Buying CBD can be a daunting task. Not only you are faced with hundreds of different brands who all claim to offer the best, but you are also plagued with the knowledge that an unregulated market could lead to an easy scam. Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money on a dud product. What’s worse, you could buy something dangerous.
As scary as this is, there are simple steps to follow to ensure you stay safe and you don’t fall victim to a scam. While it is important to be careful, there is no need to be afraid of buying CBD.
Today, we are outlining five things you should always look for when buying CBD. As long as you keep track of these simple things, you are sure to stay 100% safe.
1. The Origin of the Hemp
First of all, you should be buying CBD products made from hemp. If the product is made from marijuana, there is high risk of THC in the product; not only could this get you high, but it may also be illegal in your country (it is illegal in Britain, by the way). As such, try to confirm that the CBD is made from hemp.
Then, you should try to find out where the hemp comes from. Hemp is a bio-accumulator, which means it sucks up whatever is in the soil. Many countries do not regulate the growth of crops like hemp, which means you could be getting a low-quality product grown in potentially dangerous soil.
Try to look for hemp grown in either the U.S. or in Western Europe. In America, hemp must be grown in accordance with farming guidelines; and in Europe, only hemp strains approved by the EU can be cultivated under strict guidelines. Hemp from these places is guaranteed to be safe.
Avoid hemp grown in places like China and India, where growing practices vary wildly.
Most companies state where the hemp comes from on their website. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to get in touch with the company to inquire about it.
2. The Extraction Method
After the hemp has all been grown and dried, the next step is to get the CBD out of the plant. There are multiple ways to do this, including dry ice, ethanol, olive oil, and supercritical or subcritical CO2.
Each extraction method has its pros and cons, and this is why brands use different techniques. Supercritical CO2 extraction is widely regarded as the best method. This is because it uses no solvents, and therefore creates the product that is safest for consumption. However, it is much more expensive and requires some expertise, driving up the price significantly.
Some companies choose to use solvent extraction as a means of keeping the price down. However, if the solvent ends up in the final product, then it can be detrimental to your health. It is therefore even more important for companies who use solvents to provide analyses of their products – more on lab reports below.
If you are looking for the highest quality, be on the lookout for CO2 extraction. Ethanol extraction is okay, but if that is the case then you really need to check for…
3. Third-Party Lab Reports
Probably one of the most crucial things to look for is third-party lab reports. These will tell you all you need to know about the products and their ingredients.
Any reputable brand offers up lab reports, and they’re all the more believable if the analysis was conducted by an independent lab. Some companies even give the name of the lab doing the tests, just to prove that they’re the most trustworthy.
Lab reports will detail the cannabinoid content of the products, as well as whether they contain any chemicals or heavy metals. If a brand has said that it doesn’t use any chemicals in the growing process, these reports will tell you if that’s true.
All reputable companies will provide lab reports, and the best ones will publish the reports on the website for all to see. Some will only let you see them on request, which is a little more suspicious. If this is the case, we recommend always asking to see the lab analysis.
4. Company Responsibility
The mark of a good company is whether they take responsibility for their products. A company should be accountable for what they put out there, after all.
A reputable company should make it easy to get in touch. A ‘contact us’ section should be easily visible on the site and you should be able to reach out to them with ease. Social media is also a good sign, and you might even be able to get in touch with the team via social networks.
Plus, confident brands will offer things like a money-back guarantee. This wouldn’t be an option if the products were terrible! Make sure to read the terms and conditions, though, because some of these ‘guarantees’ have some strange caveats.
Do your homework on the company before buying – there should be a lot of information about them and how to get in touch.
In all honesty, CBD is expensive. You’ll be hard-pressed to find cheap CBD products. And if you do find cheap products, it’s most likely a scam.
The cost of CBD oil comes down to a lot of things: Growing the hemp, extracting the cannabinoids, making the products, paying for third-party labs to conduct tests, and more. Of course, the top brands use expensive extraction methods and pay for the best analysis labs – this makes the products the most expensive.
The truth is that you get what you pay for. Some products are cheaper as a result of using methods like ethanol extraction, but the oil might not necessarily be of the highest quality.
There are worse products out there, though, which might not contain any CBD at all! Sold under the guise of CBD oil, these cheap knock-offs might just contain nothing more than hemp seed oil. If the price is really low, it might be too good to be true.
Final Thoughts on Buying CBD
CBD oil is a tricky marketplace. Once you have found a brand, you can’t rest easy – you need to do your research. Read up on the brand and what the website says, and then compare this against review sites and customer reviews.
Now that you know what to look out for, you can rest assured that the CBD you buy will be safe and high-quality. Third-party lab reports are probably the most crucial thing, but you should also check out the source of the hemp, the extraction processes, and just give the company an overall look-through.
If you feel unsure about something, don’t be afraid to reach out to the company and ask questions. At the end of the day, it’s better safe than sorry.
Our final tip is to trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, then trust your gut and avoid that particular brand. Often, your instincts will be spot on, and you’ll be thankful you swerved!
Got any more tips for your fellow readers? Drop them in the comments below!