The popularity of CBD oil exploded in 2018 after the Farm Bill made it legal to grow industrial hemp in the United States. Once CBD could be produced legally, various retail businesses across multiple sectors started to fill their shelves with as many CBD products as they could find.
The market for CBD products is growing exponentially, with companies like Elan Naturals leading the way in the distribution of safe CBD products. Unfortunately, because government regulation of CBD products has not yet been established, it is up to the buyers to find out if they are purchasing a pure and safe product. Below are some things buyers need to know before buying CBD oil.
CBD Oil: What Is It?
Before the recent popularity of CBD exploded, humans have spent centuries using the cannabis plant for its many health benefits and psychoactive properties. In recent years, research has uncovered that cannabis plants contain over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The most famous of these is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), known for producing the characteristic “high” feeling.
One of the other major cannabinoids that may have health benefits is cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect. However, it does have the potential to offer relief from a variety of other ailments, including chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety.
CBD oil is a term used often to describe a variety of products that contain CBD, whether they are infused with CBD oil or if it is simply an oil-based concentrate. To make CBD oil, CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and diluted with an oil, such as hemp seed or coconut oil. The highest quality CBD oil contains only CBD, with no other cannabis compounds present. Occasionally CBD oil may contain trace amounts of other cannabis compounds, such as terpenes, but it is unlikely to cause any mind-altering effect.
Types of CBD
There are a variety of CBD extracts on the market, which can cause some confusion for people who are new to buying CBD products. Like CBD in general, the terminology used to describe the products and extracts is not regulated, so some manufacturers use these terms interchangeably. The main terms used to describe CBD products are included below.
- CBD Isolate. CBD isolate contains pure CBD from a cannabis plant with no other compounds or products in it. This means that there is no THC present at all. Consumers of this type of CBD product can test the effectiveness of CBD without any worry about other compounds interfering with the product’s effects.
- Full-Spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD products contain CBD in addition to other compounds found in cannabis plants. They usually contain trace amounts of THC, which must be below .3% by federal mandate.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD contains other compounds from a cannabis plant, such as cannabinol (CNB) and cannabichromene (CBC), but contains no THC. Since THC is the only compound known to produce mind-altering effects, broad-spectrum CBD should be safe to take for those looking to avoid the psychoactive properties of THC.
CBD Oil Potency
When buying CBD products, it is critical to consider the product’s potency before purchasing. The ideal potency varies greatly depending on the individual using the product and what symptoms they are attempting to treat. Consumers should be certain to check the label of CBD products for recommended dosage, which should be prominently displayed in milligrams.
Unfortunately, there is little research available to guide consumers as to what the best dosage is for each condition. It is up to consumers to test the products to see what produces the best result. A person’s required dosage can be different depending on many factors, including metabolism, method of intake, and tolerance levels.
Always start with the lowest possible dose and watch closely for side effects and changes. Increase the dosage slowly until desired results are produced.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Cannabis has been a legal battleground for decades, mainly because of the psychoactive effects produced by THC. Unfortunately, the blanket ban on growing marijuana plants included the hemp plant, which is not capable of producing THC. Fortunately, the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, or Farm Bill, lifted the ban on CBD derived from hemp plants.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has made it clear that it has not approved the sale or consumption of CBD-infused products. However, each state has exercised its right to form its own laws regarding these products. Consumers will need to check the laws of the state in which they reside to be sure they are considered legal.
CBD Oil Labeling: What to Know
Federal agencies have yet to define any regulations relating to CBD products, which means the chances of products being labeled improperly are quite high. Consumers should be wary of what they are purchasing and know what to look for on the label.
Despite CBD oil often being used by individuals to treat symptoms of various conditions, CBD oil labels should never make any medical claims. The Federal Food and Drug Administration pays close attention to medical claims made by manufacturers of unapproved products.
There is a long history of warning letters being sent by the FDA to various CBD product companies in regards to the misinformation printed on CBD product labels. Reputable companies will follow the standards set by the FDA and avoid claims that include the words “reduce,” “treat,” “prevent,” and “cure.”
What to Look for in Quality CBD Oil
There are a few hallmarks of high-quality CBD oil products that should be noted before any purchase is made. Labels should always list CBD as an active ingredient and display how much it contains per serving. They should also include a supplement informational fact panel that lists all of the products’ ingredients. The manufacturer and distributor names should be prominently displayed and easy to read. The label should also explain the product’s suggested use.
The label should state whether the CBD product contains broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, or CBD-isolate. Additionally, it must always have an easy-to-find date code and/or batch number.
Buying the Best CBD Oil
There are a few important tips to keep in mind when shopping for CBD products. First, CBD isolates that are 99.9% pure or more are unlikely to contain any trace amounts of THC. If it is 99.5% or lower, it may contain trace amounts of THC. Avoiding even trace amounts of THC is often important for people who are concerned about failing a drug test or for those who prefer not to consume THC at all. Regardless of how a buyer intends to use CBD oil, they must know what to look for in a high-quality CBD oil product.