CBD has been making headlines for several years now, so it would be surprising to meet someone who has not yet heard of it and the claims made about it. And yet, how many people really understand the variety of CBD products available and how to make an informed choice if they are looking to try it for themselves? Maybe you are one of those people, anxious to try it for whatever reason motivates you, but nervous about selecting a quality product that will meet your needs.
Many brands have joined the exploding CBD market, and not all of them are on the up and up. You can avoid being taken in by inferior or improperly made products with a little knowledge. It’s not as complicated as one might think, and we can boil it down for you so that you are armed with the knowledge you need to confidently choose a quality product for your CBD regimen.
Start by recognizing the most basic requirements needed for a quality CBD product according to the experienced reviewers at CBDtop10.com. Their three fundamental “must haves” are:
Properly sourced hemp
Solvent-free extraction method
There are other factors to consider, but let’s first look at these three foundational issues.
Properly sourced hemp
The hemp plant eagerly draws in anything that is to be found in the soil, so a good CBD product starts with plants that are grown and cultivated in a responsible way, in toxin-free soil. Fortunately, there are many quality growers, especially in North America and Europe, who are committed to producing quality hemp. Read labels and websites to find out where your hemp is sourced.
Solvent-free extraction method
CBD (and the other cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana) must be extracted from the plant to make the product you buy and use. There are several ways to do this, and not all of them are desirable. A process that uses chemical solvents will introduce those solvents into the final product and into your body. To avoid this, look for products that have been obtained by means of supercritical CO2 extraction. It’s not the only safe extraction method, but it is by far the most widely used and accepted method by reputable brands.
Anyone can tell you they make a high-quality product, but not all the companies selling CBD are being honest with you. Some are in it to make a quick buck in an exploding market. Those brands that truly want to deliver CBD that you can use with confidence will have their products tested by independent laboratories for verification, and will publish those results. Consumers of such tested products are able to readily confirm the composition and strength of the product and the absence of contaminants.
We will elaborate on these big three later, but first there are a few more items worth mentioning:
Decide what kind of CBD is right for you. You will encounter CBD that is sold in several basic formulations – full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
Full spectrum retains all of the inter-related cannabinoids (more than 100!) that are found in the hemp plant. This complete cannabinoid lineup is believed by many to produce what is called the entourage effect, wherein all the beneficial compounds work together synergistically to produce a superior result. Users should know that a full spectrum CBD will include trace amounts of THC, the cannabinoid known for producing a marijuana high. Hemp products may legally contain up to 0.3% THC, which could be enough to show up on a drug test after continued use.
Broad spectrum CBD is very close to full spectrum, but the THC has been removed in the extraction process. Other beneficial cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN remain.
Isolate is the most thoroughly processed CBD product, in which all other cannabinoids have been removed, leaving only CBD.
Each of these end products has their supporters and those who swear by their results. Each user must decide for themselves which type of product they will feel best about using for their own purposes.
Watch out for unwarranted claims. Lacking sufficient clinical studies, the FDA has not yet recognized CBD or other cannabinoids for medical use. If you see medical claims on the label or website of a CBD product, you can bet it’s one you should stay away from. Studies done to date give good indications that the beneficial properties of CBD are real, but reputable companies will not make claims that their products will cure or treat medical problems.
Read the label. The best CBD brands are committed to transparency, and you should expect it from the brand you choose. Things to look for on the label:
Brand name and location
Amount of CBD
Full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate
Access to test results (some brands will direct you to their website, some conveniently put a QR code on the package for immediate access to results)
Pay attention to price. Naturally you want to get the best value, but the price can also tell you a few things. If it’s absurdly low, it may be a warning sign about the quality (although we know of some excellent brands with low prices).
The pricing of CBD oils can be a source of confusion for new users in particular. Be aware that the price mostly varies based on the amount of CBD in the product. The $30 bottle of CBD oil may look like a bargain next to the $100 bottle, but be sure to compare the CBD content. If the $100 has four times the CBD, it’s a better value and will last much longer than the cheaper bottle.
Do your homework. By now there have been many published reviews of CBD products, both by individual users and by respected independent review sites such as CBDtop10.com. Read about the products that others have found to be helpful and about the qualities that are important to you (many CBD products are formulated to address specific needs or ailments).
A final note – Unless you are very confident in your ability to choose your CBD product, it is a good idea to make your purchases online directly from the manufacturing brand or from a retail outlet with knowledgeable sales personnel. We applaud the kid working her first job at the gas station counter, but she is probably not your best source of advice for making a CBD purchase.
CBD has many enthusiastic users, and you might find that it gives you whatever relief and comfort you are seeking. Apply the information in this article, follow a consistent regimen, and find out what CBD can do for you.
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