Should CBD Oil Taste Bitter?
Some Full-spectrum CBD Oils and hemp extracts have a distinctive earthy, grassy, and slightly bitter taste. And while many appreciate these natural hemp flavors, some find them hard to stomach.
In this article, we will explore why CBD hemp oils taste the way they do, and whether trying to remove these flavors is a good idea.
Why The Bitter Taste?
First of all, not all CBD oils have a bitter taste. There are many flavored or highly refined options that range from tasting fruity to tasting of nothing at all.
Unfortunately, or fortunately (as we will go on to discover), those who have tried BROWN’S stronger CBD Hemp Oils will know that they taste like the real deal. Like hemp, that is.
The cause of the somewhat bitter taste is barely due to CBD or any other cannabinoid but is mainly due to the terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are responsible for the wide range of scents and flavors that plants produce.
There are over 100 terpenes that are naturally produced by the hemp plant, and the ratios of different terpenes influence the overall flavor profile.
Normally, the higher the strength of an oil, the higher the concentration of terpenes and other compounds that can contribute to a bitter taste.
This is the case with our oils, where the 5% and 10% oils are fairly smooth, but the 20% and 25% have a slightly more bitter flavor.
Fun fact – some of the same terpenes that are responsible for the smell of lemons, lavender, and mangoes are also present in hemp.
To learn more about terpenes, check out this article – What Are Terpenes? And Why Are They Important?
While terpenes are key contributors to the overall taste of CBD Oil UK, there are many other compounds that can also have an influence. Chlorophyll, for example, has a bitter taste and is also present in hemp extracts.
Using hemp seed oil as a carrier can also add grassy/nutty tones to the flavor complex, but is not normally responsible for a bitter taste.
To Keep, Or Not To Keep
Now that you know what causes the bitter taste, you might be wondering why we don’t simply remove them from the oil.
The answer is that we believe that the pros of retaining these compounds outweigh the cons of a slightly bitter taste. As mentioned, these compounds are biologically active and as such, they contribute to the overall effects of hemp.
Time and time again, both through anecdotal reports and scientific research, full-spectrum extracts (containing all of the plant’s compounds), have demonstrated more promising results than highly refined isolates. This is known as the entourage effect.
There is currently insufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate that terpenes in particular are responsible for the entourage effect. But they have been proven to have beneficial effects, which will of course contribute to the overall experience.
Furthermore, there are probably many more beneficial compounds in hemp that are yet to be adequately identified. So over refining could potentially remove good things that we don’t yet fully understand.
That’s not to say that pure CBD alone is completely ineffective. If delivered in the right way, such as with CBD patches, CBD isolate can still be highly effective. Even so, using isolate misses out on all of the other wonderful hemp compounds.
Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers of all time, once quoted “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. While he was not referring to CBD and terpenes, this wisdom can be readily applied to hemp.
We believe that it’s all of the plant together that really has an impact. Much like how eating an orange is generally healthier than a vitamin C tablet.
Too Bitter, Or Not Too Bitter
We have established that our stronger oils have a somewhat bitter/earthly taste. However, it’s worth mentioning that some, but not too much, refining is done to soften the blow of that flavor.
Most people get used to the taste quite quickly. If you remember the first time you tried coffee, it probably tasted intense, but not so much after a little while.
Once you get used to any bitterness, you will normally start to appreciate the floral and fruity tones from other terpenes in the extract.
If the flavor is a big issue for you, you could use a lower strength oil but increase the number of drops to get the same dose.
Alternatively, if you really can’t manage to hold the drops under the tongue, they can be consumed with food to mask the flavor. Just make sure this food contains a decent source of fat, as this helps the body to absorb CBD.
We hope you enjoyed reading our take on the bitter debate of CBD flavor, if you’re interested in checking our product range, click the button below to head over to our UK CBD shop.