Green vs gold CBD oil. Does CBD colour affect quality?
It's one of the most frequently asked questions in the cannabis community: What does the colour of CBD oil mean? If you’re a CBD regular, you’ll know that not all CBD oil is created equal. Quality and CBD oil colour can vary hugely from brand to brand. But if you’re new to CBD, navigating the space of CBD and colour can be confusing to say the least.
While you can’t base your decision solely on the colour of CBD oil, it can give you some useful clues about the type of CBD you can expect from it. This article will help you understand why the colour of CBD matters, what factors influence CBD oil colour, and what the difference is between gold and green CBD so that you can make an informed decision when choosing the best product for your needs.
Want to learn more about what CBD and colour means and why our CBII CBD oil is dark green instead of gold?
First things first. When it comes to CBD and colour, there are several factors that determine the colour of CBD oil and it can be useful to know about them when choosing your CBD product.
The key elements that affect the colour of CBD are principally the extraction method itself, the filtering technique as well as any ingredients that are added or reintroduced back into the oil.
Let's explore each of them in further detail (or feel free to skip ahead to CBD and colour).
1. The extraction method
The extraction method used to extract the CBD can impact on the colour, and in turn the quality. Some oils may be extracted using a supercritical CO² extraction technique while others may use a hydrocarbon-based method such as ethanol extraction.
In its natural state, the Cannabis sativa L. plant matter contains chlorophyll which makes the plant appear green. Generally, with supercritical CO² extraction, the chlorophyll is removed which is why it no longer contains the natural green CBD oil colour. It tends to be more of a golden colour.
With an ethanol extraction, the chlorophyll remains which gives the oil its green colour. This is part of the phytocomplex (meaning, the mixture of plant extracts).
At CBII, we use a warm ethanolic extraction using over 90% recycled ethanol to extract our CBD from the inflorescence of the Cannabis sativa L. plant as this part contains the richest source of CBD.
The process is low-powered and gentle, minimising the loss or variation of the phytochemicals in the plant. This means we’re able to achieve an extract that contains a consistent phytochemical profile in each batch (basically, it's the same every time). Learn more about the CBII extraction method.
2. The level of filtering
The more a product is filtered, the more potential colour change there could be (depending on the gauge of the filter used).
For example, a very fine filtration may remove some of the plant matter and therefore may alter the colour – i.e. to appear lighter. Filtering a CO² extract would probably not have the same effect.
As we've mentioned above, in its natural state, the Cannabis sativa L. plant matter contains chlorophyll so with less filtering, the colour will be green like the plant. If it has been filtered to remove the phytocomplex, the oil may appear more golden coloured.
Any additional ingredients
Once the CBD extract has been harvested safely, it is usually mixed with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, or hemp seed oil.
The amount of carrier oil added to the extract could have an impact on the colour of CBD. That's because the more you dilute, the more likely the colour of the extract will change towards the colour of the liquid with which you’re diluting it.
Further still, some companies may add colours that may affect the aspect of the oil. Additionally, they may include flavours or aromas to help with the taste of the oil.
At CBII, we use no artificial colours or preservatives. We dissolve our CBD in Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil to ensure stability. MCT is a high-quality carrier oil that is colourless and contains little to no flavour, leaving the taste (and colour) down to nature.
colour should CBD oil be? Green Vs. Gold
If you're wondering what is the best colour for CBD oil, there is no set answer here. There is no 'fixed' colour of what CBD is supposed to be. Different types of CBD oils will come in different colours. This can also vary from brand to brand.
In order to understand why an oil is a certain colour, we need to look at what’s inside it after it’s been extracted. To simplify what we'll be discussing below, here's a little refresher on the difference between full spectrum CBD vs CBD isolate:
Full Spectrum CBD
Contains the full plant extract of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids with trace amounts of THC. It has a herbal taste that comes from the natural plant matter.
Contains CBD only - no cannabinoids, terpenes or other phytochemicals and no THC. It has little to no taste.
My CBD oil is green - What does this mean?
What is green CBD oil? In its natural state, the Cannabis sativa L. plant matter contains a pigment called chlorophyll which makes the plant appear green. If you have an oil that contains phytocomplex (like ours at CBII), then the green colour is the result of the oil containing some of this natural plant matter.
Many people believe that if the colour of your CBD oil is green, it means that it’s a full spectrum oil. However, the fact that an oil is green does not necessarily mean it’s a full spectrum oil. It’s not always that simple.
Some companies may add chlorophyll and other ingredients to an isolate oil to make the CBD isolate colour appear green. So, the best way to make sure of the type of extract is by reading the label on the bottle.
My CBD oil is gold - What does this mean?
After extraction the manufacturer can either bottle the extract or isolate it further. For an isolate oil, only the CBD from the plant is extracted and the isolate can give the oil a golden colour.
For gold CBD oil drops that are full spectrum, all the cannabinoids are broken down and put back together with the aim to filter out as much of the phytocomplex as possible. This can also give the oil a golden colour as it is usually put into an MCT (colourless) carrier oil.
Therefore, simply looking at the colour of CBD oil is not a true test to determine what extract it is. The best way to recognize the type of extract is by reading the label on the product and the list of ingredients. Usually, it will be denoted in the ingredient list whether it is an isolate or a full spectrum extract.
is CBII CBD oil dark green in colour?
If you’ve seen our CBII CBD oil or used it yourself, you may have noticed that it’s an unusual dark green colour.
That’s because our CBD oil is a full spectrum phytocomplex oil which means it includes all the plant matter, such as terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids that naturally occur within the Cannabis sativa L. plant. These natural compounds are what give our CBD oil it's true plant-like green colour and herbal taste.
While CBD colours vary from one brand to the next, in some cases even from one batch within the same brand to the next, CBII’s extract LINNEA315CSETM is made with a trademarked extraction method which means that you can expect a consistent, reproducible and standardised extract from batch to batch. Read more about our patented extract.
We additionally independently test our extract for quality and reliability. From this, we are able to show the THC and CBD levels so you know you’re getting a high-quality product every time.
The colour of CBD does not necessarily affect the quality of the product, but it can be an indicator of quality. For example, if a product stated that it was a full spectrum phytocomplex then it should indeed contain some plant matter. However, if such an oil was completely clear in appearance and a gold colour then it would be very unlikely that the statement would be correct.
As we've mentioned above, the extraction technique can also affect the colour, and in turn the quality of the CBD oil. If the extraction is not performed correctly from batch to batch, then the consistency and reproduceability of the extract will differ which in turn could impact the colour. Such a product would have questionable quality if the same cannabinoid profile and content are not maintained for each batch.
Does the colour of CBD oil matter?
We would say that yes, CBD colour does matter. The colour of CBD oil is an indication of how the CBD has been extracted and potentially broken down.
However, keep in mind that this isn’t a cover-all and the best way to determine what extract or quality of oil you’re getting is to read the label on the bottle; judging an oil by its colour alone simply isn't enough. You should also remember to look at the brand’s verified lab results.
But now you know: Whether you want a product with CBD only or looking for an oil that contains all of the natural elements of the plant like our top-selling green CBD oil UK, the choice is up to you and your personal journey.