If you are interested in trying CBD oil, the options can be overwhelming. Where does one begin? I've been researching CBD hemp oil products for awhile now, and have personally tried many brands. As a former family caregiver, I understand that your free time is likely very limited, and any research is probably going into your loved one's health condition. So here's a handy list for what to look for when purchasing CBD hemp oil:
Product description: CBD and hemp are sometimes used interchangeably, though CBD is a component deprived from the hemp plant. Some products, like the stellar Charlotte's Web, refer to their products as hemp extract oil. You won't see CBD mentioned in its product labels, though they do mention CBD on its website. (Note that hemp seed oil made from seeds of the hemp plant, while nutrient-rich, does not contain the phytocannabinoids like CBD that hemp extract oil contains, which comes from the aerial parts of the plant.)
Potency: Once you've chosen a brand, you'll want to determine the correct potency for your needs. The potency of CBD hemp oil products can vary wildly. The key is to look for the amount of CBD offered per serving, versus the whole bottle. On the low end, I've seen brands offering 10 mg of CBD per serving to over 100 mg of CBD per serving on the high end. It is recommended to start at a lower dose and see how you react before increasing your dosage.
Full-spectrum vs. isolate: It's important to note whether the product is full-spectrum or an isolate. It is believed that a full spectrum product, which contains CBD and other cannabinoids, including small amounts of THC, create an entourage effect that offers the most effective way to get the full benefits of CBD. However, if you are required to take drug tests for work or any other reason, you may want to stick to an isolate which is processed to extract CBD only.
Flavorings: CBD hemp oil in its natural state has a distinct and typically strong plant taste. It can be bitter and vegetal in nature, and some people find it difficult to consume. Many brands of CBD hemp oil offer a flavored variety to make consumption easier. Charlotte's Web offers a tasty chocolate mint version. Koi offers popular citrus flavors.
Base oil: Companies bind CBD hemp oil with a neutral carrier oil, often a medium chain triglycerides (MCT) such as coconut oil. It's important to know the base oil to rule out any potential allergens. This should be clearly listed on the product label.
- Lab results: Most CBD hemp oil companies will make the lab results for their products available online or by request. It is recommended that consumers review such lab reports, if they are interested in the purity and quality, as well as THC and CBD levels of the product.
Beware of Amazon: Its seller agreement bans the sale of CBD products, which are considered to be controlled substances. I highly discourage purchasing any products on Amazon trying to skirt the company's ban. At the very least, it may not contain any CBD; at worst, it could contain unknown and potentially harmful ingredients.
- Reviews: For a product like CBD hemp oil, word of mouth reviews are valuable. While product reviews on vendors' websites can be suspect because they may have received the product for free in exchange for a review, forums like Reddit tend to offer more honest assessments. Your traditional family physician is unlikely to be familiar with CBD, but if you go to an alternative health practitioner, they may be able to offer product recommendations.
I know this sounds like a lot to consider. Check out my list of vetted CBD hemp oil companies, which is a good place to begin your CBD journey.