CBD Oil Buyer’s Guide
How to Choose a CBD Oil
1. Check your state’s laws
Most states have laws that allow hemp-based CBD products, but these laws are not always clear. If you’re worried about the legality of CBD, check out your state’s hemp laws to learn more.
2. Consider your budget
Before you even think about buying CBD oil online, it’s important to consider what you are comfortable with spending. Products in this market can get very pricey, so setting a maximum cost limit for yourself can help narrow down brands and find something that works for you, without breaking the bank.
3. Check test results
Top CBD oil brands should show third-party test results on their website or send these results to you upon request. There are a number of things a you can look for in these results when deciding between different brands.
- Batch numbers. Some brands test so frequently you can check an individual product’s batch number and follow a crop from soil, to lab, to bottle. You should at least see recent test results—maybe within the last quarter, absolutely within the last year.
- Cannabinoid concentration, potency, and terpene levels. A JAMA study found that a third of CBD products are mislabeled. It’s important to check test results to verify the products you are buying were tested to validate levels of CBD, THC, and other terpenes. More recent news has shown counterfeit products are a problem.
- Pesticides and heavy metals. Hemp will suck up whatever is in the soil. This is another reason why we like established brands on established land versus pop-up brands that may source hemp from unproven ground. You can check test results to assure heavy metal content is below a safe threshold.
- Solvents and bacteria, like salmonella. All products should be free of solvents. They should also be manufactured in clean facilities.
4. Check to see what kind of CBD extract is in the product
There are three types of CBD products: full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate. We believe broad and full spectrum CBD oils have greater therapeutic value due to the “entourage effect,” or multiple cannabinoids working together. Experts we talk to support the idea of whole-plant therapy. Although some people prefer CBD isolate as a way to completely remove THC and only consume CBD.
5. Try multiple brands
We tell you to look out for bad actors. But the truth is there are a lot of good brands that care about people. On things like taste and concentration, you may want to try different brands until you find the perfect one that suits your preferences.
How We Picked Our Top CBD Oils
First, every brand we feature must have recent, clear third-party test results to be featured on our site. If a brand does not have recent test results, we will test the products for them. Because believe products with this kind of health potential should be safe and of great quality.
We also believe the brands that make edibles should be transparent. That’s why, in addition to clear and consistent lab testing of products, we evaluate brands based on 6 Core Principles. You can use the principles to easily evaluate which CBD oil brand is right for you.
||What it means to you
||By dividing the price of a bottle of oil by the milligrams of CBD in that bottle, you can make a more simple cost comparison.
||All CBD oils are different. By dividing the milligrams in a bottle by the number of milliliters in the bottle, you have a simple way to compare the strength of each oil you are considering.
||We believe in American hemp. Brands that source hemp from Europe can make perfectly fine products, but we support hemp grown in the U.S.A.
||Flavor is an important differentiator when you’re buying a CBD oil. A lot of these products taste like hemp, which is very natural and earthy. Others have flavorings added.
||We believe all brands must clearly post or make easily accessible recent third-party test results. They should also be open and clear about the extraction methods they use.
||We will provide notes on customer service, buying experience, and brand mission. As well as notes on non-profit or assistance initiatives that can help distinguish brands.
These are the 6 things we believe customers should use to compare CBD brands and choose the best CBD oil for them.
Other things to consider when picking a CBD oil:
- Is the CBD oil full-spectrum or an isolate? We believe full-spectrum products have greater therapeutic value. Some people talk about the “entourage effect,” or multiple cannabinoids working together. Experts we talk to support the idea of whole-plant therapy. Look for brands that believe in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD.
- Does this brand operate in a state where marijuana is legal? States that have legalized marijuana have more standardized regulations. The industry in these places has infrastructure and processes in place. States that only allow limited cultivation of industrial hemp simply have less resources to scrutinize product development.
- Do I want a brand that does one thing great or has everything I need? Consider product diversity. Some people like to shop brands who have a very narrow expertise. Other people like access to a wide variety of CBD products all in one place. The main thing to look out for is white labeling. Is the company who sells everything accountable for the manufacturing of those products or are they a storefront?
- Does this brand have assistance programs and military discounts available? Medicine and supplements are expensive. We like seeing brands who make access to their products easier.