CBD Buying Guide

Even a month ago this article would have started off with a mention about how big CBD business has become. We see signs from a multitude of local stores and of course our online world is teeming with ads, blogs, and the occasional genuine news article about this popular cannabinoid. However now with the shadow of COVID-19 across much of the world it is too be seen how much business will be affected.

In the meantime though during the throes of a pandemic, it is most likely that CBD oil and preparations are going to have incredible sales. With the sudden peak interest and fear of bad health, everyone the world over will do what they can to stay well. So whether you have already been curious about CBD or if the current situation has brought you here, let’s take a look at some tips and pointers on buying CBD!

What is CBD?

As we all know the Cannabis sativa plant has been used since ancient times for food, oil, rope, dye, and of course its intoxicating abilities. The chemical in the plant that gets you high is THC and that is only legal to grow and possess in a few states. In 2018 a new law was passed that allowed hemp to be grown and sold.

2018 Farm Bill

Now hemp is still the Cannabis or marijuana plant, the difference is that it legally has under 0.3% THC. According to the 2018 Farm Bill as long as these criteria were met, hemp could be used. And Cannabis has a lot of active chemicals, after THC the most popular is CBD. This cannabidiol (CBD) is very easy to extract making it a bit of a gold mine for growers. https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/2018-farm-bill

The Truth about CBD

There has always been a lot of hope for potential medical uses of Cannabis, but the fact is we have very few peer reviewed studies. So far, we know that CBD seems to work on a rare seizure disorder, and it has some other uses that seem promising. Otherwise any claim you see made about CBD is not entirely true and sometimes downright false. It is up to you as the consumer to have some healthy skepticism and to do your own research. https://ideas.ted.com/heres-the-truth-about-cbd-from-a-cannabis-researcher/

What are the different way people consume CBD?

Now there are different methods of prepping CBD oil to increase bioavailability, that alone could be its own article. But for now we are going to look at the main methods of ingestion for CBD oil without getting bogged down in specifics.

Oral

Whether the CBD oil is put in a capsule or baked into an edible, the oral route is the most common method of use. The main problem with the oral route for most medications is that during digestion certain enzymes can inhibit the amount of the drug actually getting to your brain. We also aren’t too sure yet whether or not it should or shouldn’t be taken with food. As the guinea pig it is up to what you feel works best.

Sublingual

This is placing a medicine underneath your tongue, so it dissolves into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestion. This method is often used for tinctures, and if they are made from alcohol it can burn! Normally a sublingual dose is much smaller than something swallowed as you theoretically should need less with better bioavailability.

Topical

While this is a common method it is easy to have ones doubts because for the most part CBD and THC are not absorbed into the bloodstream from the skin. Only when they are mixed with other chemicals to create transdermal patches are they then made bioavailable. That’s not to say CBD has no effects for being rubbed on the skin. It may very well have multiple positive topical uses, but it likely won’t help anxiety from just using a normal lotion.

Inhalation

This is a tough one, because it’s obvious for years that Cannabis is mostly smoked and that’s one of the best ways to get the effects. There is every chance that CBD does the most good when smoked and inhaled. Unfortunately that may not be the safest method, especially with modern vaping. It is very common to see people vaping CBD. Don’t forget that vaping isn’t vapor, it is an aerosol of a burnt oil (the CBD oil and whatever it is mixed with as a carrier). And chemically speaking putting aerosol in your lungs is likely not a good long term decision. https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/teen-vaping/

Suppositories

As unsavory as this one is, it is a great way to increase bioavailability, even better than sublingual or oral. Just be sure that a reputable company is making this form as you want to be certain that even the inactive ingredients are safe to put where they are going! At many Cannabis and THC stores in legal states you see suppositories gaining in popularity, perhaps it will be more common in CBD soon.

What should I look for when buying?

This is not the easiest advice to give in this situation. If you have an FDA approved drug like acetaminophen you can easily look for a store that carries the recommended dosages that science and physicians have figured out. In the case of CBD none of this exists, in fact in some studies the dosages of CBD used is much higher than normal! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710502/

And besides not having the info it is also illegal to make any claims about dosages or outcomes with any unapproved food or drug. When giving advice on buying CBD unfortunately it involves a lot of common sense and a keen eye to spot scammers. Look out for these main tips when you finally take the plunge to buy your own CBD oil. 

Is the seller being honest?

This is one of the biggest factors. Remember there is no solid science behind much of this, it will be easy to tell who is honest and who is just making outlandish claims. It’s one thing for a seller and grower of hemp to be excited about potential benefits, it’s totally different to make up lies. If a business is telling you their CBD will cure cancer, its best to find another company.

What kind of oil is it?

Another very important factor! Some oils are broad spectrum cannabis extracts, this means other active chemicals in the Cannabis plant are present. All you want is pure extracted CBD oil. Make sure it specifically states what kind of oil it is.

What are the doses?

While science may not know the specific doses required, any company should be exactly aware of how much CBD is in their preparations. Basically any company that is very vague about there product shouldn’t be used. The more specifics the likelier the product will be superior.

Is there THC in it?

Especially if you live in a state that allows for legal adult use of Cannabis you want to make sure your preparation of CBD is completely THC free. That way you won’t have to worry about side effects or legal problems

Are there lab results?

Often reputable companies will post specific lab results for their products, in fact most companies do this now. Sometimes it can be fraudulent, so you have to do your best to discern what is real. Often true lab results can be traced online to exact dates and times. As the market grows expect the better companies to have proven results of the best CBD preparation.

Conclusion In these current times of anxiety and near panic it can seem natural to want to find an organic and natural method to ease stress and boost health. We have no idea what the future of CBD and Cannabis may hold but, in the meantime,  we are hopeful that it will be a beneficial and useful compound for a variety of ailments. And until the science catches up it is our responsibility to make educated and informed decisions when buying CBD and any dietary supplement for that matter.