With so many brands, forms, and types of CBD oil available online and in stores today, it can be overwhelming to know which product is best for you. Here are five key points to consider before shopping CBD oil online or in person.
What to Look for When Buying CBD Oil: 5 Things You Must Know
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
All three extractions (hemp oil, CBD oil, and marijuana) come from the cannabis sativa plant, but the extraction process and the resulting effect are all very different. Hemp oil is made by extracting oil from the tiny seeds of the cannabis plant. Hemp oil is an inexpensive nutritional supplement that is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and contains many antioxidant properties.
However, it contains no cannabinoids and therefore has none of the added benefits of CBD oil. Full spectrum CBD oil is also extracted from the cannabis plant, and full-spectrum CBD oil includes beneficial oils, terpenes, and a variety of cannabinoids.
In contrast, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is present in high amounts in marijuana, and is responsible for its intoxicating effect, whereas CBD oil and hemp oil are both non-intoxicating. Due to these high levels of THC, marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug and is regulated as such.
Be Aware of Local and State Legislation Where You Live
Even though the passing of the U.S. Farm Bill in late 2018 legalized the production of industrial hemp at a federal level, each state has its own methods and laws about how hemp products can be distributed. For example, in Louisiana, there are added restrictions with regards to packaging, and distributors must obtain a permit to sell CBD oil within the state.
In New York state, CBD oil is legal to buy and sell, but local ordinances in New York City prevent businesses from selling foods containing CBD oil, such as snacks and drinks. Because the legislation is always in flux, it’s wise to keep up with the changes in your local area.
Types of CBD Oil
Essentially, CBD can either be a CBD isolate, synthetic, or full spectrum. CBD isolate is just what the name suggests: isolated CBD, usually in a powder form, or reconstituted in carrier oils or other additives. Synthetic CBD refers to a lab-created version of CBD isolate.
Additionally, buyers should do their due diligence in checking the purity of a manufacturer’s CBD product. Because the federal legalization of CBD is so recent, the government is still working to create fair and appropriate marketing and packaging regulations in this budding industry. This means, at least for now, not all “pure” CBD oils are truly pure.
When shopping for CBD oil, look for a product that contains no other ingredients besides CBD. Otherwise, you’re buying a watered-down version of CBD, which may contain carrier oils, added scents, and other forms of dilution. CBD oil is an industry where consumers can expect to get what they pay for. Lower-priced CBD products are likely to be of lower quality, or contain synthetics or isolates, or have added ingredients.
Extraction Methods and Manufacturing Processes
The extraction methods used to create CBD oil impacts the quality and purity of the finished product, as well as the overall impact on the environment. For the cleanest, greenest, most pure CBD oil, look for manufacturers that use CO2 extraction methods. CO2 is short for carbon dioxide, the same invisible substance that exists in each exhaled breath.
CO2 has a variety of uses, including the decaffeination of green coffee beans and the carbonation of fizzy drinks. CO2 extraction is a safe and environmentally-friendly process as it leaves no harmful toxins or metals in the product or the environment. Plus, the high-pressure, low-temperature CO2 extraction process ensures that a wide range of cannabinoids remains intact in the finished CBD oil.
Testing and Quality Control
Because the CBD oil industry is still in its infancy, the FDA is working to catch up to CBD’s popularity. In other words, the manufacturer of the product is largely unregulated at this time. Therefore, consumers must do their own due diligence when selecting a CBD oil.
Look for companies that perform outside lab testing to ensure quality, which provides evidence their CBD is organically grown, and that the product is free from toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, fungicides, etc. Lab reports would also verify the amount of THC in CBD oil, to ensure it’s below the federal limit of 0.3 percent THC. Reputable companies should be more than willing to share their lab-verified results with potential consumers, so buyer beware if you can’t readily access this info.
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