Buying CBD oil can be a little more complicated than heading to the store to pick up a bottle of Aspirin or decide between different brands of flu medicine. CBD oil production isn’t federally regulated and it’s not always crystal clear what’s in any one bottle. The best way to choose a safe and effective product and also decide where to buy it from is to educate yourself as much as possible before making any purchases.
Product quality may be one of the most important things to consider when buying CBD oil. You can certainly go out and buy the cheapest CBD oil on the market but there’s a pretty good chance it’s not going to provide the relief and medicinal effects you’re looking for. At the same time, you don’t want to just buy the most expensive CBD oil available and overpay unnecessarily. It’s important to do ample research into a producer before you purchase from them. Read their third party lab reports, look into their production methods, and check out some of their customer reviews.
The plant material that is used to make a CBD oil plays a very large role in the quality of the finished product. A major factor to consider is whether hemp plants or marijuana plants are being used to produce the oil. Industrial hemp contains less that 0.3% THC by dry weight and as such, hemp extract CBD oils contain only trace amounts of THC or none at all. This is crucial to consumers who live in states where marijuana use is not legal. Because industrial hemp has only negligible amounts of THC and is legal in all states, hemp extract CBD oil is legal in all states as well.
The legality of the plant material isn’t your only concern. Knowing where and how it was grown can be equally important. Hemp grown in the United States will be subjected to different farming regulations and cultivation standards than hemp grown elsewhere in the world. This may affect THC levels but it may also affect the safety of the plant material. Hemp is used in phytoremediation to clean contaminated or radioactive soil because of its exceptional ability to leach harmful pollutants from the soil. If the hemp being used to make your CBD oil was not grown in clean, healthy soil you may be ingesting any combination of harmful materials.
There are a variety of ways that CBD oils can be extracted from the plant material, such as butane or ethanol solvent extraction methods or CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction is typically considered the safest method and it produces the highest quality products. It extracts the potent cannabinoids, terpenes, and beneficial plant materials without adding the risk of leaving behind harmful solvent residues. CO2 extraction is a more expensive process because special equipment is required, as well as the training to use it, but most top CBD manufacturers choose this method.
Third Party Lab Testing
Almost everything comes down to product quality when shopping for CBD oils and sometimes it can be hard to assess the actual quality of any particular product. Luckily, third party lab testing allows the product to be fully analysed by using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry to determine exactly what is really in it. On a third party lab report, or certificate of analysis, you can see exactly which cannabinoids and terpenes are in a product and in what levels they are present. You can also see if there are any toxins, pesticides, heavy metals, or harmful microbes to be found in the product.
May CBD manufacturers provide third party lab reports on their website for their customers to examine. If not readily available, they may be able to provide them upon request. If they are unwilling or unable to provide these reports it’s possible they aren’t selling exactly what they advertise or perhaps their products are not as high quality as they’d like you to believe. For companies that do provide these reports, be sure to check the age of the lab test. Analyses that have been conducted years ago may no longer reflect the quality of the product currently being sold.
In this age of Yelp, Trip Advisor, Amazon, and Google Reviews the opinion of your fellow consumers can be an incredibly valuable piece of information. There are many forums and websites dedicated to connecting the cannabis community, allowing them to share their thoughts and experiences with any given product. Many online retailers also allow consumers to leave reviews on products they’ve purchased or have tried in the past. Not everyone experiences the same effects when taking CBD and many people use it for different ailments but when you have a slew of customers saying a product is snake oil, it can definitely give you an idea of which companies to stay away from.
Method of Ingestion
Before you make your purchase, you’ll need to decide which type of product you’re interested in. You can purchase vape oils, tinctures, capsules, edibles, and topicals but they all work quite differently and it’s important to know the difference before you buy. How much of the product reaches your bloodstream, how quickly it takes effect, and how long it lasts is different with every method.
CBD vape pens will deliver the highest levels of CBD to your bloodstream and it will be effective almost immediately, however it is also eliminated from your system the quickest as well. Sublingual tinctures will reach your bloodstream more fully and effectively than a capsule or edible that is swallowed because anything subjected your digestive system will be partially metabolized before finding its way into your bloodstream. A topical cream works quite differently than the other methods, delivering the CBD directly to the site of the pain, discomfort, or inflammation. CBD topicals will not enter the bloodstream but can provide much more effective relief for skin, joint, and muscle problems by acting directly at the source of the pain.
Where to Buy Your CBD Oil
Where you’re buying your CBD oil may not be important as long as the retailer is a reputable source who sells at a fair price and doesn’t sell old or improperly stored product. You can buy CBD oils at a dispensary or from an online retailer and you can also check out consumer reviews for both of these types of sellers.
One place you should avoid when looking for CBD oil however is Amazon. Amazon’s terms do not allow CBD products to be sold within their marketplace so if you’re attempting to buy CBD oil there, you’re not likely to receive what you’re expecting. Most, if not all products on Amazon are hemp seed oils that do not contain any cannabinoids. They are often cleverly marketed as CBD enhancers or alternatives, so watch out for this when shopping online for CBD oil.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Many consumers who are looking for a CBD oil are mainly concerned with how much CBD is in a bottle, which is always listed on the bottle by mg per bottle or mg per dose, but there are a few other things to consider. The terpenes and other cannabinoids in a CBD oil can go a long way in enhancing the effects of CBD or by providing therapeutic benefits of their own. Choosing a full spectrum CBD oil means the terpenes and cannabinoids that were present in the plant material should also be present in the CBD oil, providing a synergistic combination of effects known as the “entourage effect”. Consumers may also be concerned with the taste of the oil, some enjoying the natural flavors provided by the plant, others preferring additional flavors to be added to provide a more palatable experience.
There can be a lot to think about when purchasing CBD products. The market is fairly new and is still growing. Laws, regulations, practices, and expectations are changing all the time as this industry finds its place in the world. You can expect it to continue to change and evolve so make sure you evolve with it and keep up to date on which brands can be trusted, which products are the highest quality, and what the current cannabis laws are in your state.