If you are new to Cannabidiol (CBD) and you are not sure what exactly to look out for when buying one, then this article will be useful to you.
I will not beat around the bush and get right into the detail.
The CBD industry is new and is unregulated at this moment, and there are unscrupulous businessmen out there ripping off their consumers.
Studies conducted back in 2017 confirmed that more than 70% of CBD products on the market do not contain the level of CBD compound claimed in the product label.
Though over the past few years, the regulation has tightened, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters against several companies as a result of false marketing...
There are still companies out there wiggling out of the predicament.
So, to protect you against those unfair business practices, here are 5 factors to consider before buying the best CBD Oil.
Factor #1: Price Is NOT The Definitive Factor
You'd be surprised to discover that the most expensive CBD Oils are not the best, and the cheapest ones do not give you the best value either.
Cheap CBD Products
When you buy cheap CBD oils or related products, you risk buying products that:
- Do not contain the level of CBD as promised on the label; and
- Did not go through proper purifying and safety procedures.
Expensive CBD Products
And, when you buy costly CBD oils, you get the comfort that there are quality measures in place, but...
What you are paying is not precisely for the Quality.
On average, a good quality CBD Oil will cost about $0.12 per milligram, and consumers can be prepared to pay about $60 for a standard 500 milligrams of CBD.
Average Price of CBD
Any prices below this range could be inferior in terms of Quality, and prices above the range could be overpriced.
But you should NEVER determine the Quality of the CBD Oil based on the Price alone. Consider other factors mentioned below.
If you want to learn more about the real cost behind the manufacturing of CBD Oil, read this.
Now, I want to bring your attention to the image above.
Did you notice that CBD MLM companies typically sell the most expensive CBD Oils?
This is not a coincidence, and consumers are not exactly paying for the Quality.
The fact is that the high prices are commonly associated with the MLM Compensation Plan.
So, beware when you are buying a CBD Oil from MLM companies.
Alright, now that you know that the Price is just an indicator of Quality, let's move on to talk about the more important stuff. Quality!
Factor #2: Quality Is King
The key to buying the best CBD is Quality, then followed by the Price.
But, how do you define a good quality CBD product?
What is High-Quality CBD and How to Assess Them?
Here are some things to look out for:
- Lab Test (Certificate of Analysis) - This is the first step to assessing the Quality of the CBD product. With a Lab Test, you'll be able to determine what is in the product rather than relying on the product label. Nowadays, there is no excuse that a company can't cough out a Lab Test Report (or Certificate of Analysis). It is an industry standard.
- Results of the Lab Test - The CBD Product should be free of Toxins, mold, and pesticides;
- The THC content in the CBD product should not be higher than 0.3%; otherwise, it is illegal;
- The Certificate of Analysis (COA) should be Recent - The CBD product that you purchase should have a corresponding batch number to the COA. This is the surest way to know the integrity of the product.
Now, even with the prettiest COA, it is nearly enough.
Third-Party Certificate of Analysis Can Be Compromised
Now the next part of the equation is the third party testing.
It may seem that any company that produces a COA are selling the best quality CBD products. But, here's the thing...
COA can be bought!
Here's another supporting article.
This is the irony of the CBD industry. Even with Lab Test results, it is still not enough.
Fortunately, there is a way for consumers to know the integrity of the COA.
There is no guarantee of foul play, but consumers can ease their minds if the COA is done by laboratories that are accredited with ISO/IEC 17025:2017.
So, if you want to buy the best CBD Oil, you've got to do some homework to understand the laboratory behind the COA.
To help you out, whenever you encounter a COA, you can check if a2la accredits the lab.
A2la is one of the most renowned accreditation body in the United States.
How to Read a Third-Party Lab Test Report
There are 3 things that you can identify through a Certificate of Analysis (COA).
- The Content
- The Potency
- The Presence of Harmful Substance
Some COAs more straight forward to read than others.
So for you to understand even the most complicated ones, I will go in detail each category of the COA.
Cannabinoid Profile & Potency
Through this report, you'll be able to see what compound(s) are found in the CBD product, and in what spectrum this CBD product belongs to.
To understand more about each of the compounds and their benefits, you can check this out.
And, I've explained in "Factor #4" the 3 different CBD spectrum, "CBD Isolate", "Full Spectrum" and "Broad Spectrum".
To buy the best CBD product that is most suitable for you, understanding the CBD spectrum key.
So, head on over to Factor #4 to learn more about it.
Now, let me explain how to read the above lab test result.
Full Spectrum CBD
Broad Spectrum CBD
So, which spectrum do you think the above product belongs to?
The answer is Broad Spectrum. It may seem like CBD Isolate, but there are other compounds present.
I hope this is straight forward for you, but if you have questions, feel free to leave it in the comments section (at the end of this article).
Heavy Metals Analysis
Heavy metals are low level toxic that may be harmful to our brain and body.
The Hemp plant is unique in the way that it absorbs toxins where they are planted; it is vital that high farming standards are adopted.
Through a Certificate of Analysis, you'll be able to assess the integrity of the farming standard.
The COA will show the presence of the Heavy Metal and its allowable limits. And it usually comes with a verdict of either a "Pass" or "Fail".
