Understanding CBD: A Comprehensive Buyer's Guide
CBD Popularity and Growth
CBD (cannabidiol) is the most prominent among the 113+ cannabinoids in hemp extract. Though once skeptics anticipated the "CBD trend" would fizzle out, current projections indicate that by 2024, a whopping 35% of U.S. adults could be using CBD, with many trying it for the first time.
If you're contemplating diving into CBD, you may notice that prices, potency, and quality standards differ across brands. This guide will walk you through the essentials of CBD shopping.
Choosing the Right CBD Type
It's crucial to understand the three primary types of CBD. While most newcomers can use any hemp-derived CBD product, legal stipulations vary by state. When the U.S. government relaxed restrictions on hemp farming, they left the decision of legality to state lawmakers.
In most states, hemp-derived CBD is legal as long as the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content is below 0.3% by weight. Yet, some states permit only 0% THC products, while a few outright ban cannabis use. Before diving in, you must familiarize yourself with your state's laws.
- Full Spectrum CBD: This extract offers all additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients as nature intended. This includes a slight amount of THC. However, the ratio of CBD to THC ensures there's no intoxication. Combining these compounds enhances the "entourage" effect that cannabis is renowned for (Nahler et al., 2019).
- Broad Spectrum CBD: This hemp extract offers most of the same cannabinoids and terpenes as full spectrum, but THC is lowered to undetectable levels. Though it still provides the components for the entourage effect, some believe its effectiveness is less without THC.
- CBD Isolate is a highly refined product, resulting in a tasteless, odorless powder with 0% THC. Though it lacks other cannabinoids and terpenes for the entourage effect, research from 2020 found many positive outcomes from this "pure" form.
Refining by Product Type
According to a 2019 Plant de Terra® survey of almost 2,000 respondents, many reported benefits from a diverse range of CBD products. Once you've chosen your preferred CBD type, it's time to pick a specific product:
- CBD Oil Tinctures: These combine hemp extract with carrier oils. They're popular among new users mainly because they allow easy serving size adjustments. Mix them with food or drinks or hold them under the tongue before swallowing.
- CBD Softgels & Gummies: Offering precise CBD amounts, these are handy and consistent. Softgels are tasteless and sugar-free, while gummies usually have a fruity flavor.
- CBD Topicals offer fast-acting, targeted relief when applied to the skin. Some are designed for skin health, while others have warming/cooling agents for pain relief post-activity.
Factors to Consider While Shopping
CBD pricing varies by brand, and the best way to determine value isn't just the price per ounce but the price per milligram of CBD. Here are other factors to consider:
- CBD Concentrations: Typically, tinctures come in 30 ml bottles with various CBD concentrations. Gummies and softgels can have 2 to 30mg (or more) of CBD per piece.
- Extraction Methods: The preferred method for full and broad-spectrum products is CO2 extraction. For high-quality CBD isolate, food-safe ethanol extraction is optimal.
- CBD to THC Ratios: In full-spectrum CBD, the ratio ensures no intoxication. However, some brands might offer enhanced THC concentrations.
- Third-Party Testing: This confirms the purity and potency of products. Look for labs with ISO 17025 accreditation and always seek out a certificate of analysis (COA).
Identifying the Right CBD Seller
As the CBD market expands, the number of vendors increases. To ensure you're buying from a reputable brand:
- Check Reviews & Testimonials: Real customer feedback can provide insights. Stick with brands that use verified review services.
- Business Transparency: Look for information on farming practices, extraction methods, testing results, etc.
- Refund & Return Policies: Understand the vendor's return and satisfaction guarantee policies.
- Loyalty Programs & Subscription Plans: These can significantly reduce costs over time.
- Product Storage, Usage, & Safety: While CBD is safe for most, it's essential to consult healthcare professionals if uncertain.
Tips for First-time Buyers
Every CBD user is unique, and understanding this is vital:
- Be Patient: CBD effects can vary by individual.
- Avoid Sharing with Pets: Pet-specific CBD products are better suited for animals.
- Skin Benefits: For those keen on skincare, CBD offers multiple advantages.
- Quality Over Price: While price is a factor, product quality should be paramount.
Discover Why So Many CBD Users Choose Plant de Terra
Remember to dive into the world of CBD with an informed perspective. Consider exploring Plant de Terra®'s products and leverage their 2-minute CBD Quiz for a personalized product recommendation.