As the CBD market continues to explode, an increasing number of retailers are starting to partner with CBD brands. Due to the excellent healing properties that are associated with CBD oil, the medical cannabis industry is experiencing significant growth. This means that there is an extensive range of CBD oil products available in the market, which can make it difficult to choose and buy the CBD oil which is best for you.
The fact is that shopping for CBD oil is no walk in the park. Because of the increasing popularity of CBD, you have to dig deep to find up-to-date and accurate information – reliable information is often scattered across the web. So, how do you choose the right CBD oil? Well, you could spend some unnecessary money and try all of the CBD oils on the market until you find which one works for you. But, a more practical solution would be to set some buying criterion and research the many different options available.
We understand that today’s market is overcrowded with CBD products which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right CBD oil. The quality and effectiveness of CBD oil can vary dramatically depending on where you get it from. This is why it’s important to know what to look for. Other important factors to consider are; taste, efficacy, ease of use, concentration, and, of course, price. We will cover everything that you need to know below.
Decide Why You Want to Use CBD Oil
The first thing that you need to do is decide why you want to use CBD oil. While it has been touted for various possible health benefits – with research suggesting that it could help with everything from anxiety and pain to multiple sclerosis (MS) and depression – for now, it’s been clearly proven to treat two rare forms of epilepsy.
Administering a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue could be very effective in relieving things like anxiety or muscle cramps within a few minutes. Ultimately, you need to know and understand what you want to achieve by using CBD oil in order to choose the right product. This will have a big influence on your decision.
Choose the Right Concentration of CBD Oil
Concentration is typically the most important factor when choosing any CBD product. Concentration tells you how much CBD is in the product, which will help you to assess the strength, value, and virtue.
CBD oil products, like those that come in dropper bottles or capsule form, are available in a range of concentrations. The amount of CBD that is in a bottle or capsule is usually found on the packaging. Many CBD oil products state the amounts in mg, such as 250 mg or 1000 mg. Other products may specify the concentration as a percentage instead, such as 3% or 10% CBD.
While higher doses of CBD will naturally have a more pronounced effect, it’s not recommended to start with a high concentration. You need to keep in mind that every individual is different and will, therefore, react differently to CBD. When it comes to the concentration of CBD and dosage recommendations, there’s no clear cut answer. This is because there are many factors that come into play. Some of these include; the consumer’s weight, metabolism, and how each person interacts with medication. This means that while one dose from a 250 mg bottle of CBD oil may work for one person, another person may require a few drops of the same oil or a higher strength of CBD oil.
This is why it’s usually recommended that consumer start with a low to moderate dosage, and gradually work their way up to higher dosages if necessary. By observing the effects over the course of a few days, you can make any necessary adjustments. If you don’t experience the desired effects within this period, increase the dosage.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil vs. CBD Isolate
There are two main types of CBD oil; full-spectrum and isolate. There is one big and important difference between the two, and it should play a major part in determining which CBD oil is right for you.
If you didn’t already know, the cannabis plant is made up of hundreds of different phytochemicals, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and many other compounds. Full spectrum CBD oils are those products that don’t only contain CBD, but also the various other plant molecules. Full-spectrum is also often called whole plant, and it means that the full plant extract has been used.
CBD isolate, on the other hand, doesn’t contain any other phytochemicals. It’s also known as pure CBD oil, and as the name suggests, these oils have been isolated down to contain only the CBD molecule. It doesn’t contain any other active ingredients – the aim is to deliver the therapeutic dose of CBD, isolated from terpenes and other cannabinoids.
Until quite recently, CBD isolate was thought to be the standard for the CBD oil industry. But mounting evidence is showing that full-spectrum CBD oil has a host of additional benefits that are not found in CBD isolates. While more research still needs to be done, there are indications that terpenes and cannabinoids work together to influence each other. This is known as the entourage effect. In essence, all of these compounds work together to produce more beneficial effects than CBD is able to produce on its own.
However, whether you should choose CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD oil is entirely up to you. Both types have their own benefits. But currently, full-spectrum CBD oil is the industry darling.
Consider How Much THC is in the Product
This is extra important if you want to avoid the head-high that is associated with THC. But knowing how much THC is in a product is important for other reasons, too, including where you can buy it from and how effective it might be. Some research suggests that CBD may work better in some people when it is combined with THC. This theory is derived from the entourage effect that we discussed above.
