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What to Look for in CBD Oil: How to Evaluate Quality

Not sure of how to evaluate CBD oil before you buy it? Here is what to look for in CBD oil quality.
Jason L is a 1st time father to a bouncing baby boy, and long time cannabis enthusiast.

Written By Jason L

On May 20, 2019
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The CBD industry has grown from $108 million in consumer sales in 2014 to just over half a billion in 2018.

That kind of growth attracts all kinds of newcomers into the industry. But not all CBD companies have your health as their top priority like we do.

To ensure that you’re getting the best product for your money, you need to be aware of what to look for in CBD oil. Being a smart consumer not only protects your wallet, but it also ensures you’re making the healthiest choices.

Whether you’re a connoisseur or new to the world of CBD, you should know what to look for when buying CBD oil. Keep reading to find out exactly what those items are.

The Problem with CBD Oil

By 2022, the CBD industry is expected to grow to the tune of $22 billion. But even in recent years, CBD oil has grown exponentially among consumers and companies looking to profit from that consumption alike.

More and more companies are emerging with claims that their CBD oil offers the most health benefits at the best price. And, like a budding industry, there are those companies that really do put the best product out there and those that take shortcuts to maximize their gain.

A big part of this problem is that many consumers don’t know what to look for in CBD oil. Another major concern is the lack of regulation in the industry. Without regulations, there’s nothing to back up the claims that companies make.

And, when it comes to getting the most of your CBD oil, quality matters. A low-grade CBD oil can’t offer what high-quality CBD can. What’s more, it could contain toxins that you definitely don’t want to be putting in your body.

What to Look For In CBD Oil

To reap all the health benefits, you need to know what to look for when buying CBD oil. We’ve listed all the most important indicators in more detail below.

Check the THC Content

The hemp and cannabis plant contains over 100 different known cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that’s responsible for the high feeling associated with marijuana use and certain benefits to your health. CBD, on the other hand, is technically a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It has a host of health benefits AND it doesn’t get you high.

CBD oil is usually derived from the hemp plant, which naturally contains both THC and CBD. However, it contains very low levels of THC and very high levels of CBD.

In the US, legal CBD flowers after harvest must contain less than 0.3% THC.

Full Spectrum vs Isolate vs Broad Spectrum

When shopping for your CBD oil, you’ll likely come across oils labeled full spectrum or isolate. The distinction between the two is important when determining quality.

Not only does hemp contain 100’s of different cannabinoids, but it also contains potentially beneficial compounds like terpenes. While these other phytochemicals and compounds aren’t exactly as important as CBD, they have their own potential benefits.

So what does this have to do with full spectrum, isolates, or broad spectrum?

Full spectrum or whole plant CBD oil contains CBD along with all of these other compounds. It’s believed that these work together symbiotically to enhance the benefits of the CBD oil. This beneficial cooperation is called the Entourage Effect.

Isolate, on the other hand, only contains CBD in it’s purest, isolated, form. In the extraction process, all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytochemicals are removed, and leaves a crystalline structure behind.

Broad spectrum extracts are generally recognized as a full spectrum extract with certain components removed, say THC for example.

Although isolate is becoming a popular choice, it’s actually cheaper to produce than a full spectrum CBD oil. Meaning that some companies go this route to save money, rather than to give you a full bodied product. For some this is ideal, and we represent some amazing companies that use quality CBD isolate.

As such, you should check the “MORE INFO” tab on our product pages for full disclosure on what type of extract is used in the product you are looking at. It will say, “Extract Type” and will list the type of extract used.

How It’s Manufactured

Part of having no regulations over CBD oil is having no regulation to control how it’s manufactured. Different brands use different methods of extracting the CBD from the hemp plant, and this can have an effect on quality.

There are two “good ways” of extracting CBD. The first is using organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol.

This method of extraction results in the highest amount of cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds in the oil. It’s also thought to be the most efficient method of extraction.

Using supercritical CO2 under high pressure and in a cold environment is another safe method of extraction. It results in CBD oil of high purity levels. But because it’s expensive, brands using this method usually pass that cost onto you.

In terms of poor manufacturing methods, some companies use propane, hexane, butane, and pentane – all of which are toxic solvents that aren’t safe for human consumption. So avoid any brands using these manufacturing techniques.

We have also introduced some products that use a spagyric extraction method, which is an ethanolic extraction, then the used plant material is burned down to ash and then filtered so that the minerals and salts of the plant are reintroduced into the extract. This is one of our favorite extraction types!

Where and How the Hemp Was Grown

The hemp plant is what’s known as a hyperaccumulator. Hyperaccumulators soak up minerals and other compounds from the soil in which it’s grown.

Meaning that if the hemp was grown in rich, clean soil, the plant can produce high-quality CBD hemp oil. But if it’s grown in soil that contains toxins like mercury, lead arsenic, or other chemicals, the CBD oil probably isn’t safe for your consumption.

Check where the hemp that made your CBD oil comes from. US-grown hemp is a good choice because many farmers have to be certified to grow the plant. As such, there’s some oversight into what they’re growing and how they’re cultivating it. Many European countries have been growing hemp for generations, and they have developed clean farming methods ideal for hemp production.

Searching for the Best CBD Products?

Knowing what to look for in CBD oil is crucial to getting the most for your money. But even more important than that, it ensures that the product you’re buying will bring the potential health benefits you’re looking for. Because with CBD, quality really does mean everything.

If you’re ready to dive into the best CBD products, we’ve got everything you’re looking for. Check out our CBD shop for more products and information.

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Would you like to know more about the CBD oil purchase process, or how to find out what will work best for you? Check out our CBD Oil Buyers Guide


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