Updated: Aug 17, 2018
With so much conflicting information – here’s an honest guy’s guide to what you should know before you purchase CBD.
Cannabidiol - the cannabinoid known as CBD, is fast becoming recognized around the world for its health, wellness and medical benefits. With the current crisis of opiate addiction and the lengthy list of side effects that accompany these prescription drugs, CBD is finally being viewed as a superior alternative to treat opiate addiction as well as a diverse range of other ailments without the risk of side effects or addiction.
Whether you are using it as a preventative supplement or as a means to treat an illness or injury, as with any new products on the market, it is important to know which CBD products are the safest and can be most beneficial for you.
I am the type of guy who likes to research before I buy. I have noticed that recently cannabinoid research is being ramped up and I am learning more every day. So, I will share with you as I go through this process and find out more valuable information.
Currently, the CBD marketplace is filled with a diverse range of tinctures, isolates, edibles and skincare ointments that claim to be the most potent, cost effective and naturally produced products available. But how do you know what to look for in a CBD product to feel assured it is the right one for you?
In my ongoing research into CBD I have found three main factors to consider before purchasing CBD:
First, is the CBD you are purchasing grown organically?
The hemp plant is a toxin accumulator. What this means is that the plant absorbs all of the toxins - harmful chemicals and heavy metals that are used as pesticides, or found in non-organic soil - which leads to the quality and safety of the hemp plant being greatly compromised. In fact, non-organic CBD products, could do more harm than good!
Instead, organic farmers follow the PAMS methodology: Prevention, Avoidance, Monitoring, and Suppression to ensure all plants and food are free from contamination.
So, to ensure your CBD is 100% organic and non-GMO, America’s Department of Agriculture’s stamp of approval should be present on the packaging of the CBD oil that you purchase. Also, the method of extraction can leave toxins behind so check its been third party tested for heavy metals and solvents.
Secondly, where in the world is your CBD oil grown and manufactured, does matter!
Currently, 70% of CBD is imported from China, Russia and Korea and cheap sources can come from India too. However, the regulations placed on growing and extracting procedures in these countries do not come close to what America and European Union follow. With such lack of government regulation in those regions, there’s a significant chance of contamination in the CBD oil that is being produced. As a result, the risk of mold, mildew and other toxins are far higher in CBD imported from these countries.
Therefore, it is important to check where your CBD is being produced so you are sure that it is meeting the highest standards possible and you’re not choosing on price alone and risking the purity and quality.
Thirdly, know the difference between CBD isolate and Full Spectrum Hemp Extracts.
Researching into this amazing plant, I have realized that Mother Nature has already provided us with the perfect combination of molecules that work synergistically to complement our body’s own ECB (Endocannabinoid System). So, what does this have to do with CBD isolate?
If a product claims to be a CBD isolate, it means that during the extraction process, all of the natural terpenes and cannabinoids have been removed from the plant with the exception of the compound we call Cannabidiol, or CBD.
I have found a large reason for this type of extraction method is rooted in the stigma that still surrounds CBD’s cousin, Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. Due to its psychoactive element, THC is often extracted completely from the CBD oil to avoid any complications associated with its legality in certain US states and other countries.
However, when you eliminate THC completely – you are preventing something known as the ‘entourage effect’. This is where all the components found within the hemp plant work synergistically together to produce a stronger influence on the body than any one of those components working independently. The cannabinoids work together to amplify the effects that each of them possesses, providing the most successful outcome in the body – which is bringing the body back into balance or homeostasis.
FSHE and Why a Minute Amount of THC is a Necessary.
This is where full spectrum hemp extracts (FSHE) come in. Instead of extracting all the other cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant and leaving just CBD, full spectrum hemp extracts are the combination of all those cannabinoids that are naturally found in the plant to ensure the Entourage Effect is received in the body. Also of note, is that for full spectrum hemp oil to be effective, you only need a tiny amount of THC to achieve the entourage effect, and that is far less than 1%. In fact, it’s <0.03% THC. This amount will NOT get you high – trust me, I've tried it and nothing but a feeling or relaxation and overall wellness!
FINALLY: How potent is the product?
You cannot compare A) a regular Tincture with 100mg of CBD isolate to B) an Organic Tincture with 1000mg of Full Spectrum Hemp CBD oil. Why? Because not all CBD is the same, and you can only compare ‘apples to apples’.
1) First look at the 100 milligram tincture. A is only a tenth of the strength - or 10% of the CBD potency of B.
If you are just looking for a daily supplement strength for prevention or maintenance, then take a 10 mg dose daily,
However, if you suffer from PTSD, chronic Pain or have been diagnosed with a serious condition such as Cancer, you need a much more potent dose. Ask your health care provider to be certain, but my research is suggesting you need between 100mg to 250mg PER DAY.
2) Also, check on the label and see:
a) “Is it Organic?”,
b) “Has it been third party lab tested?”
c) “Is it full spectrum hemp oil?”
d) Is it from a regulated hemp-producing country?
If the answer to a-d is NO, then do yourself a favor and spend your money on something else.
So there you have it - my initial guidelines to abide by when you are seeking a high quality CBD tincture.
By Joe Seaman.