Buying CBD isn’t complicated per se. There’s just a ton of options available to you and not enough guides on how to navigate them all. Until now that is! We have all the information you’ll ever need to become a CBD expert in no time. But before you get your CBD expert certificate, here are 5 tips for buying CBD oil before you even start shopping.
1. The Basics of CBD
There’s a ton of the confusion about CBD and its relationship with the marijuana plant. There are valid concerns and uneasiness experimenting with it for fear of getting “high” or “stoned.” And it’s for this reason many states have struggled with its legalization.
What you and everybody should know is that CBD is not psychoactive! THC is the chemical compound that gets people high when ingested. CBD may be a part of the same family as THC, but they’re completely different substances; you won’t find THC in CBD products unless you actively look for it.
There are certain CBD products with a “full-spectrum” label that contain microscopic trace amounts of THC. But even those don’t contain enough THC for any psychoactive effects.
2. Getting the Right CBD Product
CBD is such a versatile compound in that its oil can be infused with just about anything. From gummy worms to bath bombs, you should know what you want from your product. There’s a whole world to explore and endless possibilities!
For example, if you’re using CBD for it’s health or medicinal effects, try ingesting it first. Gummy bears and capsules are great ways to control your dose and analyze exactly how it effects you. Once you’re a little more experience and comfortable with CBD, consider more exotic products like luxurious lotions or cooking oils.
3. Understand the differences between Isolate, Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or Whole Plant Extract
CBD labeling is still extremely confusing and in its infancy in terms of legislation. Along with product choices, you have numerous options on the type and quality of oil that’s infused in the first place. One of the most important tips for buying CBD oil is understand how it works.
The government and its regulatory agencies are still catching up to exactly how the science works. As such, there are no exact rules or regulations for brands to label CBD products specifically and accurately, only broad recommendations. The good brands – like the ones we recommend here – are collectively doing a decent job making sure their labels are as accurate as possible. Most of them send their products to independent testing facilities to examine every single molecule so that you, the consumer, can be absolutely sure of what you’re getting.
In general, there are 4 “categories” of CBD that you’ll come into contact with. We have an article here that goes into more depth on their differences and possible situations that you’d seek one over the other. But below you’ll find brief definitions.
• Isolate is only CBD. There are no other cannabinoids or compounds from the cannabis plant (such as terpenes or flavonoids).
• Full-spectrum contains more of those flavonoids and terpenes found in cannabis. It’s often a more “natural” way to consume cannabis and potentially offers more beneficial health effects as the many compounds have a “synergy” together. The law also states that full-spectrum CBD must contain less than .3% of THC.
• Broad-spectrum is exactly the same as full-spectrum except that THC is targeted and completely removed. If you have serious concerns about the psychoactive effects of marijuana, then this is the perfect option. You wouldn’t get high with such trace amounts of THC that’s found in full-spectrum products, but this way you can be absolutely sure.
• Whole plant extract is the same thing as full-spectrum. The terms are interchangeable but some companies prefer one over the over.
For your fourth tip on buying CBD oil, you should know that the CBD industry is still in it’s infancy and the laws are constantly changing regarding regulation. Meaning that there isn’t really a standard in terms of quality. Companies are free to creatively take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. However, most honest and established companies send their products to be tested in third party laboratories, where they’re ran through a gamut of tests.
And these independent tests are available to you as a consumer, before you buy. Most companies will have certificates available to download or view at any time, but others require you to send an email requesting it. Just be aware that you have this option open to you.
In some states like Utah you even have access to a scannable barcode that links back to these independent tests automatically. They also search the government’s database for proof of the company’s registration and authenticity.
CBDRatings goes through the buying process and only recommends producers that meet all these regulatory standards. Check out our list of the best CBD vendors here.
5. Choosing the Best Source
Similar to the above point, CBD vendors can vary in terms of the quality of oil being infused into their products. Even if their business is legit and they go through all the testing necessary, they could still be guilty of using low quality hemp/ingredients.
You should also consider sourcing your CBD from an online vendor that can mail it to you address. Any brand can start selling in a small store, but online sellers have usually been around for longer and are tested by consumers. And that’s your final tip for buying CBD oil, shop around and read reviews!