CBD has become increasingly popular as a substance that potentially helps combat anything from chronic pain to stress and anxiety. As a result, the variety of products available to consumers has widened.
It may be difficult or confusing to weed through the thousands of available CBD products to find those that hold the most quality. Never fear, the guide below explores what to consider when narrowing down these many options—and what to avoid.
What to look for in quality CBD
When browsing for a CBD product, keep these four factors in mind.
Produced using naturally grown hemp
CBD products that contain naturally grown hemp comes from certified farmers whose soil is tested regularly for toxic substances, fungus, pesticides, bacteria, metals, or any other foreign matter. Clean soil is especially vital to quality CBD products because hemp is a “hyperaccumulator plant,” meaning it readily absorbs whatever substances are in the soil it grows in.
Reasonable price point
As we’ll explain a little bit later on, a price that seems too good to be true typically means the product is bolstered using filler. Products that are miraculously cheaper than their competitors’ prices, unfortunately, are most likely filled with carrier oils or other substances that water down the potency of the CBD.
Product label is transparent about the amount of CBD
This one’s pretty straightforward: reputable brands will list the amount of CBD in their products right on the label. Look for the total number of milligrams in the bottle or the overall concentration. To be considered effective, CBD oils should contain 250–1000mg per 10ml bottle.
Made from whole-plant extracts, rather than CBD isolates
Though the idea of an isolate sounds perfect, isolated products are often made from cheap materials and lack the other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that work in partnership with CBD. When these elements are used in conjunction with each other, they become more effective. This effect is often known as The Entourage Effect, explained below. Therefore, CBD oils made from whole-plant extracts, also called full-spectrum oils, are generally considered to be of higher quality than those made from CBD isolates.
For those who cannot consume THC, broad-spectrum oils are the go-to. Broad-spectrum CBD contains a range of naturally occurring compounds from the cannabis plant, but typically no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The Entourage Effect
When planning to consume CBD in any form, it’s important to consider the Entourage Effect. This phenomenon states that all compounds contained within the cannabis plant work better together rather than alone. That is, these compounds produce more of their desired effect when consumed in combination with each other. Therefore, CBD works best in combination with other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant, including THC, CBN, limonene, pinene, and others.
This effect should play a major role in the search for a high-quality CBD product. To experience optimal health benefits, users should avoid CBD isolates, which leave out these other cannabinoids and terpenes. Instead, consumers should look for products that are full-spectrum or, if THC cannot be consumed, broad-spectrum products.
CBD filler to look out for
Filler ingredients are ingredients that are found in a product that don’t actually need to be there. They don’t contribute anything positive to the formula, and more often than not, they exist primarily to fill out a product’s formula.
Though there are countless filler products used across the wide spectrum of CBD products out there in the world, some common ones include vitamin E, diacetyl, DXM, the active ingredient in cough syrup, and 5F-ABD, a compound whose side effects include dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea, and irritability–symptoms that most CBD users are actively trying to counteract.
Other filler ingredients include carrier oils that water down the potency of a CBD product. Though these are mostly harmless, they do lower the efficiency and effectiveness of the CBD one is consuming.
Furthermore, pure hemp extract is expensive to produce. As a way to save money, a company might water down the formula with a filler ingredient, allowing them to use less hemp extract while still providing a good product volume. Filler ingredients are cheap to produce, and so by using them, companies can put out a larger amount of product without paying the heavy price associated with pure hemp extract.
Some good examples of filler-free CBD come from NYOS. For example, NYOS Tinctures have two ingredients: Certified Extra- Virgin Olive Oil and Phytocannabinoid Hemp Extract. This brand is also incredibly transparent about the actual mg of CBD per dose. For example, NYOS Tinctures have 33.33mg of hemp extract equaling 30g pure CBD. That is extremely high quality.
To sum it up
Not all CBD products are created equally. When browsing the many options available, take into consideration how the hemp is grown and processed. Make sure to read each label carefully to avoid fillers and to make sure that the brand is transparent about the product’s concentration. Keeping these tips in mind will help you to narrow down the market and find a quality product that works best for your needs!