CBD oil is a natural extract from the cannabis/hemp plant, but without the ability to cause the “high” associated with cannabis usage. Many people now use CBD products and share their experiences, and such revelations have aroused great interest in others who now want to try CBD. However, if you are buying CBD for the first time, you are still inexperienced and probably unaware that the current market may have some unpleasant surprises in store. With our guide, we want to help you to understand the key points to consider when buying CBD oil.
There is the need to have a complete knowledge of the industry, especially as it is not fully regulated yet. This means that there are also low-quality products on the market, including CBD oils that can trigger psychoactive effects, due to their THC content. Thus, this knowledge you will acquire by reading this piece alongside researches made before making the purchase of a particular product will help you stay away from fake or dangerous products.
There are basically two ways to get CBD oil; either you make your own CBD oil or you buy. While CBD oil production has its own challenges, buying CBD oil is convenient, but it also poses some risks. There are some very good CBD products to buy, and there are also many bad ones lurking beneath them; from so-called CBD oils that have less CBD content than indicated, to products that contain almost no or even no CBD at all. To make sure you buy good CBD oil, you should pay attention to a few points and consider them significantly before buying and choosing your CBD product. And in the later part of this article, we have identified and explained these few salient points.
Where and how were the Cannabis/Hemp plants grown?
It’s always good to know where your CBD oil came from. CBD can be produced by all cannabis plant genera. However, not all hemp and cannabis strains contain the same amount of CBD.
There are also hemp farmers who grow their plants on poor soil and use pesticides and herbicides, which translates into a low-nutrient soil contaminated with toxins; alongside the use of artificial fertilizer. However, all these additions are not necessary for the growth of hemp plants.
These toxins, pesticides and herbicides are absorbed by the plants and can also be found in the resulting CBD product. Therefore, the first thing to look out for is where and how the plants are grown, before CBD oil was extracted from them.
Organically grown plants are preferable for medicinal purpose
The company that made the CBD oil should be able to provide you with proof of where the plants used in the production came from and how they were grown. Check the seller’s website if you can find something on the pack, or contact the seller. Ideally, the plants should have been grown for medicinal purposes and organically.
The cannabis strain that was used to make the CBD oil, should be a medical grade strain and contain between 1-5% CBD. The less CBD the plants contain, the more plants must be used to extract a certain amount of CBD, which in turn increases the likelihood of contamination of the CBD product.
There are some farmers in the US and Europe who grow hemp / cannabis for medicinal purposes, such as the production of CBD oil. While this will not guarantee it to be a good CBD product, it does limit the chances of being a substandard product.
This point summarized:
- Organically grown plants
- Without pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals
- From a farmer from the US or Europe
- Cultivated for a medical purpose
- Of a variety with 1-5% CBD
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What is the quality of the CBD Product?
The quality of the CBD product depends on three things;
- The source, i.e. the plants from which it was made;
- How it was made, i.e. the manufacturing process used; and
- How and if it was further processed
To actually determine the quality of the CBD product, it must be tested in the laboratory. Such test determines how much CBD, THC and secondary cannabinoids the CBD product contains.
Furthermore, it shows whether it is contaminated with toxic substances such as heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and others, or not. This should be done with every new CBD oil extraction, since a lab report of a production cannot refer to an extract of another production.
However, every trusted CBD oil seller should have a so-called certificate of analysis for each production batch that he can show you (sometimes you can find it directly linked from the product in the shop page).
This will ensure that the product is not contaminated with hazardous substances, while showing which cannabinoid profile this product actually has.
- Look for an third-party certificate of analysis and take a look at it.
How much CBD does it contain?
Another important point is, of course, the CBD content that is in the product that you are going to buy. On one hand, you want to have a certain amount of CBD in the product for your application. On the other hand, you also need to know the total amount of CBD to be able to dose it properly.
The CBD content is given in two ways; either the CBD concentration (in %) of the product, or simply the CBD content in mg (milligrams). Both are usually stated on the label. As it always comes to confusion, let’s explain how to understand these content labels using examples.
CBD concentration (in %)
In most cases, the amount of CBD content in CBD concentrates is given in %. So, if you are going to buy a product that has a 1 gram content with a CBD concentration of, for example 20%, then the product contains 200 mg CBD. For a 5 gram product with a 20% concentration you will receive 1000 mg CBD. That’s easy to calculate on your own, right?
- 1 gram is 1000 MG. 20% of 1000 MG are 200 MG
- 5 gram is 5000 MG. 20% of 5000 MG are 1000 MG
Note that; the higher the CBD concentration, the more CBD the product contains, in relation to the weight.
