When shopping for CBD, there are several things to consider before checking your cart out. In recent years, cannabidiol or CBD has been more in demand because of its supposed health benefits. Many use it to help treat a myriad of medical conditions and give the body’s energy and immune system an extra boost.
As huge as the hemp-derived industry currently is, the regulations of products are loose. This results in many dupes, fakes, and low-quality CBD oil out there. Some manufacturers get away with not meeting the FDA standards because of some customers’ general naivete when buying their CBD hemp oil.
To prevent such things from happening, you should do your due diligence when researching the type of products containing CBD that would suit you best. After all, it is always best to be cautious now than be sorry later. Read on to find out the 5 things to know when shopping for CBD.
Before purchasing anything, it is important to first think about why you want to take CBD in the first place. What is this hemp oil extract used for, is it the right supplement for whatever ails you, and what does CBD feel like? Derived from hemp, cannabidiol is only one of the hundreds of active cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is entirely non-psychoactive.
There is also an important distinction between CBD oil and hemp seed oil. Often mixed up together, their main difference lies in which part of the raw hemp plant material they are extracted from. Hemp seed oil comes from cold-pressed seeds of the plant, while CBD’s extraction process is more complicated, using methods such as CO2 Extraction.
Knowing these basic facts are important before delving into the more specific details of cannabidiol. The specific details including as CBD types and kinds of products available in the market. There are many forms of hemp-derived goods out there, including CBD gummies, lip balms, capsules, oil tinctures, topicals, and even pet treats.
How Much THC Is Present?
There are three types of CBD: Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. The first two contain full profiles of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Full-spectrum includes a small amount of THC, less than 0.3 percent as per the legal limit, while broad-spectrum remains THC-free. Isolates are pure, potent CBD and are harder and more expensive to come by.
The THC level is an important factor to consider for several reasons. The first being, if you want to avoid the infamous weed high that is usually associated with cannabis sativa and marijuana plants, low or zero-THC hemp oil products are the ones to buy. CBD does not cause the same side effects that THC does and is generally considered a safe substance, even by the W.H.O.
The second main reason is to avoid complications with the law. While industrial hemp has been declared legal in the United States since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, subsequently legalizing all hemp-derived products such as CBD oil, certain restrictions still exist. Only hemp plants and products containing no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight is legal.
Some states still have a restrictive medical marijuana program. They only allow the sale and usage of hemp products to patients who have conditions that qualify the use for medical cannabis. Hemp and cannabidiol are legal on the federal level but not always in the eyes of local state laws. This distinction is important because your state may prohibit it.
And third, a combination of CBD with other cannabinoids, including THC, could produce what experts call the entourage effect. This effect occurs when all these cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that work in synchronized harmony. This way it can effectively treat various conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety symptoms, sleeping problems, and others.
Related Article: How Much CBD Should I Take?
Is The Product Third-Party Lab Tested?
A Certificate of Analysis or COA is a document that shows the test results of a product that underwent a thorough review and testing from an accredited third-party laboratory that is separate from the product’s company or brand. For CBD products, a COA would state the manufacturing methods used, batch number, THC levels, and other components.
Why are the test and its result important? COAs pretty much legitimize hemp products in the eyes of the government and consumers alike. When CBD products pass the third-party lab tests with flying colors, the brand is likely to put this at the forefront of their advertisements and websites. If it is not available or a brand refuses to disclose it, better to avoid their products altogether.
A Certificate of Analysis would also show the chain of production. Consumers will trace the origins of their CBD oil from the raw plant material, to the packaging used, to the distribution date. This will keep brands accountable and ensure that the step-by-step production of their hemp merchandise is accounted for.
The boom in hemp demand also meant more demand for hemp and cannabis farmers and cultivators. Instead of sourcing from imported materials, several states committed to supporting the cultivation of their rich lands with their locals who have green thumbs. The state of Colorado has one of the most robust hemp programs in the country.
Colorado’s agricultural program conducts special workshops and particular care. This is by overseeing the hemp plants that are planted and grown by professional farmers. Spot-tests, THC-checks, and other forms of review are done with every harvest to ensure that the plant materials remain high-quality, illegal pesticide-free, and safe for human consumption.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also released their standard guide and protocols for good manufacturing practices that producers, growers, and retailers should follow. Overseas products are not subject to the same federal or state tests. There are no guarantees that imported hemp plants are GMO-free, laboratory-tested, or free of herbicides.
Think of it this way — shopping CBD locally not only promises safety, but it is also a way of supporting local farmers and promoting environmental sustainability. This is something that the world sorely needs nowadays. When browsing for hemp brands, check if their websites state the plant source. If the information is not readily available, ask staff for assistance.
CBD Panacea Claims Are False Advertisement
As much of the wave trend as CBD is making on the health community now, it is important to remember that this natural compound is not intended to replace prescription medications. It is meant to supplement the endocannabinoid system to maintain the body’s balance of well-being.
The science behind CBD is still mostly theoretical at best. This is mostly because of the decades of cannabis ban that hindered studies and clinical trials. Fortunately, advanced science and technology are trying to make up for the lost time. More scientists and experts are paying attention not just to cannabidiol but other cannabinoids as well.
Final Thoughts on Shopping for CBD
Shopping for CBD and wanting to buy the right type and form can be a challenging endeavor. There are hundreds of articles out there listing down hemp brands that are the best CBD oil source. However, it is still your responsibility as a consumer to make sure you tick off all the preliminary boxes in this article first before purchasing.
When buying from physical shops, take up friendly staff on their offer to assist you. If they have a website, do a quick internet search and read some product reviews. After you have evaluated the brand, choose the product form that would suit your lifestyle best. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for their newest products and try them out for yourself.