As a novice CBD consumer, education is the primary element in deciding if CBD oil is right for you. This guide serves as a reliable source of information, as it is essential to have a fundamental understanding of what's actually in your CBD tinctures, topicals and edibles before committing to a purchase.
Identifying High-Quality CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound that is extracted from the Cannabis plant. Although CBD is present in marijuana, it is most commonly extracted from agricultural hemp. Any CBD products created from marijuana will only be available in states where marijuana is legal.
It is essential to differentiate between low-quality CBD and high-quality CBD products when shopping both in-person and online. Using a low-quality product will fail to provide the effects a person may expect, as well as potentially contain harmful toxins. Here is a list of suggestions to be mindful of when shopping for CBD to avoid these risks:
1. Identify the Source of the CBD Extract
In order to be optimally effective, the CBD source must be high-quality. Hemp absorbs anything in the ground where it is cultivated and farmed. If a hemp plant grows in upscale soil, the resulting plant will be of a premium quality that can produce CBD oil at an equivalent level of quality as well.
It is highly suggested to identify where the CBD brand sources their hemp from. If available, look for products made with U.S. grown hemp, as U.S. farmers are required to get certified by state Departments of Agriculture. This information should be present on the retailer’s or manufacturer’s websites as well as through their support center.
2. Identify how the CBD is Manufactured
Identifying how the CBD is manufactured is extremely important because there are various extraction methods available. Some methods are much more safe and sanitary than others. Some businesses may use the cheaper methods when extracting CBD oil. These processes require the use of toxic solvents which are dangerous to human health; solvents including butane, propane, hexane, and pentane. All of these are hydrocarbon gases and are found in petroleum.
Before purchasing any CBD oil, look into the brand’s production methods. The information should be found on their website or by contacting customer service. It is recommended to consider buying products with CBD that has been processed through cryoextraction, ethanol, and/or CO2 extraction. Here is an explanation of each method:
One safe way to extract CBD is using organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol. The ethanol removes unneeded toxins and residues from the base hemp plant. This process of extraction is normally considered to be the extraction method that generates the largest amount of cannabinoids compared to most other methods. It is one of the safest ways to extract CBD for human consumption.
There is also CO2 extraction, which requires expensive equipment, complicated refinement processes, and production proficiency. This method works by using carbon dioxide under high pressure in an intensely cold environment. It assures that the CBD oil sustains its purity through the entire process.
Lastly, there is cryoextraction. This is the newest existing method and most efficient yet. This method is utilized under an extremely cold environment. It allows for more selective cannabinoid extraction. The process uses special machines including dry ice setups.
Before purchasing any CBD oil, look into the brand’s production methods. The information should be found on their website, or by contacting customer service. We recommend going after CBD processed through cryoextraction, ethanol, and/or CO2 extraction.
3. Always Check for 3rd Party Lab Reports
An exceptional CBD brand will always provide up-to-date third-party lab results to their consumers and should be accessible on their online stores. Many products will provide positive results, while others might fail these tests. These independent labs solely exist to assure the purity of the products. An accurate and clean CBD product will contain a level of CBD that matches what the brand claims it to be, low/no THC, and includes absolutely no contaminants that can be harmful to consumers. If a brand does not provide updated full lab results, it would be wise not to buy products from them.
4. Avoid brands who make “miracle” medical claims
Most CBD brands are not owned by licensed medical professionals. Beware of brands that claim that their product can “treat”,”cure”, or “prevent” illnesses, disorders or symptoms. It is wise to only buy products that have science backing up the potential of their products. If they are stating any kind of medical claims, make sure they are licensed medically to provide such information.
5. Broad-Spectrum VS. Isolate
When shopping for premium CBD oil, it is always best to look for Broad Spectrum (whole plant) THC free extract. Using the whole plant, rather than using only one part, ensures that the extract contains not just CBD, but also the full range of primary and secondary compounds of the hemp plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are primarily thought to work synergistically with CBD, making the benefits exponentially higher than CBD alone (CBD isolate). CBD isolate is still very effective by itself, however. It still provides all of its own set of benefits when used.
Other Suggestions to Consider
High price does not automatically mean high quality
Just because a product is expensive does not mean it is high quality. It’s recommended to really educate yourself on the brand before buying it. You will save yourself from losing money over a bunk CBD product.
Ailment specific products
Some products target particular ailment symptoms and will include supporting ingredients to help alleviate those targeted symptoms. An example of this can be a product targeting anxiety. It may also include ingredients such as ashwagandha or lavender, which also aids in providing a calming effect to reduce anxiety.
Organic is always best
Brands who use organic, non-GMO ingredients ensure that their ingredients are clean from contaminants that could harm a person’s health.