Is CBD Oil Right for Me?
A First-Time Buyer’s Guide
With the resurgence of the cannabidiol industry in the 21st century, hundreds of companies have literally launched overnight to address the increased demand for CBD oil. With each of them making very similar claims, it can be difficult to determine if CBD oil is right for you.
CBD retailers are competing against each other online for the title of “Best CBD oil company.” Because of this, it can be very overwhelming trying to accurately determine which is the best cbd oil to buy.
Before you hastily go making a purchase, it’s important to consider a wide variety of factors.
As a first-time buyer, education is the key factor in determining if CBD oil is right for you. This guide will serve as a trusted source to properly educate yourself as it's important to have a basic understanding of what's actually in your CBD tinctures, capsules, topicals, and vape oils.
Understanding Which CBD Oil is
Right for You: The Difference
Between Marijuana and Hemp
One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD oil is the idea it comes exclusively from marijuana. Although marijuana plants do contain CBD, for it to be legal to grow and extract domestically, the plant it's extracted from is key.
When Congress passed the Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the “Farm Bill,” the law opened the door for closely monitored industrial hemp growth on American farms.
Both hemp and marijuana come from the same plant species – Cannabis sativa – but vary in THC composition. THC, otherwise known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most infamous cannabinoid due to its high-inducing properties.
Hemp is bred to have low THC and high CBD content. Conversely, marijuana is grown to have high THC and low CBD content. Only hemp-derived products and hemp-derived CBD oil is considered federally legal if it is extracted from industrial hemp containing less than 0.3% THC.
The Importance of Buying
High-Quality CBD Oil
In the United States, the topic of hemp and CBD oil is a somewhat controversial subject. Many are aware that the founding fathers were known for growing hemp, but did you know that the federal government encouraged farmers to grow hemp during World War II? Hemp for Victory was released to motivate US farmers to grow hemp for military use.
As the war concluded, hemp was once again tossed aside and the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 officially made hemp illegal and classified the plant as a Schedule I drug – the same as heroin, LSD, and cocaine. What resulted was the need for international hemp, where growing standards are not as high as those set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That’s why domestically-grown hemp is the best option for high-quality CBD oil. Plants grown in America are subject to higher quality controls, including limiting exposure to pesticides and better growth quality. When looking for and buying quality CBD oil, ensure that it is sourced from domestically-grown hemp plants for the best quality.
Extraction Techniques and
Which CBD Oil is Best
Quality control and extraction technique is a major component of creating highquality CBD oil. There are many different methods to extract cannabinoids from plants. Prior to the 1970’s, the most popular way involved using solvents like ethanol or petroleum to bring out the important CBD oil.
This process proved to be both inefficient and questionably harmful: a 1972 study published to the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found using ethanol only extracted half of the cannabinoids contained in the plant. Furthermore, traces of the solvents can remain in the extracted CBD oil, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities.
Today there are much cleaner methods available, including extraction using olive oil and carbon dioxide (CO2). While using olive oil as an organic solvent to extract cannabinoids is safer than using petroleum-based solvents, it isn’t as good as using carbon dioxide.
The process of creating quality CBD oil using supercritical CO2 extraction results in an oil that has more benefits readily available. Because the extracts are heated and cooled to an exact level, a more pure CBD oil extract is produced. Despite the numerous ways to extract CBD oil, the research shows CO2 extraction is the best method and provides the highest quality control level.
Does Price Equal
Quality of CBD Oil?
In retail, it’s often assumed that a higher priced product is better quality. Among CBD oil, that may not be the case: price and quality do not always correlate.
In 2016, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered over 20 products which claim to have CBD oil either do not contain any cannabinoids or contain less CBD than what the label claims. The products ranged in price from low to high, with claims their products and processes were among the best.
When it comes to buying CBD oil, don’t seek an expensive product in the hopes of getting the best in the market. Instead, focus on learning about the company’s extraction process and exploring their lab reports to determine just how much cannabinoids you are getting with every dose.
Making the Mark: How to Read a CBD Oil Lab Report
Determining where a plant was grown and how cannabinoids were extracted is just part of the challenge. Smart buyers also analyze their CBD oil using laboratory reports provided by their CBD oil sellers.
