If you’re a complete novice when it comes to CBD, there are a few things you need to consider before buying CBD oil.
It’s important to know the hemp source to understand how the oil was made, i.e., if it’s organic or not.
Next, when looking for CBD oil online, make sure to check the hemp’s country of origin. The FDA regulates all cannabis plants grown in the US, ensuring they contain less than 0.3% THC. As a high authority body, the FDA approves only the highest quality produce.
There are three types of CBD — full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate.
Full spectrum refers to the whole plant extract — meaning it contains all the other plant molecules in addition to pure CBD.
Broad spectrum CBD products are somewhere in between (obviously). They are obtained by stripping full spectrum oil of all its THC components while leaving other cannabinoids and terpenes at bay.
Best CBD isolate oil manufacturers process most of the extra molecules and nutrients out until it leaves 99% (or more) of CBD behind. They’re meant to deliver doses of CBD without the other cannabinoids, terpenes, or any extra substances.
Which one is the best for you personally? That depends on your tolerance, i.e. sensitivity and your needs so you may need to test all of them.
For instance, one study showed the synergistic effects of a full-spectrum oil were greater than an isolate when focused on the treatment of inflammatory conditions. In addition, another study on terpenes showed great overall potential for human health.
Although there isn’t too much research behind it since the industry is so new, these molecules seem to work better together. This result is commonly referred to as the entourage effect. Overall, we believe full and broad spectrum oils provide the best benefits to most people.
However, your body may react differently; even in the best organic CBD oil like the ones above, a tiny trace of THC or a particular terpene could provoke unpleasant CBD oil side effects.
Do the best CBD products come in high potencies? Not necessarily. While the potency itself is important, this doesn’t automatically mean lower strengths won’t have any effect on you.
In fact, it’s recommended to start low and increase the dosage gradually since people react to CBD differently.
That said, rookies should go with brands that offer smaller potencies, such as Just CBD, Zion Medicinals, or Bluebird Botanicals, while CBD veterans could opt for brands that provide high strengths, like Just CBD, NuLeaf Naturals, CBDistillery, or TryTheCBD.
Third-Party Testing and CoA
You must always be able to find third-lab test results and CoA on the brand’s website. If the company doesn’t offer the mentioned info or refuses to send you one, avoid buying CBD oil from them.
Having available lab results shows the brand’s transparency about its products. The lack of it implies the products might not be tested for safety and might contain harmful chemicals.
To find the best CBD oil on the market, make sure its CoA contains the following:
- Cannabinoid analysis (the percentage of cannabinoids in the product).
- Heavy metals analysis (levels of heavy metals in the product). Steer clear of products that contain over 0.003 mg/mL of lead, 0.0001 mg/mL of mercury, and 0.001 mg/mL of cadmium.
- Pesticides analysis (chemicals used during the farming process). Avoid products that contain 40 parts per million (ppm) of cypermethrin and 7ppm of ethylene oxide.
What’s on the Label?
Unfortunately, the US hasn’t legalized cannabis on the federal level, and the FDA is, conveniently for some, not in charge of controlling the products. As a result, there is no uniform label, so you have to put in the extra effort and decipher the descriptions yourself.
Overall, a high quality CBD oil should contain a label that clearly states the following:
- Name and place of business
- CBD dosage in milligrams (total milligrams, serving size)
- Full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate indicator
- Batch and lot numbers
- Date of manufacture/expiry date
- Third-party approval
- List of ingredients
- State license number
- Warning or caution notice
- Net weight
- Suggested method of use.
The stated information should be accurate and in accordance with the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970.
Today’s CBD market is full of organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free products.
For example, organic CBD oil is free of pesticides. It contains organic ingredients, and some brands offer USDA organic products like Lazarus Naturals and Joy Organics.
Non-GMO products are extracted from hemp that is not genetically altered, such as PureKana, cbdMD, TryTheCBD, and CBDistillery.
Vegan CBD oil doesn’t contain animal products (CBDistillery, Joy Organics, cbdMD, and CBDfx), while gluten-free CBD oil contains zero gluten (CBDistillery, cbdMD, and CBDfx).
Flavors & Additives
In your search for the best CBD oils, you’ve probably stumbled upon different flavors. Since hemp has an earthly taste, many brands add various flavorings to their CBD oils. For example, cbdMD offers CBD oil in three different flavors (besides the natural): berry, orange, and mint, making their products more appealing to people with sensitive taste buds.
Some people simply can’t stand the taste of 100% CBD oil. An added flavor and/or sweetener in oils can help these people take it under the tongue (which is the best way to consume it orally if you need a higher absorption rate).
The best full spectrum CBD oil can have some additives, but they should be completely harmless and natural.
Generally, fillers aren’t harmful so long as they are a natural substance that is commonly ingested. Some additives, like MCT oil, can even amplify the effects of CBD!