CBD oils are selling like hot cakes in dispensaries, but with so many out there, how do you find the best CBD product meant for you?
Suffice to say that CBD has been instrumental in creating a much-needed revolution in the cannabis industry.
A simple Google search will tell you that CBD products are trending for quite a while now. After all, who doesn’t want to treat his problem with a simple natural medicine? Also known as Hemp, just about everyone wants to know how CBD can help them. However, there are many fake products in the market because they are sold as supplements.
CBD definitely works, but only if it’s genuine. And if you’re confused due to the sheer number of products out there, this guide will help you find the best CBD product based on your needs.
What Is CBD?
For the uninitiated, CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its distant cousin THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, which means that you won’t get “high” after its consumption. You experience all the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without any changes in your abilities.
Known as cannabidiol, the effects of CBD first came to light due to a documentary on a little girl named Charlotte Figi.Today, a strain named after the girl called Charlotte’s Web contains high amounts of CBD and little THC.
Hemp Or Marijuana?
The primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp doesn’t bring psychotropic effects to the table. There’s a lot of confusion on this topic already. To keep it short, all you need to know is that both THC and CBD are derived from cannabis. While THC induces a high, CBD doesn’t.
It’s important to note that both the cannabinoids are highly beneficial, but since some people can’t cope with the psychoactive effects, CBD has an advantage.
When you see a CBD product labeled as a hemp-derived substance, it simply means that the CBD was obtained from hemp. CBD can be extracted from cannabis too, which further contributes to the confusion. While hemp is cultivated more for its stalks that can be used to make clothes, ropes, oil and many other products, marijuana is grown for its THC.
At the end of it all, it boils down to the amount of THC present in the product. No matter where the CBD comes from, it will be effective and non-psychoactive as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent of THC.
Tips To Choose A Good CBD Product
Now that you’ve made up your mind to use CBD, here are a few tips to choose the best ones meant for you.
1. Cultivation Methods
The quality of hemp used to make CBD plays a major role in preparing the final product. Thus, it’s important to understand the manufacturer’s practices before you purchase it.
Since CBD products are sold as dietary supplements, they are usually not scrutinised as much as products sold as medicines. Therefore, it’s up to you — the consumer — to find out how the product was extracted in the first place.
While some CBD manufacturers rely on third-party hemp farmers or suppliers to get quality hemp, there are many who have the sole intention of making a quick buck. They simply purchase CBD isolates and mix them with plain oil, and voila, you have your CBD oil! Of course, CBD isolates can be diluted and be effective, but why settle for less when you can get the actual substance?
With that said, it’s not possible to visit every manufacturer’s facility to view cultivation methods. It’s their word, and you can take it or leave it — simple. But, you can still use common sense to understand if the company is genuine.
For instance, CBD products can be sourced anywhere from Europe, USA or China. Since companies need to follow strict rules to cultivate CBD, it makes sense to purchase your medicine from a US-based supplier. Since growers in the US have to follow the FDA rules and show proof of organically derived substances, it’s a no-brainer to rely on them. Furthermore, superior cultivation techniques and the soil used to grow hemp by US farmers make the CBD as pure as possible.
In addition, look for companies that spread knowledge about their cultivation practices. Ask questions, don’t be shy! It’s your medicine, after all. If the company answers your questions and discloses their cultivation techniques readily, it’s a good sign that the company is reliable. Also, it’s a huge bonus if the company grows hemp on their own farms rather than relying on others.
2. Type of CBD
Labels on CBD products usually state whether they are full-spectrum, isolate or broad-spectrum CBD. While all these products contain CBD, the difference lies in the extraction process.
For example, after CBD is obtained from the plant, it’s separated from other cannabinoids resulting in pure CBD or CBD isolate. CBD isolates usually contain 99%~ CBD.
Full spectrum CBD products contain a mixture of CBD plus other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids present in the plant. While THC and CBD are the two players we know, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
Terpenes or essential oils such as Myrcene and Pinene present in the plant not only provide their own medicinal benefits but also counteract the psychoactive effects produced by THC. This synergy known as the Entourage Effect works if you consume the plant wholly rather than isolating only CBD.
Broad Spectrum products contain a mixture of both full spectrum and CBD isolates sans the THC. If you cannot stand THC, broad-spectrum products are perfect for you. However, full spectrum actually works better than all of them.
3. Read The Ingredients List Carefully
No matter what you purchase, reading the ingredients carefully is a practice you must develop. If the company doesn’t list the ingredients, consider that a huge red flag and move on.
On the other hand, if a large number of unpronounceable ingredients are listed, take the time to Google and understand them.
It’s critical to buy products that list only premium ingredients that are likely to enhance the effectiveness of the product. While some companies sell only CBD, others include a mixture of vitamins such as Vitamin B and Melatonin. Some contain sweeteners, grape seed, and fruit extracts to enhance taste. It’s recommended that you stay away from artificial sweeteners and corn syrup.
