Cannabis has taken the health industry by storm recently and with the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, the oil from hemp is no longer considered a schedule 1 drug in the US. Cannabidiol (CBD) from the hemp plant has skyrocketed in popularity, as it offers health benefits without the “high” that we’re familiar with when we think of cannabis. Cannabis sativa is high in THC (the part responsible for the euphoric effect) and low in CBD. It’s cousin hemp on the other hand, is extremely low in THC but is rich in CBD, the compound that is gaining recognition for alleviating pain, decreasing anxiety, reducing seizures and helping with insomnia to name a few. When CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, it can be used as a health supplement, most taken orally in oil form.
But how do you know which brand to choose? It seems like a new brand goes on the market nearly every day and this trend will likely continue for a long while. Here are 3 important things to look for to get a safe, high quality product for the best results.
1. Where does it come from and how is it manufactured?
It’s hard to know for sure where the ingredients are sourced when it comes to reading food labels. The good thing about this industry thus far, is that many hemp farms are becoming more transparent about their process and practices. There is a growing number of American farms that produce oil, which makes it easier to look up the company information and do some research. Transparency is so important here. Finding a brand that is open about where they source it, preferably a domestic farm, is the first step in knowing about the quality.
Believe it or not, sometimes the way the oil is processed can leave behind toxic residues that are unsafe by popular belief. Chemicals like pesticides, butane and heavy metals can wind up in the finished product, which one could assume, would defeat the beneficial purpose of consuming the oil, just like any other product used to improve health. The CO2 extraction method is recent favorite because it’s a naturally occurring compound and leaves behind a cleaner, safer product. Look for this information on labels or the website to know for sure.
2. Is there a third-party lab report?
Even though CBD is still not regulated by the FDA, many consumers have demanded proof of the ingredients and concentration of the oil. Providing these results can help a brand keep up with the competition, as higher standards are rising. A company should be transparent about how their oils test, by a third-party laboratory, and offer to show consumers the results either directly on the website or by request. If there is no proof of what’s in the bottle, you don’t really know what you’re taking or if it’s safe. This is a great way to get a high-quality product worth spending your money on. Ideally, there should be only a few ingredients in the finished product and a lab report will tell you how much CBD per serving there is. Of course, it’s also helpful in ensuring there are no toxic ingredients in the oil either.
3. Is it priced fairly?
With the growing popularity of CBD products, prices have started to drop. You can find products on Amazon and maybe even your local gas station. But the fact is, it costs more money to make higher quality products, so if it costs $20 or so, it likely doesn’t have enough concentration to be of significant benefit. On the other hand, it shouldn’t cost an arm and leg either. Be careful of brands that could just be reaping the rewards of the hype and overcharging for a product that doesn’t meet a higher standard. Do some research and get to know what a fair market price is, usually around $50 to $100, so long as the above-mentioned points are in place.