What to look out for before you buy CBD products
Whether it is the result of an allergic reaction or simply an aversion to traditional medicine, many people tend to gravitate toward all-natural products when it comes to treating health problems. If you share this mindset, CBD oil may be worth considering. CBD oil is an all-natural herbal oil, which is extracted from the same cannabis plant as marijuana and commonly used to relieve chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and a host of other physical and mental health maladies.
In addition to being all-natural, one of the things that makes CBD so appealing is that it treats or resolves a variety of health problems while causing little to no side effects. For those who may be concerned about the psychoactive effects associated with CBD, it is important to note that this all-natural herbal oil contains only trace amounts of the mind-altering THC compound that triggers the euphoric high commonly associated with marijuana use. In this article, we take a closer look at the benefits of CBD and what to look out for when buying CBD products.
Misconceptions regarding CBD oil
Although the benefits of CBD have been widely extolled, some people still associate it with run-of-the-mill marijuana. While both are extracted from the same cannabis plant, this is generally where the similarities end. Recreational marijuana is THC dominant, meaning it contains an ample amount of the chemical compound that can be broken down by heat and smoked to derive a euphoric high. Conversely, cannabidiol (CBD) oil used for health reasons does not contain nearly enough THC to trigger the same high. And unlike marijuana, cannabidiol should not be smoked. Moreover, it should be consumed as an edible or used via topical, sublingual, or vaping applications.
Another popular misconception regarding CBD is that it is the same as hemp. Similar to marijuana, they both come from the cannabis plant; however, like marijuana and CBD, this is also where the similarities end. Hemp-based products do not contain the same degree of cannabinoids typically found in CBD. Of course, this is not to suggest that these products are inferior as they do contain antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other properties that can benefit one’s health.
What to look out for before you buy CBD online
Having made the distinction between CBD and marijuana, as well as the differences between CBD and hemp-based products, let’s turn our attention towards buying CBD oil and what you should know before investing your hard-earned dollars:
If you decide to buy CBD online or from a local dispensary, sourcing should play a critical role in your decision to buy one CBD product over another. To help put this into context, certain variations of CBD contain toxins like herbicides and pesticides that can degrade the overall quality of the oil. To ensure you are getting the highest quality oil, consider buying CBD products that were produced using organically-grown hemp sourced from U.S. farms using organic farming practices. While herbicides and pesticides can help safeguard fruits and vegetables from insects, diseases, fungi, and other contaminants, they not only affect the quality of the CBD product but also increases your risk of developing the following health problems:
- Multiple myeloma
- Soft tissue sarcoma
- Cancers of the brain, prostate, stomach, skin, and lips
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
That said, sourcing practices should be high on your list when deciding on any CBD product. Although poorly sourced CBD products can be cheaper, they may not represent the best value and, more importantly, they are not worth the health risks.
THC TO CBD RATIO
With mounting concerns over how CBD may adversely affect a drug test, it may be a good idea to look for CBD products with the lowest percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) possible. To that point, high-quality cannabidiol (CBD) oil should contain no more than 0.03% of THC. Although this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of testing positive for THC during a drug screen, it does significantly lower the probability. If you still have reservations about using CBD products because they contain THC, you will be happy to know that some suppliers do carry CBD products that have no THC in them at all. These products comply with SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and also offer the same health benefits as their THC-based counterparts.
Whether you buy CBD online or from a local dispensary, THC and CBD concentrations are equally important. While CBD products containing less CBD may be less expensive, they may not offer the same health benefits compared to that of their higher priced counterparts. In layman’s terms, you ultimately get what you pay for when opting for the cheapest possible product. To further illustrate this point, a quality CBD product should contain somewhere in the neighborhood of 250mg to 1,000mg. This baseline ensures that you get the most benefit out of using the product.
Although CBD products are well-regarded for their many health benefits, they are not regulated by the FDA, which means you have to assume responsibility when it comes to ensuring the potency and purity of any prospective CBD product. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to have your CBD oil tested by an unbiased and accredited ISO/IEC 17025:2017 third-party laboratory. In addition to running tests to confirm purity and potency, these laboratories will also test for the following:
- Heavy metals
- Foreign objects
TOTAL CBD VOLUME
Not to be confused with CBD concentration, CBD volume is also important in selecting the right CBD product from an online retailer of a local dispensary. After all, it goes back to getting what you’ve paid for and getting the most proverbial bang for your buck as possible. All things being equal, you should aim to purchase the CBD Product that contains the highest volume of CBD if presented with similar products. In doing so, you can go longer before having to re-up.
As anyone who is familiar with the industry can attest, extracting cannabidiol from hemp is can be difficult. As such, many less than reputable suppliers will look for ways to cut corners, often forgoing best practices in favor of easier and more cost-effective extraction methods. For example, some extraction processes may involve the use of harsh solvents, which can leave a chemical residue and other contaminants in the oil. As a consumer, you should look for CBD products that underwent a carbon dioxide extraction process. This process ensures that harsh solvents, chemicals, and other contaminants do not make it into the oil.
KNOW YOUR SUPPLIER
Although we have spent a great deal of time going over what to look when purchasing a quality CBD product, it is also important to know who you are buying from as well, especially if you opt to buy CBD online. Some online companies that sell low-grade CBD products, for example, may be difficult to reach, which makes it harder to address questions and concerns that you may have. Further, it brings into question their integrity and willingness to stand behind what they sell. These are the types of businesses that you should avoid if you’re in the market for CBD products. Also, like any other supplement on the market today, those who are in the business of marketing and selling cannabidiol often make grandiose claims when it comes to the safety and efficacy of their product. With that in mind, it is always a good idea to do your own research and only buy from suppliers with a proven record of transparency and accountability.
All in all, finding the right CBD product and a trusted supplier is no easy task; however, taking time to do your own research and following the tip outlined in this article can be tremendously beneficial.
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