How much time do you spend researching a product before you buy it online? Do you price compare, read customer reviews, or get a recommendation before completing the purchase? Even though online shopping is common among consumers, a fair amount of due diligence is still recommended before you buy anything.
The same holds true when you buy CBD oil online. Not every company manufactures high-quality CBD products. And since the hemp-derived CBD market is not regulated, your discernment matters even more.
So, while searching for a CBD product, ask yourself a few questions to assist in your decision. Before we jump into those questions, let’s first talk about CBD and the industrial hemp market.
The full, scientific name for CBD, is cannabidiol. This chemical compound is predominately found in the hemp plant. Hemp is one of the plants that belong to the cannabis family. But, it’s chemical properties are much different than marijuana, which is also part of the cannabis family. The marijuana plant contains large concentrations of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Unlike THC, you don’t experience any psychoactive effects when you consume CBD oil. To learn more, check out our article: “What is CBD? All You Need to Know”.
Because the legal landscape of CBD is still evolving, it’s important to make note of the following distinction. Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in the United States due to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Marijuana-derived CBD oil is only legal in recreational and medical marijuana states. So, as a consumer, you can legally buy CBD oil online when the product is derived from hemp.
Reasons to Buy CBD Oil
Many who consume CBD oil do so for its potential therapeutic benefits. Thanks to its legal status and popularity in the alternative health space, CBD products are easily accessible online (at stores like Earlybird CBD).
Industrialized Hemp Market in America
As mentioned earlier, the industrialized hemp industry is rather new and the regulation can be confusing. That also means that hemp-derived CBD products aren't closely regulated. So, finding a quality product from a company you can trust rests in your hands. That is no easy task because there are thousands of products available for sale today.
When you’re looking to buy products from a market such as the US hemp industry, there are some risks to be aware of. Some manufacturers and retailers are making false claims about their CBD products while others might fail to enforce (or have less than reputable) quality control measures. With the lack of oversight, these risks go unchecked.
That means a product label could misrepresent the contents inside a CBD oil bottle. Brands might even misrepresent the purity and dosage levels of their CBD product. For this reason alone, finding a reputable and trusted CBD oil brand is key. Consuming a CBD product with accurate labeling means you can find your ideal dose that works well with your individual needs.
Like other wellness products you take, you'll want to be sure and do your research before you buy. Research not only gives you the confidence to buy a product but to consume it as well. As with any new health routine or supplement you add, always consult your primary care doctor. This is especially important if you take prescription medications. Although CBD oil is well-tolerated and deemed safe, it's still a good idea to talk with your doctor first.
Ask Important Questions Before You Buy
Once you get the ‘okay’ from your doctor, the next step is to ask yourself these questions which can help you find and select the best CBD oil.
#1 Does This CBD Oil Include Third-party Testing Results?
When searching for CBD products online, look for a third-party lab testing report. If there isn’t one available on the retailer's website, send them a message and ask if they performed any testing. If you can get a copy of the lab report, it will list things like solvents, pesticides, mold, and heavy metals. The report also shows the percentage of cannabinoids present in the product.
Brands that are not transparent may have something to hide. So, a company that performs testing is being proactive in its transparency to consumers. CBD hemp brands like Stanley Brothers and NuLeaf Naturals are a few examples of companies who share their lab reports with customers.
CBD companies who opt for independent third-party lab testing do so to meet high purity and potency standards. As such, you can expect them to have higher quality CBD oils.
#2 Where and How Is the Hemp Grown?
Just like the food you eat, the location of where it’s grown and the way the farmers grew it, matters. The same is true for hemp. For instance, if the hemp plant is not regularly tended, and nurtured, the quality of the plant suffers. Also, the way the plants were harvested makes a difference to the final product as well. When looking into CBD companies, check to see if the company included information about where the hemp is grown.
Furthermore, if a company extracts CBD from hemp grown in toxic soil, the plant becomes contaminated. So, if hemp is grown in toxic soil there will be toxins inside the CBD oil, which is bad for your health. Again, when doing your research consider the environment and growing conditions to gauge the quality of the product.
#3 Does the CBD Oil Come from An Organic Source?
When hemp grows organically, that means the CBD oil in the product is more potent and richer in quality. Even though many farms are organic, the USDA does not currently certify any hemp as organic. This is mostly due to this being a new industry. So in the meantime, look at the lab testing results for this information.
CBD oil that’s labeled full-spectrum, means the oil contains the whole plant and all its beneficial compounds. So, besides CBD, these oils have other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These plant properties work together, in what’s called the “entourage effect,” to create a more potent and effective CBD oil.
In comparison, CBD oil labeled ‘isolate’ means the product contains only CBD, and nothing else. So, CBD isolate has zero percent THC, unlike full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains less than 0.3% THC. If you want to take CBD oil without the presence of other cannabinoids and plant compounds, CBD isolate may be your best option.
#5 How Much CBD Is There Per Serving?
Hands down, this is one of the most significant questions to ask yourself before you buy CBD oil online. The company should indicate the amount of CBD contained in the product. Also, verify that the label on the bottle shows the number of milligrams of CBD per serving. Without this information, it’s next to impossible to dose correctly, and properly dosing is necessary to receive optimal benefits from CBD. Your body responds to the effects better when the correct dosage is attained. So, taking too little or too much can result in little to no benefit.
Lastly, look out for products labeled as hemp oil or hemp extract, as they may not actually contain any CBD. Zilch!
#6 Does the Manufacturer Have A Proven Track Record?
Even with the relative newness of the CBD industry, it’s critical to find out everything you can about the manufacturer or retailer. Go to their website. Take a look around and read the ‘About Us’ section. Who are they, what is their story, why did they start a CBD business? What is their mission, and what are their core values?
Also, look at their product offerings, read the product descriptions, and labeling. Read through the customer reviews, if available. Review the ingredients listed, the serving size of CBD, and lab testing reports. Does the company have a blog page, and do their articles help you make more informed decisions about their product choices? These considerations should help you determine if the company is reputable or untrustworthy.
Finally, look to see if the company makes any medical claims. If they mention how their CBD products cure or treat certain diseases, this is a violation of the FDA’s guidelines. Respectable and honest companies tend to comply with FDA regulations. As opposed to making groundless medical claims, trusted companies discuss the health and wellness benefits of CBD oil instead.
#7 How Is the CBD Oil Extracted and Processed?
The harvesting of the hemp plant marks the beginning of the processing journey. After harvest, the manufacturer extracts the CBD and other compounds from the plant. Some extraction methods are not ideal. So, knowing the extraction method can help you decide which product to buy.
Certain companies extract CBD using harsh chemicals and solvents like butane and acetone. When this happens these toxic properties may wind up in the CBD oil and then inside your body. A better extraction method occurs when using carbon dioxide (CO2). Whereby low temperatures and high-pressure, helps to extract CBD from the plant. This is a much more natural and preferred technique.
#8 Are You Willing to Pay A Higher Price for Better Quality?
When it comes to buying the best quality CBD oils, and this isn’t always the case, but the price is generally a pretty good indicator of the quality. A higher price can signify a higher concentration of CBD. It could also mean a safer extraction process and better quality control standards. In comparison, a lower priced item could mean low concentrations of CBD, low potency and inferior results.
As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat’. Supplementing with CBD oil is no different. You wouldn’t want to put anything harmful into your body if you could help it. Hence, making an informed and conscious decision before you buy CBD oil online is not only smart, it’s necessary. With the countless CBD oil products available for sale, try to find one that satisfies all your needs.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.