7 Things to Look for Before You Buy CBD Oil

By Melena Gurganus
Elsa Olofsson, Unsplash

Word is spreading fast about the wellness benefits of CBD oil, so it should come as no surprise that CBD manufacturers and brands are popping up everywhere trying to enter this profitable market. With that being said, not all CBD oil for sale is created with the same standards in mind. There is little regulation of CBD products due to a lack of approval from the FDA, which has led to a “buyer beware” culture within the CBD market. Essentially, it’s up to consumers to do their own research and find what products are worth the money, and what works best for them.

Before you buy any CBD product, we suggest looking at a few key factors to determine the legitimacy of the company selling the product, and whether or not you are getting a quality CBD oil.

1. Buy American-grown hemp

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally occurring compound that can be found within cannabis plants, and it is primarily extracted from a substrain known as hemp. The soil in which these plants are grown can greatly affect the quality of the CBD hemp oil, as these plants absorb nutrients (or toxins) from the ground. Hemp can be imported or grown domestically, and we believe CBD sourced from America is generally better than foreign imports.

When hemp is sourced from areas like Europe, China, and Canada, we compromise the transparency of the origins of our CBD oil. It’s easier to regulate and maintain proper hemp cultivation when it is performed underneath our own laws and standards, rather than importing it from an area where we have little control over the crop’s environment. We also like brands who manage their product from seed to bottle. Brands surrender some control when they buy hemp from overseas.

Additionally, the U.S. spends approximately 300 million dollars on hemp imports every year. Purchasing American-sourced CBD oils could funnel a portion of these funds back into our own economy, supporting local farmers and hemp production.

2. Buy brands that post third-party test results

Whether you’re buying CBD oil online or in person, you want to ensure that you are getting the product as described. Third-party labs can test cannabinoid levels, terpene levels, and for the presence of heavy metals and pesticides. Buy from brands that  allow consumers to see exactly what they may be putting into their bodies. This level of transparency is not only reassuring, but gives scientific proof that verifies how much CBD you are actually getting. Some companies seek out additional testing to get a well-rounded conclusion of results from different labs. We believe brands that take this extra step tend to be the most reputable, as they genuinely care about the quality of their CBD oil and want their customers to know this as well.

3. Look at the states where these brands grow

While American grown hemp offers more transparency overall, specific states may have better quality control than others. States that have legalized marijuana for either medicinal or recreational use typically have more oversight when it comes to growing hemp plants. These states have more available resources to manage and test their hemp extracts, as well as increased regulations on the cultivation of hemp. Therefore, CBD oils produced in these states may have a higher quality product, and trusted CBD companies often share the general location of where their hemp is grown.

4. Purchase the correct strength

There are a range of different potencies available among CBD oil for sale, so you can choose one that best matches your needs and your budget. You can expect stronger CBD oils to cost more since you will get more CBD per dose than weaker potencies. Thus, you will likely use less product in the long run, depending on what you are using it for. The symptoms that you aim to relieve are also a good measure of the strength that you should look for when selecting a CBD oil.

If you’re just starting out using CBD, take it slow at first. You can always increase your dose if you see no effect, but it’s best to be safe when starting a new dietary supplement like CBD.

5. Buy from established brands

It can be difficult to distinguish between the good and bad players within the CBD market, especially since these products have not been evaluated by the FDA. To ensure that brands offer what they say they do, we recommend looking for transparent companies that track their CBD oil from start to finish. Trusted CBD oils will have a combination of well-sourced hemp (ideally grown in the U.S.), third party lab test results, and a range of different potencies available for every type of CBD consumer.

It’s always nice to see “healthy” becoming “cool.” It’s good to see that solid health brands are becoming popular lifestyle brands. But this creates another potential problem for consumers. You need to look past Instagram followers and neat packaging and evaluate these brands for the products the sell.

6. Be careful with bargain products

It’s not uncommon for CBD oils to run on the expensive side, especially for a high dose of CBD milligrams per milliliter. This cost reflects the expenses presented to farmers that have to go through many hurdles to legally harvest hemp, ensure that it is grown in good soil conditions, test their CBD oil after extraction, and package the final product. It’s also costly to purchase CBD produced from foreign hemp, since these plants and their extracts had to go through expensive shipping and importing processes.

If you come across abnormally cheap CBD, you should question what the manufacturer may have sacrificed in the production process in order to profit from selling CBD at a low price point. It’s not impossible to find a reputable CBD oil for sale at a lower price, but if you think a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Low-grade CBD oils are often sold at a low cost, but they may contain traces of toxins (like pesticides or herbicides) and should be avoided.

7. Consider product diversity

Finally, if you’re looking into CBD for the first time, it’s always helpful to look at the variety of products that a brand offers. Trial and error is expected when you begin using CBD. It may take some time to find what product you prefer among several options, such as vapes, CBD creams, or tinctures. Perfecting the dose needed for you to experience symptom relief may also take some time. Once you’ve decided on a CBD product that you feel comfortable with, it’s easier to narrow down your options based on what you are looking for specifically. For example, if you don’t like the taste of tinctures or pure CBD oil, you may want to look for CBD brands that offer other choices like gummies or capsules.

The other thing to consider about product diversity is that white-labeling is common in the CBD market. You want to be careful when you see a company that sells every type of product, as those products may come from a variety of sources. Sometimes is great to have all options at your fingertips. Sometimes it’s better to look at brands who have a very specific expertise.

In Conclusion

CBD oil is for sale all over the place. You can find CBD vapes and gummies in tobacco shops. We’ve even seen these products in convenience stores. That’s what makes it so important to do your research and protect yourself.

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