4. Lab Reports
Companies often rely on third-party labs to ensure that the final product is safe to use. A simple search on their website will reveal whether the product can be trusted. In some cases, details of lab reports aren’t divulged at all. While the manufacturer may have simply forgotten to add the reports, it could also mean that the final CBD product isn’t up to the mark.
Without the reports, there’s no way to confirm the authenticity, so you can either mail them and ask questions or simply move on to find something better. Where the reports are published, look for a certification of analysis proving that the product is genuine.
In addition, it’s important to understand if the laboratory is well-known. Just like unscrupulous companies, laboratories can also provide false reports. Typically, companies get the ISO certificate to prove their trust, and since ISO is considered the standard where results cannot be manipulated, it’s safe to go with such companies. However, some companies get certifications from other genuine labs, and a simple search will help to drive to your concerns away.
While poring over the reports, check for the date the product was tested. Just like you wouldn’t touch any product past its expiry date, there’s no reason to purchase a CBD product that was tested eons ago. An acceptable range is within a year, but genuine companies get their products tested frequently to help consumers purchase anything without a doubt.
Some CBD products contain heavy metals and contaminants that could be harmful even in low doses. While they may not be life-threatening, harmful ingredients such as bacteria, metals, and mold can take a toll on your body much more than you can imagine. Therefore, stay safe and peruse the lab reports for your wellbeing.
5. Extraction Methods
CBD can be extracted in several ways. In fact, it can be made at home using common ingredients. To extract the cannabinoid, it’s important to start with material that’s rich in CBD. While some manufacturers utilize the CO2 extraction technique, others use butane to obtain CBD.
Note that although butane is used to extract pure CBD, the residues may affect your immune system that leads to further complications.
Therefore, stay away from butane no matter how simple it seems unless you enjoy blowing your house up in the process!
Coming back to the extraction methods, CBD derived from C02 extraction technique is considered the best. In this method, carbon dioxide is infused into the plant material at low temperatures and high pressure to preserve the purity of the end product. Though this technique is expensive, it ensures that the CBD oil is free from other contaminants while preserving the terpenes.
Some companies use ethanol to extract cannabidiol. The ethanol must be of top-quality and the CBD oil obtained is also pure; however, alcohol has a tendency to burn the terpenoids and flavonoids present in the plant. While this method may be useful for those looking only for CBD, it doesn’t produce a full spectrum oil that’s extremely beneficial to users.
Other methods include using olive oil to extricate CBD oil. While this is the simplest of methods that don’t require sophisticated and expensive equipment, it’s mandatory to add preservatives to prolong the shelf life.
Before purchasing CBD oil, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:
- Why do you need CBD oil?
- How often can you use the oil?
- What’s the dosage you need?
- Do you need quick relief?
- Do you need something that’s slow to act but lasts longer?
- What form of CBD are you looking for?
- Are you concerned about the flavour?
- What’s your maximum budget?
Once you answer those, it becomes easy to discern the type of CBD needed.
Remember that dosage plays an important role in determining the best CBD product.
For instance, some people require CBD for anxiety. In such cases, the dosage needs to be high to gain quick relief. For others, CBD in low doses may be enough to relieve pain and other common illnesses. For those suffering from fatal diseases, it’s critical to administer a high-dose serving that acts fast.
To explain this further, let’s take a look at a few popular ways to use CBD.
Let’s imagine that you want to purchase a 10ml bottle of CBD oil. The total amount of CBD is 1500mg. For every ml, you receive 150mg CBD. Now, 150mg CBD may be too high for some people. Considering that a drop of oil totals up to 0.05ml, it will deliver about 7.5mg of CBD. You can customize the number of drops depending on your requirement.
If you’re looking for a straightforward method to use CBD, CBD capsules are your best bet. For example, if you purchase a bottle containing 30 capsules totaling up to 1500mg, a single serving or capsule will provide 150mg of CBD. While it can be a tad difficult to carry CBD oil everywhere, capsules present no such problem, making it easier for you while traveling.
Types Of CBD Products
CBD Oil is perhaps the most popular among all types of CBD products. Many medicinal cannabis users make their own CBD oil by growing CBD-rich strains at home.
Perfect for those looking for an easy method to consume the medicine. With no guesswork involved, it makes life easier for patients.
Tinctures are typically liquid cannabis extracts that aren’t as concentrated as oils or capsules. They are soaked in glycerin or alcohol and sprayed under the tongue for quick relief.
Used to relieve several aches, CBD topicals can be used on the skin like a balm. It contains many different cannabinoids. Since they are not ingested, the presence of THC doesn’t make a difference in your agility but certainly helps to relieve pain quickly.
Several cannabis producers sell edibles infused with CBD. And no, they don’t make you high. Apart from relieving anxiety, stress, and depression, these edibles are also tasty. They may not work really fast but the effects last longer.
If you have the time and are willing to put in the efforts, you can try growing your very own medicine at home. Quite a few seedbanks sell cannabis seeds that are high in CBD. If cannabis cultivation isn’t your forte, local dispensaries may help you find the best CBD product meant specifically for you.