Why Is My CBD Oil Turning Brown? Understanding Color & Clarity

Why Is My CBD Oil Turning Brown or Black?

There are many causes for why is my cbd oil turning brown – some of which you can address and others that may be out of your control. The most common, however, is oxidation. Converting Delta 9 THC to Delta 11 THCA requires the use of oxygen in a chemical reaction that produces excess heat. If the heat cannot escape from the system, it becomes trapped and creates an environment where oxygen will quickly react with any available molecule. Of course, oxygen can only provide an electron with a single carbon atom, so when oxygen attacks the molecule of Delta 9 THC, it will yield toxic radicals. The process is similar to catabolic reactions that produce toxic by-products in chemical plants and other biological systems. It is important to understand that this reaction occurs even if you are storing your herb in an airtight container such as a mason jar or silicone lined ziplock bag.

Another issue that arises from oxidation is the presence of ‘white powder’. It’s very common for someone to notice white powder on the surface of cannabis oil. The powder is usually pollen or mold and is often what causes discoloration. This is never something you want to see, as it can be dangerous if ingested. We recommend that you either filter your cannabis oil through a coffee filter before using or consume your herb within one day of making it.

Finally, light, heat and oxygen are also enemies of cannabis oils so make sure to store them away from these elements when not in use. The best place that we have found for cannabis oils is in a dark space away from light and heat. If you are going to store them in a jar, consider sealing the lid with masking tape to prevent them from absorbing unwanted light and oxygen.

So, if your cannabis oil is turning orange or brown, remember that there could be many causes. The most common is oxidation and you can easily solve that problem by properly storing your oil.

Other concerns include the growth of mold or fungus, discoloration due to light exposure and even discoloration from the use of a water additive. It’s important to keep in mind that if you are going to consume cannabis oil, you should always store it in an airtight container, away from light, heat and oxygen.

CBD oils are not affected by oxidation and will never turn brown or black as long as they are stored correctly. You can safely use them for up three years – so long as you store them properly! The time between using your oil before it turns brown could be anywhere from weeks to months, depending on your usage and storage method. In some cases, the color of cannabis oil can be greatly enhanced by adding a food coloring. If you would like to do this, simply mix your oil with a small amount of food coloring before filling any empty containers.

I recommend the following guidelines for making cannabis oil:

1. Always use fresh, raw plant material. There is no way to safely store or age raw plant material, so we recommend you make your oil from clean, fresh plant material every time.

2. Using a hand blender or an electric blender is the safest way to make your oil. Using a food processor or other similar device could have disastrous results.

3. To avoid the formation of carbon around the blades, it is important to allow your oil to cool for several minutes before blending. If you find that your oil turns black after blending, allow it to age for at least 1 week before consuming.

4. Be sure to clean all equipment immediately after use with soap and water. We recommend that you rinse all equipment with 99% isopropyl alcohol which will remove any surface contamination.

5. Be sure to store your oil in a cool, dark place. Using an airtight container is highly recommended. Heavier containers are better than lighter containers and glass is the safest choice when selecting your storage method.

6. If you plan on consuming your oil within a few days of making it, simply pour it into smaller screw top bottles. If you plan on storing your oil for longer than a few weeks, we recommend transferring it to smaller mason jars, as these containers are airtight.

7. To keep your oil from absorbing unwanted light and oxygen, we recommend sealing your containers with masking tape.

Well-crafted cannabis oils can certainly be impressive tasting; however, their rarity makes them a bit of a ‘black market’ commodity. In the end, people still worry a lot about using cannabis oil. If you are concerned that your oil is not right for you, we recommend that you do some research on hash oils, as well as look into other THC-free alternatives such as CBD oil and Kava.

Azriel Adelberg
About Azriel Adelberg

MSc Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley An Israeli born organic chemist and PROUD University of California, Berkeley graduate.

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