What to Look For in the CBD Market


By now, unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably at least familiar with CBD. Since its explosion in popularity a couple years ago, it now seems that you can find something claiming to be CBD at every health food store, farmer’s market, and gas station across the country.  People all over are gushing about the virtues to their friends and family, begging them to try out this new miracle oil, straight from the hemp plant. CBD has many benefits, and with that come many fans.

 With that popularity comes something else though, a swarm of dicey products making questionable claims, peddled by suspect sellers and websites. If you are looking to get all the benefits from CBD you keep hearing about from CBD users and sellers, how do you avoid the low-quality purveyors that may not be selling the highest quality product? A few helpful tips to help you quickly see through the hype, and make an educated decision about the next CBD product you purchase.

Know Where the Hemp Came From

Good CBD starts with good hemp, and starting with the right hemp is critical. Hemp is a powerful bio-accumulator; it absorbs anything found in the soil it grows in. If hemp is grown in fields that are laced with pesticides or contaminants, it is going to end up in the plant, and then in the CBD extracted from that plant. Look for hemp sourced within the United States, where clean water and soil standards are highest. Organic standards are still in their infancy for hemp, but many reputable hemp growers are already following the strictest organic farming standards from other agricultural crops.

Look at Actual CBD Content

Many CBD sellers play “hide and seek” with the actual amount of CBD in their product. They may tell you the total ounces in a bottle or capsule, but not how much of that is actually CBD and how much is something else. CBD is always measured in milligrams, so any product claiming “ounces” of CBD is deliberately misleading you. Check the Supplements Fact label, and make sure it says how much of the stuff in the package is actually CBD. Also, avoid sugary candies or sweet-flavored gummies, these almost always sacrifice high CBD content in favor of simply adding sugar.

Demand Full-Spectrum, Not Isolate

We know that many users are rightfully concerned about THC. They don’t want to feel a “high” from their CBD product, and they may be concerned about the legality of any CBD product that is full-spectrum. These concerns are valid, but the law states that all hemp CBD products with a THC level of less 0.3% are perfectly legal. This is less than a third of one-percent, so most concerns about feeling intoxicated are misplaced. For CBD to work its best, you need all the cannabinoids found naturally in the hemp plant, so products that only use “isolate” are less effective. Isolate just means that the CBD molecule has undergone chemical processing and stripping in a lab, rendering it less natural and less effective. For the best CBD effects, stick to full-spectrum CBD oil and avoid products that say they are isolate, “0-THC” or broad-spectrum, which are all indications that the product is not true full-spectrum CBD.

Look For 3rd Party Lab Tests

Any seller can claim purity and potency of their product, but it takes independent lab tests to back that up. Look for CBD sellers that make public actual lab results from third-party lab. A full lab work-up should include the amount of THC in each dose, what pesticides and heavy metals were tested for, and results of bacteria and contamination tests. The gold standard is a 5-panel test from an independent ISO-certified hemp testing laboratory. Request a Certificate of Analysis from sellers of any ingestible CBD product you are considering if they do not provide one upfront.

While following these tips won’t necessarily guarantee you will find the perfect CBD product for you, it will help you weed out the weakest options in the CBD market, and help you know which questions to ask to determine which CBD product is right for you. One final tip, if you decide to order CBD online, don’t try to order CBD from Amazon. Amazon specifically prohibits listings for CBD products, so any product on Amazon masquerading as having significant CBD is likely misleading their customers, as well as falsifying their product listing details.