Updated on May 24, 2021

Why Flavored CBD Is Low Quality

Fact Checked

Some people always want more. More choice, more fun, more flavor. 

With its heady, earthy, taste, hemp can come on a little strong… so it’s probably no surprise that not everyone loves the taste of it. It makes sense that some people may search for something different and exciting, flavor-wise, in their CBD. And of course it follows that the market would try to meet this demand.

Flavored CBD is on the rise through engineered production, with mint, cherry, strawberry, cinnamon, even chocolate flavorings among those being produced to cater to these cravings. 

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges when choosing among the thousands of CBD products now being sold across the world, is knowing what is safe to consume - and if the product contains any questionable ingredients.

Straying From Natural Strains

Believe it or not, only since the passage of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills have farmers in the USA been allowed to grow hemp.

The 2018 Farm Bill explicitly preserved the FDA’s authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the FD&C Act and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act. (1)

Although 47 states have now legalized CBD that comes from hemp, marijuana, or both, many don’t require any testing. Therefore it is important to seek a brand that can show or produce some kind of laboratory results, including third-party testing, or codes on every product that link to completely transparent results. This shows dedication to the consumer and the industry as a whole. (1)

What are some of the signs of a high or low quality CBD product? 

Here are a few pointers from the pros, to give you more clarity around what’s out there, and help you appreciate the importance of quality CBD products:

  • The soil is where it starts. Everything from the soil ends up in the plant and in the final product. This includes herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals. Heavy metals are naturally occurring trace elements in the earth’s soil, present at a rate of one part per billion (ppb). Pesticides are materials that are mostly used in agriculture to prevent plants, weeds, or disease from affecting plants, and protect humans from diseases such as malaria, and dengue fever. Ingestion of these quickly becomes toxic for the human body. So it is important to seek CBD products that are organically grown, non-GMO, free of all pesticides, solvents, and metals. You should check with your supplier that they have considered their soil’s PH, nutrient, pesticide, and microbial levels when producing their hemp crop. (2,3,6)
  • Manufacturing mayhem. Extraction is everything when it comes to sustaining a hemp plant’s natural molecular structure, resulting in hemp that is enriched with healthy fats, vitamins and naturally occurring CBD. To be able to keep the beneficial phytonutrients intact, extraction methods using harmful gasses, solvents, heat, or chemicals should be avoided. Instead, the cannabinoids should be extracted from living plants without any application of heat, with methods such as CO2 oil extraction, water extraction, or a technologically advanced extraction process. Some rare forms of extraction, including that used by Nesas Hemp, avoid the usage of chemicals and solvents altogether, which ensures the highest level of safety on this measure. (4,5,7)
  • A price on purity. After all the care that goes into growing and manufacturing quality hemp oil, it seems crazy to want to add flavors! Even although some natural and artificial flavors are FDA-approved, some are also known to contain carcinogens, designed to be addictive, and can even cause symptoms similar to ADHD. (7)

If You Are Looking For Pure, Natural CBD Then Avoid Flavored Brands!

People still crave something unique, something flavored, something cool. Yet rarely do they stop to question, where has this unnatural flavor in my CBD product actually come from?

The shocking surprise is that some flavored additives in low-grade CBD products are chemically identical to silicone polymers, used in the likes of Silly Putty, or come from questionable sources like the Kerria Iacca (an insect in Thailand) or the anal secretions of beavers (castoreum). (10,11,12 )

If beaver booty isn’t enough to turn you off, remember this: any laboratory-created mixture that adds flavor to an ingestible product that isn't produced in nature, is classed as an artificial flavor.

A comprehensive list of artificial flavors have been demonstrated to be harmful for human consumption in numerous research studies. (13)

Artificial flavorings have been linked to a variety of health issues, such as depression, dizziness, chest discomfort, migraines, exhaustion, allergies, brain damage, seizures, nausea, and more. Some CBD tincture flavorings have been linked to genetic abnormalities, tumors, bladder problems, and other issues. (13)

Help With Hemp Tasting

Throughout the entire eco-friendly and non-toxic operation, high-grade manufacturers always preserve the purity of their CBD. This definitely comes through in the richness of a CBD product’s earthy, nutty, and grass-like taste. You can read more about this here: https://www.nesashemp.com/why-your-hemp-oil-should-taste-likehemp

The formulations for taste with CBD will be tailored to the strain, source, and delivery method. It isn’t pure CBD that you can taste in CBD products. The taste is a mix of the terpenes, molecules, and transporters connected with the specific component source. (15)

If you like earthy flavors, this is probably going to appeal and be pleasing to your palate. If not, rather than resorting to products with artificial flavoring which may be harmful, or indeed alter the careful work of the hemp extraction processes, it’s far better to know a few hacks:

  • Eat something sweet after you have taken your oil or tincture.
  • Brush your teeth beforehand to nullify your tongue’s ability to recognize flavor. 
  • Hold your nose while swallowing. 
  • Take a drink of water right away afterward.
  • Chew on some natural flavor afterward like a mint leaf.
  • Try getting used to it. Like all good things, hemp is an acquired taste!

Many users find that such beverages as beer, coffee, and many types of tea (especially peppermint) work best to hide the taste of hemp. A spoonful or a sip of something (natural) that you do like the taste of, is all it takes to help the medicine go down. (14)

No Need For Confusion 

One of the troubling things about having many choices, can sometimes be the confusion that arises. With CBD products, when flavors are thrown into the mix, this may come with dangers, risks, and challenges.

If you are at all concerned about putting toxic chemicals into your body, it’s perhaps best to avoid flavored CBD altogether.

By keeping yourself informed on the quality of the brands out there, you can avoid being misguided by companies whose ingredients are not up to snuff. Sometimes the best path is sticking with nature and opting for the purest of ingredients.

Want to Learn More?

  1. Why Hemp Oil is So Effective?
  2. Hemp Vs Marijuana
  3. 8 Reasons to Give CBD for Christmas


  1. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144270/ 
  3. https://hempindustrydaily.com/how-to-avoid-heavy-metal-accumulation-in-your-hemp-crop/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4748402/ 
  5. https://infinitabiotech.com/blog/cannabis-oil-extraction-methods/ 
  6. https://ir4.rutgers.edu/Fooduse/PerfData/4485.pdf 
  7. https://www.nesashemp.com/whats-in-your-cbd-oil/ 
  8. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/489287 
  9. https://blog.sonomechanics.com/blog/managing-the-bitter-taste-of-cannabis-infused-beverages 
  10. https://www.nesashemp.com/whats-in-your-cbd-oil/ 
  11. https://thetakeout.com/what-is-castoreum-in-food-vanilla-1839295396
  12. https://www.cracked.com/article_15982_5-horrifying-food-additives-youve-probably-eaten-today.html
  13. https://ocwellnesssolutions.com/cbd-tincture-flavorings-how-to-find-the-natural-choice/ 
  14. https://www.bevindustry.com/articles/92025-cannabis-infusions-open-new-opportunities-for-beverage-makers 
  15. https://cen.acs.org/biological-chemistry/natural-products/Cannabis-industry-crafty-terpenes/97/i29 
The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

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