There are dozens of different CBD oil products on the market. And while it’s nice to have a selection to choose from, sometimes too big of a selection can make it harder to determine which product is best for you.
When buying CBD oil, not only are there different brands to choose from, but there are other differences to consider, including where the CBD comes from, the type of CBD that a product uses, and other compounds that may be in the product.
In order to have the best experience possible with CBD, there are some things you’ll want to look for when choosing a product. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of finding high quality CBD oil.
Certificate of Analysis
The most important detail to consider when buying CBD oil is whether or not a product has been tested by an independent third-party lab. If a product has been tested, the company will likely post these results on their website. These test results can be found in a certificate of analysis (COA).
A COA is evidence that a product’s content has been has been thoroughly checked. A COA offers all sorts of details into a product including:
- CBD levels
- THC levels
- Existence of any contaminants (pesticides, solvents, etc.)
Most high quality CBD oil products will be third party tested. This is because companies want to be transparent and want consumers to know exactly what they’re buying. Brands with low quality CBD products may not want to put bad test results on display.
If you’re unable to find a product’s COA online, it never hurts to reach out to customer service to see if test results are available. Regardless, if a product doesn’t have a COA, there’s no way to confirm what’s in the product or whether it’s safe to use.
It’s extremely important to check a product’s COA before purchasing it. You’ll also want to confirm that the COA is recent and that no changes have been made to the product that would make the COA invalid.
CBD products aren’t designed to make you high. In fact, CBD has no psychoactive properties, but THC does. When looking at a product’s COA, you’ll want to look at the THC levels. Unless the CBD oil is made with pure CBD isolate, chances are that it contains trace amounts of THC.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, all legal CBD products must no more than 0.3% THC. This means that a products COA should show that THC levels are 0.3% or less.
Products that have higher levels of THC are not only illegal, they can be dangerous to consume. Because THC is psychoactive, it can cause a variety of side effects, including paranoia and anxiety.
THC levels are also important if your employer randomly drug tests its workforce. If you consume CBD oil that has high THC levels, there’s an increased chance that you could fail a drug test, even though you aren’t using marijuana.
While there are CBD oils made with CBD isolate, some research has shown that certain people have better results using CBD when it is mixed with other cannabinoids, including THC. This is known as the entourage effect. Oils made with full-spectrum CBD will contain all of the other cannabinoids as well as terpenes, fatty acids, and other beneficial compounds.
Sourcing: Where Does the Hemp Come From?
Another factor to consider when buying CBD oil to add to your daily routine is how the product’s CBD is sourced and manufactured. Many of the high quality manufacturers source their hemp from various areas throughout the United States. It’s not advisable to purchase CBD oil from a company that gets its hemp from outside of the country.
Colorado has become a top spot for hemp because of the agricultural hemp program in the state. Under this program, plants are spot tested while in the field to ensure that they are being grown correctly and that certain procedures are being followed.
Many companies advertise where hemp is sourced from on their website or on the product label. If the company states that its hemp is sourced from outside of the U.S., the hemp doesn’t have to go through any state or federal testing. This means it doesn’t have to meet FDA standards or guidelines.
Cultivation & Manufacturing
Once you know that the CBD oil is sourced from a reputable farm, the next thing to consider is how the CBD is cultivated and manufactured. You want to ensure that the hemp is cultivated using best practices such as no use of pesticides and proper pH balance in the soil. It’s also important that he plants aren’t grown using GMOs or any other synthetic practices.
When CBD is cultivated from the plant, there are two main processes that can be used to extract the oil. If you’re shopping for high quality CBD oil, you’ll find a manufacturer that uses CO2 extraction, which is conducted inside of a lab.
The other process involves the use of chemical solvents, such as butane. If you didn’t know, butane is used as fuel in cigarette lighters and for outdoor cooking products. While this process is quick and cheap for manufacturers, it’s dangerous for consumers. The solvent that is used can seep into the CBD oil that you then consume. If the company you want to buy from uses solvent-based extraction versus CO2 extraction, you may want to reconsider your purchase.
When buying CBD oil, you want to purchase a superior product. Choosing a low quality CBD product is not only unlikely to deliver the results you want, it may also put your health at risk. Remember, you consume CBD oil, and just as you care about the quality of the food that you eat, it’s just as important to consume high quality supplements.
Before purchasing CBD oil, be sure to consider these factors so that you can have peace of mind that you’re buying a top notch product.