Copywriting for Cannabis Products

I’m always interested in researching and writing in novel areas, like the cannabis market. Having boned up on my cannaculture knowledge I was tasked with one of those awesome “put lipstick on a gorilla” marketing problems – I needed to find a creative way to explain away the rather unpleasant taste of a cannabis oil and turn this problem into useful SEO content at the same time.

This piece is proof that you can’t polish a turd, but you can still roll it in glitter.


    Soulsome CBD


    Creative Copywriting – SEO focused


    Soulsome Website


    Cannabis Tours, via Wikimedia Commons

So you’ve got some CBD oil, and you’ve tried it out once or twice, but you’re not 100% sure of the taste–was that roasted nuts? Wet socks? Is this stuff going bad? There’s a lot we can tell you about the smell and taste of CBD oil and how to spot a premium oil when you taste it. Should you settle for the strawberry flavored CBD in the colorful bottle, or perhaps the peppermint? CBD shouldn’t taste like peppermints, and it shouldn’t taste like “nothing at all”–cold-pressed hemp extract CBD has a nuanced, unique taste in the same ballpark as single malt scotch, dark chocolate, and even fine wine. Today, our CBD101 guide takes you through the basics of the distinct CBD oil taste, tells us what to look out for, and gives us some useful pointers on what we should expect from the taste of a premium cold-pressed CBD oil and what we shouldn’t.

Getting to grips with a New Flavor

One of the perks of being a human is that we are born with mouths that have tongues, and those tongues have anywhere between two and four thousand taste buds just itching to get a lick of something novel so they can report back to the ever-curious brain about their findings. Remember your first sip of a really good whiskey? It didn’t taste that great, did it? Ditto tequila. Remember the face you pulled? That’s ok; everyone else still does. The first oyster you ate was probably touch-and-go for a while, wasn’t it? Coffee? Dark chocolate? The point is, some tastes are acquired over time, like those of a fine dark chocolate, an unforgettable beer, good coffee, the kind of tequila where you can taste the dirt the agave grew in, single malt scotches, fine wine, and yes, premium quality CBD oil is in this group too.

Unique CBD Tastes and Where to Find them

Many CBD manufacturers use flavorings and MCT oils to mask what they consider a “bitter” taste or “intense” flavor that might put their customers off. This is not the case at Soulsome. We never use flavorings, additives, or any other esoteric mumbo-jumbo ingredients in the creation of Soulsome. There is a simple reason for this: If I offered you a glass of 12-year-old single malt scotch and it tasted like breath mints, you’d probably be a bit annoyed with me. You would expect the same from the artisanal unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil you bought at the farmers’ market. If that tasted like strawberries, you’d return it, wouldn’t you? So why do all these CBD manufacturers want their CBD to taste like seasonal fruit, halitosis spray, or urinal cakes? Well, part of the answer is in the question–Soulsome creates superior artisanal-quality, cold-pressed raw hemp flower CBD oils, “other” manufacturers do just that; they manufacture CBD oil like it’s a soft drink that has to come in 30 different flavors.

We would argue that these manufacturers aren’t making CBD oil; they’re making candy. So more power to them and all that. Soulsome isn’t in the candy-making business; we make exceptional CBD oil in an artisanal process, creating the world’s best single ingredient CBD oil that works for people who want the real thing. The CBD market bears this out; as it turns out, people are more invested in getting a CBD oil that actually works than they are in finding oil that comes in a range of flavors and colorful bottles.

This is mainly because we have already been acquainted with products with distinctive flavors like dark chocolate or a fine single-malt scotch whiskey. We know that a product made for the everyman is going to taste as bland as a bowl of day-old macaroni and cheese, and we think you’ll agree. Think about your favorite tastes–all pretty distinctive and unique, aren’t they? This is true of all the most memorable flavors of the foodstuffs of the world–think Pistachio, lemons, cacao, malt beer, avocado, oysters, green tea–not all of these may appeal to you, but you’ll most likely have a list of flavors which your four thousand taste buds are keen to get another lick of.

The Taste of CBD: Where’s the Beef?

So where’s the beef on this? Well, the simple fact remains that if you are not aware of what good, premium quality CBD oil should taste like, you will be adding all kinds of things to your CBD to try to get the “funny taste” out of it–because you think it doesn’t belong there. But, conversely, when you do know what a raw, hemp-flower cold-pressed extract oil tastes like, you instantly recognize the premium quality in the Soulsome product, and importantly, the consistent quality of that product.

At Soulsome, we do know what cold-pressed hemp oil should taste like. We also know that to dress it up with flavorings or strip tastes out of it is a treasonous offense. To remove or mask an element of your CBD oil’s flavor is to remove an essential component of the terpene and cannabinoid profile, effectively scuttling the entourage effect of the oil before it’s even passed your lips. So what should we be looking for in a high-quality CBD oil? What should a CBD oil taste like, and why should it taste this way? Let’s get into it…

The Taste of Quality

There are three discrete flavors that any self-respecting CBD oil should have. You’ll notice these most obviously in a quality cold-pressed CBD oil’s taste, as cold-pressing ensures all the flavor of the oil is extracted and contained in the oil.

Grass, Hay, and Hops
These are flavors that are easy to spot in excellent cold-pressed hemp oil. If you have an oil of superior quality like Soulsome, you should be able to smell these simply by putting your nose over the mouth of the bottle.

What are the grassy flavors, you ask? These are the core vegetable flavors of the hemp plant, it’s the terpene profile that provides this flavor, and if you can’t smell at least a hint of cut grass or fresh hay, you might want to look elsewhere for a better CBD oil.