CBD content in mg
For most other CBD products, the CBD content is expressed in MG. These are products like: CBD tinctures, ointments, sprays, edibles, vape oil and capsules. Here, the CBD content is given either in mg for the entire product, such as tinctures or per unit such as in capsules.
- For example, a CBD content of 500 mg is given on a CBD tincture bottle but with a total fill of 30 ml. In this case, the entire contents should not be confused with the CBD content. A tincture is a diluted CBD extract to which a vegetable oil has been added.
- For capsules, the CBD content per capsule is given. For example, 30 capsules each with 25 mg CBD. That makes a total CBD content of 750 mg.
So be sure when buying your CBD product, how much CBD it actually contains.
Is there THC in the products? If yes, how much?
THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants, which has an intoxicating effect, and is the reason why the cannabis plant has been illegalized in many countries. The legal and homeopathic limit of the THC content is 0.3%.
If this value is exceeded, the product is no longer legal; it is declared an intoxicant. Most hemp varieties have been bred such that they cannot exceed this value of 0.3% and can therefore be legally grown. The CBD oil produced from these varieties is therefore in most cases also within this legal THC range. However, it may well happen that, through the manufacturing process or the cannabis strain used by the seller, the THC range exceeds this value.
The certificate of analysis can also provide information here. Since the content is also tested for other cannabinoids, it also gives you information about the actual THC content of the batch.
Pure (isolated) CBD vs Full Extracted CBD Oil
There are also CBD products that contain pure (isolated) CBD with no other cannabinoids, terpenes or phytochemicals. But there are quite a few reasons why it is better to use a so-called fully extracted CBD oil that also includes the other cannabinoids.
Since it is only about THC, which should be kept in the legal range, one would also exclude all other cannabinoids. It is known that the cannabinoids work together better than when functioning individually. This effect is called the entourage effect.
Since most hemp varieties also contain all other cannabinoids, but only traces of THC, this plant is ideal for producing a legal fully extracted CBD oil.
Learn more about:
- CBD (Cannabidiol) & THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
- THC to CBD Ratio – What is the best CBD : THC Ratio?
- CBD for too much THC
How was the CBD manufactured / extracted?
Basically you can produce CBD oil or extract with three different methods. The trichomes or the resin of the cannabis plant, which contains the cannabinoids, can be released from the plant either by oil, alcohol, or CO2 extraction.
- Inserting in oil is a very tedious process and you cannot separate the extract from the oil used. Therefore, this method is usually used only in private production.
- The alcohol extraction process is a very popular and widely used method of making cannabis oil even at home. The cannabinoids are dissolved by means of high-percentage alcohol from the plant and they are freed from alcohol in another step. This can produce very good cannabis and CBD oil, but at the expense of phytochemicals that are destroyed in the process.
- In the Co2 extraction process, all plant substances are preserved, because heat is not applied in the process. However, this procedure requires expensive and special equipment (system). Also, there are no residues in the finished product, however, residues may emerge if bad or contaminated alcohol is used. Thus, this method offers pure outputs.
All good commercial CBD oil manufacturers use the Co2 extraction to make their CBD extract. You should therefore look for those sellers who use this procedure.
Is the company/seller trustworthy?
With so many black sheep, it is important that your CBD oil seller is trustworthy. So how do you find out if this one is trustworthy? There are a few things you can use to cut off most of the potential scammers. Let’s go through the points you should look out for.
- Look carefully at the website where you want to order your CBD oil. Does the website have an SSL certificate? This is when the web page in the browser at the URL has a small lock symbol and is therefore verified as safe. Or; if the URL of the website does not start with http but with https, which also depicts security.
- Search for the contact pagewhere you can contact the seller at any time. Contact him and ask him a question and make sure that he answers.
- Search for the address informationon the website. Either in the imprint or on the ‘About Us’ page.
If the seller does not meet these three points, do not purchase from them.
Does the company have a reputation?
The reputation of the seller can only be recognized on other websites, forums and social media platforms. The seller’s website is not an appropriate place to find objective testimonials; many publish only mostly good reviews, or even write them themselves.
Search the internet for reviews, buyer complaints, etc. But do not trust everything you read. Because even negative reports are very often faked. By the competitors or someone who wants to relieve his frustration. Use your common sense to get an idea of the reputation.
Are there claims about CBD made by the seller?
Unlike our website, where we report on research and studies on CBD but do not sell CBD oil, CBD oil traders are not allowed to make statements on a treatment with CBD oil for certain diseases, or claiming that their CBD Product can help for certain health issues.
