The far-reaching popularity of CBD products has taken the world by storm. Nearly everyone these days is aware of its numerous benefits.
CBD’s ever-increasing demand has given a massive boost to companies selling CBD products worldwide. This has, in turn, given birth to a lot of confusion and misinformation among the consumers.
The lack of proper regulations and their enforcement has resulted in a lot of confusion over the authenticity of such products. To add to that, there is all that misinformation and lack of understanding among consumers.
On top of that, the FDA has refused to give its approval to CBD products being sold as food or drugs. However, with the legalization of hemp and hemp-derived products, the confusion, which should have dissipated, only grew deeper.
Amid all this confusion, numerous retailers are trying to scam their customers by peddling fake CBD oils. These are usually nothing more than hemp seed oil – or worse – synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids even could prove lethal as they often contain synthetic analogs of THC – the psychotropic compound found in cannabis.
With a wide variety of CBD products being available in the market, consumers blindly purchase products from companies that are trending online or someone says is “amazing”! Customers, who visit brick-and-mortar retail stores, departmental stores, or pharmacies can also get duped by a store manager’s marketing skills.
This usually leads to massive wastage of money and also compromises your health – defeating the whole purpose of buying it!
If you’re buying for medicinal purposes, it’s imperative to ensure the authenticity of a product – so that you’re getting your money’s worth!
To help you make an informed decision, we have prepared this guide, containing a list of concerns and parameters that you must consider before buying a CBD product. Ministry of Hemp released a list of best CBD oil and judged the products according to the points given below.
As a consumer, you should always check the ingredients of a product before you drop it into your basket. Consider this as a thumb rule. In the case of a CBD product, this will not only help you take note of the potentially toxic components present in the product but will also provide you with an insight into the product’s possible benefits. Knowing the ingredients of a CBD product will also help you relieve your mind of unnecessary worries like – “Did I get my money’s worth?”
Check the Legality Status
Since some CBD products contain THC, it’s important to find out the THC level in the product. While THC and recreational marijuana use are legal in some states of America, most states deem it illegal to buy CBD oils, containing high levels of THC. The federal government allows the use/consumption of CBD products with a THC content of only up to 0.3% by dry weight of hemp. In some special cases, medicinal marijuana, containing much higher levels of THC, is also allowed in only some states, that too, with an MM card.
Tested By Third-Party Labs
One of the most important things to look for while buying CBD products is to check whether it has been tested by third-party labs. Many companies in the market try to lure customers with attractive discounts and excellent marketing strategies. To make sure you consume only safe products, devoid of high levels of THC or contaminants, like GMOs and heavy metals, consider it mandatory to always check/ask for the lab reports, preferably one that is vouched for by a third-party laboratory.
Most reputable companies provide a valid Certificate of Analysis (CoA) of their products on their websites. Sometimes, you must buy a product to get a QR code to verify the lab report. If that does not happen, reach out to the company and ask for it. It is their responsibility to furnish the report. Make sure the report is provided by an ISO-certified lab. If you are unable to get the report, don’t use the product.
CBD products can be made from three different kinds of cannabis (hemp) extracts, depending on their composition. Your choice will mainly depend on your purpose of using a CBD product.
- Full-Spectrum: This is a whole-plant hemp extract, containing all cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and other plant nutrients, including traces of THC (legally up to 0.3%). Due to the presence of all the natural components of cannabis plants, this extract offers the user a synergistic effect of all the natural nutrients. This is known as the “entourage effect”.
- CBD Isolate: This is a purified CBD extract that contains no other compounds in it. The level of CBD in these products is up to 99%. This is a good option for those who want to ensure they are using only CBD – and nothing else. This is effective – but not as much as full-spectrum extracts, owing to the absence of the “entourage effect”.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD: This is similar to full-spectrum CBD extracts with the exception that it has zero THC. This is great if you fear failing a drug test and yet need the synergistic effects of the CBD extract.
Source of Hemp & Cultivation Practices
If you’re buying a CBD product, it’s essential to know its source. The strain of hemp and the place where it’s cultivated determine the quality of the hemp and its components. These determine the presence/absence of high levels of THC, harmful chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals, microbes, etc. Besides, knowledge of the cultivation practices employed is also important to understand these aspects. For instance, hemp sourced from Colorado farms is generally safer as the farmers there operate under the federal government regulations and stick to organic farming practices.
Researchers state that the best extraction method is the CO2 extraction method. While there are several equally safe ways of doing it, the market has come to respect this process the most. You can verify these details by contacting the manufacturer.
This is what determines the potency, and indirectly the bioavailability, of a product. This also helps you decide on the dosage. A higher concentration of CBD will require a smaller dose than one with a lower concentration. So, check the CBD content (in mg) on the label and calculate your dosage before consuming it.
Prioritizing Quality over Price
Unfortunately, depending on what the internet tells you isn’t always a wise thing to do. There are a lot of poor-grade products on display that will only harm you in the long run. So, it’s better to prioritize quality over price when buying something for your health. Trust only the best brands – the reputed ones – those that are transparent and openly elaborate on their practices on their website. Go through their websites diligently, verify their CoAs, and ask them for any confusion regarding the points we have already shared with you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them before buying a CBD product. CBD is expensive and every penny you pay for it should be worth it. Falling for cheap products, on the other hand, could prove to be disastrous.
Fairly Priced Product
A high-quality CBD product may cost more due to several reasons. It can be due to the farming practices, extraction processes, further filtrations, third-party lab testing, or even higher CBD content.
Having said that, a responsible brand will never try to con you by charging you too high. They will make sure to keep their prices competitive. If you feel you are getting ripped-off, check the same product on a different website. But it’s advisable to always buy directly from the brand website.
Reviews of Previous Users
Companies and vendors can make inflated claims regarding the success rates of their products to make a quick profit. But you must check the product reviews online to gauge the performance of the products from the experiences narrated by previous users. The best way to get unbiased information is by investing some time and reading up some credible testimonials on portals other than the brand’s own, such as social media, open forums, and blogs.
While CBD can be amazingly therapeutic, with a myriad of benefits, you must be aware of the risks involved, particularly since the government has left the onus of judging a CBD product squarely on the consumers.
Even though CBD has a comparatively better safety profile compared to most other pharmaceutical and illicit drugs, there is still the risk of experiencing some side effects, i.e., if taken in very high amounts or consumed with other drugs.
Besides, CBD’s efficacy varies from person to person. You can’t expect CBD to act as a miracle cure for all your health issues. The method in which you use/consume also matters.
Then, there are those unscrupulous marketers out to make a quick buck! Never take anything at face value. Always make sure you’re getting the right product and your money’s worth.
So, the next time you decide to buy a fresh batch of CBD products for you or your loved ones, make sure to check all the parameters before you invest your money in a CBD product.
Lastly, always consult your doctor before using CBD and never overuse it. It won’t help you; it could harm you if you take too much.
After all, nothing matters more than your health!