Read This Before You Buy CBD Oil

CBD Buying Guide

Given all of the press and excitement about CBD oil, it can be confusing when it comes time to make a purchase. What qualities should you want look for when buying CBD oil? What questions should you ask? What should be stated on the label?

Basics To Keep In Mind When Buying CBD Oil

CBD is usually extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant as a powder or oil, both of which can be combined with a cream or gel to be used topically. You also can buy CBD oil in oral supplement form and in edibles.

When purchasing CBD oil products, you should consider four factors: its strength, concentration, purity, and volume of oil in the product. Since not all CBD oil is created equal, it's important to make the right selection so you can reap the most benefits.

11 Questions to Ask When You Buying CBD Oil

1. Where was the hemp grown?

This may sound like a silly question, but the hemp plant is known as a bioaccumulator, which means it absorbs elements from the soil, water, and air. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you choose a product that contains organic hemp since it will not have been exposed to pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals commonly used in traditionally raised hemp. Various cancers have been associated with exposure to pesticides and herbicides (e.g., leukemia, soft tissue sarcoma, cancers of the lip, brain, prostate, and stomach). It's important to choose the cleanest CBD source as possible.

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2. How pure and potent is the CBD oil?

The only safe way to determine the purity and potency of a CBD oil product is to have it tested at an independent lab. They will look for pesticides, bacteria, fungus, heavy metals, foreign matter, and residual solvents.

3. How is CBD extracted?

Extracting CBD oil from hemp is not nearly as easy as squeezing oranges or grapefruit in the morning. Some manufacturers extract CBD oil using harsh solvents and high pressure, which can leave behind some dangerous chemical residue. When the carbon dioxide is no longer under high pressure, it evaporates and leaves virtually no trace. Freedom from the use of harsh solvents to extract CBD oil means you should choose an oil that has been extracted using carbon dioxide under high pressure.

4. How much THC is in the product?

To meet the criterion as a legal hemp product, the amount of THC in CBD oil must be extremely low; that is, less than 0.03 percent. Products that are certified to have low levels or zero levels are the best. If you are drug tested at work, operate heavy machinery, or have other issues that require you to test completely clean of THC, be sure to look for CBD that is certified to contain zero THC.

5. What is the CBD concentration in your chosen product?

Everyone is not always completely honest when it comes to selling CBD products. That's why you need to pay attention to the concentration of CBD. Quality products contain between 250 mg and 1,000 mg per fluid ounce. Here's an example: if you want to buy a 4-ounce bottle of CBD oil that contains 250 mg of CBD, you would be getting only 62.5 mg of CBD per ounce, which is much too low. Read the labels carefully. If the manufacturer does not provide the CBD concentration, you can figure it out using this formula:

The total amount of CBD in mg in the container divided by the volume of the container (in ounces) equals the concentration level.

6. Can the company be trusted?

If you become interested in buying any CBD oil products, you should contact the company first either by phone or text. You want a company that takes accountability for their products very seriously. At the same time, it's important to explore whether the company has been hiding anything, such as shady business deals, false claims or putting out an inferior product. Look for reviews and then weigh the responses.

Read more about what is CBD hemp oil and why does it work?

7. Can you speak with representatives of the manufacturer?

It's also important that makers of CBD oil be transparent, and part of that means being able to contact them easily and to ask questions. Look for contact information on packaging and on websites and make a call or send an email with your questions before you make a purchase.

8. How do you want to use CBD?

CBD oil can be used in a variety of ways, such as vaping, tincture under the tongue, edibles, oral (pills, capsules), and topical. You will get the most immediate response from vaping however please choose products without artificial flavoring. Tinctures can take 20 to 40 minutes, edibles can kick in within 60 to 120 minutes, oral choices can take 20 to 120 minutes, and topical can take 60 minutes. Which CBD oil you but should fit your lifestyle.

9. Will it address your needs?

Although there is no guarantee, you want to be sure you are buying a CBD oil product that has a chance of remedying your issue. Be sure to do your homework before you make your purchase. Look for scientific studies that can provide some evidence that CBD may be effective for you. CBD is not a cure, but it may provide significant relief from various symptoms, including inflammation, depression, anxiety, and pain. 

10. Is the supplement maker announcing medical claims?

Some early research has shown that CBD oil can be helpful in a number of medical conditions and symptoms. However, the Food and Drug Administration DSHEA guidelines do not allow companies to make medical claims about CBD products when it comes to the treatment of symptoms or medical conditions.

11. Is it safe to buy CBD oil that costs less?

The production of CBD oil is not inexpensive. Use of carbon dioxide extraction requires the use of sophisticated equipment and expertise when compared with less expensive and easier chemical extraction. The latter process, however, can leave toxic residue in the oil. It is recommended you choose organically sourced CBD oil.

[Editor's Note: Barlean's has been making healthy omega oil supplements for 30 years and now they have a line of hemp-derived CBD oils that include a tincture, capsules and a chocolate mint Seriously Delicious CBD Hemp emulsion. Check out their website to learn more.]

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Havens A. 10 things you should know before you buy CBD oil. National Pain Report 2018 Jun 21
Nolte B. CBD oil buyers guide—how & where to buy cannabidiol. Healthy Hemp Oil
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Deborah is a freelance health writer who is passionate about animals and the environment. She has authored, co-authored, and written more than 50 books and thousands of articles on a wide range of topics. Currently, she lives in Tucson, Arizona.