Why has my CBD changed colours?

When you purchase a tincture there typically isn’t an expiry date written on it so you may be wondering if it expires, especially if it changes colours (typically it will turn pink). It’s important to note the change in colour is normal and does not necessarily mean the product has spoiled or is unsafe to use. So, let’s address the question of why has my CBD changed colours? 

Why does CBD Change Colours?

CBD changes colour when exposed to light and air (that’s why Miss Envy products come in opaque bottles). Polyphenol oxidase is the cause of the change in colour – it’s a naturally occurring enzyme that is also present in the fruit browning process. Not only is this enzyme not harmful, but foods that are rich in polyphenol are considered to have positive benefits as they are antioxidants and have prebiotic-like properties. 

Note the colour the liquid appears may also be impacted based on the colour of the glass. 

What Do Different Colours Mean?

Tinctures come in a number of different colours. A few of the reasons for these different colours include, how filtered the product is after extraction, how the product is extracted, and what type of carrier oil is used. 


A dark brown or gold liquid is unfiltered and therefore will contain other cannabinoids as well as terpenes and flavonoids. 

A light gold-coloured liquid is filtered or distilled to remove other components such as chlorophyll and lipids. 

A clear liquid is an isolated product. In an isolate, all other plant compounds have been removed including terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, and other cannabinoids. Therefore, CBD isolates also contain zero THC, while other CBD products may contain trace amounts up to 0.3%. 


The extraction process itself can also impact the colour of the product. The ethanol extraction process also extracts things such as chlorophyll which CO2 extraction does not. Chlorophyll has a tendency to impart a green hue to the finished product. Therefore, products that are greener in colour, could indicate the presence of chlorophyll. Note: the chlorophyll can be filtered out after extraction. 

Carrier Oil

All tinctures contain a carrier oil as the raw extract would be too thick to be easily consumable in the drop form we typically see tinctures in. The most common carrier oils are coconut MCT oil, hemp seed oil and olive oil. Since the liquid contains a significant portion of carrier oil it can impact the overall colour of the product. Hemp seed oil and olive oil are more golden coloured sometimes with a hint of green, while coconut MCT oil is nearly colourless. 

Miss Envy’s tinctures are made with coconut MCT oil, so this does not tend to have a significant impact on the colour of the product. 

How long do Miss Envy tinctures last?

We generally consider our tinctures to be their freshest within the first year. Though this can vary depending on the storage conditions and how it is used (eg. if sterile practices were used when dispensing). 

Generally, the tinctures can actually be good for up to 2 years, as long as they are used and stored properly, regardless if they’re opened or not. This being said, CBD and other cannabinoids do degrade over time so the strength may be affected. All of our tinctures are made in small batches to ensure freshness. They are also made with a base of MCT oil, which is naturally antimicrobial and preservative.

How to Properly Dispense Tinctures to Maintain Freshness

MCT oil may get cloudy when cool and CBD may settle and look cloudy, so shake them before opening. When dispensing the tinctures, the glass dropper should not touch your mouth, food, or anything that isn’t sterile. MCT oil is a naturally antimicrobial product, though it is still best to practice sterile techniques to prevent any contamination. If your dropper falls on the floor, for example, you should clean it, but ensure it’s 100% dry before putting it back into the bottle. Introducing water into an oil-based product will lead to that product spoiling.

How to Tell if the Product Has Spoiled

CBD changing colour doesn’t indicate that it has spoiled. Some indicators of your CBD oil is going bad are:

  • A rancid or skunky smell thick/murkiness. Not to be confused with cloudiness, as MCT oil may get cloudy when cool and CBD may settle and look cloudy if not shaken before dispensed (shake well before use).
  • An ‘off’ taste – if you’ve tasted a spoiled or rancid oil before you’d know what I mean. Generally, our tinctures should have a mild/neutral taste. That being said, some of our higher THC tinctures might have a bit more of an earthy taste.

Final Thoughts

Overall the colour of the product doesn’t necessarily correlate with the quality. Though you may be able to learn something about the extraction process or what other components may be in the product. If your CBD changes colour over time, particularly to a pinkish colour, it’s actually a sign they’re made from high-quality ingredients. Remember to store your product in a cool dark place and dispense it carefully to avoid any contaminations. It’s very unlikely that the product has spoiled. 

Check out our line of tinctures in our online store.

If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to reach out at support@missenvy.ca

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