7 Tips for Buying CBD Products
If you’re new to CBD, keep these tips in your back pocket to ensure you find the best product for your budget and needs.
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
September 27, 2021
Ready to make your first CBD oil purchase but aren’t sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
With a growing range of brands and product lines available, buying CBD products has never been more complicated. Unfortunately, not all CBD products are created equal, and it isn’t always easy to separate the good products from the bad.
Whether you use a high- or low-quality product will make a dramatic difference in the effects you experience, so doing your research before making a purchase is crucial to ensuring you feel the benefits of CBD.
With these 7 tips in mind, you’ll find the best CBD oil for your money and your personal needs.
1. Check the THC Content
Before you buy any CBD product, check the laws in your state regarding CBD oil and cannabis in general. Although many states have legalized CBD oil, a large proportion of them have restrictions on the THC content that is allowed in CBD products.
Federal law requires a THC concentration of 0.3%. or lower. If you are looking at a product with a THC concentration higher than that, you will only legally be able to purchase and possess it if you’re in a state that has legalized recreational cannabis.
2. Read the Ingredients
Always read the ingredients list when comparing different CBD products.
On one end of the spectrum, you’ll find products with additional ingredients that provide their own potential benefits, like melatonin or MCT oils. But on the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find CBD products that contain potentially harmful ingredients like propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, which are found in some CBD vape oils. Some CBD edibles might also contain artificial coloring and flavors, which likely won’t be too harmful, but also won’t help your health.
3. Understand CBD Terminology
Although you can ascertain most of what you need to know from the CBD product’s ingredients list, it’s useful to understand the terminology commonly used on packaging.
CBD isolate is CBD which has been extracted from the hemp plant and then isolated from all the other cannabinoids and compounds of the plant, including THC. This results in a CBD extract that is 99% pure.
Full spectrum CBD is CBD that has been extracted from the hemp plant and has not been isolated from hemp’s other naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids. Full Spectrum CBD will include THC, giving it more potential health benefits, but also making it illegal in some states.
Broad spectrum CBD is full spectrum CBD minus the THC. Broad spectrum CBD oils are perfect if you want to take advantage of the whole-plant benefits full-spectrum CBD products have to offer without the potentially mind-altering effects of THC.
4. Determine Dosage
One of the most important (and confusing) elements of buying CBD products is deciphering the dosage information. Without understanding the dosage of your CBD oil product, you won’t know how much to take or how long it will last you.
Most products, like CBD oil capsules and premade edibles are self-explanatory, and the dosage per individual piece should be consistent. So, for example, if you know your ideal dosage is 10mg of CBD every 4 hours, you might look for CBD oil capsules that contain exactly 10 mg per capsule so you can easily measure your intake throughout the day.
When buying CBD oil as a tincture or drops, calculating the amount of CBD per serving requires some math. The dropper provided with the product will usually be labeled to indicate 1ml of liquid, which you can count as a baseline serving size; so if you have a 30ml bottle it will contain 30 servings. The CBD drops/tincture should also indicate how many milligrams (mg) of CBD are in the bottle; let’s say there are 300 mg in this example. Simply divide the total CBD content (300 mg) by the number of servings (30) and you will know how much CBD you will get per dose (10mg of CBD per 1 ml serving).
Now, if you know that you’re aiming for 25mg of CBD per day, you’ll need to take 2.5 servings of the CBD oil daily. This means you’ll finish the bottle in 12 days (30 ml divided by 2.5 ml per day).
Finally, if you know you require a higher daily dosage of CBD, choosing a product with a higher concentration of cannabidiol may be the wiser, albeit more expensive, choice since you’ll need fewer servings throughout the day. Crunch the numbers, and find what suits your budget and needs.
CBD vape and lotion dosages will be trickier to nail down, as you may need more or less of the product on any given day. With these products, you may not be able to predict how long they’ll last based on dosage information.
If you’re looking for personalized CBD oil dosage advice, consider speaking with a cannabis doctor who specializes in using cannabidiol and other natural supplements to treat medical conditions.
5. Learn to Read a CBD Lab Report
Not everyone will be interested in reading lab reports, but they should be. It is one of the keys to ensuring that you’re buying a quality CBD product.
Any legitimate CBD manufacturer should be able to provide a valid lab report, or Certificate of Analysis, for prospective customers to read. This should be available on the CBD manufacturer’s website, but if not, contact the brand directly to request it.
When scanning the report, look for the following:
The publishing date of the report: The more recent the report, the more reliable and relevant it is.
Do the numbers match up with what’s advertised? If, for example, the product claims to contain 1200mg of CBD, the lab-tested figure listed on the Certificate of Analysis should match.
Lab accreditation. A report is only worthwhile if it is from an approved lab. Ideally, you’re looking for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) logo, which is the standard governing body for analyzing CBD products.
Contaminants. As part of analyzing the product, the lab will check for heavy metal and microbial contaminants. This information is usually found toward the end of the report. If the product received a “pass” classification, it is within the limits of acceptable contamination limits; if it received a “fail,” that particular batch of product contains harmful levels of contaminants.
6. Work within Your Budget
Price is one of the most important aspects of any buying decision. If you’ve found a CBD product that you like, take a few minutes to compare it to products with comparable potencies, taking into account shipping and any applicable discounts. If the other products are vastly different in price, find out why. Are you paying more for trendy packaging? Or, after checking the Certificates of Analysis, maybe that bargain price really is too good to be true.
At the end of the day, CBD is CBD, no matter what packaging it comes in. So, take your time to do some thoughtful product comparison and of course, check the reviews of the companies you’re thinking about buying for.
7. Check the Reviews
This might seem like a no-brainer, but checking the brand and customer reviews on any CBD product you’re thinking about buying is a must. A quick search of the CBD product will tell you whether the product worked for other customers, if there were unwanted side effects, and other helpful information to better inform your decision.
To make sure your money is going to a company you can trust, look up the brand reviews for the CBD producer you’re thinking about buying from. Do they use ethical farming and production practices? Do they add artificial ingredients? Do they lab test their product? (You can find all the answers to these questions in our brand review section.)
With these top tips for buying CBD products, you can shop with confidence, knowing you’ve chosen your CBD product wisely.
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