Greasy and Oily
Time to put those tastebuds to work by dropping a single drop of CBD oil onto your tongue. At first blush, you should still taste the fresh-cut grass, fresh hay, which should be immediately followed by an unusual greasy or oily taste. There’s an energized feeling to this taste–it’s oily but not smoky, greasy the way grass smells and feels on a professional soccer pitch. The best way I can describe this is an energetic, fresh greasy grass taste. Next, try a single drop of Soulsome on top of your tongue and give it a moment or two; you’ll understand what I mean.

Nutty, Earthy, and Peaty
As the greasy taste fades, it becomes more intense. This increasing intensity of flavor marks a fine quality oil of every ilk, from olive oil to hemp oil. You might pay a little more for these items in the store, but they’re worth it for this additional thrust of steadily building flavors. The flavors that Soulsome produces at peaty at first (which seems to be the final expression of that initial ‘grease’ flavor) become nutty towards the end. If I had to pick a nut, I’d say Brazil/Banana nuts, but your mileage may vary on this.

A Spicy and Pungent Finale
As the flavor evolves and intensifies, spicy notes–especially an intense peppery flavor emerges. There’s a bitterness too, which is definitely something to look out for in the taste of your CBD oil. Bitter is good. Bitter means it is fresh. Hemp flowers and hemp seed are not sweet; they’re bitter. In Soulsome, you’ll notice that this bitter end-note balances the grassy/vegetation taste at the start. Quality oil will always balance these two flavors successfully on the palate. You’ll also notice an intense flavor as the taste rounds out in the mouth. It is strong, bitter, and might even make you cough as you eventually swallow it. The peppery taste is typical of oil with a good polyphenol presence, the bitter taste of antioxidants, and micronutrients extracted from the flower in the cold-press process.

Do Carrier oils affect the taste of CBD oil?

Absolutely. Most CBD manufacturers use an MCT oil with which to blend their CBD extract. MCT oil or medium-chain triglyceride oil is widely used in the industrial food industry and is remarkable for one trait: Its total and utter tastelessness. This is why Soulsome only uses organic, virgin hemp oil as the carrier oil for our CBD oils. You are probably already aware of the heart-healthy omega 3s, 6s, and 9s that hemp oil is prized for, not to mention the vitamin B and micronutrient boost you get from it. Were you also aware that this is one of the reasons hemp oil is so good for our skin and our hair? If you are taking CBD to help you with any kind of skin condition, you may want to look for one which uses hemp seed oil as a carrier oil, as Soulsome does.

Things to watch out for in your CBD oil

With all of the hallmark characteristics of a premium CBD oil covered above, you may well wonder if there are any things to watch out for which would indicate an oil that is of inferior quality or one which you shouldn’t use? Here are a few simple pointers to bear in mind when checking your CBD oils to make sure they are of premium quality:


Things to Watch Out For: Musty / Moldy Smell or Flavor

When your oil has a musty or moldy flavor, it suggests that the raw materials that went into making that oil may not have been stored correctly or were allowed to develop a fungus – possibly from being stored in wet or humid conditions. This is a huge red flag that your manufacturer is cutting corners and not taking the requisite care in preparing their oil. Find yourself a better brand immediately.

Things to Watch Out For: Rancid taste/smell

It goes without saying that if your oil tastes or smells rancid, you need to get rid of it and find another brand. That rancid taste or smell is not a part of the CBD oil taste profile; it means the oil has been improperly stored or went bad during manufacturing. Don’t use a rancid oil, ever.

Things to watch out for: Color

The color of your CBD oil is not an indication of quality. However, the color can tell us a few things about the oil itself.

Full-spectrum CBD oil like Soulsome should have a green tint to a yellowy golden color. The green comes from chlorophyll in the plant and indicates that you have a full-spectrum CBD oil. CBD oils vary in color from the classic green-gold of Soulsome to dark brown and even rose-gold colors. Some of these oils will be full-spectrum, others will be CBD isolate or broad-spectrum, be sure to read the label to be certain of what each oil contains.

If your oil has gone cloudy, this does not necessarily mean that it has gone bad. Try warming it up a little in your hands or at room temperature. If the cloudiness disappears, the oil is usually fine–CBD oil has been known to turn cloudy when stored in cold temperatures. Be sure to give it the sniff test and a taste tester to ensure it is not rancid before ingesting any.

If your CBD oil is murky, thick, or gooey, it is likely not fit for consumption or is well past its best-before date. Instead, you may want to think about getting some new oil and reading our informative post about storing CBD oil like a pro.

Summing up

CBD oil shouldn’t taste like tic-tacs; it should taste like fresh hay, spice, earth, and grease. If your oil has a flavor, it has been seriously modified by the manufacturer–read your label and make sure you are getting what you expected. The taste of CBD oil is an acquired one, not a bad one. There are many acquired tastes like dark chocolate, good scotch, decent coffee, etc., that we often balk at the first time we try them, and CBD is no different. However, we’re very confident that once you’ve tried Soulsome’s cold-pressed CBD oil a few times, you’ll welcome the distinctive flavor in the same way that you welcome the unusual taste of a superior olive oil, a great wine, or even a new cuisine.

Soulsome’s creation involves a single source ingredient: The Hemp plant and its flowers and seeds. This is done deliberately to ensure consistent quality, flavor profile, and result. There are no excuses for an oil that doesn’t work consistently, arrives smelling rancid, or tastes like blueberries but doesn’t do anything beyond that. Be mindful of your choice of oil, and ensure that you accept no substitute for the premium CBD oil taste and quality you expect from a great product like Soulsome.

  • Share: