How To Choose a CBD Oil
Cannabidiol’s mainstream appeal has encouraged the largest brands to take innovative approaches to cannabidiol infusion and fashion a variety of unique CBD products. Terms like potency and purity are laced into marketing copy and though regular CBD users can spot a false claim a mile away, the newbies are often left to wonder what’s real and what’s hype?
Sometimes too much choice is a bad thing — when new customers are deciding between different strengths, formulas, consumption methods and price ranges, finding the right CBD oil isn’t a straightforward process. Complicating matters further, most CBD oils are sold online through the brands that produce them. We’re all used to walking into a store and having a discussion with a sales associate, or personally inspecting a product in person. That’s not always possible with cannabidiol.
If you’re shopping for CBD for the first time, there are important factors to consider like your desired outcome, your medical history, and how quickly you need relief. But before we discuss the merits of one CBD product versus another, let’s take a closer look at cannabidiol.
CBD: The Basics
What Is CBD? And Where Does CBD Come From?
Cannabidiol is but one of several hundred compounds that occur naturally within the hemp plant. Hemp is often talked about in broad terms and some consumers believe that hemp and marijuana are the same, but the differences are actually quite significant.
CBD is sourced from industrial hemp plants — a popular component in the manufacturing industry — containing a maximum of 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol; this is the compound that creates the high associated with marijuana. With Full Spectrum CBD products there’s simply too low of a concentration to create any psychoactive effect. By contrast, marijuana plants can have upwards of 20% THC.
While that might make the THC content in CBD sound trivial, there are actually some benefits to taking a CBD product with a minor amount of THC content.
Is CBD Safe?
Yes. Studies demonstrate that CBD is safe to take and is tolerated well by humans and animals. There are some restrictions though and individuals with significant health concerns are better off consulting with their family doctor before they decide to take CBD oil.
CBD does have some drug interactions with thyroid medications, heart rhythm medications, blood thinners and some seizure medications. If you’re currently taking medication, then always check with your doctor before you add a supplement to your daily regimen.
Does CBD Have Side Effects?
Cannabidiol is a relatively innocuous compound — still, there are some potential side effects to taking this supplement. CBD can cause dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, and insomnia but these side effects are exceedingly rare.
In most cases, side effects with CBD are experienced when people misuse the products or take too much at one time. Following the instructions on the label will help to avoid a potentially unpleasant experience as will paying attention to the specific purpose of an oil: You should only consume oils that are infused with melatonin at nighttime and oils that are formulated for energy are best consumed in the daytime.
Is All CBD The Same?
No, CBD comes in different forms. Some products are made by extracting all additional compounds leaving behind pure CBD, and others feature additional beneficial compounds such as flavonoids and terpenes.
CBD products are formulated for different effects, but most products fall into three categories:
- Full Spectrum: Containing all plant compounds, including minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and a maximum of 0.3 percent THC.
- Broad Spectrum: Contains terpenes and flavonoids, as well as additional cannabinoids. There’s no active THC content.
- CBD Isolate: Just pure CBD and a carrier oil such as organic coconut oil.
Shoppers who work for an employer that drug tests for marijuana should pay careful attention to the ingredients of their CBD oil because even though full spectrum tinctures won’t get you high, they could produce a positive result on a drug test. In such circumstances, it’s probably wise to go for an isolate product instead.
There are plenty of different tinctures available in the online marketplace, many of them with flavor infusions or added vitamins and essential oils; some have artificial flavors and ingredients.
Synergy: The Entourage Effect
Among the most surprising revelations about CBD products is that they function much better when they feature all plant extracts, including THC. Hemp is packed with other minor cannabinoids, as well as terpenes that are found in a variety of plant species, and when coupled with THC, these compounds become more effective: This theory is called the entourage effect.
Full Spectrum products are most likely to produce an entourage effect; broad spectrum products could potentially foster the entourage effect as well but with less consistency.
What Are the Benefits Of Taking CBD Oil?
CBD oil tinctures aren’t designed to cure or treat serious illness. The early research into CBD as a potential future therapeutic drug shows some promise but it’s too early to make a definitive claim about the medical benefits of taking CBD; however, there’s a limited amount of evidence to demonstrates a possible benefit to taking CBD for certain chronic illnesses:
- Multiple Sclerosis
There are other conditions that may benefit from CBD too. Many people choose to take CBD for stress management and there’s emerging evidence that CBD can help with:
You’ll need to try CBD to learn how it could help you in your daily life, and as always, consult your doctor if you’re already taking medication.
Is CBD Right For me?
Technically speaking, CBD can work for all humans — and mammals — because we have an endocannabinoid system. This system regulates homeostasis as well as performing a variety of functions in the body. Cannabinoid receptors in the ECS interact with the CBD and other minor cannabinoids, allowing the calming effects of CBD to absorb in the body.
Whether CBD is right for you is a question of goals. CBD isn’t a treatment for illness, but it is often relied on as an alternative to certain medicines. That’s not to say that it should replace the medication prescribed by a doctor and those with severe needs are better off seeking help from a medical professional rather than trying to manage an overwhelming situation on their own.
