How Strong of an Aftertaste Should CBD Gummies and CBD Tinctures Have?

Most of us are quite happy taking our daily doses of cannabidiol, knowing that we’re doing something for our bodies while enjoying the various delivery methods in which cannabinol (CBD) is available.  The two oral products that dominate the market are CBD tinctures/oils and CBD gummies

  • Tinctures are administered sublingually, meaning they absorb under the tongue before the remainder of the formula is swallowed.
  • Gummies speak for themselves, providing us with delicious gummy candies infused with just the right amount of cannabinoid-rich hemp extract.

Still, some people do mention that there is a unique aftertaste to their gummies and tinctures, and today we will explain why.  As you will see, in most cases this aftertaste is a good thing, indicating that you’ve quality, fresh hemp compounds on your hands.

Where is the Aftertaste Coming From?

In most cases, the aftertaste that you’re getting is the natural flavor of the hemp plant.  But, sometimes it has nothing to do with hemp at all.  Let’s break down the two components that can lead to an aftertaste.

Component #1: Terpenes

Most of the CBD products we take contain more than just the cannabidiol compound of the hemp plant.  Terpenes are secondary compounds in hemp that determine the flavor and aroma of hemp, as cannabinoids themselves are completely flavorless and odorless.  The hemp plant is known for its pungent flavor and aroma which comes from prominent terpenes that work together to create its profile.  Hemp is usually described as earthy, herbal, minty and citrusy, with notes of pine.  Some people say that hemp has a skunky flavor, which comes from specific terpenes that exist in high levels in the plant. 

These terpenes can certainly create an aftertaste when you take your daily dose of hemp.  The aftertaste has a strong plant-like flavor that actually tells you that the hemp you have on your hands is high in quality, and fresh.  As terpenes degrade, either due to age or due to manufacturing processes that destabilize them, they lose their flavor.  Therefore, the terpene aftertaste you get when taking a tincture or a gummy informs you that the terpenes are fully active, providing their properties to the body as needed.

Component #2: Other Ingredients in the Formula

Of course, both gummies and tinctures contain more than pure hemp.  Tinctures are formulated with carrier oils that dilute the hemp, and sometimes have flavoring agents as well.  Gummies are edible items that are heavily flavored.  Sometimes, the aftertaste is derived from these additional, non-hemp ingredients rather than the hemp itself, and the aftertaste will vary between different products.

Is the Aftertaste Ever a Sign That the Product is Bad?

Sometimes.  When you first open a tincture or gummy package, you should give the product a good whiff.  This will offer up an idea of what the flavor will be. 

  • If you smell notes that are mildewy or rancid, then you know that the hemp product has been infested with microbes, and it should be completely thrown out.
  • If the scent is somehow stale, this can mean that the hemp extract in the formula has aged to the point that its compounds have now degraded, and thus, are no longer potent.

When CBD Products Have Zero Aftertaste

So, what if a tincture or gummy has zero hemp aftertaste?  Does that mean that the hemp is bad?  Well, not necessarily.  There are three types of hemp extract: full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate.  Any given gummy or tincture formula will contain one of these three types of extracts. 

Full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp extracts are rich in terpenes.  Full spectrum hemp contains every compound that occurs in hemp, including the trace, non-psychoactive and legal amount of THC.  Broad spectrum hemp is THC-free, but still has every terpene in the hemp plant.

CBD isolate is pure cannabidiol, isolated from the other compounds in hemp.  Because CBD isolate is free of terpenes, it is completely flavorless and odorless.  Therefore, a CBD isolate product will not give you a hemp aftertaste, because there is no taste to speak of.  This doesn’t mean that the product is useless – it just means that you’re getting a pure, concentrated dose of cannabidiol.

Storage and Flavor

The way in which you store your cannabidiol products can determine the aftertaste that you get.  Products that are stored in cool, dark and dry locations will last until the product expires, which is typically about 2 years after it was manufactured.  This is because the compounds degrade if they’re exposed to heat, bright light or humidity for a prolonged period of time.  Once those compounds degrade, they lose their potency.  And, when terpenes degrade, they lose their flavor.

In other words, improperly stored hemp may end up taking on a weak taste due to the breaking down of the terpenes.  This is actually helpful information, as it can tell you whether or not your CBD is still potent enough to distribute desirable effects as desired.

Strains and Their Impact on Flavor

As you may know, hemp comes in a wide array of strains.  Each strain is a breed of the hemp plant, with its own distinctive terpene profile.  What this means is that each strain has a specific flavor profile of its own.  Some strains have strong fruity notes, others are sweet almost like desserts, some are powerfully skunky, some are bright and citrusy, and so on.  Therefore, the aftertaste can vary depending on the strain that is used by a company to produce their gummies or tinctures.

As long as the aftertaste is fresh, then it doesn’t matter how strong it is in terms of the quality and safety of the hemp.  Some aftertastes may be particularly strong simply because of the strain inside the formula.

Final CBD After Tasting Thoughts

Overall, CBD-based products such as tinctures and gummies can certainly produce an aftertaste, and this is because of the terpenes of the hemp plant, along with the ingredients in the formula in some cases.  Overall, an aftertaste is not a bad thing.  In fact, it means that you’re working with very fresh hemp that’s as potent as possible.


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