People are using CBD to treat insomnia, anxiety, the aches and pains of arthritis, and many other conditions, and here’s why: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and it does not get you high. So it’s no wonder that demand has exploded, and companies are popping up overnight to meet the growing need — estimates are now that more than 3,000 companies in the U.S. are making and marketing CBD products.
Before you buy CBD at a gas station (or online) there are a few things you must know:
- Quality matters in this market. This isn’t a wax you’re putting on your car, it’s an herbal substance going into your body, so you want to make sure it’s as pure and potent as you can get.
- There is still no regulatory oversight of the CBD industry. Quality control is up to the producers. It’s the classic buyer-beware scenario, which means there’s nothing stopping bad actors from putting out bad products — which could be hazardous to your health. Some things to consider about any form of CBD before you buy:
Where was the CBD grown?
Hemp is a bio-accumulator; it sucks up what’s in the ground. If it’s grown where there are toxins such as lead or other chemicals in the soil, those are going to end up in the hemp, and anything that’s extracted from it. You want CBD that’s derived from certified organic hemp. This can be found in the U.S., Europe, or other parts of the world. But stay away from hemp from places like China or Russia.
How was the CBD extracted?
The two most common methods of CBD oil extraction are using CO2, which produces a cleaner oil, and alcohol, which may leave trace amounts of ethanol in the extract. As detailed at Project CBD:
“The supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal oil. This process requires expensive equipment and a steep operational learning curve. But, when done well the end product is safe, potent, and free of chlorophyll.”
Also from Project CBD:
“High-grade grain alcohol can be used to create high-quality cannabis oil appropriate for vape pen cartridges and other products. But this extraction method destroys the plant waxes, which may have health benefits that are favored by some product-makers.”
Knowing the types of CBD
Another key factor to consider when you are shopping for CBD: Is it CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum? Why does this matter? Let’s define these terms:
- Full-spectrum CBD includes all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the particular hemp plant that’s being processed. Perhaps you’ve heard of the ‘entourage effect.’ In this mental model of the cannabis / hemp plant, the sum is greater than its parts; the various chemical compounds — including a minute amount of THC, .03 percent, not enough to get you high — work together, like a symphony, amplifying the therapeutic effects of the plant.
- Broad-spectrum CBD includes all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds, except for THC. This you still get the benefit of the entourage effect, but without the risk of showing positive on a drug test that might detect that minute amount of THC that is present in full-spectrum CBD.
- CBD isolate is the cannabidiol molecule itself, without any other terpenes or cannabinoids. If you suspect the entourage effect is not real, you might opt for a CBD isolate product.
Are there CBD test results available?
Reputable brands know they must prove to customers that their product is clean and pure, and they will provide third-party test results with detailed information about:
- The spectrum of cannabinoids in the extract: Full-spectrum (other compounds and might contain a trace of THC), broad-spectrum (other compounds, no THC) or isolate (no other compounds, CBD only)
- Potency of the product, usually expressed as a percentage of weight, or as milligrams
- Terpene profile
- Absence of heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury
- Absence of pesticides, mycotoxins (indicating mold) and solvent residue
It’s also prudent to choose a brand that has been in business for at least a few years, displays the address of an actual place place of business on their site, and has real reviews from real people. Kannaboom features CBD brands that have been certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, because that’s the most rigorous certification we can find. (Listen to our podcast with USHA board president Marielle Weintraub.)
Here are some top CBD brands
Elixinol Daily Balance CBD Capsules
- Certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority
- 450 mg, 15 mg per capsule
- Encapsulated liquid for superior absoption
- Super-critical CO2-extracted full-spectrum hemp oil
- Free shipping in the U.S.
Charlotte’s Web Original Formula CBD Oil
- U.S. Hemp Authority certified
- 1,500 mg, 50 mg of CBD per 1 ml serving
- Whole-plant formulation
- Original, small-batch formula
R+R Medicinals Hemp Extract Tincture
- Full-spectrum CBD hemp extract, MCT oil from coconut and natural peppermint flavoring, or unflavored
- Available in 500mg, 1000mg and 2500 mg bottles
- U.S. Hemp Authority-certified, made from Colorado-grown organic hemp
- 30-day risk-free trial
This full-strength, phytonutrient-rich formula is R+R Medicinal's daily use tincture for natural relief.* One serving (1mL or 40 drops) of the dropper delivers a 16.67mg serving of CBD hemp extract. The full phytonutrient blend delivers a complete entourage effect from the natural terpenes, flavonoids, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
*Consult with your physician and employer before consuming any hemp supplement, especially if you’re subject to testing, pregnant, breastfeeding, or on a prescribed medication. We advise you not to use this product if you are subject to testing. Use as directed. Use caution while driving or operating machinery. Contains trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC. Keep out of reach of children.
CBDistillery CBD Softgels
- U.S. Hemp Authority certified
- Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum formluations
- Available in 30- or 60-count bottles
- Derived from non-GMO, U.S.-grown industrial hemp
CBDistillery Full Spectrum CBD Softgels Capsules are a convenient and portable way of getting your daily hemp-derived CBD in a smooth gelatin shell, and always in a consistent 30 mg dose.
Available in broad-spectrum and full-spectrum formulations, available in 30 or 60 count bottles.
Medterra CBD Gummies
- U.S. Hemp Authority certified
- Three varieties: Sleep Tight, Keep Calm and Stay Alert
- 30 gummies per package, 25 mg of CBD per gummy
- Made with CBD isolate, contains zero THC
Medterra's CBD Gummies have 25mg of CBD isolate in each gummy, in a plant-based formulation with natural fruit flavoring and no sugar coating or high-fructose corn syrup.
†Representations regarding the efficacy and safety of Medterra have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease. Consult your physician prior to use if you are pregnant, nursing or using other medications.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.