CBD Buying Guide – Do you know what you’re buying?

CBD Buying Guide

CBD Buying Guide

What to Look for and What to Avoid

CBD Buyers Guide - Buy CBD Safely

How do you know what you’re buying? Is it CBD, is it Hempseed Oil? Learn how to tell what you're buying & how to read lab reports (COAs)

CBD Buyers Guide - Buy CBD Safely

How do you know what you’re buying? Is it CBD, is it Hempseed Oil? Learn how to tell what you're buying & how to read lab reports (COAs)

CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is known for relieving pain, a good night’s sleep, and as a relieving agent in a lot of ailments. It comes from the cannabis plant, but doesn’t get you high as it has minimal levels of THC. But, if you have decided to give this a try for any of the reasons, you need to have complete information about it, and finding information about this can be a bit tricky because the Internet is full of information that is both informative and contradictory.

It is because of its association with cannabis that many people connect it with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is one of the most psychoactive agents in cannabis. And so once and for all, CBD does not contain any THC, does not get you high, and is completely safe and legal to use following some regulations.

But before you rush in to purchase your first bottle of CBD, there are many factors to be considered, which vary from concentration, brands and what exactly you need it for. As a consumer, you need to learn all you can about the CBD products you can buy, including the fact of whether they were tested for any contaminants and THC and CBD levels.

Let us cover the main factors to consider before you buy your first CBD product.

Why Do You Want/Need CBD?

Before you rush out to go buy CBD because everyone is talking about it, you need to find out if you actually need it. CBD has been long hailed for its pain relieving properties, but lately, research has shown that it is also quite effective in treating some forms of epilepsy. In fact, CBD has been used for medical purposes for a few centuries and has been considered as a very effective regulator in immune and pain response system, appetite, sleep and chronic pain.

For quick relief, it is used sublingually as oil drops, spray or in vape devices (though be aware of the ones using propylene glycol) and has proved beneficial in muscle spasms and multiple sclerosis. It has also shown some promise in treating anxiety disorders, and unlike some medications, is not addictive. It has also been used in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and insomnia.

It is also available as oil drops and lotions (for treatment of acne and muscle spasms). These are just a few of the many benefits CBD has in the way of helping you with your circumstances, but always consult a medical professional instead of treating yourself.

What are the different types of products and what should they include?

  • Full Spectrum should have: CBD and <0.3% THC and then other cannabinoids (can be mixed in strength and content)
  • Broad Spectrum: As above but without THC.
  • Isolate: just CBD and verified 0% thc and other cannabinoids.

Rule #1: What to Avoid?

Don’t buy off Amazon, eBay or Groupon EVER! The companies listed on these platforms, even if legit, cannot prove it, or they’re removed for breaking the platform ToS. So you’re already in a quandary. All of these platforms are flooded with hempseed oil labelled as hemp extract as a means to confuse. As well as being rife with fakes and knock off brands. Your safest option is to avoid these vendors in their entirety until new rules and regulations arise permitting the sale of CBD products on these platforms. Also avoid any companies making egregious health claims. Claiming they have the best CBD, Purest CBD or some other superlative. Most good products are simply high quality and made to a high standard. There is no "BEST" product. It's more about whats high quality and works for you.

Did a Third-Party Lab test the product?

This is also one of the things you should be looking for before you zero in on a certain product. If this has been the case, that is, if the product has been lab tested elsewhere, the information is usually available on the company’s website. However, this may not always be the case, and one way to find this out is to simply write to the company and ask for one. Though, there are certain things to consider.

Always make sure that the tests were done independently by a laboratory that has been accredited. Not, in house or re-formatted into a brand document. Most of the legitimate labs are likely to be accredited by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), which would mean that the lab follows high standards and use marijuana state regulated testing protocols. These accreditation's point to the fact that the company is following certain rules and regulations and following procedures that have been approved by a government/regulatory body.

It is also important to know when the product was lab tested. If the tests are more than a year old and/or missing batch numbers, you should consider looking at another product.

Only ever buy CBD when you can see full lab analysis (COA) from a third party lab.
Look for Pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, molds and of course potency and spectrum. Especially if you are buying a Full or Broad Spectrum product.
What you are looking for is a lab report displaying results for all contaminants, and those results to display ND (not detected) and/or that the numerical value shows NIL or 0.0.
If you see N/A then it wasn’t screened for that particular contaminant. This means it’s not tested and therefore not valid.

