If you’re thinking about trying CBD, it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start. This guide is designed to help you make a more informed decision.
Looking to buy CBD? Before you spend your money, I’m breaking down some of the important terms to know so you can make a more informed decision that’s best for your individual needs.
However, as with any supplement, if you’re concerned about the safety of taking CBD due to current medications or medical condition, make sure to speak with your healthcare provider first.
When choosing a CBD product, hemp vs marijuana-derived is one of the first decisions you’ll have to make.
However, depending on where you live, you may not even have a choice as marijuana-derived CBD is still federally illegal, yet legal in certain states.
If you’re curious about the difference, you can read more in a previous post.
Briefly, hemp-derived CBD comes from hemp plants, which legally can only contain 0.3% THC or less in the United States. Whereas marijuana-derived CBD may have greater amounts of THC, which could be beneficial for certain conditions.
Similar to protein powders, there are different options of CBD products based on what all you want to be included in the product.
But before we get to those, there are a few other terms you need to be familiar with first:
While there are many other compounds found in cannabis plants, those three are the ones you’re likely to hear about the most.
Okay, now back to the categories of CBD. Here are terms you’re likely to come across:
So which should you choose? Here are some pros and cons to consider:
As you can see, there’s no “best” form. It really depends on what benefits you’re hoping to get, the laws in your state, and concern over THC levels.
Once you’ve decided on what type of CBD oil to buy, the next decision is which brand to go with.
With the 2018 Farm Bill in effect and more and more states starting to legalize marijuana-derived products, CBD companies seem to be popping up every day.
Whether you’re shopping online or in person, it’s important to take a look at the label. Here are the main things to look for:
Another important factor to consider is how much CBD is in the product you’re purchasing.
There are three levels of CBD concentration:
What dose of CBD should you use? Unfortunately there’s no research right now that can answer what the best dose is.
After all, everyone’s bodies react differently to CBD and different conditions may be affected by different amounts. Additionally, the route in which you take CBD can also play a role in its effectiveness.
As hemp-derived CBD is considered a supplement, it’s not regulated by the FDA.
This means that companies are not required to have testing done on their products — in other words, just because a bottle says it contains CBD, there hasn’t been any actual testing to prove that it does.
So how can you feel confident that what you’re consuming is the same thing that’s on the label?
Third-party testing. While I go in-depth in another article, the big things to look for include the amount of THC, CBD accuracy (does it match what the bottle claims), and levels of potential heavy metals.
Depending on where you live, you may be surprised at how many places sell CBD products.
Many grocery stores and specialty health food stores now carry them, as do some CVS stores, TJ MAXX, and even some gas stations.
However, just because you’re familiar with the store doesn’t mean that the products they carry are top quality. Always do your research on CBD brands before buying!
Of course, you can also buy CBD products online directly from the brand of your choice.
Personally, I prefer this option as then I can also research the brand and pull up lab reports on the specific product that I’m thinking of buying.
Unsure which product to get?
While there are a bunch to choose from (and more popping up every week), I’ll soon be sharing a post where I’ll talk about my go-to brand.
But regardless of my opinion, make sure to do your own research to make sure you’re picking the right product for you.
Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. VanDolah, Harrison J. et al. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 94, Issue 9, 1840 – 1851 https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(19)30007-2/fulltext
Corroon J, Kight R. Regulatory Status of Cannabidiol in the United States: A Perspective. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2018;3(1):190–194. Published 2018 Sep 27. doi:10.1089/can.2018.0030 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6154432/
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