Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely have heard about CBD and have even come across some products online or while shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. However, one thing that you will want to be aware of when purchasing CBD is that not all brands and products are created equal.
It’s important to do your research before buying CBD products. It’s worth taking the time to find a reputable brand that offers the type of product your looking for.
Are you interested in using CBD but want to make sure you are getting what you really want?
We’ve put together this CBD guide to help you on that journey. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
What is a Certificate of Analysis?
One of the factors you will want to consider most seriously when buying CBD is whether or not the product has a COA, or a certificate of analysis. This is a certificate that comes from a third-party source rather than the brand or manufacturer. This ensures that the results are unbiased and accurate.
This certificate provides quality control in the CBD industry. There will typically be a few different sections on a COA. One section will usually detail the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids in the product to indicate the potency.
There will also be a section that looks into possible contaminants in the product. This includes things like microbes or pesticides. Additionally, there might be a section that points to any potential contamination that could have occurred from chemicals or heavy metals.
It’s worth making sure that the lab doing the testing is trustworthy and reputable. Search for labs that are accredited and follow the guidelines outlined by the International Organization for Standardization.
Buying CBD: Consider the Potency
Another important consideration is the potency of the CBD. Different people might have a very different desired dose when it comes to CBD. The amount of CBD is usually displayed in milligrams.
The world of CBD research is still young. This means that there aren’t standard guidelines for dosages. The general advice is to start low and slow, with small doses that you slowly increase over time in order to find the smallest dose that is effective for you.
There are a number of different factors that can influence a person’s ideal dose. These include their age, weight, tolerance, method of intake, metabolism, and genetics.
CBD Guide: The Types
If you’re just looking into buying CBD or other hemp derivatives online, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the options. Depending on your preferences and purposes, you might find one of these types more suitable for your needs.
This is the purest form of CBD. There aren’t any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids in CBD isolate. This product is just CBD, meaning that it also doesn’t have trace amounts of THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD and other cannabinoids and compounds, such as terpenes, CBN, and CBC. However, this type of CBD doesn’t contain any THC. To be totally transparent, though, some broad-spectrum products might sometimes have very small amounts of THC.
Full-spectrum CBD is the simplest extraction of low-THC hemp. This will contain cannabinoids and other compounds, including trace amounts of THC. In order to be legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, though, the amount of THC has to fall under 0.3%. The general understanding is that this is not nearly enough THC to provide any sort of mind-altering high.
(As a quick aside, the fact that CBD is legal through the Farm Bill might make one wonder: “are CBD products FDA approved?” The short answer is no, not yet, though there is one cannabis-based medicine for a particular type of epilepsy that has been approved by the FDA.)
There is some evidence that suggests that individual cannabinoids are more effective when in combination with other compounds. For this reason, some people prefer full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD to CBD isolate.
Different Types of CBD Products
Now that we understand the different types of CBD, let’s take a look at the different types of CBD products. These days, there is a long list of ways to use CBD.
Tinctures and Oils
CBD oil and tinctures usually have a base of alcohol, glycerin, or oil. These extracts can be taken on their own, usually sublingually, or they can be added to drinks or food.
CBD edibles are food and drink products that contain CBD extract. A common form of CBD edible is gummies, though you can find countless different creative options when you start shopping around.
Some people choose to inhale CBD by vaping. This is the fastest delivery method, though there are some concerns about the health risks.
You can also find CBD in topical forms. Creams, lotions, oils, and other externally applicable forms are best for certain types of localized pain and discomfort.
It’s also possible to simply buy the flower bud of the CBD plant, which is often the most affordable option. This can be used in a variety of ways depending on your preferences.
Buying CBD: It’s Worth Doing Your Research
Since the CBD industry isn’t regulated, it’s all the more important to do your research before buying CBD products. After all, when you’re purchasing anything you want to know for sure what exactly you’re getting. When you buy from a reputable company that participates in third-party testing it means that you can trust the information that’s on the label.
Did you find this CBD guide useful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!