However, this notion isn’t yet proven and is more theoretical. Also, only a small amount of THC (as low as 0.3%) may be needed to enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD. CBD products that are made from hemp contain no more 0.3% THC. So, if you want a CBD oil that contains a little THC but not enough to get you high, look for CBD oil that has been produced from hemp.
Finding a CBD oil that contains more than 0.3% THC could be a little tougher. You see, 0.3% is the legal limit. Therefore, for starters, you would need to be in a state that has legalized cannabis, not just CBD. You would also need to go to a state-licensed dispensary to buy it. As you can see, buying CBD oil that contains more than the legal limit of THC may require a little more effort. The good news is that 0.3% THC is thought to be more than enough when it comes to the benefits of the entourage effects.
What Extraction Method is Used?
The two most common extraction methods used by companies to produce CBD oil are; supercritical CO2 extraction and ethanol extraction. There are other methods of extraction, like steam distillation and oil extraction, but these are far less popular. While each method has its own advantages, supercritical CO2 extraction is widely considered to be the safest and most effective method of extraction and is thus an important factor to consider when buying your CBD oil.
The fact is, when it comes to the purity and quality of the end-product, not all extraction methods are created equal. Some companies cut corners and make cheap CBD products using harmful solvents like butane and propane to render their extracts. While these products are often less expensive, it’s not worth the health risks associated with these harmful substances.
It’s widely believed that the best CBD oils are made using supercritical CO2 extraction. This method makes use of carbon dioxide under high pressure in order to isolate, preserve, and keep the purity of the CBD. It’s significantly more expensive than any other extraction method, but the CBD oil is of a much higher quality. CO2 extraction doesn’t involve any toxic substances.
Reputable manufacturers of CBD oil are normally quite transparent about their extraction process. If the brand doesn’t mention their extraction method on the product page or packaging or any supplemental literature, then it would be wise to proceed with caution. The manufacturers who use CO2 extraction are almost always proud to mention it.
Has the Product Been Third-Party Lab Tested?
One of the most important things to look for when buying CBD oil or any other CBD product is whether the product has been tested by a third party laboratory. If so, the lab reports will usually be readily available somewhere on the company website.
If there is no lab report available, it could mean a variety of things. Maybe the lab report found that the CBD oil didn’t contain the stated amount of cannabinoids. Or maybe the product contains harmful contaminants. Or perhaps the company just forgot to add the lab reports to their website.
But, without a lab report, there is no way of confirming what is in the CBD oil and if it’s safe to use. This is why it’s advised to always check for a Certificate of Analysis (lab report) before you buy CBD oil online.
Where Was the Hemp Sourced from?
Hemp is the primary source from which CBD is extracted. The quality of that hemp has a big impact on the quality of the end product. While there are those CBD brands who keep a close relationship with their hemp suppliers to ensure that they use top quality hemp, there are also those who are more worried about getting the lowest possible price.
Sometimes, brands will buy CBD isolate from wholesale suppliers with no idea of where the hemp comes from or how it’s cultivated. Suppliers will often tell new CBD companies who have limited knowledge that their isolate originates from organic hemp that was grown in the U.S using the best farming practices. However, if the company doesn’t have a direct relationship with the farm, there’s no way of validating these claims.
It’s important to confirm the quality of the hemp from which the CBD was extracted. Firstly, look at where the hemp was sourced from. It could be from many different places, including; Europe, China, or the US. Since the U.S has superior cultivation standards and nutrient-rich soil, it’s widely believed to be the best geographical location for the cultivation of hemp.
You also need to look at what cultivation practices were used. Making use of the best cultivation practices such as sourcing hemp seeds from accredited collectives, maintaining the proper pH-balanced soil, and abstaining from GMOs, pesticides, and other unnatural practices should be considered the foundation for all CBD products. While it may not be easy to fully extract this information, it’s always a good sign if the company is knowledgeable and readily discloses their standards and beliefs when sourcing for their hemp.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right CBD Oil
As the CBD market continues to expand, it’s likely that the amount of irreputable CBD companies and products will also rise. But not to worry. A little research can go a long way in helping you to choose the right CBD oil. Be sure to follow the above guidelines, and you will be on your way to choosing the best possible CBD product.