What to look for when buying CBD oil
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- What is CBD oil?
- What to know about CBD oil labeling
- Best CBD oils to buy
Cannabidiol (CBD) was still an illegal substance until the 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp, and therefore, hemp-derived CBD, legal for production across the country. Salons, spas, online retailers, health stores, and even major pharmacies are filling their shelves with an ever-growing variety of CBD-infused products.
The CBD market is growing rapidly and doesn’t seem to show any sign of stopping. Unfortunately, until regulations for testing and labeling are in place, the CBD market is still “buyer beware” and there are no regulations in place for safety, purity, or optimal dosage.
It is possible to find trustworthy CBD products, especially when the necessary precautions are taken. Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to buying CBD oil including terms to know, cost, and how to read a CBD oil label.
What is CBD oil?
The term “CBD oil” is used to describe several formulas and products that are either concentrated or infused with CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Most commonly, quality CBD oil will refer to oil containing pure CBD and no other cannabis compounds. CBD hemp oil is extracted from hemp, which is legally defined as containing less than 0.3% THC. Full-spectrum or whole-plant CBD oil includes more than CBD, such as cannabis-derived terpenes as well as trace amounts of THC and other cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum contains a similar spectrum of cannabinoids but without any THC. CBD oil and other CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, but it’s highly unlikely to produce an intoxicating effect or show up on a drug test.
Most commonly, CBD oil will refer to oil containing pure CBD and no other cannabis compounds. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Is CBD oil legal?
While the 2018 Farm Bill (or Agriculture Improvement Act) removed hemp-derived CBD from the list of illegal drugs, it also left the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in charge of oversight. The agency has been clear that CBD-infused products are not approved for sale or use in humans or animals, but that hasn’t stopped some states from creating their own laws.
Consult your state’s local cannabis laws and regulations to find out if CBD products are considered legal to buy in your state.
How much does CBD oil cost?
CBD oils are popular and therefore not cheap in the current market. A 1-ounce, or 30-milliliter, bottle of CBD oil can cost between $30 and $200. While it’s difficult to say what’s a fair price for CBD, a lab-tested product typically costs $50 to $60 per 1,000 milligrams.
What to know about CBD oil labeling
Until federal agencies determine final and enforceable regulations, the potential for mislabeled and poor-quality products is high. Knowing what to watch out for on a CBD oil label can improve the odds of finding a high-quality CBD oil and other related products.
CBD oil labels should not make any medical claims. The FDA monitors and regulates claims of medical efficacy related to any unapproved substance. The agency has sent warning letters to several companies that sold CBD products with labels claiming the contents could prevent, treat, and cure serious diseases. Yet plenty of companies voluntarily follow FDA standards and prohibit unverified claims on their labels. Words such as “cure,” “prevent,” “reduce,” and “treat” can be red flags that a seller isn’t operating with integrity.
Some CBD oil labels are fraught with marketing terms and buzzwords that appear to signify medicinal value. Terms such as “organic,” “all-natural,” and even “pure” have no scientific meaning, and shouldn’t be considered a sign of a trustworthy CBD oil. Products claiming to contain hemp or hemp seed oil aren’t the same as hemp-derived CBD oil, and won’t necessarily contain any CBD. Cannabis-derived CBD oil is produced from cannabis plants that contain THC above 0.3%.
To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Key indicators of quality CBD oil
Most reputable CBD oils include the following information on their labels:
- Amount of CBD as an active ingredient per serving
- Supplement Fact Panel, including other ingredients
- Net weight
- Manufacturer or distributor name
- Suggested use
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate
- Batch or date code
One of the most important things to pay attention to is whether a CBD product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The information contained in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any illness. Please consult with your physician and discuss any prescription medications you are taking before using CBD products.
Best CBD oils to buy
There are a few helpful hints to know if you want to buy CBD oil or other CBD products. If an isolate is 99.9% CBD or more, it’s highly unlikely that it will have trace amounts of THC. Purity ranges of 99.5% or lower may still have trace levels of THC. Avoiding trace amounts of THC may be important due to personal preference, or as a precaution against failing a drug test. If using CBD to treat inflammation, it may be helpful to note that a 2015 study showed that CBD oil with low THC may be more effective in treating inflammation than a CBD isolate.
What to look for when buying CBD oil Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD oil? What to know about CBD oil labeling Best CBD oils
5 Things You Must Know Before Buying CBD
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.
Are you considering trying CBD oil to discover its benefits first-hand? Click here to learn more about the full spectrum pure CBD oil from NuLeaf Naturals.
There's a lot to know regarding CBD and how to buy CBD oil. Here is what to look for when buying CBD oil to avoid scams, fakes, and more.