If you’re functional but feeling the edge with stress, needing to calm down at night, contending with nagging pain and inflammation, then yes, CBD is probably right for you and with the vast collection of product options you’ll certainly encounter a product to fit your lifestyle.
Things To Consider When Choosing A CBD Oil
The verdict is in — cannabidiol is an organic compound that’s safe to take on a daily basis for the majority of consumers. But there are significant differences in the quality and efficacy of CBD products depending on which brand you choose to purchase from. The FDA doesn’t regulate cannabidiol, so it’s essential that you buy your oil from a reputable company, and there’s no substitute for independent laboratory testing.
Third-Party Lab Testing
All brands use some form of laboratory testing, but many labs choose to verify their products through an in-house laboratory. Naturally, if a company is using their own lab to test their products, then you might question the accuracy and transparency of the results.
The leading CBD brands use independent labs to test their products as this prevents any potential conflicts of interest. These tests confirm the amount of CBD present in an oil, along with other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and the amount of THC content. The test will also provide assurance that there’s no pesticides or harmful chemicals in the products.
You’ll find that most CBD brands declare themselves the best option — the most effective, the most affordable, or the highest strength. The only way to truly know whether a company is as good as they claim is through genuine customer feedback. The successful CBD brands have served tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of customers and they proudly share customer feedback on their website.
When shopping for CBD oil tinctures — less is more. Because oil tinctures are an organic product, they should always feature ingredients that are all natural. The fewer the better.
There are multiple options for extracting CBD from hemp and some are certainly better than others. Ethanol extraction requires the usage of solvents and though brands work to ensure that their products are solvent-free, this process can leave heavy metals behind.
CO2 extraction is considered more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t require the use of a solvent, and as a natural gas, it disperses into the air or is recycled for later use. CO2 is also safer for the employees who are performing the extraction because there are no solvents involved.
Hemp is the backbone of any CBD product because CBD is extracted from hemp plants. Where a company sources its hemp will have a huge influence on the quality of the products, and for this reason, you should always choose brands who use USA grown hemp that’s non-GMO.
Just as the products you’ll find are creative, so too is the marketing approach that CBD companies use to brand their products. Claims of high potency or high strength are featured on just about every online store, but what high potency means diverges from one brand to the next.
Consumers who are shopping for high strength products should aim for tinctures from 2500 mg and up — some brands don’t carry anything above 1000 mg. Potency can also increase based on the terpene profile of your oil and the addition of other minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC and CBN.
Free shipping, satisfaction guarantees, frequent sales — these are some of the best offers available online. Unfortunately, not every brand will provide you with incentives. Choose a CBD oil from a brand that respects your business and wants to make the process rewarding. Because these products are bought online, you’ll want to opt for a brand that provides a money back guarantee.
Anything you take on a daily basis must come with an affordable price tag. There are brands that use creative means to justify higher than average prices and these claims are often unsubstantiated. Buy an oil that’s within your price range and don’t hesitate to compare the costs of one brand against another before you buy.
Which CBD Oil Is Right For Me?
CBD oil isn’t only sold in the form of an oil tincture. You can find CBD oil infused into edibles, creams, capsules, suppositories, and more. Choosing the right CBD oil is a matter of setting your goals and assessing the merits of each product category. Every CBD product offers something a little different but there’s a major pro with each category.
The method of application will change your experience with cannabidiol — everything from taste and potency to how you ingest the products or whether to ingest them at all depends on the product type. Consider where and when you want to take CBD and what you value the most in a product.
Highest Strength: Terpene Enhanced Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures
There’s little doubt that CBD oil tinctures provide the highest potential dose of cannabidiol. Balance CBD tinctures start with low strength bottles at 500 mg, but our high-strength 5000 mg full spectrum tinctures are among the most potent CBD oil tinctures available from any brand with a maximum dosage of 167 mg.
Harlequin Terpene Infused CBD Oil takes the strength to another level with a robust terpene profile for added effects and it’s also available in 5000 mg bottles.
Most Economical: Full Spectrum Oil Tinctures
In addition to providing the highest potential CBD dose, Full Spectrum Tinctures are the most cost-effective way to consume CBD. Our 5000 mg full spectrum tinctures retails for just under $95, resulting in a price per milligram that sits at $0.018. Those who are concerned about cost can pick up the largest strength tincture, take a lower dose, and make a tincture last for months.
Most Discreet: CBD edibles
Oil tinctures are hardly difficult to use but there are certain moments when you might prefer to simply chew on a fruit flavored gummy for your daily CBD dose. Balance CBD Gummies are the ideal workplace product as you can take one discreetly at the office or with company at home. The delicious flavors of our gummies provide a yummy treat that slowly delivers CBD with no hemp taste, so there’s no need to wash them down with water.
Gummies aren’t the only CBD edibles either. Consumers can satiate their sweet tooth with milk chocolate squares or cookies and more, but for discretion, gummies are usually the best choice because they won’t melt in your pocket.