Examples of Heavy Metals are:
I am pretty sure you know what Pesticides are, and they shouldn't be found in your CBD product.
If there are pesticides found, it may be an indicator of poor farming standards. Avoid buying CBD products where pesticides are found.
To put it simply, Terpenes are found in every plant on the planet.
They are natural aromatic compounds that made up the flavors, smells, and colors of a plant, and they provide potential health benefits.
Terpenes synergies with other compounds of the Cannabis plant, providing an enhanced effect when consumed.
However, Terpenes are typically removed during the production of CBD Isolate.
Microbiological Contaminants are simply microbes such as bacteria, yeast, mold, fungi, etc. that are accidentally added during the extraction process.
Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals that are harmful to the human body, and fungi or mold produce them.
Without proper farming standards, Mycotoxin may be present in the harvest, which is why it is so important to buy CBD Oil from trust sources that can provide a credible Certificate of Analysis.
Alright, now that you know how to read the Certificate of Analysis, and you know how to identify a good quality CBD product, now it is time to talk about the other factors.
Factor #3: The Extraction Method
With a credible lab test report, you should be able to see the potency and the integrity of the CBD product.
But, it will be useful to know how the CBD is being extracted.
Before we move forward, I just want to say that the process of extraction is a little complicated for a layman, so I will try my best to explain in the simplest way possible. If you want more in-depth information about the several extraction methods, you can check this out.
CBD derives from the Cannabis or hemp plant, and the plant contains over 400 chemical entities, THC included (the compound that gets you high).
So, to extract only the CBD compounds from the plant, several extraction methods can be applied.
But, the surest method to extract the purest and potent CBD from the plant is the Supercritical CO2 extraction method.
Most top brands in the CBD Industry are using this method of extraction because it is safer and more efficient than other methods.
But, it is expensive to acquire the equipment for extraction.
Hence the equipment cost adds to the price of the CBD product you are paying for.
The other methods like the Rick Simpson Method, the Olive or Coconut Oil Infusion, or the Butane Extraction, lower the production cost, but is not as effective as the CO2 extraction method, and may leave unwanted residue in the end product.
So, it is good to know that your CBD product is extracted through the most effective method.
Factor #4: Isolate vs. Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum
You need to understand the differences between the different spectrum of CBD to buy the best product that suits you.
Though it seems a little complicated, it is actually not, and I have simplified all the information into this table.
Full Spectrum CBD
Broad Spectrum CBD
The purest form of CBD as all other compounds are removed.
Contains all compounds naturally found in the Hemp or Cannabis Plant.
Mixed between CBD Isolate and Full Spectrum. Contains all natural compounds in the plant, but THC is completely removed.
"The more, the merrier", that works in the case of CBD.
Full or Broad Spectrum is Better Than Isolate
Studies have shown that CBD Isolate is not as effective as when all the compounds of the cannabis plant are used together.
This synergistic effect of the compounds is called the "entourage effect", and one can benefit from it by consuming or using either the full or broad spectrum CBD.
However, this doesn't mean that we should disregard CBD isolate because it can be potentially useful.
Merchants are more inclined to use CBD isolate to infuse in edibles because it has no taste or odor, and they can ensure that nothing else (unwanted compounds) are added.
From CBD-infused lattes, massage lotions to baked goods, there is a wide variety of CBD products on the market.
However, at this moment (May 2019), the FDA took the stand that CBD is an active drug, and further studies need to be done to ensure that it is safe to infused into edibles.
But going forward, after the FDA's confirmation, we will see more of CBD isolate being used that way.
For Maximum Benefit
Now, as a consumer, if you want to get the full benefit from CBD without the "high effect", then it would be best to consume the broad spectrum CBD Oil.
Factor #5: CBD Hemp Oil Not Hemp Seed Oil
When I first came across Hemp, I thought both types of Hemp Oils are indifferent.
I was so wrong.
Just like the difference between prime rib and ribeye, they both came from the same source, but with different taste and texture.
Both Hemp Seed Oil and CBD Hemp Oil comes from the same plant, but they are produced through different parts of the plant.
Hemp Seed Oil, as the name suggests, is produced by pressing or grinding the Hemp Seeds.
While CBD Hemp Oil is best extracted from the flower, stem, leave and stalk, through the CO2 method.
While there are nutritional benefits when consuming Hemp Seed Oils, it DOES NOT contain a substantial amount of CBD.
So, do not be fooled by Hemp Seed Oils labeled as CBD Hemp Oils. Always check the label and verify the content by the Certificate of Analysis.
The key to buying the best CBD Oil is to know (1) what you need, (2)how to read the Certificate of Analysis, and (3) the cheapest out of the best Quality CBD.
I hope that this article can help you choose the best CBD Oil on your own instead of trusting someone else's recommendation.
This way, you will not be scammed, and you can rest assure that you are feeding the best Quality CBD oil to you and your family.
If you have any questions, or you would like to add value to this article, feel free to do so in the comments section below.
Also, if you think that this article has been helpful, share it with someone else who needs it (social media buttons below). All the best to you!
Jack (The Scam Buster Team)