According to a report by Market and Market, over 20 labs around the world focus only on testing for cannabinoids and other extracts from hemp plants.
These tests focus on three sections: the CBD isolate powder, the hybrid broad-spectrum liquid extract, and all terpenes and toxins discovered in the samples.
The first test determines the amount of cannabidiol by weight. To be qualified as pure, a CBD extract should be as close to 100 percent cannabidiol as possible.
While CBD should be the primary cannabinoid, other extracts can include cannabidivarin, which compliments CBD. Equally important, you will notice that there is no trace of THC, or other chemicals in the extraction – meaning you only get the benefits of CBD without psychoactive ingredients.
The second test is a liquid version of the same CBD product, submitted at the same time as the extract. This test detects not only the amount of CBD by weight, but also trace amounts of other cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from the plant.
The final test showcases two of the most important readouts: microbiological contaminants and the terpene profile. During growth, naturally occurring toxins and contaminants can attach themselves to the plant.
These may include Aerobic Bacteria, Coliform Bacteria, Bile Tolerant Gram Negative, Yeast and Mold. If the test detects 100 colony forming units per gram, it could present a hazard to your health.
Where to Buy CBD Oil
Now that you understand what CBD oil is, your next question may be about where to buy it. You can often buy CBD oil online, at medical dispensaries, and at specialty retail stores.
One of the downsides of buying CBD oil at medical dispensaries or specialty retail shops is quality control. Because retailers are purchasing products from extractors, they often don’t provide lab reports or purity analysis.
When you buy CBD oil direct from companies that provide information about their extraction process and post verified lab reports, you can rest assured you are getting high-quality CBD oil.
How to Ensure your CBD Oil
Contains the Right Amount
Reputable CBD sources use USA organically-grown hemp, proper extraction techniques, and provide third-party lab reports. Now it’s time to look at another important question: how much CBD you are getting per dose.
Most CBD oils will have a number on the front of the bottle, often ranging from 300 mg to 5000 mg. This number is not the amount of CBD oil you get in every tincture or capsule, but is instead the total amount of CBD in the CBD oil
The actual amount of CBD you receive should be the total CBD number on the front (in milligrams), divided by the number of servings in the bottle. For example: if you order a one-ounce bottle of 1500 mg CBD oil, the nutrition facts should state you are getting 50 mg of active CBD per every one milliliter dose.
5 Concerns When Buying CBD Oil Online
Before you buy any CBD oil, be sure to watch for these five signs of a potential scam:
1. “Free Trial Bottle – Just Pay Shipping:”
One of the most prevalent scams involving CBD oil are those offering “free trial bottles.” When they use their credit card, it will either be charged multiple times for the shipping fee, or it will be charged monthly for a “club” the user didn’t realize they were joining.
2. Selling only on social media
Be wary when buying solely from social media CBD suppliers. In addition to violating terms of service for most social media sites, sellers often can’t provide lab results about their CBD oil.
3. No third-party lab results available
Much like social media, anyone can claim to sell CBD oil. Before buying CBD oil online, review their independent, third-party lab results publicly posted online. If there are no third-party lab results available, request them before purchase.
4. Limited number of reviews
Before buying CBD oil online, be sure to read all the reviews – both good and bad – on the company website and at independent news websites. If there are no reviews, or very few reviews, be wary of falsely advertised quality CBD oil.
5. “Miracle Drug” claims
The FDA does not currently recognize CBD oil as a cure or prevention for any disease. If a CBD oil company makes outlandish claims about their products potential, be aware. Only buy CBD oil from companies that provide the science behind their products.
Is CBD Oil Okay for Pets?
More and more people are looking for new ways to help their pet’s put their best paw forward. That begs the question, “Are CBD oils pet friendly?”
A Colorado State University study published by the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association discovered in a survey group of 632 pet owners, over half used a veterinarian CBD oil product.
Of those, 63.9% said they perceived CBD oil “helped a moderate amount” or “helped a great deal” with providing pain relief for dogs. And 50.5% said it either “helped a moderate amount” or “helped a great deal” in aiding with sleep for dogs.
Among cat owners, 64.8% said they perceived CBD “helped a great deal” or “helped a moderate amount” in providing pain relief for cats.