What color is water? Pure water I say is clear. However when I look at light that passes through a few meters of pure water it appears blue.

What color is THC? Sigma Aldrich says it is clear and when I look at isolate flat on a petri dish it dies seem ckear. But when that same compound is looked at from the side the color is pale yellow as identified in the early 60’s by the isreali scientist who discovered and identified it.

What color is CBN? Is it clear? when looked at through enough CBN to absorb in the UV spectrum, like looking through a column of water, then what will we perceive?

I once read why it is that water can cause us to perceive the blue color when it is the IR that the clear water absorbs. It has to do with how energy is converted in our vision detection cells that makes the brain perceive these things.

So out of CBN, seen as red, THC, seen as pale yellow, and pure water, seen as blue when we scan for absorbance (I have) in the entire spectral range we see no absorbance except outside of the visible spectrum range the scans do show absorbance (I have scanned each in UV) significantly within their own range but outside of human vision. Ever wonder how we can see a color when the only absorbance is IR or UV? Truth is I believe the mechanism is poorly known precisely why our eyes perceive what they do when the IR or UV range is involved.

I left IG after multiple folks began challenging me about my assertion that THC is pale yellow. Debating anything is unappealling beyond simple discussion. Debating CBNs color is also a topic that I find tedious. So really the question I would say is irrelevent as spoken. Asking what color THC, CBN, water, or myriad other substances with no absorbance in the visible range is pointless when they absorb outside that range.

Color like blue is seen because a lack of excitement at the IR level is perceived by the eyes and brain according to energy levels that end up being perceived as blue but only when enough is present to absorb the IR spectra then it does. Try it. Put some tap water into methanol after blanking a tube with methanol in a spectrophotometer. Right there deep down in the IR is an absorption peak in the IR but the rest of the scan is clear. But the water looks blue viewed through a column despite no absorption peaks in the visible range.

Does it occur to anyone else that one reasonable explanation why people report different colors of the same compound has to do with like mechanisms as to why we perceive water also in two ways? If you say water is blue or if you say water is clear then who is to say which is correct UNLESS note of IR and UV spectra is included in the description?

As for me I believe THC to be correctly described as pale yellow back in the early 60s, and also based on my own observations and deductions from available facts.

Personally I say water is blue.

CBN has deep absorbance outside of the visible spectral range. If the compound shows no visible absorbance but does show peaks outside the visible range then it stands to reason that in like manner to how we perceive colors for water and THC that we perceive CBN based not on visible spectra but rather as a side effect of absorption of light spectra outside our visual accuity? For now I tend to view clear compound that turns red as compound that has oxidized from either CBNA, D8 THC, or D9 THC. So for convenience sake when I make reference to CBN being red it is based on hundreds of observations and repeatable results that under the conditions I employ make my visible only spectrum eyes “fill in the blanks” and perceive the pinks and reds and such just as my eyes behold myriad blue and blue green shades from deep water but only clear water if in a cup. I believe there are two correct answer to the question, what color is water, and not just one.


Color is a lie anyhow, all made up in our minds. Fun to think about though.


Thanks for clarifying this. I made slabs that look clear but glow red from old material thats because its mostly cbn…when i first made no color clear slabs i was amazed too but as i played with the levels of adsorbents used, because i never measured it, yielded some pale yellow slabs, some clear clear slabs…from what i observed is that when its fully clear its too much that you sacrifice some Terps and thc at this point just to get a nicer look…pale yellow is the sweet spot in my opinion of making a great extract


What kind of losses do you usually see?


This one glows red
Im guessing high in cbn
Medicates likes its cbn


Too scrubbed in my opinion
Loss of flavor profile


Sweet spot


If a person shows me scientific proof that CBN is red and I will believe them. Until then I assume this is a tired hippie rumor. I am very doubtful that CBN is the source of red coloration.

@ExTek90 is right, color IS a perceptual illusion. There are only photon energies. Spectrophotometry is the only truth.


I think the issue is that THC and all neutral cannabinoids in general, oxidize really really fast in their pure forms. Once you get where you have 99-100% total cannabinoid, and 95+% d9 purity, on a natural plant extract, I think whatever natural antioxidants are in the extracts have been removed, and color changes fast if not protected from air. Going by the color of your extracts is not a very good way to determine isomer content.

What follow are my observations from a lot of HPLC prep scale purification work I once did, great for purity terrible for through put. Note: all of these observation where done looking through borosilicate glass vials with purity of cannabinoids >95% with a 2 cm light path. If you look at these under a very thin slab on a glass plate, most look “clear” or “tinted”, you need to look through a relatively thick amount to get the color.

I believe what everyone is calling “d9 THC” (actually - R,R d9 THC) is a yellow semi solid at room temp (think slabs, not a oil!), and quickly (12-24h) oxidizes to a more orange/red/brown.

I believe d8 is clear viscous oil, and very slowly (> week) oxidizes to red/brown.
I believe CBN is red viscous oil, and does not change color with oxidation.

CBG crystallizes to a fluffy white crystal, CBD crystallizes to crunchy white crystal

I know I am going to take heat on the d8 clear, but this one I am very sure of, so have at it.

I think what is happening when people claim they are “scrubbing too much” or their oil is too “too clear” and that they have “removed all the terpenes” or are “lost too much THC”, is not a function of terpenes or losing THC to the absorptive media, it is in fact conversion of d9 to d8. d8 is about 1/8th the potency of d9, so those water clear oils that never seem to hit hard, it is not the lack of terpenes it is the lack of d9.

Put it another way, a 90 % d8 extract is more like a 12% d9 extract. If you “love d8” try doing a apples to apples comparison with a heavily cut d9 extract. I think people showing water clear oil that is 80-90% d9, need to have it tested at a lab that knows how to test for the d9, d8, 10a and 10. Testing labs really need to up their game in this area, some do a great job, while others just peak the peak and call it d9…not good.

Still too be determined…

CBC oil/gum, per literature. color ???. Interestingly, when I would run this on the prep HPLC you would get 2 peaks.

10A ??? Instagram science has it as a solid, but no test data to back it up (not sure I buy it is a solid)
10 ???