We can all remember having to gulp down spoonfuls of cough medicine as a kid.
The number one thing that’s imprinted in my memory is the taste.
Sometimes it was a battle forcing the medicine down, while other times it was almost pleasant.
As a result of these childhood experiences, whenever I’m considering a new medicine or supplement, I want to know what it tastes like.
I’m definitely not alone in this. As CBD oil and hemp oil become more popular, more people are wanting to know how it tastes.
The cannabis plant is famous for its distinctive, pungent, earthy smell.
But what happens when you process the plant, turn it into CBD oil, and take it as a medicine?
What does CBD oil taste like?
That’s what we’ll be exploring in this short article. We’ll be looking at the different types of CBD and the effects of processing on taste. We’ll also explain how the different organic compounds in cannabis, such as terpenes and flavonoids, influence the flavour profile.
What CBD oil tastes like: The different types of CBD
The taste of CBD oil depends on the type of CBD oil you’re using.
Let’s take the example of the common supplement vitamin C.
You can buy the most basic form of vitamin C, which is water-soluble ascorbic acid. This tastes quite bitter and unpleasant.
But you can also buy vitamin C powder that contains bioflavonoids, flavouring and sweeteners, such as sucrose and glucose, which tends to taste much better.
Then you’ve got the chewable vitamin C tablets for kids, which pretty much taste like candy.
CBD oil is similar. The flavour is different depending on how it’s processed and what’s added to it.
The three main types of CBD oil are known as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD flavour
Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the naturally-occurring compounds in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and essential fatty acids.
It’s the most complete form of CBD oil you can get, often referred to as whole-plant CBD.
As a result, full-spectrum CBD oil tastes quite earthy and pungent. If you’re familiar with the aroma of cannabis, you can probably imagine how whole-plant CBD might taste.
Many people actually enjoy this flavour. It can take some getting used to, but it’s usually diluted by the carrier oil and other ingredients, which we’ll cover below.
Broad-spectrum CBD flavour
Broad-spectrum CBD contains all of the beneficial compounds in the cannabis plant, except for THC.
Therefore, it tastes much the same as full-spectrum CBD.
CBD isolate flavour
CBD isolate is pure CBD with none of the other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant.
It usually comes in a powder form and, on its own, has no distinctive flavour at all.
Learn more about the different types of CBD in our article Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD
Terpenes and bioflavonoids
With full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products, the flavour is also influenced by terpenes and flavonoids.
Terpenes are the organic compounds responsible for the way plants smell. But we all know how much our sense of smell is connected to our sense of taste.
Cannabis contains a variety of different terpenes. Some of the most common are linalool, pinene, and myrcene, which are responsible for the aroma of citrus, pine trees, and hops respectively.
Flavonoids, which have many health benefits of their own, also contribute to the flavour profile of cannabis.
Every strain of cannabis will have different combinations of terpenes and flavonoids, which will create distinct aromas and flavours.
The carrier oil for the CBD is another significant factor.
Not only will the carrier oil dilute the earthy flavour of the cannabis extract, but it will also have a unique flavour of its own.
MCT oil, usually derived from coconut oil, is the most common carrier oil for CBD.
Other carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil and, on rare occasions, avocado oil.
So if you’re worried about the natural taste of raw CBD, you’ll be pleased to know that the carrier oil helps take the edge off it.
Many CBD oil products have added flavouring, which make the earthy taste of cannabis much more palatable.
CBD oil can come in almost any flavour under the sun. From the simple vanilla, citrus or strawberry, to cookies and cream, chocolate and mint and lemongrass and ginger.
You can also find CBD oil infused with native New Zealand plant extracts, such as kawakawa, totarol, horopito and kanuka oil, which not only produce unique flavour but also have additional health benefits.
Flavouring helps to mask the organic CBD oil taste, making the experience much more palatable and enjoyable.
Flavouring from natural plant extract may also enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD.
CBD to suit your tastebuds
As we’ve learned, “What does CBD oil taste like?” is a complex question.
The taste of CBD can change drastically from when it’s first extracted from the cannabis plant to when it’s made into a prescription medicine.
With all of the research and innovation happening in the medicinal cannabis space, there’s been quite a bit of progress on making CBD oil taste good.
We recommend looking for flavourings that are natural and have additional therapeutic benefits that compliment the effects of CBD.
The main thing to take away from this article is that CBD oil doesn’t have to taste like grass.
Today, CBD oil comes in pretty much any flavour you can imagine.