As a writer it is always nice to work on topics that are suited to my interests; two in particular being Cannabis and music. And I mention music because it has a lot of similar issues as the CBD market, most notably a lack of real experts and any sort of industry standard when buying online!
Imagine you are complete beginner with music, and you decide to buy a new instrument like a guitar. You will be shocked to find they come in almost all price ranges and a bazillion companies make them. Even reputable companies that you may have heard of before are constantly being counterfeited. Any deals too good to be true likely are, and if you aren’t careful you can get an unplayable piece of junk!
It is clearly stressful and can make you just want to throw your hands in the air and buy whatever and hope it works out! However we don’t want you to make that decision with any product. The bad news with CBD is that these problems do exist, the good news is with some savvy consumer skills you will have all the better chance of buying quality CBD oil!
Before you purchase any CBD oil it is important to know the reality of the situation. CBD was just made “legal” in 2018, the word being in quotes because the USA has a myriad of conflicting state and federal laws that can’t make their mind up on Cannabis. As long as the plant contains less than 0.3% of THC it is now legal to grow and harvest. And the most valuable chemical to harvest after THC is the cannabinoid CBD. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
Despite this legal paradox you the consumer should have no trouble purchasing CBD. It has exploded across the markets both online and even in brick and mortar stores. There is so much out there it actually takes a little research on what to buy and from which company. At the end of the day the CBD oil market is in a Wild West situation where anything goes. Tread carefully!
Tips for Buying CBD
Why Are You Buying CBD?
This may seem so silly and obvious, but really it is the most important question. If you are buying CBD for help with daily anxiety, well you stand a better chance of finding a product that might help. If your pet has a major disease and this is a last ditch effort to save them, well that is a much bigger problem that you are not prepared for.
And that’s not to say CBD oil may not be good for animals or people with major problems, the point is are you willing to jump into something so heavy without proper research? Simply put if you are buying CBD oil as a medical miracle, you are likely to be very disappointed in any product and dosage. We are all new members in this CBD club, let’s keep things simple to start with.
CBD has very little peer reviewed research, that is a fact. Anecdotal evidence and personal stories are not enough to make health claims, and in fact can be very wrong at times (look at all the anecdotal hype against vaccines). Any decent business selling CBD will be honest with the facts and low on the hype.
Yes, it is a fine line to balance. As a writer I am here to inform you as much as possible about CBD. Many of us in the industry have great hopes for the medical value of CBD and Cannabis in general, and a little hype is ok as it is finally legal, exciting, and new. However we will also be the first to tell you that we are not making any health claims and that any medical discussions should be with your doctor. If you don’t find this level of honesty in a CBD seller, avoid them!
FDA Warning Letters
One simple way to filter out the bad CBD dealers is to read which companies have received warning letters from the FDA. https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/warning-letters/koi-cbd-llc-593391-11222019 Now for those who may think the FDA is the enemy, keep in mind they warn some companies about very shady behavior. When you buy CBD you want to be sure that it is pure oil and not a mixture of hemp extract cannabinoids. While every CBD product will claim the highest quality its helpful to know the ones that are not being honest.
What Does the Label Say?
A common problem with both CBD and THC products is packaging that sure looks real, but for a fake product. Last fall during the vaping health epidemic many of the culprits were counterfeit THC cartridges. For the most part they come in pretty solid and legal looking packages… or do they? https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html
A legitimate product is likely to have lab results on the side, where it was made, and often even QR codes (these allow you to check that the product actually has been tested). Another pointer for labels is avoid those that have flashy packaging. A medicine is sold in a discreetly and professionally labeled package, a toy or counterfeit product is sold with flash and pizzazz!
Learn to Read Lab Results
Many reputable companies will not only show lab test results, but also how to read them. They will break down the difference in pure CBD and just various cannabinoid compounds. This will certainly be helpful in knowing more about the specifics of the pill or method you are ingesting.
But also don’t forget that until more science comes along these lab results, dosages, and methods of ingesting have very little meaning. There is no uniformly agreed on CBD dose and how you take it may make a big difference. I have my concerns about vaping and any potential health effects, but it may be the best way to use CBD. Right now we simply don’t know.
Consider THC Levels
Remember there are multiple chemicals in the Cannabis plant that may be of use, the most popular are CBD and THC. If you live in a state where Cannabis is legal you will want to be sure your CBD oil is THC free. If you are ordering online this is likely no problem. And if someone is trying to ship something with THC then you definitely should avoid that company and any legal peril coming its way.
Reviews and Feedback
And of course one universal tip for buying anything, does the company have good reviews? Do they have decent interactions with customers, happy experiences, maybe even good return policies? Some very basic social media and Google research should quickly give you an idea of whether the company may be selling a quality CBD oil product.
So there are some basic tips on buying CBD oil online, as you research more you will find many other good ideas. https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/how-to-shop-for-cbd/ If you are to the point where you are ready to look and buy, make sure the first person you talk to is your doctor. Even if they are still in the learning process you will at least know you are getting info that isn’t backed by sales. With a professional opinion and some common sense you will be ready to find the best CBD oil for your circumstances!