We have many CBD products today, but not all are top quality. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD, so it’s up to you to find a trusted brand. To make it easy for you, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide on how to shop for CBD.
Different factors can point you to quality and safe CBD products. Read on to find the necessary steps to make the right purchase for your wellness needs.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, popularly called CBD, is one of the many compounds in cannabis and hemp plants. Research on the benefits of CBD is still emerging, and current results look encouraging. People use CBD to help with different health conditions such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.
CBD and THC are well-known compounds in cannabis. They are also more well researched than others.
Although CBD and THC are from the same plant, they have different effects. While THC is known to make users feel high, CBD produces no such effect.
CBD products are available as tinctures, topicals, vape oil, edibles, and capsules.
Factors to Consider When Buying CBD Products
Below is a detailed guide to factors you should consider when buying a CBD product.
Decide Why You Want to Use CBD, and in What Form
Before choosing a CBD product, you want to ask yourself why you need CBD. This is the first step on how to shop for CBD. People use CBD for several reasons, from pain to anxiety to sleep problems.
Research into the effects of CBD is still growing. Currently, CBD is approved for treating rare types of epilepsy. Studies also show promising results in other health conditions.
Further, you need to know which form of CBD is most suitable for your needs. Some guidelines can help you. For instance, if your condition requires quick and immediate relief such as inflammation, you may consider using CBD oil for pain. CBD based oil products provide quick results compared to other forms of consuming CBD.
CBD oil tinctures that you drop under the tongue are another option for a quick effect. You notice results within a few minutes. Also, oil drops are perfect for overall relief. On the other hand, topical CBD products are more appropriate for localized relief.
The effect of topical CBD lotions and creams vary from one person to another. Some may notice results in few minutes after usage. For other people, it may take many hours.
Additionally, if the condition require the effect to be long lasting which usually happens in the case of sleeplessness, CBD edibles such as CBD chewable for sleep is the correct form to take. As the edible will likely take a long time for the CBD to get to your system. Each form of CBD has its own pros and cons. Always consider why you’re taking CBD and the effect you want before you shop.
Consider How Much THC the Product Contains
One of the most important factors you want to look into is the amount of THC in the product. THC causes intoxicating effects, so you want to know its content before taking the CBD product. Also, THC has its beneficial effect, which can be another reason to consider it.
CBD products from the hemp plant contain no more than 0.3% THC. And you only need a trace amount of it to complement CBD’s therapeutic effects. Also, THC can’t cause any feeling of high or intoxication at low amounts.
So, if you want a CBD product that has THC but won’t get you high, your best bet is hemp-derived CBD. These products are widely available both online and in local stores. The manufacturer may not state the amount of THC the product contains on the label. So, you have to read the third-party test reports to find out.
Moreover, finding a CBD product with more than 0.3% THC can be difficult. The reason is that only products with this amount of THC or lower are legal. So, you have to be in a state that legalized the use of marijuana to be able to get them. You may also need to get a doctor’s report before buying these products.
Some states like Colorado, Alaska, and California legalized the recreational and medical use of marijuana. So, you don’t need a doctor’s recommendation to get them. However, you need to be above 21.
Decide On the CBD Extract
CBD is available in different blends. When shopping for CBD, it’s essential that you know which of the CBD extracts to choose. The three kinds of CBD extracts are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD extract contains all the cannabinoids and other compounds in the plant. It also has trace amounts of THC. Full-spectrum usually contains no more than 0.3% THC, an amount that cannot cause a high.
Broad-spectrum CBD also has all these cannabinoids and compounds in the hemp or cannabis plant. However, it doesn’t contain THC. On the other hand, isolate contains only CBD with no other compound or cannabinoid.
The entourage effect suggests that full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD may possess more benefits. This theory hypothesizes that the presence of many cannabinoids from cannabis increases its effects.
CBD isolate products are best if you want to experience the effects of CBD without interference from other compounds.
Choose the Right CBD Concentration
Another how to shop for CBD tip is to choose the right concentration. CBD products come in different strengths and concentrations.
First, you want to choose a brand that shows the amount of CBD in each bottle. Not just that, the manufacturer should also show how much CBD is in each dose or per serving.
There are different concentrations of CBD, ranging from low to high. You want to choose the right product that suits your level of experience.
If you’re a new CBD user, the rule of thumb is to start low and go slow. So, you’d want to experiment with lower concentrations before going higher. That way, you can gauge how your body responds to CBD intake.
For Products from Hemp, Find Where It Was Grown
Many CBD products you see around are from hemp. And the source of the hemp plant is crucial as it determines the quality of the product.
Most companies use locally-grown hemp plants. They source from states like Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon. Other companies source hemp plants from overseas.
Between these source options, locally sourced hemp plants remain the best alternative. The U.S has robust agricultural programs that investigate the cultivation of hemp plants. These programs ensure that the plant meets certain requirements, such as THC level and no use of pesticides.
However, the hemp from overseas does not go through these rigorous tests. So, when choosing a CBD product, ask questions about the source of hemp plants. Some companies provide this information on their websites.
Look for Independent Testing
Most important on how to shop for CBD, always look for third-party test results. These are also called Certificates of Analysis or COA. The COA shows you the level of CBD and THC in the product. It also reveals if there are any contaminants and toxins present. Independent testing is different from the tests the company conducts in-house. Not all manufacturers conduct third-party tests, but many do.
If the company doesn’t provide results from independent lab tests, avoid them. You must know what’s in the product you’re taking. COA is the way customers verify for safety, potency, and quality.
Aim for CO2-Extracted Products
Manufacturers use different methods to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. One of these is the CO2 extraction technique.
This extraction method is safe and ensures the end product has no toxic residues. Although the process is more expensive when compared to alternatives, it’s the most efficient method.
Avoid Products that Make Sweeping Health Claims
According to U.S. News, federal regulations don’t permit companies to make dramatic health claims. If you come across a product that promises to cure diseases, you want to beware. That’s a red flag. Making health claims is only for prescription drugs and FDA-approved products.
Make Sure There Are No Additives
A lot goes into the making of CBD products. Asides from CBD, these products contain additional ingredients. You want to beware of additives that can cause allergies or health risks.
If you’re buying vape CBD products, you should only choose a hundred percent hemp with zero additives. Additives in vape products can expose you to lung injuries.
Shop at Reputable Places
Another guide on how to shop for CBD is to always buy at reputable places. CBD products are available almost everywhere. But, you want to avoid areas like tobacco shops and gas stations. Instead, buy from licensed dispensaries, established retailers, or directly from the manufacturer’s website. Choose a brand that is transparent and provides details on manufacturing processes.
Is CBD Legal?
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, it’s legal for people to buy and sell hemp-derived CBD. So you can buy and sell CBD products legally across the United States.
But, keep in mind that the product must be hemp-based and contains 0.3% THC or less.
Additionally, CBD’s legal status varies by state. Because of this, you should check your state laws before shopping for CBD. If you’re traveling, you also want to get familiar with the CBD laws in the destination state.
From current studies, it appears CBD may provide many benefits to the consumer. However, the FDA doesn’t regulate these products. To ensure you buy a quality CBD, always follow this buying guide.
Not selecting a high-quality CBD product puts you at health risk. Also, you may not get the desired effect with such products. So, you must exercise caution and do your due diligence always.