How do you know the lab report is for the actual product?

You must validate the reports are product specific. Not just a lab report on base oil/Isolate or extract sample used to make the final product, which happens a lot, more than you care to imagine. This shows nothing more than something got tested. Doesn’t prove it's product related or even associated.

The reports should be clearly labelled with:

  • The actual product name you are looking to purchase
  • It should include batch numbers
  • Clearly state the actual company name and address.
  • Ideally the report should have a photo of the final product. Many labs will take a photo of the product as well as using the full product name on the report. (This is best)
  • Test Certificate ID number: With this you can call the lab to get the report validated as real and un-tampered. 
Report used with consent **

What Is It's Potency/Concentration?

It's always important to check the potency that's advertised against the real contents to ensure you know you're getting what you pay for and you're able to dose correctly.

There should only be a certain amount of THC in a CBD product, and this is to maintain its legality. Before you spend your money on any such product, you need to know that the maximum amount of THC allowed in any CBD product should be in the region of <0.3% to 0.0%. To do this is pretty simple; simply check the label or advertised THC content or the product you are looking at and check the listed concentration against their lab reports. Some companies advertise "THC free" but can still contain up to the maximum of <0.3% THC, because technically and legally it's considered THC free. Which, is wrong and a blatant attempt to boost sales to people looking for truly THC products. 

What are the different types of products and what should they include?

  • Full Spectrum should have: CBD and <0.3% THC and then other cannabinoids (can be mixed in strength and content)
  • Broad Spectrum: As above but without THC.
  • Isolate: just CBD and verified 0% thc and other cannabinoids.

If you're looking for a "'full spectrum" THC free product, you should look for Broad Spectrum. Broad spectrum should be as Full Spectrum but without THC.
The reason some people look for THC free is they're sensitive to any THC or you don’t want to pop hot on drug testing, but you want the other therapeutic benefits that are on offer. Most of these products will be made out of legally classified hemp; and could be labelled as Hemp Extract, Hemp Concentrate or Distillate as well as CBD. In any case, if you are looking for a product that has a higher concentration of THC than listed above, it will be mostly only sold in state-licensed dispensaries and besides, you will likely need a physician’s recommendation for that.

Remember, if you are sensitive to the psychoactive effects of THC, you should not consider anything above the prescribed concentration. Also, read about the FDA regulations here.

Award winning cbd products from Absolute Nature CBD

What Is the Source of Hemp?

This is yet another factor that is important because the quality of the derived CBD will depend upon the quality of the source. You need to actively seek this out because while some companies are quite serious about the quality of their product, others may not have any idea where it came from, because they are buying it in bulk to lower costs.

Traditionally, hemp is sourced from many regions that include the United States, Europe and China, but NON GMO raw material sourced from the US is considered to be of the best quality because of higher standards of hemp farming practices. Another reason for this is that the hemp grown overseas may or may not have undergone stringent tests or regulations, and may contain contaminants

Things to Watch out For

By now you know that while choosing a brand, it is important to know what to avoid. So while looking up the products of your choice, these are the things you should keep an eye out for:

  • Beware of Synthetic Ingredients: These are not very common but some companies have been found selling these. At best, they will have absolutely no therapeutic value, but at worst, you could be using a toxic product. It is not very difficult to find these out; no reports? Don't buy. Also a quick google search for the brand + scam + fake report + synthetics should garner some info .
  • Lack of Lab Reports: Though we have stressed on it enough, ensure that the product you are interested in has a lab report clearly available and ensure its up to standard and verifies the products claims.
  • Avoid Free Samples: Most of these are nothing but hempseed oil scams or re-bill scams, where you get your free sample and find out you're getting billed $90 a month, as such you should be very careful when potentially going for these offers online.

To Summarize here is a check list to help you when searching:

  • Organic Grown in the USA
  • Produced in the USA
  • 3 ingredients or less. (Give or take, but needless putting lots in is pointless)
  • 3rd Party Certificates of Analysis (Lab Reports)Does the report include:-Actual Product Name including the MG-Batch Code-Photo of product at the lab. (Not essential but ideal)-Test Certificate ID-Company Name and address of product
  • Does the Lab Report (COA) validate the test and claims? - Correct Potency -Pesticide Free - Solvent Free - Heavy Metal Free - Mold / Microbial Free
  • Do they offer refunds?
  • Do they have a secure website?

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