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5 Things to Check Before You Buy CBD

By Harris Wheless

The CBD market is a constantly evolving, often confusing space for consumers—both those who have a long line of experience with CBD as well as newcomers to the space. You may have seen consumers who claim CBD does wonders for a variety of health conditions, but these hemp extracts are widely unregulated. CBD products have yet to be evaluated by the FDA, so be wary of brands who take advantage of this and seek profitability rather than legitimacy.

CBD can offer relief from certain symptoms, but it’s difficult to pinpoint what product will best fit your needs. As brands jostle to get in on the CBD craze, look for the ones who are transparent about the quality of their products and where they come from. Above all, seek out a company that you trust and a product that works for you. Here are some things to consider as you embark on your search.

Third Party Lab Testing

When buying a CBD product, you want to make sure what you’re getting is safe and reliable. Many brands post third party test results on their website, or make them available upon request. Look for recent test results from an accredited third party lab. This is often a good indicator the company is transparent about the consistency and quality of their product.

Third party labs can test for terpenes, heavy metals, pesticides, and other cannabinoids. These tests can affirm that you’re taking the kind of CBD indicated on the label, and alleviate worry for those who have to take mandatory drug screenings. Be sure to put brands and their products under scrutiny, so that you know you’re in control of what you’re putting into your body.

Product Type

CBD can be pretty expensive, but you shouldn’t buy a lower-priced product without considering its quality and label accuracy. Don’t be fooled into buying CBD-infused treats that are just a cash grab—instead, look for a company that exercises precaution and expertise in creating safe, dependable products. Pick the application method that you’re most comfortable with, whether that be vape, oil, edible, or whatever else that feels right to you.

Another important thing to consider is the potency level. CBD products have different concentrations of CBD in them, which can then determine the serving size, as well as its potential to effectively relieve your symptoms. Products with higher concentrations may cost more, but if your symptoms require a single, higher dose it’s better to invest in something worthwhile than something that won’t have any effect.

THC Content

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, a kind of organic compound found in cannabis. THC content is the main factor when distinguishing between marijuana and hemp—the former has higher levels of THC, while the latter has less than 0.3 percent THC. Drug screenings often test for the presence of THC, and luckily, the CBD industry has accounted for this in their product offerings.

CBD products can be divided into three categories based on the compounds that are present in them. These categories are isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD. Basically, CBD isolate only contains CBD and no other compounds. Full-spectrum products contain all of the compounds present in hemp, including CBD, THC, and terpenes. Broad-spectrum products can have all of those compounds as well, except for the THC.

Online Reviews

The fast-paced and unregulated CBD market has been labeled as a “buyer beware” environment. It’s largely left up to consumers to do their own research and determine which products are safe to use. Pay attention to customer reviews on the brand’s website. And look for reviews of that company’s products other places online to get a more informed, objective viewpoint.

It never hurts to check out what other people are saying about a product before you buy it, especially when it comes to CBD. Other customers may talk about how successful the product was in assuaging certain symptoms, some of which may overlap with your own. It can also be helpful to read reviews on an industry-specific site so experts in the field can point you in the right direction.

Hemp Source

Hemp is grown all over the world, and it can be cheaper if sourced from farms in other countries. But the soil the plant is grown in can have a large effect on what nutrients or toxins the plant absorbs. Domestically-grown hemp is a safer bet because localization of the growing and manufacturing process allows for brands to have greater control over what’s going into the product.

We recommend companies that use American-grown hemp as it is more likely to be cultivated according to our laws and standards, and less likely to contain unwanted substances like pesticides. The best brands are transparent about the content and source of their products. If you can trace a product back to its origins and assess the legitimacy of the different stages the plant undergoes, you can eliminate any doubts about what you’re putting into your body.

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