What To Look For When Buying CBD Oil
With so many options, formats, flavours, and prices, CBD consumers may find it hard to choose which CBD products to buy. The decision gets more complicated as many consumers opt to buy their CBD online, having to trust the claims and reputation of the manufacturer without actually seeing the product.
If you have decided to try CBD for a condition you are suffering from, check the following CBD purchasing guide to make sure the CBD you are buying is pure and clean.
Don’t trust extravagant claims
Very few definitive clinical trials prove that CBD is efficient in treating particular diseases or conditions. The only medically approved CBD medicines in the UK are Epidyolex, for very specific and rare forms of epilepsy, and Sativex, used to treat spasticity in multiple sclerosis.
With these exceptions, the medical community has yet to develop therapeutic protocols for specific conditions. However, research and clinical trials are underway around the world. For instance, Parkinson’s UK, the largest charitable funder for Parkinson’s disease, has dedicated £1.2 million for clinical trials on the possible effectiveness of CBD on Parkinson’s disease.
While we are still awaiting results from all these clinical trials, it is yet impossible to make any medical claims regarding CBD. Hence, when a CBD manufacturer makes medical claims, they are being dishonest. It is best to avoid any CBD products whose producers are not taking their profession seriously.
Third-party tested CBD products
A serious and committed CBD products manufacturer will have tested their products for potency, purity, and accuracy of the content. Ideally, the tests will be run by certified third-party labs, so that the results can be trusted.
There are various reasons why testing CBD products is so important.
How much THC is legal?
For CBD products to be legal in the UK, they need to contain less than 0.2% of THC, THC being the psychoactive and hallucinogenic cannabinoid.
The UK has not legalised the recreational use of marijuana and THC. Interestingly, the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis noted in their latest report how mislabelled and inaccurate CBD products were. A whopping 45% of tested products had levels of THC that made them technically illegal in the UK. People who need to take routine drug tests for their job would have been unpleasantly surprised with their test results, had they taken such CBD products.
How safe is CBD?
Other necessary and important information regarding CBD product testing relates to the existence of heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, and microbes in the original hemp flowers.
Hemp is excellent at cleaning soils from heavy metals and pesticides because of its bioremediation qualities. This, however, is less excellent for someone using the CBD produced from the aforementioned hemp.
What is the entourage effect?
Depending on whether you are buying full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate, you will need to know the content of other types of cannabinoids—if any—in the test results.
Hemp flowers contain hundreds of cannabinoids, of which CBD is but one. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD should contain these other cannabinoids. Although we are still not sure what their particular purpose is, it has been suggested that the combination of these cannabinoids and CBD increases the effectiveness of CBD—an outcome called the entourage effect.
How natural is CBD?
Μost people take CBD because it is a natural remedy. If the CBD you are buying contains artificial flavourings, corn syrup, and other chemicals, then you are not buying something totally natural.
The lab tests and the labels on the products should clearly display all the contents of the CBD product.
Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?
Hemp seed oil, as the name suggests, is distilled from the seeds of the hemp flowers. Hemp seed oil is a good omega-3 source and a great moisturiser. It is also often added to food for its anti-oxidant features. However, hemp seed oil contains no CBD.
CBD is derived from the hemp flowers, not the seeds. If you want to buy CBD oil, the product you are purchasing should not claim it contains hemp seed oil, as these two are completely different.
The test results should be publicly available
Ideally, CBD producers and manufacturers should have their lab tests results publically available on their website for anyone to check. This adds credibility to the product people are purchasing and to the professionalism of the producer.
If the results are not available online, customers should be able to get a hold of them by calling the business. If the manufacturer refuses or seems unwilling to share the test results with customers, then it’s best to stay away from these CBD products.
Is organic CBD better?
Industrial hemp is very good at absorbing heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals from the soil. Because of its deep roots and its bioremediation capacities, hemp is often used by farmers to clean up their soils before planting new crops.
Bearing all this in mind, organic CBD may be safer than conventional, non-organic one. Manufacturers should clearly label their products where customers will be able to see whether the hemp used was organically grown.
Where is hemp grown?
It is even better if buyers know where the hemp was sourced from. Various countries across the world have different rules and regulations regarding the farming of hemp. This means that the hemp produced there is monitored and supervised, while the farming methods fall within a certain safety framework.
Countries with stringent hemp growth regulations include Canada, the United States, and the European Union. CBD products made from hemp sourced in these countries will probably be cleaner and safer.
How is CBD extracted?
There are various extraction methods that manufacturers use to extract CBD from hemp flowers. The most common ones and safest ones are CO2 and ethanol extraction. Customers should check the extraction methods used on CBD products.
Buying CBD oil
The CBD world is full of terms that might frustrate buyers. Before buying CBD, consumers should decide what they want to buy—ideally with the help of their doctor—and how they want to take it.
What is the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate?
CBD products can be divided into three broad categories: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD distillate.
- Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD and all the other cannabinoids (terpenes, CBN, CBG, CBC, etc.) present in the hemp flowers, including up to 0.2% of THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD and all the other cannabinoids present in the hemp flowers, but without any THC at all.
- CBD distillate contains only pure CBD, without any of the other cannabinoids.
According to what customers want to buy, they should research carefully the product labels and CBD manufacturers to verify they are buying the right products.
What CBD format is the best?
CBD comes in so many formats, that the choices seem almost endless and, at times, puzzling.
The broad categories of CBD products are oils, tinctures, pills and capsules, edibles, and topical creams.
According to the ailment people are trying to alleviate, they should buy the CBD that best suits their needs.
Topical creams are normally used for joint and muscle pains.
Oils, pills, and edibles can be taken any time of the day, either on their own or added to food or drinks.
Asking a doctor will always clarify what is the best method of taking CBD.
How much CBD should you take?
Sometimes, taking CBD can also involve some mathematical calculations. When it comes to edibles, pills, and capsules, the dosage is specific, so no calculations are required.
However, regarding oils and tinctures, consumers need to make some calculations regarding the doses and the percentage of CBD in each dose.
Bottles label the total content of CBD in the bottle, as well as its strength calculated in mg.
Each drop will contain a specific quantity of CBD: usually, one drop is one ml and you need to know how much CBD is contained in one ml. This is easy: if you know the total content of CBD in the bottle and the number of ml, you can divide to get the CBD content per ml.
Knowing that, you will need to know how many drops you require to reach the necessary quantity of CBD in your body. The label on a CBD oil product should be clear and should state how much CBD each ml contains and how many drops are contained in total in the bottle.
Check out consumer reports
We live in a world where customer reviews determine where we are eating or which hotels are the best. The same holds true for CBD products.
Going online and visiting chat groups is a good introductory step to choosing a trustworthy CBD product. People will discuss their experiences and will share their opinions. Gathering opinions across several groups and pages will help determine which brands are responsible.
Check out the packaging
People buying CBD oil should check the product packaging. Things to look for are clear and precise labels, a company’s website, details about the provenance of the CBD, and CBD content.
Also, glass containers are always better and healthier than plastic ones. Amber ones are even better as they don’t let the UV light in.
Use common sense
A CBD product that is very cheap compared to its competitors and promises to heal all diseases and conditions is not to be trusted.
Similarly, a CBD product that is not backed by its manufacturer with a solid website, contact information, and disclosure of test results should be avoided.
Whether people are buying CBD to improve their wellness or to alleviate a condition, they should handle their purchase with the same care they would if they were buying medicine. Would you buy your medicine from the trunk of a car?