Love it or hate it, the herbaceous, earthy flavor and smell of cannabis is unmistakable. But do CBD products have to taste like “weed” to work?
CBD is derived from hemp or cannabis plants. Because of this, some CBD products taste like cannabis. However, many CBD products don’t taste like cannabis, and this doesn’t mean they’re any less effective.
Many people believe that CBD has to taste like weed, or it’s not legitimate. This is not true. Quite a few different factors affect the taste of CBD, which means you can’t tell how legitimate the product is just from tasting it. Here’s what you need to know about the taste of CBD.
What affects the taste of “weed”?
To someone who doesn’t use cannabis often, all weed might smell and taste the same: earthy, herby, and potent.
If you pay close attention to cannabis, you’ll notice that different strains have different flavors and aromas. A strain’s flavor and aroma are determined by something called terpenes, which are naturally found in cannabis and hemp plants. Terpenes are also found in other plants, such as pine trees, lavender, and fruits.
There are dozens of different terpenes out there, each with their own smell and taste. Terpenes might make certain strains smell like:
Flavonoids also affect the way a strain tastes. Like terpenes, flavonoids are chemicals that naturally occur in all sorts of plants, not just cannabis and hemp.
Both terpenes and flavonoids are said to have positive health effects, although this must be studied further before we fully understand it.
While some people hate the flavor and aroma of cannabis, others actually enjoy it, especially those who pay attention to the subtle, unique fragrances of different strains.
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What affects the taste of CBD?
Because CBD is derived from cannabis and hemp, CBD products can sometimes taste like weed. In fact, because of this concern, many companies want their products to taste like cannabis so the consumer assumes they’re more potent or effective. However, many other factors affect how your CBD product tastes. This doesn’t necessarily determine whether it works well or not.
Terpenes and flavonoids
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD contains the same terpenes and flavonoids that were found in the original plant. So, terpenes and flavonoids might also affect the specific way CBD tastes, albeit in a subtle way.
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Does CBD taste like weed – The extraction process matters
The extraction process can also affect the taste of CBD. If the CBD is extracted using solvents, it might leave behind a strange chemical taste that might be quite unappetising. If CBD is extracted using a CO2 extraction process, there should be no strange aftertaste.
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In the case of edible CBD items, such as CBD-infused cookies, teas, and gummies, you might or might not be able to taste the CBD. A lot of these products contain artificial flavors that either enhance or mask the taste.
CBD oils, mouth sprays, vapes, and tinctures often taste like cannabis, but this isn’t always the case. Many companies add flavorings to CBD liquids and vapes to mask the cannabis taste. If you prefer, you can often buy an unflavored version. Or buy CBD powder, which is flavorless (and contains zero THC) and can be added to
As with any health product, you should pay attention to these added ingredients, especially if you have an allergy or sensitivity. CBD can do a lot, but it’s not going to counteract your lactose intolerance after you eat a delicious CBD cream donut!
Does CBD hemp taste like weed?
Hemp flowers that are rich in CBD are often smoked in the same way you’d smoke cannabis. Because it’s hemp, and therefore low in intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp flowers cannot make you feel “high.”
However, smoking CBD is a different story. when you smoke CBD hemp, it tastes and smells like you’re smoking cannabis. To the naked eye, it doesn’t look any different than cannabis, either.
If you’re smoking CBD hemp in a state where cannabis isn’t yet legal, be careful. Although hemp is legal, you can only prove that your flower is hemp through lab tests – and in the meanwhile, there is a risk you could be arrested (or raise the ire of your nosy neighbors).
The verdict: Should my CBD taste like weed?
In short, not necessarily. Some CBD products often taste like weed, but others don’t. Neither is better than the other, and the taste doesn’t necessarily tell you whether it’s effective or not.
When looking for quality CBD, you should instead pay attention to things like a company’s reputation, their third-party lab reports, and the reviews on their website.
If you’d like to use CBD for health reasons, we always recommend chatting to a CBD-friendly doctor first, as they can directly advise you on the best way to use CBD for your specific situation and condition.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa and she has written for publications such as Healthline, Greatist, and Psych Central to name a few.