If you see the CBD seller advertise with any healing promises, then this seller is most likely not reputable and is only out to exploit unsuspected buyers with such claims and promises. CBD oil may only be sold and promoted as a dietary supplement and the FDA is very strict about this.
A violation of these guidelines is very often pursued by the FDA and brought to account. Therefore, reputable companies are very careful with the information they provide, even if the research and studies exist. Because this information could be interpreted as a medical promise to their product. So you can see, it’s a very tricky business.
- Look out for companies that do not make medical claims to their products.
Is the manufacturer/company transparent?
Go through all the points mentioned and look out for these criteria in identifying a reputable CBD company. There are enough dodgy CBD providers out there, you can believe us. We already have made some experience with it.
You may not quickly detect if a seller is a trusted or untrusted seller. Just take your time to research, and do not fall for any promises or get involved in a deal for something cheap.
Beware of cheap CBD products – Cheap is not better
Quality never comes cheap, and that’s a fact. If a product is too cheap to be true then that’s probably a reality, and you should think twice before buying it. Many so-called CBD oil providers took advantage of the fact that the demand for CBD oil is rising, due to the therapeutic effects of this particular oil, so they decided to exploit unsuspecting buyers by selling fake or poor-quality products.
The Internet abounds with all kinds of offers where CBD oil is sold at very cheap prices, although you may subject yourself to a lot of risks if you decide to buy such products.
One thing you should know about these cheap products is that the providers don’t have any proofs to attest the quality and authenticity of the product as claimed in the advertisement or on the product’s label.
Real CBD oil providers can give you all the info you need to know about the product, including its origin, plus you can see its quality in the Cannabidiol concentration. The higher the Cannabidiol concentration is, the more powerful the product will be. With this knowledge, you can actually recognize and go for a product that will actually deliver the desired results, thus giving you maximum value for money spent.
The production of good CBD oil also carries some costs
The production of good quality CBD oil also carries some costs. The raw material for the production of the product are high quality hemp flowers in a relatively large amount.
A CO2 extraction requires expensive equipment and ensures that the CBD extract is pure and clean. The know-how offered by the production staff and the third-party laboratory tests are also to be paid for, and taxes must be settled also.
- Cheaper is not always better but could also point to a bad product.
- Organically grown hemp plants
- CO2 extraction process for high quality CBD
- Third-Party laboratory tests
- High CBD concentration of products
- Staff and taxes
How to buy CBD Oil?
Although CBD oil is very popular, and if it was made from hemp, it is legal in most countries in the world. Thus, it is not an easy task to find a reliable CBD oil product.
Information about this particular product is fragmented all over the Internet and may not always be accurate.
You’ll need to pay a lot of attention when searching for CBD oil, to make sure that you are buying the right stuff.
You may also come across reviews and opinions that blame the use of CBD oil, because many people still mistake CBD oil for THC—the substance found in cannabis also and responsible for the psychoactive effects or getting people “high”.
The mere association of CBD oil with cannabis makes many people believe that the oil is a drug and has the same effects as a drug, although laboratory and clinical tests proved that CBD has no ability to get you “high” whatsoever. But, if you are still confused by the differences between CBD and THC, do some research to clear your head and see for yourself.
Before buying CBD oil, you should know that there are several criteria that should be respected in order to make sure that you’re buying reliable and high-quality products. Also, a trustworthy provider will give you all the information and details you need to know about their products, and with this information, you can easily identify a desirable product.
How to pay for CBD Products online
When it comes to buying CBD Oil Online, it’s pretty easy. Most CBD oil companies offer the possibility to pay by credit card. Currently, it is not possible to pay with PayPal, as PayPal does not allow transactions related to hemp/cannabis; whether it is a legitimate business or not. So if you do not see any way to pay with PayPal that does not mean that it is a dubious company. It is possible that new CBD sellers offer this option, but sooner or later, they will be blocked by PayPal along with the money they still have in the account.
Some companies also offer free shipping, but most do not send outside the US, as they usually face difficulties with customs.
Let’s recap all points before you decide to buy CBD
- Examine where the plants came from and how they were grown.
- Search or ask for a third-party certificate of analysis to see the purity, quality and the actual amount of CBD content.
- Be aware of the different CBD concentrations of the products, and make sure you buy a CBD product with the desired amount of CBD.
- Some THC in the CBD oil is not bad and supports the effect of CBD, but the THC content should not exceed the legal limit of 0.3%.
- Find out how the CBD was made or extracted. At the current state, the best product is obtained by a CO2 extraction.
- Make sure the seller or the company meets the criteria of trustworthiness, as described in the point above.
