THC from the extract may affect the colour, making it a light golden colour, rather than brown or dark green.

2. Carrier oil

CBD extract is added to a carrier oil, and this process can affect the colour of the final product. Many brands use MCT oil (usually made from coconut oil), while others may use olive oil or hemp seed oil. Each of the different oils has a different colour and therefore affects the colour of the end product.

3. Extraction method

There are a number of different extraction methods, the most common of which are CO2 extraction and ethanol extraction. The various processes can affect the colour as the amount of chlorophyll, which gives the oil a green tint, may or may not be filtered out.

4. Additional ingredients

Other ingredients may be added to the CBD oil, such as flavouring or other plant-based compounds that are added for their health-supporting properties, and this can change the colour of the oil completely.

Why is my CBD oil clear?

If you’re using a clear CBD oil, it’s likely that the CBD in the tincture is CBD isolate. Clear CBD oil, therefore, is likely to have been stripped of a number of different plant compounds leaving only CBD.

Clear CBD oil made from CBD isolate is not necessarily good or bad; it depends on why you’re using the supplement. If it’s because you want to experience the full range of benefits of a full or broad-spectrum CBD, then you might not be satisfied. But if you want to measure your CBD intake closely, enjoy a milder flavour product and ensure that your THC consumption is zero, then a clear oil made from CBD isolate may be ideal.

Why has my CBD turned pink?

If you woke up one morning and, instead of finding your CBD oil as it was when you left it, it’s now changed colour, you need to keep reading. There are many instances where a CBD oil turns pink overnight and now looking exactly like unicorn juice, but there’s no cause for concern.

Polyphenol Oxidase is the culprit. Polyphenol compounds are found in many different plants, including hemp. And when the compound is exposed to oxygen and light, it turns pink. In the same way that a slice of apple turns brown when exposed to air, the enzyme in CBD (polyphenol) reacts with oxygen and light, activating the process of oxidising the polyphenols within the CBD, leaving you with a magical pink-hued oil.

Rather than this being something to worry about, it’s important to understand that the reaction does not alter the CBD, nor does it affect the efficacy of the product. The nutritional and dietary value remains the same. Instead, it indicates that the carrier oil that has been used is of a very high quality.

My CBD oil is getting darker, is that normal?

Fear not, as with CBD oil turning pink, a darkening of your CBD oil does not mean that the oil quality has been compromised. The gradual darkening is an oxidative chemical reaction to heat and sun exposure over time and will not affect the efficacy of the oil.

Can you stop CBD oil from changing colour?

We’ve discussed above that the change in colour of your CBD oil is, in most cases, completely normal and won’t affect how the oil works. But, if you want to keep your CBD from changing, it can be stored in the fridge to slow down, or even stop, the oxidation process.

CBD oil colour differs from brand to brand, and there may even be colour changes between tinctures and oils from the same brand.

CBD oil comes in a range of different colours from a light golden hue to darker brown; and, in the case of an oil made from CBD isolate, it might even be completely transparent. There are a number of factors at play here, including the type of CBD used, the carrier oil that the CBD is suspended in, the extraction method and any additional ingredients that have been added to the oil.

This means that you can’t make decisions about the quality of the CBD oil from the colour alone. The one exception to this is if the oil is clear, it is likely that CBD isolate has been used, rather than full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. The result of this is that you won’t experience the synergistic “entourage effect” that you get from exposure to other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. For this reason, among others, it’s important to read the label carefully and review the third-party lab reports to ensure that you have all the information you need before making a purchasing decision.

Keep in mind that the colour of CBD can vary between batches and ranges from the same brand and is not an immediate cause from concern. It’s also completely normal for your CBD to get darker or turn pink over time. However, if you notice a big change, or if your oil goes from transparent to dark brown overnight, reach out to your supplier to find out if you can continue using the product.