With CBD oil and cannabinoid products reaching peak popularity in the U.S. these days, it can feel like they are available to buy almost everywhere. We see these products online, in local shops, in our doctors’ offices, and even at truck stops. Unfortunately, many CBD “miracle cure” products you’ll find in gas stations and other unspecialized locations are more likely to be distilled water than real CBD oil.
In many situations, it can be difficult to tell the real quality products from the “snake oil” peddlers just trying to make a quick buck off the latest trend. In fact, the most troubling aspect of so many sales avenues is the lack of consistent quality control. It’s important to know what you’re buying, and from where. A CBD company can make a slew of promises and positive claims, but without transparency, it means nothing. Fortunately, there are trustworthy resources that can help you make an informed decision.
How do you measure the quality of CBD oil?
The majority of “CBD only” products are extracted from industrial-grade hemp. This is because the hemp plant contains practically no naturally-occurring THC (the psychoactive constituent).
The cannabinoid products made from it will fall below the legal 0.3 percent THC limit, making it legal to sell in all 50 states, even where cannabis isn’t.
Plenty of retailers are trying to get in on the CBD craze without adhering to any quality control, so it’s important to research the product you’re interested in before clicking that “buy now” button.
Check the reputation of the retailer, and see how long they’ve been in business. Online reviews are a great way to gauge customer interactions and satisfaction. Other factors to consider include the following concerns:
Opt for companies that use natural extraction methods. Some will use toxic solvents to quickly separate the CBD from the plant, but this means that these toxins will be present in the product. CBD products extracted using ethanol or supercritical CO2 methods are generally higher quality and won’t contain any harmful tagalongs.
Hemp is a hyperaccumulator, meaning that it will absorb heavy metals and toxins from the soil. Make sure that your CBD is coming from somewhere that values organic growing methods. Choosing a product grown in the U.S. by a reputable farmer is usually a safe bet.
Some companies will publicly post lab results that confirm the contents of their CBD products. This helps you avoid getting CBD that’s too high in THC or too low in pure and usable ingredients.
The internet is a vast marketplace full of every imaginable product, including CBD. While it’s fantastic that there are myriad different options available, it can also be confusing. There are so many fly-by-night CBD retailers who claim to have a superior product that it’s nearly impossible to separate scams from the real deal. Thankfully, we’re here to help you do just that.
Be a smart shopper and use the quality controls we listed above. This will save you time and money, and restore your faith in the positive powers of CBD if you’ve already had a bad experience.
An article released by Consumer Reports details some of the information available that trustworthy retailers will make available. This includes the certificate of analysis (COA) that proves the company has completed laboratory testing—a good indication of whether or not the products are held to a high standard.
Online retailers should provide you with as much information on extraction methods, testing, and hemp origins as they can. This will let you know that they value quality and have nothing to hide from consumers.
When we talk about “specialty shops,” we mean small, privately-owned, physical stores that focus entirely on CBD products. These are more likely to be located in areas where cannabis is legal in all forms, but they can pop up in any health-conscious community. If you look up “specialty CBD shops” online, there’s a good chance you can find a local storefront that specializes in high quality, American-grown products. We also have a list of local retailers in the U.S. for you to search through.
One of the great things about these smaller, product-focused retailers is that they are a fixture in the community. They’re available and accountable for the quality of everything that they sell, and many of them work with local and industrial hemp farmers.
Naturally, if you plan on putting something in your body to improve your health you still need to ask questions. Make sure that the business owners aren’t just stocking a product that they get from a cheap online wholesaler that’s interested in profit margin over quality.
Consider the quality concerns we listed above. Ask about their sources and about the other products that they sell. If you’re lucky, they may even have some fantastic edibles to take home for later!
Local retailers and brick and mortar stores
If you’ve walked into a local head shop, gas station, or even a privately-run grocery store, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen CBD/hemp oil for sale. Many of these stores are just experimenting with the market, and probably won’t have the quality products that you actually want. This isn’t their focus, and they likely won’t be able to answer any questions that you have about CBD.
It’s always better to work with a retailer who specializes in CBD products, and who really understands what they’re selling. A gas station display with cheesy claims about magical CBD results is probably not the best source of oils and other items for your health needs.
Where else can I buy CBD oil?
Chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists, and other healthcare professionals specializing in alternative medicine have started to offer CBD oil for sale, among other CBD products. Many of these individuals are highly trained and prepared to help you make an informed decision about their products. Their goal is to help you to feel better, and most of them are educated and ethical enough to carry the highest quality products.
Avoid scams and poor quality products
We can’t emphasize this enough: do NOT purchase products that are sold at very cheap prices with few verifiable credentials. CBD tinctures and other products have amazing beauty and health benefits, but if the health claims seem out-of-this-world, they’re probably compensating for something.
A bad CBD product could be too strong or too weak; either way, it will not produce the results that you want and expect. They can also be dangerous when extracted incorrectly or untested for toxins.
Protect yourself from scams and fraudulent retailers. Ask questions, do your homework, and don’t blindly buy into anyone’s CBD hype. Being a responsible consumer can make your CBD experience a great one!
Here at CBD For Life, we work hard to ensure our products are top quality and safe for you to use. Feel free to browse our CBD oil options, read more about us and what we sell, or find a retail seller near you.