- Look out for companies that do not make medical claims to their products.
- Keep in mind that a cheap CBD product is not necessarily the right choice, and may even be a signal for a bad product.
Types of CBD Products
What’s great about CBD products is their diversity. You can find products with CBD in a large variety of forms, so, it is left for you to find the ideal product that meets your demands.
There are products that are focused more on delivering the potency of the active substance, while others are made to provide the minimum necessary dosage on the go, without any hustle and bustle.
There are CBD products enhanced with a variety of tasty flavors while others offer nothing but pure CBD oil for maximum potency and effect. And, there are CBD products made to be used together, while others were created to go great in combination with food or drinks.
So, it is up to you to pick the kind of CBD product that suit your lifestyle and personal preferences best.
CBD Capsules – Pills
If you think that consuming CBD the same way you take regular supplements is the easiest for you, then CBD capsules may be the best option for you.
They have no taste or smell; all you have to do is swallow a capsule with a bit of water and you’re good to go.
The concentration of CBD in capsules is quite high, so they will certainly provide the kick you need.
Also, when taking capsules, you can easily track the dosage and check out your daily servings.
But, the downside of capsules is that you cannot adjust the dosage as desired, because the capsules come in standard sizes and dosages. When wishing to increase dosages with the help of capsules, your daily intake will actually double.
And considering that each capsule has a good amount of CBD, this may not be the best approach. Using a tincture, on the other hand, in combination with your capsules, will allow you to twitch the dosage in a more discreet and personalized manner.
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If we are to pick the most popular CBD products, the tinctures will certainly win. They are very easy to use; come in a variety of flavors; and enable the user to conveniently adjust the daily dosage according to their preferences.
You can practically increase or decrease the dosage by drop, thus having the chance to get the ideal dosage you want easily. Plus you can add the tincture to almost any drink you enjoy during the day.
These various means of consumption position the tinctures as a well-adopted CBD product. Likewise, a tincture is quite easy to carry around, although CBD capsules and gums are less conspicuous than tinctures.
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A topical CBD product means that it will be used externally, on your skin, rather than be swallowed to function internally, like the previously mentioned products.
CBD topical comes in the form of creams, balms, lotions, and so on, allowing you to treat physical stiffness and inflamed areas locally and rather fast.
CBD can be absorbed through the skin, which makes it a great treatment option in cases of painful joints, pains in the muscles, back pain, stiffness, and other physical discomforts.
These are not the only kind of products that can be used directly on your skin, elbow or knee; oral CBD oils can be used in similar ways. But, it is worth knowing that CBD topics work a tad slower than any other CBD products because they have to pass through the skin first and then get into the system.
And they are also a bit more expensive, due to the fact that they contain other high-quality ingredients in their composition that cannot be found in other CBD products.
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CBD Oil Concentrates
There no other CBD product that is purer than CBD oil concentrates.
This is the strongest type of CBD product you can find out there, containing the highest amount of CBD possible.
These oils come in a number of strengths, to suit the needs of every user, and may or may not contain slight amounts of flavors or sweeteners.
In case you don’t find the taste of the oil desirable but you would like to enjoy the potency of the product, you can easily mix the CBD oil with your favorite food and have it this way.
In spite of the high CBD concentration, CBD oils are extremely safe and they can be used in two ways. You can either take the oil orally or you can use a vaporizer. But, if you have never used CBD products before, the CBD oil may be a bit more than what your body needs for a start. So, you may want to try products with lower CBD concentrations first.
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CBD Vape Oil
CBD vape oils are considered one of the most stylish CBD products out there, being light-weight, easy to use, and highly portable.
They function in a similar way to e-cigarettes, heating the CBD oil up to a point where it turns into vapors that can be inhaled.
A CBD vape oil uses the vaporizer itself, which is a one-time investment, and the oil cartridge, which can be refilled with the desired CBD oil whenever necessary.
There are CBD vaporizers that can be conveniently charged via USB, so you can enjoy your vaporizer without being dependent on the life of a battery.
It is worth knowing that CBD vaporizers produce vapors only, and no smoke, so they are very safe for your oral tract and lungs.
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There are quite a few brands on the market that worked hard to create a great reputation when it comes to providing CBD products. If you want to make sure you’re buying high-quality products, it is worth checking the product offer of the brands mentioned below:
- Highland Pharms
- Herbal Renewals
- Tasty Hemp Oil
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Fay Farm
- Pure Ratios
- Plus CBD Oil
- Diamond CBD
- Kat’s Naturals
- 4 Corners Cannabis
- NuLeaf Naturals