CBD is one of the most popular cannabis compounds. Its currently one of the most sought-after sources of medicine. This is because it has a wide range of health benefits. However, the CBD industry is widely unregulated; therefore, it is important to do comprehensive research. Knowing how to shop for CBD requires knowing crucial factors to consider. This article offers an overview of the top factors to look out for.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for CBD
Knowing how to shop for CBD will help you choose the right product that suits your needs. Different brands have many types and forms of CBD products on the market. Some of the most important factors to consider include:
The Source of Hemp Plant
The source of hemp matters since CBD is a bioaccumulator, i.e., it absorbs elements in its surroundings. The best source of hemp is from organic sources, especially those sourced domestically. Colorado, for instance, has a robust hemp program, and most companies source from this state. Oregon is another state that’s a great source of hemp.
Type of CBD
There are three types of CBD based on ingredients. They include:
CBD isolate: It’s the purest form of CBD and doesn’t contain any other compound. CBD isolate has more than 99% CBD, and it’s ideal for people who want to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC completely.
Broad-spectrum CBD: It contains CBD and other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including CBC, CBG, CBN, and terpenes such as pinene, limonene, and myrcene.
Full-spectrum CBD: This CBD contains all the other compounds found in broad-spectrum in addition to THC. Its popularly known for its entourage effect, making it ideal for treating pain and inflammation.
Type of CBD Products
Due to CBD’s versatile nature, you can find the products in many forms. Even though the effects are almost the same, the mode of intake is quite different, including:
CBD oils and tinctures: They usually have a carrier oil, alcohol, or glycerin base. Droppers usually take these products for sublingual intake. Alternatively, they can be to food and drinks.
Edibles: They mainly include gummies, cookies, teas, and chocolate. They are for oral ingestion and come in different strengths and flavors.
Topicals: CBD topicals can be in the form of balms, creams, lotions, and oils. You need to apply the topical product to a specific body for a localized effect.
Vaporizers are ideal for quick action since the extracts get into the body via inhalation.
The Manufacturing Method
The CBD manufacturing process includes the processing, extraction, isolation, and packaging of the compound from the hemp plant. There are many manufacturing methods, but products made with solvents such as propane and hexane are usually of low quality. This is because they normally leave toxic residues in the product. CO2 is currently the industry standard since it’s environmentally friendly and doesn’t leave any residue or chemicals behind.
Availability of Independent 3rd-Party Lab Reports
The CBD industry is currently unregulated, which means that your chances of purchasing a low quality are high. Third-party reports from independent labs are important since they show the full transparency of the brand and the extracts that make the cannabinoid profile, in addition to the presence of heavy metals and contaminants.
Analyze the Product Label
You need to know what’s in the CBD package. The product label offers important information in determining the product’s safety, purity, consistency, and quality. Under the “Patient’s Guide to CBD:2019”, all this information should be available on the product label. As a result, you can check for information such as:
- Product identity: Is it a dietary supplement, and what is it supposed to do?
- CBD content: Check for CBD from hemp and if there is THC.
- Instructions of use: Is it an edible gummy for ingestion or a topical product for external application?
- Dosing recommendations: It is important to know the right amount of intake to avoid overdosing.
- Product warnings: This includes possible drug interactions and potential side effects
- Net quantity: It’s the measure of a product, usually a numerical count expressed in mg or g.
- Storage instructions
- Production and expiry date
- Batch number
Consider the CBD Amount
When shopping for CBD, look for brands with products that show the full name of CBD, cannabidiol, and the amount. This is important in determining how you dose CBD. It should be noted that CBD dosages are usually expressed in mg.
According to experts, you should start taking CBD at relatively low doses, depending on the type. For instance, it could be 5 mg of CBD gummies or 10 mg of CBD tinctures. You can, after that, increase your intake gradually until you find out what works for you.
Check the Presence of Propylene Glycol in CBD Vape Products
CBD vape pens are among the used types of CBD products. This is because they offer discreetness and produce little smoke. However, they are usually made with slightly different ingredients, and sometimes this involves the addition of propylene glycol. This is a dangerous ingredient that can cause nasal irritation and increase the risk of medical conditions such as asthma and cancer. For your safety, consider vape pens made with solvent-free oils.
Avoid CBD Products with Sweeping Health Claims
CBD has a good safety profile and a wide range of health benefits. However, some brands make sweeping health claims regarding their CBD products. You should understand that CBD isn’t a miracle worker; hence you should be skeptical of brands that overemphasize the effectiveness of CBD products. The FDA has cracked down on many companies that sell CBD products while making unproven health claims every year.
FDA Warning Letters
The CBD industry is widely unregulated, and that’s why there are many low-quality products. Many marketed products that are supposed to contain CBD have been found to contain little or nothing. To ensure that you buy a high-quality product, check if the brand has received an FDA warning letter for selling questionable products.
Talk to Your Doctor
There are many factors that you should know when shopping for CBD products. But sometimes, talking to your doctor could be more important, especially if you take prescription medication or have an underlying health problem. Healthcare providers know the benefits of CBD and are better positioned to offer alternative wellness recommendations.
Even though the medical cannabis industry isn’t regulated, some brands still sell high-quality products. However, there are certain factors that you need to consider when making your purchases. For instance, the source of hemp plant extracts, type of CBD, and the availability of independent 3rd-party lab tests are all crucial in the selection process. Besides that, you can also talk to your doctor for recommendations.