It is very easy to purchase CBD oil today as there are so many products on the market. The problem is that the quality of products can vary considerably. How do you know which CBD oil to buy? You need to know more about hemp quality, the reputation of a company, third-party test results, and other criteria if you want to pick good CBD oil.
- Source of the hemp
The way hemp is grown will have an impact on the quality of the final product. Is it grown in the U.S.? Is it organically and sustainably farmed? What kind of soil is it grown in? Hemp readily absorbs heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides from the soil.
Hemp grown in clean soil without the use of synthetic chemicals like certain pesticides or fertilizers will result in safer products. To claim that a product is organic, it must be Certified Organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Hemp plants treated with nonorganic chemicals may have a bitter taste, and chemicals may find their way into the final product.
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- Hemp extraction process
The CBD has to be extracted from the hemp plant, and the extraction process has an impact on the final product. Supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethanol extraction are the two most commonly used and clean processes. Methods using propane, butane or hexane are very flammable and can leave behind residual solvents, so they are not often used.
- Third-party testing
The use of a third-party laboratory for testing products means that results are more likely to be unbiased. A third-party laboratory should be a qualified, trustworthy entity.
A Certificate of Analysis (COA) details the compounds found in a product. If a company doesn’t have a COA for a product, consider it a red flag. A trustworthy COA should give a cannabinoid analysis indicating the concentration and weight of the cannabinoids in the CBD oil. Heavy metals, like lead or mercury, traces of pesticides, residual solvents and molds will be indicated in the COA.
- Types of CBD oil
There are three types of CBD: Isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant, including a trace amount of THC. Broad-spectrum products contain terpenes and all cannabinoids except THC. An isolate contains only pure CBD and no other cannabinoids. If you don’t want a product that contains THC, you should go for an isolate or broad-spectrum product. According to some research, all the compounds of the plant work better in tandem than they do on their own in what is called the ‘entourage’ effect.
- Potency and dosage of CBD
When buying CBD oil, you need to consider the potency or concentration of CBD in the product. You also need to find out which dosage works best for you because there is no recommended dosage or regulation by the FDA.
Dosage will depend on factors such as the potency of the product, your physiology and tolerance. Experts recommend starting with a low dose and gradually working up to the amount where you experience the effects you want.
A low dosage of CBD is usually between 1 and 10 mg, a medium dose is between 15 and 30mg, and anything over 30mg is a high dose. If you want to take a medium dose of CBD oil, a tincture should have a potency of at least 30mg, so you don’t have to use more than a full dropper at a time. CBD capsules and a CBD isolate may require higher doses to get the same effect.
- Product safety
CBD oil appears to be safe for use with few to minimal side effects. Even in fairly high concentrations, it is safe, and it’s almost impossible to overdose. When taking other medications, you need to be careful about taking CBD as it could interact with them and increase their side effects or make them less effective. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare practitioner who understands CBD to find out whether you should use it.
- Product price
It can be difficult to find the balance between affordability and quality of CBD oil. You don’t want to buy an affordable product if it’s of inferior quality. Just because a price is high does not necessarily mean you’re getting the best product either. Fortunately, there are a number of reputable companies that offer affordable products. One of the easiest ways to determine whether you’re getting a reasonable deal is to divide the price by the total CBD content so you can establish the price per milligram. Reading reviews is a good way to establish the quality of a CBD product and whether the price is reasonable.