To ensure that you are getting the highest-quality CBD, it is important to purchase from brands that are transparent about where their hemp is grown and how their CBD it is extracted.
What to look for when purchasing CBD1
Clearly labeled CBD potency
You should not have to search for CBD potency on product packaging – it should be clearly labeled front and center. Don’t let marketing language like “high-dose” or “extra-strength” steer you in the wrong direction, it's all in the numbers.
Clean extraction methods
Look for brands that use organic ethanol or supercritical CO2 extraction to ensure that the CBD is pure. There are several different ways to extract CBD from the hemp plant, and shortcuts often use toxic solvents such as propane, hexane, pentane, and butane.
Certified Organic Hemp
Hemp is a bioaccumulator, meaning that it absorbs both the good and the bad from the air, water, and soil in which it is grown. Look for products made from certified organic hemp to avoid contact with potentially carcinogenic pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.
Third-party lab results
Products can be tested for all sorts of things, but the most important is potency. This test validates a product's CBD content so that you know that you are getting what you pay for. This test, also referred to as a COA, should be readily available on a company’s website.
Top Questions About CBD
What does CBD stand for?
Is cannabis sativa seed oil and hempseed oil the same thing as CBD?
No. However, cannabis sativa seed oil and hempseed oil are the same exact thing. It is a cold-pressed oil that is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis sativa or hemp plant. While it is not CBD, it is an oil rich in nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds.2,3
Will CBD get me high?
CBD will not get you high. Unlike other cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a euphoric “high” or psychoactive effect. This is because CBD does not interact with the same receptors as THC.4
What is a cannabinoid?
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that have been shown to provide relief from an array of symptoms. They imitate compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate internal stability and health.5
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system consists of the endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), cannabinoid receptors and the enzymes that synthesise and degrade endocannabinoids.6
What is the difference between CBD and THC?
When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on the receptors that they bind to.5,7
What is the difference between full-spectrum and isolate?
Full-spectrum CBD uses the whole hemp plant to produce an oil rich in flavonoids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids that are believed to work synergistically with CBD, potentially increasing the benefits. This is often referred to as the “entourage effect.” CBD isolate is pure CBD and does not contain any other cannabinoids from the hemp plant.8
Is CBD ever referred to as something else on product labels?
As the industry continues to evolve, you might see CBD referred to as something else. Common names for CBD also include: hemp extract, hemp extract oil, hemp CBD, phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil.
I’ve used CBD in the past and it didn’t work for me, why is that?
It could have been due to many different factors. Because CBD is highly unregulated, you might have tried a product that was mislabeled. Or perhaps you didn’t use the right dose for your body.
Why does CBD vary in price?
There are a lot of considerations that go into the price of a CBD product, with one of them being the extraction process. Cheaper CBD products sometimes use potentially dangerous extraction methods that use cheap toxic solvents to extract CBD. These are usually much less expensive than safer methods of extraction, such as the use of ethanol or CO2. The quality of the other ingredients in a product can also affect the price.1
Is CBD Legal?
Yes, CBD is federally legal in the United States as long as it contains less than .3 percent of THC.
Rollin, J. "Top 5 Ways to Identify High-Quality CBD Oil". Ministry of Hemp. December 17, 2017.
Murray, D. "CBD oil vs. Hemp Seed: How to Know What You Are Paying For". Healthline. March 20, 2019.
Johnson, J. "Hemp Oil Benefit List". Medical News Today. February 14, 2019.
Johnson, J. "Does CBD Oil Work For Chronic Pain Management". Medical News Today. July 29, 2018.
Rahn, B. "Cannabinoids 101: What Makes Cannabis Medicine?" Leafly. January 22, 2014.
Mackie, K. "Cannabinoid Receptors: Where They Are and What They Do". J Neuroendocrinol. 20 (Suppl. 1), 10–14.
Fletcher, J. "A Comparison of CBD and THC". Medical News Today. July 26, 2019.
Vandergriendt, C. "Does CBD show up on a drug test?". Healthline. April 24, 2019.
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