Is CBD for Me? A 1st-Time Buyer’s Guide

Did you know…

With the resurgence of the cannabidiol industry in the 21st century, hundreds of companies have literally launched overnight to address the increased demand for CBD oil. With each of them making very similar claims, it can be difficult to determine if CBD oil is right for you. Before you make your purchase, consider the following factors.

Did you know…The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp

One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD oil that it comes exclusively from marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana come from the same plant species—cannabis sativa—but vary in THC composition. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most infamous cannabinoid due to its high-inducing properties. Although marijuana plants do contain CBD, products using CBD extracted from marijuana generally contain higher concentrations of THC.

Both hemp and marijuana come from the same plant species – Cannabis sativa – but vary in THC composition. THC, When Congress passed the Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the “Farm Bill,” the law opened the door for closely monitored industrial hemp growth on American farms. Hemp is now bred to have lower THC concentrations. Conversely, marijuana is grown to have higher THC content. Only hemp-derived CBD oil is federally legal. It is extracted from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3 percent THC.

The Importance of Buying High-Quality CBD Oil

In the United States, the topic of hemp and CBD oil is somewhat controversial. For example, did you know the founding fathers were known for growing hemp? Were you aware our federal government encouraged farmers to grow hemp during World War II? In 1942, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a short film to encourage farmers to produce hemp for military use. The short film was titled, “Hemp for Victory.”

As the war concluded, hemp was once again tossed aside, and the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 officially made hemp illegal. The plant was classified as a Schedule I drug—the same category as heroin, LSD, and cocaine. This resulted in people looking elsewhere for hemp. International hemp, however, was not grown under the same strict standards of quality and safety set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Fact Check # 1. Is it grown in the USA? Domestic grown hemp is the best option for high-quality CBD Oil. Plants grown on American farms are subject to higher quality controls, including limiting exposure to pesticides. 

Does High Price Equal High-Quality CBD Oil?

In retail, it’s often said “you get what you pay for.” As it pertains to CBD Oil, that may not be the case. Price and quality do not always correlate.

In 2016, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found serious labeling discrepancies in over twenty products claiming to contain CBD. Analysis showed the products contained misrepresented higher or lower concentrations of CBD than advertised. Some contained no CBD at all.

When it comes to buying CBD Oil, research the company’s manufacturing process and explore their lab reports. From those you can determine what level of CBD and THC you’re getting in each batch.

Fact Check # 2. How is it produced? Find the lab reports and see the CBD or THC content for yourself.

Buying Power: Where to Buy CBD Oil?

Now you know where it should be grown, what it should (and shouldn’t) contain, so where can you buy CBD Oil? There are a few options: online, at dispensaries, or specialty retail stores. Because retailers (like dispensaries or specialty retail stores) purchase products from external sources, they often don’t provide lab reports or purity analysis for the products they sell. You have no idea what quality you’re buying.

Reputable CBD brands only use domestic-grown hemp with organic methods, proper manufacturing techniques, and they provide third-party lab reports. Buying CBD Oil direct from companies with transparency sharing information, assures you are getting high-quality.

Fact Check # 3. Wherever you buy it, remember primary source is always best and they generally have the most information.

Did you know…How to Ensure Your CBD Oil Contains the Right Amount

Most CBD Oil products have a number on the front of the bottle, ranging from 300 mg to 10000 mg. This number is not the amount of CBD you get in every tincture droplet or capsule. This number is the total amount of CBD contained within the entire container. The actual amount of CBD you receive with each dose should be the number (#) in milligrams divided by the number of servings in the bottle (also listed on the front).

Fact Check # 4. How much are you really getting? Do the Math. CBD # in mg (milligrams) ÷ Servings #

Buyer Awareness:

Did you know…5 Things to Look for When Buying CBD Oil Online

Before you buy CBD oil online, be sure to keep an eye out for these five red flags:

  1. “Free trial bottle—just pay shipping.” One of the most prevalent scams is offering “free trial bottles.” When they use a credit card, it will either be charged multiple times for the shipping fee or charged monthly for a “club” that you probably didn’t realize you were joining.
  2. Available only on social media. Be wary when buying solely from social media CBD suppliers. Not only does this violate the terms of service for most social media sites, but sellers won’t provide lab results about their products.
  3. No third-party lab results. Much like social media advertising, anyone can claim to sell CBD Oil. Remember Fact Check 3. Review their independent third-party lab results publicly posted online. If there are no third-party lab results available, request them before purchase. If they can’t provide them, run like a zombie is on your tail.
  4. The site has few reviews. Be sure to read all the reviews (good and bad) on the company website, at independent news websites, and through social media. If there are no reviews or very few reviews, be wary.
  5. “Miracle drug” claims. Be careful of a company that makes outlandish claims about their product’s potential. Only buy CBD Oil from companies that provide outsourced science behind their products.

Above all remember it’s a business filled with snake-oil salesmen and scammers. Even the legitimate retailers are competing against each other online for the title of “Best CBD Oil Brand.” Determining which CBD Oil to buy can be overwhelming, but if you follow the four fact checking rules above, and watch for scams and red flags, you will be sure to purchase a high-quality product. 

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