Over the course of the last few years, CBD’s popularity has exploded. With more and more consumers joining the CBD movement with each passing month, product options also seem to be at an all-time high.
CBD is now available in dozens of form-factors, with what seems like an endless array of brands selling hemp-extract oils, all promising to deliver the next best thing as far as cannabidiol is concerned.
But how can a consumer tell the difference between the good, the bad, and the ugly? With so many brands and products available nowadays, this may seem like an impossible task. However, an informed CBD consumer can actually gain a huge leg-up as far as knowledgeable CBD shopping is concerned.
There’s a lot to consider when shopping for CBD. Some CBD products traits are matters of fact, and other points to consider boil down to nothing more than preference. But these next 6 Things To Look For When Shopping For CBD Oil can help a consumer ensure they’re buying real CBD products, and using their hard-earned money wisely.
This isn’t a complete list, but it does contain some of the most important things to consider. Without further ado, here’s our CBD buying checklist:
Honorable Mention: Price
CBD products come in a wide range of price points, and as with anything else, it’s very important to take cost into consideration when shopping for CBD, but it’s absolutely not the type of thing you want to buy based on price alone.
Imposters looking to make a quick buck or trying to “cash in on a craze” will try to sell low-grade CBD or tinctures that aren’t even CBD at all.
These “CBD products” can be loaded with fillers, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and synthetic compounds, and not only can they be a waste of your money, but they can even make you sick.
Use the guide below as a starting point for your CBD product research. If the CBD you’re considering purchasing passes the below checklist, there’s a pretty good chance it’s a high-quality CBD product that’s deserving of your dollar.
Just as important as cost is quantity of product, right? CBD products also come in a wide range of potencies. You can learn a little bit more about the most common potency levels in one of our previous blog posts titled, “Mindful Consumption: Tips On How To Enjoy CBD To The Fullest”.
But the same concept from the honorable mention applies here as well, in that you probably shouldn’t choose CBD products solely based on their MG count relative to their price, because there’s a whole lot more that goes into a CBD Tincture or other CBD product, and those with inferior products know they can dupe some consumers by simply offering a “high concentration” of CBD at a relatively low price-point.
And although that’s a good thing to look for, it only makes sense if your CBD product in question passes all or at least most of these other tests, so make sure to look into some of these others factors as well, when weighing the pros and cons of a CBD product’s potency vs its price-point.
Quality products and services tend to be highly rated and for good reason. Many consumers use rating platforms when considering which businesses to patronize or which products to purchase. The opinions of hundreds or thousands of other like-minded consumers goes a long way, and often times, these reviews help us avoid low-quality products and services.
But since CBD products in general are a relatively new industry with a lot of variables, there’s even more you can do to ensure your CBD purchase is a wise one. If you’re factoring in price, potency, and product or company reviews, you’re off to a great start, but read on to learn even more ways to get the highest quality CBD possible for your money.
#3: Manufacturing Process
A CBD product’s or company’s manufacturing process can contain a ton of information about the product’s quality, as well as the CBD company’s commitment to producing a truly high-quality product vs. making a quick buck.
Where does the hemp come from? Sourcing is hugely important in determining the quality of CBD. How was the CBD extracted and what type of facility was used? (We use a CGMP Facility, for example.)
A reputable CBD company will gladly provide its customers with this type of information in documentation or on their web site. They should have a close relationship with the farm that grows the source hemp.
Reading reviews about a company and its products will go a long way, but an additional step you can take is to thoroughly read and review a company’s literature and web site to see what kind of information they are willing to divulge about their products will help as well.
#2: 3rd Party Lab Testing
Which leads us to our next talking point, third-party laboratory testing. The best way to know exactly what’s in a bottle of CBD product is to have its contents analyzed by a reputable, third-party laboratory.
These labs will then publish a report which lists exactly what a CBD product is comprised of, and your CBD brand of choice should make this information readily available on their web site or by request.
Seeking out this type of information about your potential CBD products will ensure your CBD is of high-quality, and actually contains the substances that are advertised. Many hemp-derived CBD products are mislabeled. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that 69% of 85 products surveyed had an incorrect amount of CBD and/or THC on the product label.
Do the numbers match up with what’s advertised? If, for example, the product claims to contain 1200mg of CBD, the lab-tested figure listed on the Certificate of Analysis should match.
As you evaluate CBD products, examine the label to determine the potency of the product (that is, how much CBD is actually in there!).
A report is only worthwhile if it is from an approved lab. Ideally, you’re looking for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) logo, which is the standard governing body for analyzing CBD products.
#1: QR Code Data
Honest, reputable CBD brands will place QR codes on their product labels which you can then scan to access third-party laboratory testing results immediately. This way, you can very quickly and accurately see exactly what a CBD product contains, verify its quality and potency, and make a wise, informed decision.
Another problem: Some overly processed hemp-derived CBD products are tainted with toxic solvent residues, corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and other contaminants.
Contaminants. As part of analyzing the product, the lab will check for heavy metal and microbial contaminants. This information is usually found toward the end of the report. If the product received a “pass” classification, it is within the limits of acceptable contamination limits; if it received a “fail”, that particular batch of product contains harmful levels of contaminants.
(The publishing date of the report is important, too. The more recent the report, the more reliable and relevant it is.)
A Couple of Important Takeaways
Read the Ingredients:
Always read the ingredients list when comparing different CBD products.
On one end of the spectrum, you’ll find products with additional ingredients that provide their own potential benefits, like melatonin or MCT oils. But on the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find CBD products that contain potentially harmful ingredients. Some CBD edibles might also contain artificial coloring and flavors, which likely won’t be too harmful, but also won’t help your health.
Work Within Your Budget:
Price is one of the most important aspects of any buying decision. If you’ve found a CBD product that you like, take a few minutes to compare it to products with comparable potencies, taking into account shipping and any applicable discounts. If the other products are vastly different in price, find out why. Are you paying more for trendy packaging? Or, after checking the Certificates of Analysis, maybe that bargain price really is too good to be true.
In short, we hope this CBD product checklist has provided you with some CBD shopping insight. If the CBD products you use or are considering using pass these several simple tests, you can most likely rest assured your CBD product is a wise way to spend your money, and more importantly, is safe to use and can potentially contribute positively to your health as opposed to jeopardizing it.
Happy CBD shopping friends, and make sure to stay tuned for more news and information about our very own upcoming line of premium CBD tinctures by visiting our blog often, as well as our online store at asepurenaturals.com.