Where to Buy CBD Oil
First-time cannabidiol (CBD) buyers have many questions. Is CBD oil legal? How long does it take to work? Which CBD product is right for me? How old do you have to be to buy CBD oil? (Short answer: it depends on what state you live in.)
Medical professionals, athletes, industry experts, health junkies, and others have written volumes about those concerns. But if you’re thinking about trying it out, you probably have a more basic question: “Where to buy CBD oil near me?” Yet the topic of where to buy CBD oil is often glossed over in these write-ups.
This comprehensive guide will help you decide where to make your CBD purchase. You can buy CBD oil online or at a variety of retail locations, some of them better than others.
Pros: Saves time, easy-comparative shopping, plenty of information, some brands have excellent customer service, direct access to safety-tested products.
Cons: Some sellers use deceptive marketing tactics; disreputable resellers may offer counterfeit products.
Online shopping makes our modern lives so much easier and convenient. Along with the simple, intuitive point-click-checkout-delivery process, websites can provide valuable information about products that’s difficult to find elsewhere. All the more reason to buy CBD oil online!
Top CBD brands also provide superb customer service for online customers. For instance, cbdMD encourages customers to call or use their website’s chat function if they have questions before buying.
There are serious concerns about counterfeit products on the market. Buying directly from the manufacturer/brand provides a certain amount of security. When you buy CBD oil online from the brand’s website, you can rest assured that you’re getting the real thing. You’re also more likely to get the best price.
A CBD company’s website should provide proof of independent, third-party safety testing. These reports, usually called a Certificate of Analysis, should list the amount of CBD in the product and report any contaminants.
If you can’t find these reports, you can always contact the company’s customer service team. If they can’t or won’t provide access to these documents, it’s impossible to judge their products’ safety and purity.
But consumers can face problems when they buy CBD oil online. For instance, resellers may not use care when sourcing their products. Open platforms that allow anyone to sell products through their website (eBay, for example) may use inaccurate information or provide poor customer service. Even worse, you may unwittingly purchase a counterfeit product.
Finally, questionable marketing tactics are common on the world wide web. Fake reviews, wildly exaggerated claims, and bogus awards are prevalent on the net. Checkout the CBD Buyers Guide for more information on buying CBD oil online.
CBD Specialty Stores
Pros: Sometimes, operated by knowledgeable and passionate people, may have access to safety tests.
Cons: Fewer choices and stock dictated by factors other than quality, some unscrupulous players, the potential for high prices, consumers may need to visit multiple stores.
CBD stores are popping up all over the nation and vary in quality. Some stores are operated by those who intend to capitalize on the CBD craze by any means necessary.
Others genuinely want to help people, and their stores are a passion project. These store owners are often extremely knowledgeable and capable of providing a wealth of information. In these cases, a store may serve as a good starting point for learning about what is CBD.
However, the selection you’ll find in these stores is often limited to the products they prefer or think will sell best. Packaging or the sales force behind the brand may influence stock more than quality and safety.
Stores of this type may not have access to safety testing documents, but you can always ask. Responsible sellers will always make sure these certificates are available to customers.
It’s also important to note that while many store operators and their employees are knowledgeable, they are not pharmacists or doctors. They’ve often gained their CBD education from Internet sources – the very same information available to you at home or on your mobile device if you buy CBD oil online.
Finally, the overhead costs of maintaining a specialty store are often high, and store owners have to buy the product from a distributor. Therefore, prices might be higher at these locations.
Pros: Good advice from experts, trusted products.
Cons: Limited selection.
These days, a wide range of retail locations contain fully licensed pharmacies. Many major grocers, discount retailers, and drug store chains have started carrying CBD products. And while regional and nationwide retailers dominate the space, independent drug stores still serve many communities.
Having experts at your disposal is the most important reason for buying CBD at a pharmacy. To be clear, you’ll still need to consult a doctor before taking CBD. But a licensed pharmacist can provide far more accurate information than online enthusiasts or shop owners.
Another advantage is that major chains are particularly careful about the companies with which they do business. If a product isn’t properly sourced and tested for safety, they likely won’t offer it. When a problem arises with a product, they quickly remove it from the shelves.
Smaller drug stores may not have the resources to research products. Therefore, these pharmacies may react more slowly when a CBD company comes under scrutiny.
At present, pharmacies have a minimal selection. Major chains tend to partner with just one or two brands. Mom ‘n’ pop drug stores often have limited shelf space, and many retailers only carry CBD topicals like lotions and gels. Your local pharmacy may not offer tinctures, capsules, gummies, and other product types.
Pros: Trusted products, knowledgeable staff, access to safety tests.
Cons: Strict regulations may result in limited selection; dispensaries do not exist in all U.S. states.
Over half of U.S. states have legalized medical or recreational cannabis in one form or another. And while most of the attention focuses on marijuana, dispensaries often offer CBD products as well.
Generally speaking, operators and employees of dispensaries are incredibly knowledgeable about the origins and properties of the products they offer.
These establishments operate in highly regulated environments where proper sourcing, testing, and safety are the highest priorities. It’s also likely that dispensaries will have safety testing documentation on hand for you to inspect.
In other words, you’re not required to do as much personal research when shopping at these locations.
But dispensaries do not exist in all states, and regulations may affect product variety.
Convenience Stores & Gas Stations
Pros: Quick and easy shopping close to home.
Cons: Uneducated staff, fewer high-quality products, no consumer information, the potential for counterfeit products, high prices.
If you’re googling something like “CBD gummies near me,” the closest place that comes up may well be one of these. But at the time of this writing, convenience stores are really the last place to look when considering where to buy CBD oil.
First, it’s unlikely that store operators or employees will have any useful knowledge about the products they offer. Product sourcing is another area of concern. While some gas stations carry reputable, quality-focused brands, others offer products shrouded in mystery.
And there’s no way a convenience store will produce laboratory test results on request.
Again, a lack of options will likely hamper your shopping experience. In this category, stores rarely stock wellness products in the same quantity, quality, or variety as other items like food and beverages.
Convenience stores also charge a premium price.
If you prefer the ease of shopping at such locations, you can always take note of the brands your local store carries. With that information, you can research those products to determine if they are right for you. However, counterfeit products pop up in gas stations sometimes.
Flea Markets, Swap Meets, On the Street
Cons: Too many to list.
Don’t do it. Ever.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow CBD makers or sellers to market their products as medicine, supplements, or food additives. However, it’s probably wise for you to think of them that way.
Doing so may give you perspective on how important it is to be careful when deciding where to buy CBD oil. Buying CBD from a disreputable seller or brand is a dangerous gamble. After all, many CBD products are for oral use. You wouldn’t want to ingest something contaminated with pathogens, pesticides, heavy metals, synthetic cannabinoids, or other harmful substances.
Research is your friend when buying CBD for the first time. Your health and well-being are worth the time it takes to find premium, safety-tested products.
Disclaimer: The cbdMD page contains general information about health, diet, lifestyle, and nutrition. Any information provided should not be considered or treated as medical advice and always consult a medical professional before making any lifestyle changes. Products and information mentioned on the cbdMD blog are not intended to be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Any links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience only and cbdMD is not responsible for their content.