Cannabidiol, or CBD is an extract taken from cannabis plants. Although present in marijuana, CBD oil is most commonly extracted from agricultural hemp.
This is because these varieties of cannabis contain less THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical that produces psycho-activity in humans. THC is what makes people feel high. CBD offers many of the health benefits of medical marijuana without the high, making it more versatile and less controversial to both users and the community.
But, quality matters! Low-grade CBD oil may not offer the same levels of benefit offered by top rated CBD oil because of a variety of factors, and it could even potentially contain harmful toxins.
Here are five ways to identify quality CBD oil:
1. Manufacturing CBD: It Matters How CBD Oil Is Made
Unfortunately, due to the young age of the CBD oil industry, there aren’t many regulations that control the manufacturing process. This means that different CBD brands may have different extraction methods in order to process CBD oil from hemp.
Some companies, especially those who sell their products at a ridiculously low price, may use cheap methods when extracting CBD oil. This requires toxic solvents that are dangerous to our health such as propane, hexane, pentane, and butane. Two of these are commonly used in gas stoves and ranges, such as propane and butane, and all of them are hydrocarbon gases found in petroleum.
Other companies use organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to process CBD. The ethanol, which is essentially grain alcohol, is used to remove unneeded toxins and residues from the base hemp plant.
In addition, CBD oil can be extracted and manufactured through “super-critical CO2 extraction.” This process involves using carbon dioxide under high pressure in an extremely cold environment. Super-critical CO2 extraction requires expensive equipment, more complex refinement process and production expertise, but it ensures that CBD oil maintains its purity through the entire process.
TIP – Before purchasing any CBD oil, research the company’s production methods.
2. Where is it Grown? The Source of Your CBD Matters
Like any manufactured product, one of the best ways to ensure quality is to use high-quality materials. This is especially important in CBD oil because of the hemp plant’s characteristic as a “hyper-accumulator.” This means that the hemp plant easily absorbs anything that is present in the ground that it was cultivated in. If a hemp plant grew on rich soil, the resulting plant and CBD will be of high quality.
Being a hyper-accumulator also has drawbacks: If a hemp plant that is used in production of CBD oil was cultivated in a land that is rich in heavy metals such as mercury and lead, the resulting oil will reflect the amount of heavy metals absorbed by the plant, making it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children or others who are extremely vulnerable to toxins.
Sadly, some manufacturers would choose to purchase low-quality hemp to process as CBD oil, and such hemp may be polluted with heavy metals.
TIP – Look into where the CBD company sources their hemp from. Look for hemp grown in the USA, as US farmers are required to get certified by state departments of agriculture.
3. Check the Amount of THC Present in CBD Oil
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is one of the cannabinoids present in both marijuana and agricultural hemp, and it is the substance responsible for giving a psychoactive effect on the body. It is what gives a user a “high.”
TIP – The optimal level of THC present in CBD oils should not exceed more than 0.3 percent, so make sure that you check the labels or ask for lab results for the CBD oils before purchasing them.
4. Check For a “Whole-Plant” or “Full Spectrum” Label
Another quality of a good CBD oil is that it is manufactured using the whole plant. CBD Isolates are becoming increasingly popular, but in reality, it is a cheaper material than whole plant extracts. Using the whole plant, rather than using only one part, ensures that the oil contains not just CBD, but also the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the hemp plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are generally believed to work synergistically with CBD, making the benefits exponentially higher than CBD alone.
TIP – Check the labels on the product to determine if the manufacturer uses the whole plant in their products or check their websites for the information.
5. Check for third-party lab results when buying quality CBD
A high-quality brand of CBD will always provide third-party lab results to their consumers. Some laboratories find favorable results, while some products fail these tests. These independent labs exist to ensure that CBD oil is everything it claims to be, with a high level of CBD, low THC, and lacking in impurities that can be harmful to consumers.
TIP – A reputable brand of CBD oil should always have recent lab results available. Some provide them on their website, while others include them in the packaging or both.
For more information on quality CBD, click here.