CBD Oil Color

What Color is CBD Oil Supposed to Be?

While color doesn't determine the effectiveness of a CBD oil, it does indicate varying aspects of the product.

Paul James April 16, 2024 Affiliate Disclosure Some links are specifically formatted for which we may receive a commission on resulting sales or clicks from affiliate partners (“Affiliate Links”).

If you’re new to the cannabidiol (CBD) space, you may want to know why CBD oils from different brands produce varying colors. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you noticed different colored oils coming from the same brand.

Colors can range from clear (or a slight golden hue) to dark brown (nearly black). There are a few different factors that play a role in how coloring will appear in CBD oil, including the extract type, carrier oil, extraction method, and additional ingredients.

We invite you to follow along as we take a deeper look into each of these factors and identify why your CBD oil color presents itself as it does.

How Does Extract Type Affect Colors?

CBD oil can come in three different extract types:

  • Full-spectrum – Contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and phytonutrients found within the hemp plant.
  • Broad-spectrum – The same as full-spectrum, but the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is removed.
  • CBD isolate – Purely CBD and no other plant compounds.


Depending on the extract type, the color of the CBD oil will appear differently.

Full-spectrum extract tends to appear dark green or brown. This is due to all the plant compounds found within the liquid. Likewise, broad-spectrum extract tends to appear similarly, though might be a lighter tone.

In contrast, an isolate extract is completely clear. In fact, if you purchase CBD isolate in its raw form, it will be a white, almost powdery, substance.

How DO Carrier Oils Affect Color?

The majority of CBD oils on the market are made using three primary ingredients:

  • A hemp extract
  • A carrier oil
  • Flavoring (in most instances)


These ingredients all play a fundamental role in what your CBD oil color is. Therefore, if you’ve recently purchased a new product and it appears differently than previously purchased products, it may be the carrier oil.

The carrier oil makes up 97% of a tincture, with the other 3% being the extract. That said, it’s no surprise they are a major factor in coloring.

When it comes to CBD tinctures, the most common carrier oils are coconut MCT oil, hemp seed oil, and olive oil. Coconut MCT oil is typically clear or colorless. Whereas hemp seed and olive oil are golden-colored with a hint of green.

How Does the Extraction Method Affect Color?

To garner cannabidiol from the hemp plant, it must go through an extraction method. This is when the hemp extract is separated from the rest of the plant’s raw material.

CBD manufacturers have a host of techniques at their disposal. However, the two most common extraction methods are CO2 extraction and ethanol extraction.

While both methods will garner similar results, there’s a key difference between them. Ethanol extraction will also extract chlorophyll – a natural compound present in green plants that gives them their color. Therefore, ethanol extractions may present a green hue in the finished product.

Other Ingredients

As mentioned, CBD oil is often made using other ingredients, including natural or artificial flavorings. These ingredients can play a significant role in a tincture’s color. For example, FIVE CBD offers a Mint Chocolate hemp oil that appears darker than their Citrus flavored tincture.

FIVE CBD Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Mint Chocolate

FIVE CBD Mint Chocolate Tincture

Interested in trying a CBD oil with a darker coloring? We invite you to check out FIVE CBD’s full-spectrum Mint Chocolate tincture!

Redeem code CBDNERDS for 25% off FIVE CBD

Final Word

As you can see, there are a variety of different factors that go into the color of your CBD oil. The most notable of these are extract type and carrier oil:

  • If your CBD oil is clear then it’s likely an isolate product made using coconut MCT oil.
  • If your CBD oil is a darker tone then it’s likely a full-spectrum, potentially made using hemp seed or olive oil.


Keep in mind that CBD oil colors may change with your favorite brand. This may mean they’ve incorporated new manufacturing practices or a fresh assortment of ingredients.

If you’re concerned about the coloring of your CBD oil, we recommend reaching out to the brand to get more information.

Paul James

Paul James is a seasoned cannabis and CBD writer and expert. He is a mental health blogger who advocates CBD as a natural alternative to prescription medications. You can read more about this and other natural alternatives on his blog: https://bedlamite.co/."

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re concerned with the quality of CBD oil, then color will not give you any clues. However, if you’re concerned with what’s in the product (i.e. if it’s a full-spectrum extract made using hemp seed oil), then color can provide you with some hints.