With the recent rise in demand for CBD and its various products, buying a genuine product might seem like a rather difficult task for most people that are new to the process.
Even for experienced CBD users, it could still prove a little difficult to identify genuine products and as such, it can be overwhelming task for the new and inexperienced users.
So with that in mind, we have created a CBD buyer's guide to help you make the best decisions for your CBD treatment.
One of the more common misconceptions about cannabidiol (CBD) is that more is better. According to research, CBD application has a bell curve effect, meaning that benefits are not realized if too little is administered, while too much CBD can also stifle those benefits.
Aside from consulting your physician prior to treating yourself with CBD, the best thing to do is start small and work your way into a dosage regimen that works for your symptoms, not just immediately buying the highest dose possible because it appears to be "more potent."
How to Safely Buy CBD Online
CBD oil comes in various product types. Some of these include edibles, oils, tinctures, pills, and so on. Due to the fact CBD oils are extracted and then added to products before consumption, it is important to pay careful attention to any product's contents prior to consuming it, to ensure you get exactly what you want and nothing you don't.
CBD is not something to buy simply because you want it or you think the price is reasonable for the promises the product makes.
Marketers are hoping to use the "placebo effect" to lure you into shelling out hundreds of dollars for limited results. This practice prevents the medicine from helping the people that really need it.
What do the 3rd Party Lab Test Results Say?
A standard and objective way of discovering the quality of the product is through an unbiased report from a 3rd party lab test.
A reputable CBD brand will have its lab testing results posted somewhere on the website where it is being sold, this lab result is often times called a valid certificate of analysis (COA).
Without this report, it is safe to assume that the product probably has some questionable properties that the company does not want revealed.
In order to ensure you are getting exactly what you are promised, be sure to check the manufacturer's 3rd Party Lab Test page, referenced on the packaging or on the site where it is available for sale. If you do not see this or it is difficult to access, do not buy!
What should Appear in a Lab Report?
There are certain details that must be found in a 3rd party CBD lab report.
The standard for a quality CBD product is:
- One that has been declared completely free of contaminants.
- The amount of CBD contained within the product matches the report.
Does the amount of CBD listed in the lab report reflect the amount listed on the product’s description or product packaging?
Was the Analysis Performed by an Accredited Laboratory?
With the lack of proper regulation comes an influx of shady business practices that are not just represented by retailers, but fraudulent labs have popped up that do not have the proper credentials for 3rd party testing.
So, before accepting any lab result, it is important to establish a lab's credibility as well. This can be found out by verifying its credentials at the International Organization for Standardization.
There are also other organizations that dictate what labs deserve more credit than others.
How long ago was the 3rd party lab report approved?
The time in which the lab report was approved is also crucial. An approved report from 5 years ago cannot be compared to one that was just approved; there will be a discernible difference in the quality of the two ‘approved’ products.
How Much THC does it Contain?
CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC level may give its user a feeling of being high similar to using marijuana. For this reason, most states have legally regulated the level of THC that can be found in a CBD product to be 0.3% at the maximum, any level higher than this is considered illegal as of this publication.
What Ingredients are used?
A savvy grocery shopper knows what ingredients are used in their food and the same care should be taken prior to purchasing any CBD product, ensuring there are no harmful chemicals or ingredients included.
For contents you are unfamiliar with, be sure to do some research on their potential side effects before you check out.
Where was the Hemp Sourced from?
The geographical area where hemp is planted can play a major role when determining its quality.
In general, the U.S is known as a great place for growing and harvesting high quality plant-derived products. Making sure the hemp you consume is more localized will also benefit our planet by leaving a lower carbon footprint.
Quality CBD brands will disclose where their hemp is cultivated. Support those companies.
What Type of CBD is used?
There are several types of CBD that are used in products containing CBD, some are:
- CBD isolate
- Broad spectrum CBD
- Full spectrum CBD
- Whole Plant Medicines
Depending on the results you are after, it is important to be aware of which product type you are consuming.
Note: While CBD isolates are most common in vape products, they don't have as many benefits as Full or Broad Spectrum tinctures and may not be as helpful for certain conditions.
How was the CBD Extracted?
The standardized purest way to extract the CBD oil is through a process called CO2 extraction. Although there are other methods of extraction, this method ensures a full preservation plant contents, and thus it retains its quality.
Understanding CBD Concentration
Knowing the amount of CBD within each of the products you take makes it easier for you to get consistent results. This is particularly important if you are changing brands or product types and still want similar results.
By reading the 3rd Party Lab test results and comparing products for yourself, you can make the best determination on the best dosage regimen for your needs, even if you decide to change product type or switch to supporting a different CBD company altogether.
CBD tinctures are sold with pipette droppers. Most of the time, these are 1ML pipettes with guides on them, which makes dosing very easy and consistent.
Edibles are available in various forms, from powdered drink mixes to gummies. These supplements are easy to measure, to take, and generally taste good as well. This is a form that is the least invasive on someone's daily routine.
A capsule most often contains more content than a tincture, and as such it is easier to simply calculate the amount of CBD per serving which in this case would be per capsule.
For people who use electronic cigarettes or vapes and enjoy the flavors, CBD can now be ingested through vape pens. This provides a nearly instant effect for consuming CBD. It is a bit tricky to determine how much CBD is consumed through a single inhale since everyone has different lung capacity.
Note: There are many products containing CBD, including Topical creams and smokable flowers in addition to this list. There will likely be more variations available over time.
Is the Product Priced Fairly?
The price of a product can greatly determine if you would be willing to buy it. Price is affected by a few factors:
- Where you are buying it from
- The concentrations of CBD content in it; its potency
- The type of product it is (edibles, creams, or oils, etc.)
At times, some products may be unreasonably high priced because of its connection to a celebrity or its fancy packaging.
Instead of looking to celebrities for endorsements, companies could make a higher quality product made more affordable, since CBD is a medicine meant to heal, not to exploit.
What is the Company's Reputation?
What are others saying about the product and the brand?
The brand's reputation goes a long way in determining a few things about their product. Whether or not they cut corners, if their customer service or support is bad. These are all things to consider before supporting a particular brand.
Before buying a CBD product, do some research on the company supplying it to make sure it fits with your values.
Following these above guidelines will improve your CBD experience.
By staying well-informed, we keep our industry competitive and the product quality the best it can possibly be.
if you are interested in learning more about CBD and how it can be used to improve your quality of life, be sure to check out all of our resources on the site. When you are better equipped with good information, you are more likely to make the best decisions for yourself.