Thinking of trying CBD? Buying CBD for the first time can be confusing and overwhelming. We’ve written a Beginners Guide to CBD which helps give an overview… but when you’re ready to take the next step, how do you know where to buy CBD hemp oil and how can you tell if it’s a quality product?
In this guide, we’ll go over 10 things to look for when buying CBD.
1. Where Should I Buy CBD Oil?
As we’ve covered before, you should NOT buy CBD oil on Amazon. Amazon prohibits CBD on their platform so most of the “hemp” products that come up on a search for CBD oil are most likely made with hemp seed oil, which does not contain any significant amount of CBD, if at all.
Also, vape shops and gas stations are not the best resources for high quality CBD. These establishments are focused on cheap, low quality products that are meant to move quickly. Just think, would you buy a high end skincare product at your local gas station convenience store?
Look for a reputable CBD company that focuses on high quality products and that promotes health and wellness as their primary goal.
2. Where is the Hemp Grown?
When buying CBD Oil, you’ll want to know the source from where the hemp was harvested. Make sure to seek companies that use hemp grown in the USA under strict agricultural guidelines.
Unfortunately, due to the unregulated state of the industry, a lot of companies are importing hemp from other parts of the world that may contain pesticides, harsh chemicals, synthetics or other contaminated materials in their biomass.
3. How is the Hemp Grown?… Is it Organic?
Hemp is a very hardy plant, thus it does not require much to help it grow. Hemp is a sustainable resource that grows in a variety of climates and soil types, and is naturally resistant to most pests. Look for companies that use organically grown hemp.
Note about organic certification: Although hemp can be grown organically, organic certification is regulated by the USDA. Even though the 2018 US Farm Bill has made hemp and hemp-derived products federally legal, the USDA has not begun issuing organic certifications to any hemp farms as of this writing.
4. How Much CBD is in the Product?
Make sure you read the labels carefully when buying CBD oil. You should see clearly listed how much CBD (Cannabidiol) is in the entire bottle/jar, as well as how much CBD there is per serving.
If the ingredients only list “hemp extract” or “hemp oil” or something similarly vague, you should be suspicious as this does not indicate how much actual CBD, if any, is in the product.
5. How is the CBD Extracted?
There are several methods of extracting CBD from hemp. CO2 Extraction process is the optimal method as it maintains the purity and integrity of the cannabinoids and terpenes without introducing any solvents or harsh chemicals.
6. What Part of the Plant is the CBD Extracted From?
As mentioned above, hemp seeds do not contain any significant amounts of CBD, so make sure the CBD comes from the flowers, leaves and stalk of the hemp plant. Look for “whole plant” extracts, which is referred to as either full spectrum or broad spectrum (see next point).
7. What Kind of CBD Oil Is It? (And Does it Contain THC?)
There are many formats for consuming CBD from tinctures to topicals to edibles. Which one you buy will depend on your goals of why you’re using it, as well as your personal preference on how you’d like to incorporate CBD into your daily routine.
Aside from the format, the three main types of CBD oils you can buy indicate the concentration and ratio of CBD vs THC as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full Spectrum is a whole plant hemp extract that includes all of the cannabinoids (including trace amounts of THC), terpenes and other beneficial compounds in hemp.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD is also a whole plant hemp extract similar to full spectrum, but with the THC removed.
CBD isolate contains only 99.9% CBD and no other compounds from the hemp plant
To read more about the differences, as well as the pros and cons of each spectrum, read our article on Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate.
8. What Other Ingredients are in the CBD Oil?
We believe that it’s always best to consume products that contain ingredients as close to their natural unaltered state as possible. Look for CBD products that do not contain fillers, synthetic cannabinoids or other artificial ingredients.
9. Is the CBD Oil 3rd Party Tested?
Since there is currently no FDA regulation on CBD products, you should make sure to buy CBD oil from a company that can provide 3rd party lab tests which verifies the potency of cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as the safety of the products, making sure they do not contain pesticides or other harsh chemicals.
Ideally, CBD companies should make their lab tests readily available on their website.
10. Is it a Reputable Company Who Gives Back?
We like to support companies that provide value to the consumer, not just sell products. We also believe in the golden rule and treat others the way we would expect to be treated.
When buying CBD oil, research the company and its founders to determine if there is transparency in their massage. Do they provide helpful information and education to their customers, rather than making wild, unsubstantiated claims? Do they have positive online reviews?
Lastly, does the company give back to the community? Great customer service should always be expected, but do they go beyond that and contribute to others outside of their customer base?
11. Bonus Tip: What About Price?
Notice we did not include price as a main factor in our list of what to look for when buying CBD Oil. That being said, price is definitely part of comparing products from reputable sources where all else is equal.
Some companies are unnecessarily overcharging for CBD products based on their brand recognition. The opposite extreme is also true… watch out for unusually low prices. Keep in mind the old adage that states “you get what you pay for”.
Look for pricing between $0.10 – $0.15 per mg of CBD, give or take.
Hopefully these tips will help you feel more confident when you’re ready to buy CBD oil and to ensure you’re receiving a quality product that will help you in your journey to better health and wellness.