Choosing a great quality CBD product can be very confusing. There are so many companies selling CBD products and such an array choices at the moment it’s hard to know which one to choose.
Here are a few things to be aware of when choosing a CBD product:
1. Are you buying hemp seed oil or hemp CBD oil?
All CBD products are not created equal. As I’ve mentioned many times, before we found the brand of CBD we now use we had tried over a dozen different oils. Only two of them actually worked even though they were all bought at dispensaries from top companies, not companies we’d never heard of before selling on places like Amazon.
Although this will very likely change now that hemp has been legalized, up until now hemp supplements were unregulated. Unfortunately this means that unscrupulous companies can package what is basically salad oil and label it as CBD oil.
The first thing you should make certain of is that you are actually buying hemp CBD oil and not just hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is highly nutritious, and you might want to think about incorporating it in your diet, but it contains none of the CBD compound. Make sure that your CBD oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant, not just the stalks or seeds.
2. Where does your CBD come from?
The hemp plant is phenomenal at pulling toxins out of the soil. This process called phytoremediation, is a fantastic, cheap and ecological way to clean contaminated soil and water, but it’s not what you want out of the hemp that your CBD is extracted from.
Many cheaply made CBD products are made from hemp plants grown overseas or on soil that has contaminants like pesticides, herbacides and heavy metals. Because hemp can tolerate such high amounts of toxins, and you will be consuming the oil in concentrated form, it is extremely important that you are aware of where, and how, the hemp was grown.
Make sure the CBD company you choose is clear about where the hemp they use for their products was grown. The best CBD oils will be those extracted from hemp plants that were grown in nutrient rich soil, using strict organic practices.
3. How Is The CBD Extracted?
The Butane Extraction method
More than likely, cheap CBD oil will be extracted using cheap methods. These methods use toxic solvents to strip the cannabinoids (beneficial compounds, like CBD) and terpenes (essential oils) from the hemp plant. These solvents include gases like propane and butane, both of which are found in petroleum.
Although this method is very efficient, CBD oil extracted using the butane method may contain toxic solvents as well as other potentially harmful contaminants stripped from the plant.
The CO2 Extraction Method
The CO2 method is used in the food industry in the production of carbonated beverages like soda and beer, in wine making, for making essential oils, for decaffeinating coffee, to name a few.
Essentially, this process uses CO2 under extremely high pressure and cold temperatures to extract the CBD oil from the hemp plant. This method is more complex, expensive and less efficient but the oil remains pure throughout the process without the risk of accumulating any contaminants.
The Ethanol Extraction Method
There is a third method of extraction that falls somewhere in between the previous two methods.
Ethanol is an alcohol that is also widely used in the food industry and is probably the most popular method of extraction. Basically, the hemp plant is soaked in ethanol to dissolve all the different compounds in the plant. The plant matter is then separated from the compounds and the ethanol is removed by evaporation.
Ethanol is efficient like the butane method but it’s also safe and non-toxic like the CO2 method.
4. Is your CBD Oil Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or Isolate?
Full Spectrum CBD Oil:
In addition to CBD, the hemp plant contains over 100 different phytocannabinoids, as well as terpenes and beneficial phytonutrients. A full spectrum CBD oil is extracted using the whole plant and is minimally refined preserving all of the plant’s beneficial compounds in addition to the CBD. There is quite a bit of research suggesting that all these different plant compounds working together are more beneficial than just CBD alone.
Broad Spectrum CBD:
Broad spectrum CBD oil is similar to full spectrum but with the psycoactive compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) removed.
As the name suggests, CBD isolate contains only pure CBD which has been isolated from all the other plant compounds. CBD isolate is a powder that is often diluted in a carrier oil, like MCT oil or hemp seed oil. Isolate can be useful if you need to measure very precise doses, or if you are interested in making CBD products and edibles. This type of oil is more refined than full and broad spectrum spectrum CBD oils.
When choosing a CBD product look for:
Ingredients: Make sure the product actually contains CBD
- The first ingredient listed must be either “full spectrum hemp oil” or “broad spectrum hemp oil“.
- If the main ingredient is hemp seed/stalk oil do not buy the product, since seeds do not contain the CBD compound. It’s okay if hemp seed oil is being used as carrier oil, though.
Location: Know where and how the hemp was grown:
- Look for hemp grown in the US
How was the CBD extracted:
- Stay away from butane extraction which may contain toxins.
- Look for either ethanol or CO2 extraction methods which are much cleaner and safer.
Choose your type of CBD:
This is more about personal preference. I personally prefer a full/broad spectrum product that uses the whole plant because it has been shown that a full range of phytocannabinoids work together to enhance the benefits of just CBD on its own. A full/broad spectrum oil is also less processed and closer to the way nature made the plant in the first place.
If you will be giving the CBD oil to your pet, make sure that it contains zero THC. Never give your pets marijuana.