Does the Color of CBD Oil Matter? – How Should CBD Oil Look

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Clear, golden, brown, even black – when it comes to high-quality CBD oil, few colors options are off the table. But there are some details to be wary of.

The color of CBD oil can provide some insight into how the oil was made, what it contains, and how long it’s been around. Changes in color usually indicate that the oil is beginning to break down or change, which may make it weaker and less effective. 

No two types of CBD oil are exactly the same, so it’s important to remember that some level of variability is fine – to be expected, in fact. But what’s not normal or dismissable are changes in color or other unusual details related to appearance, particularly if they appear suddenly or after an extended period of time. 

Understanding what’s normal and what’s not can help you avoid using products that are past their peak, potentially irritating, or just a plain waste of money.

What Color Should a Good CBD Oil Be?

A high-quality CBD oil’s color depends on a lot of factors, but it should usually be some variation of clear, light to golden brown, or dark brown. It’s also possible for CBD oil to have a green tint to it due to the natural colors of hemp and its byproducts.

The various color options for CBD oil tend to reflect its contents; a CBD isolate product, for instance, is more likely to be clear or light in color due to its lack of additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and other ingredients. 

If your CBD oil looks cloudy or foggy, is a strange color, or changes color quickly after opening it, it’s probably a good idea to try out another product.

How Should CBD Oil Look?

Depending on the type of CBD oil you’re working with, you can expect it to be somewhat thick in its consistency, free of particles or clouds, and take on a rich color.

Many of these characteristics can change depending on the type of oil that your CBD and other cannabinoids have been incorporated into. 

The amount of time you’ve had the oil can also change its appearance; this phenomenon may indicate that your oil is beginning to break down and lose its potency.

Why Is CBD Oil Different Colors?

The main reasons CBD oil tends to take on different colors are different methods of extraction and different carrier oils. Each of these factors can influence the way the CBD itself in a product looks, but also the appearance of ingredients outside of CBD.

Method of extraction matters because it may impact how many cannabinoids, terpenes, and other parts of the hemp plant are removed alongside CBD. 

Something like CO2 extraction, for instance, which very effectively and efficiently gathers both CBD and other cannabinoids may produce a more colorful oil to work with than other options.

Also significant, of course, is the look of the base or carrier oil that CBD extract is added to. Something like MCT oil may be lighter and thinner than other options, like hemp seed or olive oil.

The presence of any other ingredients (essential oils, other extracts, etc.) may also influence color, though the addition of these sorts of things is less likely to cause significant changes.

Womens hand holding an eyedropper full of CBD oil with one drop falling from the tip.

Why Did My CBD Oil Change Colors?

If your CBD oil has suddenly changed colors or is beginning to develop a different hue, it’s likely because your product is starting to go bad. 

CBD oil, just like anything else that we consume, is subject to changes that, over time, can influence the way it looks, feels, and smells. 

This process can happen more quickly than usual if you’ve stored your oil in a place that leaves it exposed to air, significant temperature changes, or other environmental challenges. 

Even if your CBD oil isn’t technically bad in the sense that it still functions, changes in color should be taken seriously. Oil that’s changed in color may make you feel uncomfortable or sick even if it technically works.

Why Is My CBD Oil Turning Brown?

CBD oil tends to turn brown over time due to oxidation (exposure to and the resulting changes from oxygen).

Oxidation is a natural and somewhat inevitable process that can cause the plant matter inside of your CBD oil to darken or brown.

Storing your products properly can help you avoid unnecessarily exposing the CBD within them to oxygen and maintain your oil’s original look, feel, and taste.

How to Know If CBD Oil Has Gone Bad

CBD oil that’s gone bad typically has changes in color, texture, scent, and overall appearance. If you notice changes to your product, especially if you’ve had it for a while, it may be time to purchase a new one.

Even though it may not seriously harm you, CBD oil that’s gone bad won’t be nearly as effective as it used to be, and it likely will be an unpleasant experience to use it.

Upon taking bad CBD oil, you may experience minor side effects like nausea or other gastrointestinal distress. 

You also may find that the product offers little to no therapeutic benefit; this is because, unfortunately, cannabinoids like CBD break down and change over time.

Even perfect storage techniques and an abundance of care can’t prevent this fact. Still, the right conditions can help your CBD oil last for a year or two without issue.

Key Takeaways

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The color of CBD oil can be a clue as to whether it’s gone bad, how high quality it is, and what type of product you’re working with.

There’s not usually reason to worry about the color of your product unless it’s changed from what it once was, or if the color looks highly unusual compared to what you’re used to.

Be sure to keep a close eye on your CBD oil and other products over time to monitor them for any changes to the way they look, smell, or feel.

Another way to set yourself up for success and use only CBD oil that’s got a color and formula that works is to shop with reputable, high-quality sellers you know and trust.

For a list of products and brands that we’ve tried and approved, check out our directory, where you can browse through your options and make a decision that works for you.

Or, if you’re specifically looking for CBD oil, click here for our personal favorite product, Fab CBD full-spectrum CBD oil.

FABCBD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

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Josh Murdoch

Josh Murdoch

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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