Let’s face it: CBD is everywhere these days. You can get it at your local health food store or from a thousand online-based brands that all sound the same. You can buy it from cannabis dispensaries and even some gas stations. So how do you know if your CBD is high quality?
Many people use CBD to help with issues around pain, anxiety, and sleep, as well as more serious health problems. Not all CBD is created equal. And with all the “noise” out there, it can be tough knowing who to trust.
We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll be going over 5 sure signs your CBD is high quality. Looking for these five traits in any CBD product will help you make the best choice possible:
- Clear Labeling
- Transparent Sourcing and Testing
- Premium Ingredients
- Fair Pricing
- A Focus on Education
1. Clear Labeling
You’d think all CBD products out there would be clearly labeled…but that’s actually not the case. So opt for a product that makes finding important dosing information easy.
A CBD product’s label should clearly state both its CBD content per bottle/full container and its CBD content per serving. Higher values mean a more potent product; most CBD products have total CBD content in the 250-1500 milligram range.
And if you’re buying your CBD From Amazon, be careful. Many suppliers there are mislabeling hempseed oil as hemp/CBD oil and simply listing the total weight of the product on its label — not the CBD content itself. If you see products saying things like “30,000mg” or “15,000mg hemp oil,” this is why. What actually matters is a product’s CBD content.
2. Transparent Sourcing and Testing for High Quality CBD
Does that CBD oil you’re looking at let you know where it came from or how it was produced? If not, there’s probably a reason. Some CBD is sourced from virtually untraceable producers in China or West Europe. That’s not good for ensuring any type of quality standards.
Instead, look for CBD sourced from hemp grown in the country you’re in. If you live in America, consider US-grown hemp and US-based companies. Extra point for CBD products produced in a vertically integrated facility.
Companies should also disclose how their CBD was extracted. To make CBD oil, the hemp plant’s most active ingredients need to be concentrated, and typically producers use solvents to do this. And of course, some solvents are better than others. But which ones are they?
Look for companies that use either CO₂, ethanol, cane alcohol, or cold-pressed extraction methods to make their products; a product’s label should tell you which method was used. These natural solvents produce higher-quality CBD and don’t leave any harmful chemicals behind.
Once again, transparency is king. CBD companies need to disclose all of this information by providing customers access to their product’s lab test results on their CBD Certificate of Analysis (or COA). Products that’ve been tested by independent labs (also called “3rd-party” labs) are even more trustworthy.
At the very least, CBD products need to undergo two tests: one to ensure THC content stays under .3%, and another to ensure freedom from residual chemicals and solvents. Tests for a product’s terpene content are helpful, too.
If a company isn’t telling you how they make their CBD or disclosing their test results…they might just have something to hide.
Also Read: Just what the heck is Nano CBD?
3. High Quality CBD Uses Premium Ingredients
Most CBD products contain more than just pure CBD or hemp extract. CBD oils, for example, are diluted to just the right consistency by what’s called a carrier oil.
MCT oil, coconut oil, hempseed oil, and olive oil are among the best carrier oils out there. One recent study of CBD oils found that those made with MCT’s had the longest shelf life and least amount of breakdown.
Flavored CBD oils bring up a number of other questions. Primarily, you want to find out the source of the flavoring. Is it organic, or at least 100% natural? Shy away from companies that use artificial colors or flavors in their CBD. To us that kind of defeats the whole purpose. That’s a sign that you’re not dealing with a high quality CBD.
The best option of all? CBD that is certified organic by the USDA. Currently only a few products have certification, that will be changing soon. Organic certification gives consumers true peace of mind that products are free from synthetic chemicals, harmful pesticides, and genetic modification.
Additionally, there’s US Hemp Authority certification, which also accompanies some of the industry’s best CBD brands. Look for both certifications in the product(s) of your choosing.
4. Fair Pricing
There’s a goldilocks zone for high quality CBD pricing. Aim for products that aren’t too high or too low. Go for the ones that are priced just right.
Pricing by milligram is a great strategy because CBD products are powered by their actual CBD content. Anything priced in the 5-10 cents/milligram range is usually ideal. Here are some examples:
A 250 mg CBD oil for $25 = 10 cents/milligram
25/250 = .10
A 900mg CBD oil for $60 = 6.6 cents/milligram
60/900 = .066
You might ask: What about products that are priced higher than 10 cents/milligram? Maybe they’re luxury CBD products actually better than the rest…but more likely someone just wanted a larger profit margin. Here’s an example:
A 500 mg CBD oil for $75 = 15 cents/milligram
75/500 = .15
And products priced too low may not be any better. The old adage “you get what you pay for” really is true. Remember the fake CBD from Amazon we mentioned earlier? Doing the math on its supposed CBD content sets off some red flags:
A 30,000 mg “hemp oil” for $20 = .06 cents/milligram
20/30,000 = .00066
5. A Focus on Education
This quality has more to do with CBD companies than the products they sell…but if you’re thinking of buying from any particular company, it doesn’t hurt to do a little due diligence.
A simple look at a brand’s website can tell you a lot. Look for general info about CBD, an informative FAQ section, and even interactive customer support. Do you feel like the brand is trying to help you along in your knowledge of CBD…or just trying to sell you their newest CBD product?
There’s nothing wrong with flashy marketing, as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of unbiased education. Brands that make wild claims about their CBD products should be avoided. The FDA often shuts these companies down.
Instead, look for brands and products that strike a healthy balance. If a brand is working to educate its customers and build the best products possible, they probably will want to share the news that their products are great! Balance is everything.
The Greenest is a collective of doctors, pharmacists, dietitians, veterinarians, ex-and-current budtenders, medicinal mushroom and adaptogen experts — as well as CBD and hemp experts. The Greenest was launched to help those curious about the intersection of health, wellness and how we can all live better. We want to answer (in laymen’s terms) all the questions you have around living a better life.