So you’ve heard about the therapeutic benefits to CBD, and you’ve seen all the raving reviews online. You’re ready to join the multitude of people who are taking advantage of this wonderful oil through the vast array of products available for purchase. Tinctures, oils, gummies, capsules, ointments, lotions – the list goes on. There are countless brands offering all these products, and words like “full-spectrum” and “CBD isolate” are thrown into the mix. With all these options, where should you begin?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with unfamiliar CBD terms, fear not! We’re here to help you navigate through the intricate world of CBD and guide you through some crucial questions to ask before making your first purchases.
DID THE CBD COME FROM INDUSTRIAL HEMP OR MARIJUANA?
First and foremost, the source of the CBD plays an important role in the final product. CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of chemical compound called a cannabinoid, which is naturally produced by the cannabis plant. There are many strains of cannabis, but two of the most common ones are Cannabis indica (marijuana) and Cannabis sativa (industrial hemp). Marijuana is well-known for its psychoactive effects that produce a high, which is due to its high levels of a cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Industrial hemp, on the other hand, has very low levels of THC and is abundant in its CBD count. If you want a product that is rich in cannabinoids, terpenes (which contributes to the plant’s aroma and flavor profiles), and other beneficial nutrients, but you don’t want the mind-altering high that comes with it, you’ll want to make sure that your CBD is extracted from industrial hemp.
WHERE IS THE PLANT GROWN?
Hemp can be sourced from all parts of the world, but the quality of the plant is not equal across the board. Countries like Spain, Portugal, Korea, and Ukraine are well-known for their hemp production. However, if you want to ensure that your CBD is held to the highest standards, be sure to purchase products made with hemp extract that is grown and harvested in the U.S. or in Canada. These companies will adhere to strict regulations – such as limits to THC levels (0.3% or less, for the record) – for your safety and benefit. For example, Way of Will’s CBD is grown in Colorado, so you can enjoy peace of mind that our CBD oil is made from top-quality hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.
WHAT WAS THE EXTRACTION METHOD USED?
There are a few ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. As cannabidiol continues to grow in demand, new extraction methods will be explored and developed to improve the quality and efficiency. Currently, three of the most common ways to extract CBD are through olive oil, a solvent, or by CO2 extraction.
Olive oil extraction has been around the longest, and is also the safest way to obtain CBD oil. It’s a simple process that is also relatively cost-efficient. However, the olive oil is not evaporated during the process and the resulting product will not be as potent or concentrated as other types of CBD oil. In addition, the presence of olive oil means that the CBD oil is highly perishable and will require a cool, dark place for storage. This limits the shelf life and the convenience of taking your CBD with you on the go.
Solvent extraction is a popular option for certain companies because it is the quickest and cheapest method. The downside is mainly at the consumer’s expense – the CBD oil suffers in quality and in taste. Common solvents used for this extraction method are typically highly flammable, such as ethanol, butane, propane, and alcohol. The plant’s waxes are also dissolved into the final product, resulting in the presence of chlorophyll in the CBD oil that can give it a bitter taste. If the extraction process is not done properly, solvent residue can linger in the final product and result in toxicity in the oil.
CO2 extraction is the most advanced and recommended method of obtaining CBD oil. It involves a complex process with costly equipment, but the resulting oil produced is superior in potency, purity, and quality compared to the other methods. Reputable companies – like Way of Will – who put their customers’ best interests first will invest in CBD oil produced via CO2 extraction.
IS IT FULL-SPECTRUM CBD OR CBD ISOLATE?
Regardless of the extraction method used, the outcome will be a full-spectrum CBD oil. This means that all of the plant’s various cannabinoids, terpenes, and other nutrients will be retained in the final product to give the CBD oil a myriad of therapeutic benefits. Do keep in mind that, because all of the hemp plant’s cannabinoids remain, there will be trace amounts of THC in the CBD oil as well.
CBD isolate, on the other hand, is created by splitting and isolating CBD from the other cannabinoids and active compounds, so the resulting product is 99% pure CBD. This form of cannabidiol also has a lot of benefits to it, but not nearly as much its full-spectrum counterpart.
Most people prefer full-spectrum CBD oil due to the “entourage effect” it possesses, wherein all the different cannabinoids work together to provide the user with a wider range of therapeutic benefits that CBD isolate lacks. Conversely, those who are sensitive to other types of cannabinoids or who do not want any traces of THC in their CBD products (for example, if you have a drug test coming up) would be better off with CBD isolate.
ARE THE LABELS CLEAR AND ACCURATE?
Not all companies are transparent about their ingredients, and some even provide inaccurate information on their packaging labels. This type of irresponsibility is unfair to consumers and can even be detrimental. For example, falsely claiming zero THC content in a CBD product can result in a failed drug test or lead to unwanted effects from consuming the product. It is always recommended to buy from reputable brands that are trusted and backed by lots of happy customers. These companies will adhere to guidelines and regulations to ensure that product safety and quality are of the highest priorities. When purchasing CBD products, always look for the CBD content (stated in milligrams) – which should be clearly visible at the front of the label – to ensure that the concentration levels are right for you.
When it comes to your health and wellness, don’t settle for less because of temptingly low prices offered by shady companies. CBD can offer a wide range of therapeutic benefits, but low-quality and questionable products can do more harm than good for your well-being. If you take heed to the advice above, you’ll be able to find safe, quality products that will meet your needs and set you on the right path to wellness.