Consistent Dose: Oil Capsules
Both CBD Capsules and gummies are a great option for receiving a consistent dose of CBD, no fuss or measurement needed. What separates capsules and gummies is that capsules are a higher strength option, and they feature a full spectrum oil. Capsules are easily infused with vitamins or additional extracts, and they provide an exact dosage every time.
Doesn’t Require Ingestion: Topical Creams
For the consumer who’d rather rub an aromatic cream on their skin for localized muscle and joint pain, topicals are a great choice. Our CBD Cream For Muscle Relief is scented with Rosemary, Lavender and menthol for cooling sensations. These creams are a low strength option, but they provide an alternative to ingestion.
Best Animal Product: CBD Oil For Dogs
Many pet owners have discovered how CBD can enhance their pet’s quality of life, but there are some challenges with purchasing CBD infused pet products. Mainly; they cannot tell you how it makes them feel.
Take it from us — CBD Oil for Dogs are the most effective products and they are effortless to apply. Our salmon oil flavored tinctures attract pets, so sprinkling a few drops on your pet’s food is often all that’s required to give your dogs or cat a dose of CBD.
Honourable Mentions: Alternative CBD Products
When we said there are plenty of products to choose from, we meant it. CBD products are so varied that there are dozens of ways to take this daily supplement. You’ll find personal lubricants and suppositories, CBD dried flower, vapes, hand lotions, massage oils, bath bombs — you get the idea.
Bottom Line On Choosing A CBD Oil
There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed by the range of CBD products. When shopping for cannabidiol, think of how you’d like to take CBD, which formula sounds best suited to your daily life and goals, and how much money you’re comfortable spending per day.
We encourage all customers to compare our prices, products, and policies against competitor brands because we believe that’s strongly in the quality of our cannabidiol products. Informed customers are satisfied customers.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions From CBD Shoppers
How To Choose Legitimate CBD oil?
One of the frustrations for new consumers is that some companies market hemp products as CBD products. For the sake of clarity, CBD is extracted from hemp and it’s not the same as hemp seed oil. Legitimate CBD oil with feature product information such as the type of formula and the potency — all of which is supported by a third-party laboratory report. If there’s no laboratory report then it’s not legitimate.
How To Choose A Great CBD Oil For Pain?
If pain is the problem, you should opt for a full spectrum tincture, preferably with an enhanced terpene profile. Assess the severity of your pain when selecting a mg dose, but bear in mind that you can choose a high volume tinctures and take a smaller dose for enhanced affordability.
How To Choose CBD Oil For Sleep?
Slowing down after a hectic day is something that challenges many customers. For sleep difficulties, try to buy a product that contains melatonin or a full spectrum CBD tincture. Claiming your body and mind will help you drift off easier.
How To Choose CBD Oil For Anxiety?
Many customers prefer to use our Harlequin Terpene Enhanced oil for symptoms of anxiety. The boost of beneficial terpenes and our full spectrum oil can help you deal with stressful situations and remain calm in trying times.
How To Choose The Best CBD Oil For My Dog?
Choose an oil that includes a natural flavored oil such as a salmon oil tincture. For best results, avoid pet products that have THC content.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About CBD
Is CBD Legal?
CBD is legal across the Unites States of America as outlined in the Farm Bill of 2018. Not all locations have dedicated stores that sell CBD so shopping online is often the best choice. Cannabidiol is legal to buy but there’s a distinction between commercial and private cultivation. At this time, you can grow industrial hemp in your home but it’s illegal for people to cultivate it.
What’s The Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?
Hemp oil comes from hemp seeds. Unlike the hemp plant, hemp seeds contain a minor amount of CBD and no THC whatsoever. CBD oil by contrast, is extracted from industrial hemp and then suspended in an oil such as organic liquid coconut oil. As such, only brands that use genuine cannabidiol can actually provide the benefits of CBD.
Can You Smoke CBD?
Yes, some people do choose to smoke CBD in its raw flower form but there are much better methods of application. If you’re taking CBD on a daily basis then you should take it in a form with minimal health fallout.
What Are Terpenes In CBD?
Terpenes are found in a wide range of plant species and in some animals as well. These terpenes create unique flavors and aromas and there’s ongoing research into their unique properties and how they may enhance the strength of CBD formulas.
Popular terpenes include limonene — found in citrus fruits — pinene, and terpenes like myrcene that exists in basil and mangos. Some terpenes are thought to provide specific benefits and work well with certain conditions; many consumers with fibromyalgia swear by terpenes such as caryophyllene and Bisabolol.
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Dr Elizabeth Blackwell is a double board-certified integrative and family medicine physician. Dr Blackwell expertise lies in functional and holistic medicine.
She is the director of medical services at the Pacific Clinics MD, a comprehensive clinic focused on chronic stress, gut health, decreasing inflammation, improving hormonal imbalance, weight loss resistance and helping women get pregnant. Dr Elizabeth Blackwell also has significant experience in working with cancer, dementia and chronic pain patients.
In recent times Dr Blackwell’s work has focused on exploring the effects of cannabinoid therapies. Dr Blackwell has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Well+Good, Vogue, Healthline, Forbes, Medical News Today, Harvard Health and more.