A Buyer's Guide to Quality CBD
Buying CBD can be really confusing. Between complicated labels and overwhelming COAs, it’s almost easier to just go with a big name and hope for the best. However, I promise, quality can’t be determined by the price tag or number of instagram followers. To be sure you’re getting a quality product that works for you, you’re going to have to do a little homework. You can think of us as your tutor.
Choosing a CBD
The first step is deciding what sort of CBD you want to try. The two most common categories are isolates and full spectrum. If you need help deciding between these two extracts, click here. Another newer category is broad spectrum. This is loosely defined as a full spectrum extract without the THC. While this may sound simple, we find a lot of inconsistency in this category.
Many broad spectrum oils are actually produced from isolate CBD with added cannabinoids and terpenes.
In this case, they aren’t truly full spectrum, or full plant, extracts. This doesn’t mean they can’t be beneficial, it just means there are more raw ingredients that must be verified as pure and uncontaminated. Hopefully, as the CBD industry grows, labeling standards will adapt to make this difference more clear. (Until then, we're proud to call our oil full spectrum!) In the meantime, emailing a company to ask how their product is extracted and produced is a great way to be sure of what you’re purchasing.
CBD Labels - What to Look For
Our next bit of advice is to read the label carefully. You want to see the words cannabidiol or hemp extract. This is the part that contains the CBD and other cannabinoids.
Hemp seed oil and cannabis sativa oil do not contain cannabinoids.
However, they may be listed alongside cannabidiol, as they are common carrier oils. Other common carrier oils include grapeseed, olive, and MCT oil. The most important quality you want to find in your carrier oil is that it is organic. This also applies to any flavoring or coloring that may be used. CBD oil is meant to nourish your endocannabinoid system, not introduce chemicals into your body.
How to Read a COAThis brings us to the final step in becoming a CBD expert - how the heck to read a COA (pssst... this stands for certificate of analysis). First, remember this is meant to be a 3rd party test. The testing company should be a different and unrelated company than the one selling the product. A quick google search of the testing lab can help you determine its reliability. And now for the nitty gritty:
- Match the concentration listed on the COA with the concentration listed on the label.
If you’re looking at a full spectrum oil, you should find multiple cannabinoids and terpenes on the COA.
When purchasing a THC-Free oil, you should see ND (none detected) in the THC analysis. Otherwise, the max THC should be under .3%, unless shopping in a state where marijuana is legal.
- Look for heavy metal, microbiological contaminant, pathogenic bacterial contaminant, mycotoxin contaminant, and pesticide analysis. This is a lengthy report worth looking at. Unfortunately, many companies are guilty of selling oils found to contain lead, molds, and other harmful contaminants. You will want to scan this report for ND or PASS listed alongside these elements.
We hope these tips help you in your search for quality CBD products. If you have questions, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our owners/pharmacists have gone to great lengths to become experts in their field, and they are passionate about educating the CBD community.
To shop our Professional Grade Hemp Extract products, click here.
To review our full panel COAs, click here.