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What Does CBD Oil Taste Like?

Grassy. Earthy. Bitter. These are all words you’ll hear people use to describe what pure, undiluted CBD oil tastes like.

Like good, strong black coffee, it may take some getting used to.

If you’ve tried other CBD oils, you may have experienced a less intense plant flavor, no flavor at all (as is the case with some isolates), or even added flavor. Rational Hemp has made a conscious choice to make a whole plant CBD product that retains all of the hemp plant’s naturally occurring compounds. Our Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract has as much CBD packed into it as possible while keeping THC levels below the federal limit of 0.3%.

Our product’s flavor, like its ingredients, is 100% natural. Yet even when compared with other brands, the taste may not be the same. Below, we’ll explain some of the variables that impact what CBD oil tastes like—and why our oil is formulated the way it is.


Your taste buds tell you more than you know. When it comes to the flavor of CBD oil, there are several key things at play:

Carrier Oil

The four main carrier oils companies use are olive oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil. Rational Hemp uses organic hemp seed oil, which is one of the most beneficial oils found in nature. It’s a rich source of polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as a variety of other vitamins and minerals. The taste is strong and has been described as similar to walnuts or sunflower seeds.

Olive oil is another popular carrier oil, and it has a naturally earthy flavor that could potentially amplify CBD’s natural flavor rather than complementing it. It also has 40% more saturated fat than hemp seed oil and contains almost no omega-3s.

Coconut oil and MCT oil both have little or no taste or smell, so CBD oils that use these carrier oils won’t change in flavor (for better or worse).


Read other articles about the taste of CBD oils, and you’ll find that chlorophyll gets a lot of flak. Some brands will try to convince you that any good CBD oil will remove chlorophyll because of its notoriously bitter taste, but we’re here to counter that argument with good ol’ science.

Yes, chlorophyll admittedly has a strong, often bitter, green-leafy taste that not everyone is fond of. Many brands filter it out during processing, which makes the end product’s flavor more palatable. Rational Hemp, however, does not remove chlorophyll from its products.

Why? It’s simple: CBD is most effective when all its natural compounds are present. Chlorophyll may not be your favorite flavor, but it’s actually exceptionally good for you.

In plants, chlorophyll plays an important role in keeping leaves green and healthy (all the greenest foods have lots of it). In humans, chlorophyll delivers a variety of vitamins and antioxidants, promotes the production of red blood cells, absorbs toxins in the body, helps to heal wounds, and reduces signs of photoaging. Studies also suggest that it may be helpful for treating skin conditions like acne, reducing body odors, and even fighting some kinds of cancer.

That’s why Rational Hemp doesn’t remove chlorophyll from its CBD oil. We’ll gladly taste a little bite in exchange for so many health benefits!

Terpenes & Cannabinoids

CBD is just one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Each of these naturally occurring compounds has unique characteristics and effects and, as with any system, they work synergistically with each other. When the hemp plant’s full range of terpenes and cannabinoids are left intact, it allows them to interact with each other and the brain’s receptors to create an “entourage effect,” which makes the compounds more effective than they would be when taken alone.

By contrast, when certain compounds are removed or isolated—as is the case with Broad Spectrum and Isolate CBD products—those interactive benefits are reduced or eliminated altogether.

As with chlorophyll, removing compounds from the final product will decrease the intensity of the CBD oil’s taste. While this does allow for easy flavoring of the final product, flavoring is just one more addition that dilutes the strength of the CBD. The taste may be more to your liking but remember that you’ll be missing out on some key benefits and receiving a product that’s far more processed as a result.


How the hemp plant is processed will also impact what CBD oil tastes like. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD and other cannabinoids from different parts of the hemp plant—leaves, stalks, stems, buds, and flowers. Rational Hemp’s oil is made purely from the buds and flowers of healthy hemp plants, which have the highest concentration of CBD. Some brands also use stems, stalks, and leaves, but these parts of the plant carry lower concentrations of CBD and are more likely to be contaminated.

Hemp seeds can contain trace amounts of CBD, but the amount is negligible—so beware if you see products advertising that their CBD is derived from hemp seeds! (Note: While we do use hemp seed oil as our carrier oil, we do not use hemp seeds in our extraction/derivation process.)

One final note about extraction–it is vital to ensure the CBD oil you purchase is from a company that provides easy access to a verified Certificate of Analysis (CoA).  Transparency about processing and testing is the mark of a trustworthy company and is necessary to ensure the product you are receiving is safe. The CoA should come from an independent 3rd party lab and report on the full chemical make-up of the product tested (including the cannabinoid, terpene, and contaminant profiles). You can find our CoAs listed by batch number here.



Many of our customers have grown accustomed to or even enjoy the all-natural flavor of our CBD oil, but we understand that this isn’t true for everyone. Many companies offer flavored CBD oil, but we do not. Why? It all comes back to our whole plant policy. With our CBD oil, you’re getting the full benefit of the hemp plant—and only the hemp plant. Additionally, our ability to provide maximum strength (2400mg of CBD in a 30mL bottle) would be hindered.

Just as we like our coffee black as night, we like our CBD oil pure.


If you’ve read this far, hopefully that means we’ve convinced you of the value of our full-spectrum, whole plant, natural-tasting CBD oil. But sometimes our taste buds have a mind of their own (and some have more sensitive taste buds than others). What then?

We always recommend taking CBD oil sublingually, which involves putting the oil under your tongue and holding it there for 1 – 1.5 minutes before swallowing (read why this is the most efficient and effective method here). If you choose to use this method but want to buffer the taste a bit, try putting a mint in your mouth at the same time. The strong mint flavor can help counter the pure CBD taste. If you have more of a sweet tooth, put a little honey on your tongue instead.

Another option is to “chase” your CBD oil with something that has a strong flavor that you like—perhaps a juice like pomegranate or grape. Or, you could simply brush your teeth.

If you want to minimize the CBD taste as much as possible, you might instead choose to ingest it orally. This method isn’t as efficient as sublingual but is also effective. If you’ve tried sublingual and it’s not for you, try mixing your CBD oil with a beverage or some food. Some popular options include coffee, smoothies, juice, tea, and even yogurt.

At the end of the day, Rational Hemp wants our customers to get the full spectrum of benefits that the hemp plant offers. Our products are whole plant, including all the natural compounds—and flavors. You might find a milder flavor with other brands, but there’s usually a trade-off for the absence of hemp’s natural taste. And that’s a sacrifice we’re just not willing to make.

Rational Hemp is regulatory-compliant and contains trace levels of THC under 0.3%.  While we know of no instance where a drug test came back positive after using our Hemp Extract, we cannot guarantee this result. Speak to a physician before using CBD if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription medications.

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