Ever wonder where to find the best CBD products?
It’s a common concern.
Until the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, CBD was illegal.
However, the new law made industrial hemp and its products legal. Almost instantly, online retailers, health stores, and other wellness organizations started selling CBD products. Clearly, the market is growing rapidly and doesn’t show any sign of stopping.
However, the FDA doesn’t regulate the safety, purity, optimal dosage, or other parts of producing CBD. This is because doctors and researchers at large haven’t been able to conduct long-term testing on CBD. There are guidelines and best practices, but until regulations for testing and labeling are in place, the CBD market can be difficult to navigate to determine which products are healthiest.
The good news is, you can still find reputable CBD products out there. It does require some savvy-ness, but following the guidelines we’ve listed below will make finding the right product easy.
Here’s what all the best products have in common.
To start, they’re…
CBD products should all be extracted from organically-grown sources. That’s not just an annoying, snobbish recommendation from wellness aficionados–it’s also the best, healthiest way for everyone to enjoy CBD.
This is because hemp absorbs whatever is near it—whether that’s toxins in the soil or pesticides that are sprayed on them. That’s good for the environment, but if the hemp absorbs it, then it will definitely get into your body. Organic products mean that the hemp isn’t sprayed with pesticides and other toxins that could be harmful to your body.
Additionally, standard, non-organic products also have to undergo cleaning and processing with even more chemicals to wash off the pesticides before they’re declared safe for human consumption.
However, organic plants don’t have to undergo this cleaning. When taking organic materials, you don’t have to worry about the pesticides that may have gotten on them before their cleaning, and you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals that were used to wash them after they were harvested.
It’s also important to know the origin of the hemp that’s used in your CBD product. This is important because, as already stated, hemp absorbs toxins in the soil. Other countries may have fewer regulations for their pesticides and more toxins in their soil.
It’s incredibly important that the hemp you ingest is grown using responsible farming practices. The best practice is to look for CBD products made with American-grown hemp.
GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organisms,” which are living organisms whose genetic material have been artificially manipulated through genetic engineering.
What does that have to do with hemp?
Basically, it means that scientists change the genetic makeup of various organisms, including hemp. They do this so the hemp becomes stronger and farmers can use harsher chemicals on the plants and make it easier to grow.
That’s great for scientists, plants, farmers, and certain CEO pocketbooks.
But just because plants can handle the harsher chemicals, doesn’t mean you can.
Plus no one knows the long-term effects of ingesting GMOs on the human body or the environment. It’s best to just play it safe and go with non-GMO. That means that the hemp you intake hasn’t been genetically modified and therefore hasn’t been treated with harsher chemicals.
Here’s a quick refresher.
Both vegetarians and vegans choose not to eat meat and fish. However, veganism goes a step further than vegetarianism. It prohibits the consumption or use of any products that come from animals, including dairy, eggs, honey, leather goods, wool, and silk.
Since CBD is extracted from hemp, it qualifies as vegan. However, when it’s mixed with other ingredients, it might become unclear whether or not it’s vegan. For example, CBD capsules might not be vegan because the casings are made of gelatin. It’s best to also be very aware of the ingredients in edibles like gummies. Those can also contain gelatin and animal byproducts.
To find some great vegan-friendly CBD products, check out this list.
When it comes to extracting the CBD oils from hemp plants there are usually two methods for doing so.
The first is known as butane hash oil or BHO.
BHO extraction is a popular method because it’s fast and cheap. Yet even though BHO is cheap and easy, there are many drawbacks to this extraction method.
To make BHO extract, the plant matter is “washed” with butane (yes, the same butane that goes into lighters). As it passes over the plant, the butane strips chemical compounds like terpenes, cannabinoids, lipids, and more from the plant.
Once this step is complete, the butane is removed from the final product with a vacuum pump or heat.
The catch is, there’s no way to get all of the butane solvent out of the extract and people who ingest BHO are taking on a huge health hazard.
Thankfully, there’s a second alternative called CO2 extraction.
CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to separate the oil from the cannabis plant. Under the right conditions, the liquid form of CO2 becomes a solvent that can be used to extract the oil from the hemp.
Not only does this method preserve all the components of the plant, but it’s also pure and solvent-free, so there’s no risk to consumers. The only drawback is that the process is more expensive because it takes longer, but it’s also better for the environment, healthier, and more sustainable so it’s definitely worth the extra money.
Request Third-Party Lab Reports
Always also ask to see a product’s Certificate of Analysis (COA). That document shows how much CBD, THC, and contaminants a product has.
All reputable brands will make this easily accessible.
If a manufacturer (either online or in-store) refuses to share it, then you should refuse to buy their product.
It’s also important that it’s a third-party party lab because that means they’re conducting an unbiased, objective analysis of the product. If a test was done in-house (which it shouldn’t be) that might mean the company is fudging the information to appear less harmful.
Know the Difference Between CBD Types
To make the best purchase possible, it’s also important to know the various types of CBD products and how they affect you. One isn’t necessarily healthier than the other, but it’s important to know their effects so you know what to expect and don’t have an unpleasant experience.
There are three different kinds of oils which are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. Basically, these just have different components of the hemp plant in them. Some have more components while others have fewer
The name kind of gives it away. This type contained oil with high concentrations of CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC (but no CBD product should have more than .3% THC in it).
All of these components work together in what’s known as the “Entourage Effect” which gives you a more powerful experience.
This type is similar to full-spectrum. It contains all the same ingredients minus the THC. It’s like a mix between full-spectrum and isolate.
This type of oil is removed from all the other components of the cannabis plant. The CBD is literally isolated from all of the other ingredients so it simply relaxes you without any of the psychoactive effects.
As mentioned above, all three of these products are fine to take, one isn’t better or more reputable than the other–it’s just good to know the difference.
Where to Find Them
Even with all this criteria, the good news is there are a lot of reputable places and brands that sell quality CBD. When in doubt, always check out Google reviews and make sure the products have all of these listed on their nutrition labels. If they don’t, it’s best to move on to another one.
- Amount of CBD as an active ingredient per serving
- Supplement Fact Panel
- Net weight
- Manufacturer or distributor name
- Suggested use
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate
- Batch or date code
With the stigma around CBD decreasing, the number of people buying CBD products is increasing. However, people are simply buying whatever CBD product they find online. Not every CBD product is created equally. In fact, some are downright dangerous. They’re filled with toxins and other substances that can be harmful to the human body.
The truth is, every brand will tell you how helpful their product is whether they’re a legit manufacturer that strenuously abides by every law or some fly-by-night scammer. At the end of the day, just follow the guidelines listed above to ensure that you’re getting a quality product.
Unsure about where to find quality products that follow these guidelines?
Check out our quality CBD products to get started!