What to look for in CBD products

With the plethora of CBD products flooding the market, you probably wonder what to look for in CBD. You know that I love reading and writing about CBD. But, I’ve never really written about what to look for in CBD oils, topicals or edibles. So today, let’s dive in and learn to identify quality products.

First, let me state that CBD and hemp products are relatively new players on the therapeutic stage. But, as they gain popularity, they also are ripe for rip-offs and con artists looking to separate you from your cash. Before you buy, be informed.

First, what is CBD? Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a nonpsychoactive hemp or cannabis compound. It has potential health benefits, as you may already know if you read these blogs. The popularity of CBD is exploding. But, not all CBD is created equal.

You need to know what to look for before you rush out to buy CBD. There is a lack scientific studies about the benefits of CBD. However, there is some scientific and clinical research—much of it sponsored by the US government. The research shows that CBD has potential to treat conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders.

This guide is not comprehensive. But, it’s important to learn about CBD products—topicals, gummies, oil, tinctures or edibles. Know what condition you are trying to treat or what benefit you hope to gain.

Tips for choosing CBD products

From there, choose quality over price. But, higher price is a fallible measure of quality.

To help you decide what to look for in CBD, here are four basic beginning points:

Manufacturing CBD

  1.  First, ask how the company extracts the CBD from the cannabis plant. If these toxic chemicals are present in extraction—propane, hexane, pentane and butane, which are flammable hydrocarbon gases found in petroleum—walk away. Fast. Two healthful extraction methods are done with organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol or a process called supercritical CO2 extraction. Look for that instead.
    C02 CBD extraction schematic
    C02 extraction schematic

    Sourcing CBD

  2. Second, find out where the cannabis or hemp originated. How it was grown, and the species, sativa, ruderalis or indica. Hemp easily draws toxins from the soil. If the growing environment isn’t clean, your CBD probably isn’t either. One of the best sources of CBD is organic-certified, hemp-grown farms in pristine regions of Europe. If you can find it, US-grown hemp can be a good source, too. US farmers are required to be certified by state departments of agriculture. Check a company’s website or inquire with its customer service to get that information.

         CBD purity

  1. Third, find out if the CBD made from the whole plant? Look for a label that says whole plant or full spectrum. The whole plant contains CBD as well as a full range of primary and secondary parts of the hemp plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids that enhance the CBD, making the benefits far higher than CBD alone.

       Lab results

  1.  Fourth, check whether a third-party lab has tested test the oil. That way you can ensure the CBD is what its label claims. A company willing to use a third-party independent lab has nothing to hide. Look for high levels of CBD, with trace levels of other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG and CBN to name a few. Look for test results for potential impurities such as solvents, pesticides and heavy metals to ensure a safe product. Reputable companies will provide their lab results if you ask or may even put it right on the products.


There you have it. A beginner’s guide to buying CBD. There’s more to know, but this will get you started. Do your homework to find the best products that meet your needs.

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