Are you considering venturing into the world of CBD?
Our advice? Don’t buy anything before you’ve carried out comprehensive research – hence why we’ve written this article. It covers most of what you need to know before commencing taking CBD oil.
Unsure about which CBD brand to choose? Read these CBD brand reviews.
Our guide to choosing the best quality CBD oil online
CBD concentration: If you browse the store of any online purveyor of CBD products, you’ll see that they various CBD offerings come in a multitude of concentrations. They will either be listed as a dosage in milligrams, e.g. 250mg or as a concentration percentage, e.g. 5% CBD (cannabidiol).
But which concentration should you opt for?
As you would expect, the greater the concentration of CBD, the greater the effect it will have (all things being equal). Therefore, if you’re a newcomer to the world of CBD, it is recommended that you begin with lower concentrations and dosages. Doing so will allow you to assess and evaluate the effects of lower doses and see whether or not you need to make adjustments. When doing so, however, it is imperative that you do so in small increments until you achieve the desired effects. We see far too many people start with high doses and have bad experiences, or achieve the effects they want without realising that a lower dosage would have had the same result.
Cost per dose: Although higher concentration CBD products will inevitably be more expensive, you should rule them out straight away – particulate if you’re on a budget. Why? Because they usually offer better value for money over the long term, (even though you’ll have to fork out more money upfront in the first place). For example, a 20ml bottle of CBD oil dosed at 500mg CBD oil will almost always be cheaper than buying two 10ml 250mg bottles (economies of scale for those of you who are au fait with business and economics).
If you’re new to CBD, then we’d advise you to purchase a lower-concentration, lower priced, to begin with (to asses your tolerance and effective dose), then proceed to higher concentrated products if you plan to use CBD products in the long run.
Isolate or full-spectrum CBD oil?: There are two primary forms of CBD product – isolate and full-spectrum (as you’ve probably guessed from the subheading!). The former contains only pure CBD isolate or crystals (or as close to pure as is possible), whereas the latter consists of CBD along with other active compounds.
Up until recently, CBD isolate was considered the ‘gold standard’ of CBD-based cannabis treatment. However, over the last 12 months, there has been an influx of evidence suggesting that full-spectrum CBD products have added benefits beyond that of CBD isolate alone.
Full-spectrum CBD products commonly contain other compounds such as CBN and CBL (cannabinoids), in addition to other compounds such as pinene and limonene (known as ‘terpenes’) and various other flavonoids. It has been purported that these additional compounds work in synergy with CBD to create what is commonly known as the ‘entourage effect’.
Which type of CBD product should you opt for – isolate or full spectrum?
This is an entirely subjective question; therefore it impossible to instruct anyone on which they should opt for. That being said; however, we would always advise users (or potential users) of CBD to try different concentrations and types of CBD to see which suits their needs best.
Oil or capsules?: This is another vital question that must be answered prior to selecting a CBD brand. Although CBD can be vaped, the vast majority of users will take it in capsule form or sublingually. The former – as you would expect – is CBD encapsulated within a capsule, which is taken orally, whereas the latter is CBD in il form, which must be taken sublingually, i.e. oil dropped under the tongue.
Which forms of CBD you use will depend on your personal preference. Can you swallow capsules or do you struggle? Would you be ok dropping oil under the tongue or not? These are just a few of the question that you must ask yourself.
CBD extraction: To obtain CBD from the cannabis plant, the CBD compound must be isolated and extracted from the plant itself. We’ll not bog you down (too much) with the science of how CBD extraction works, but we must discuss the various form of extraction that currently exists, and (very importantly) that they were not all created equally.
In an effort to cut cost (and therefore reduce the final price that you – the customer – pays), some brands will choose an extraction method that involves the use of dangerous chemicals and solvents. Obviously, it goes without saying that you should avoid CBD products and brands that use this form of extraction. Not only is it bad for the environment, but it may also taint the final product – and I’m sure you’d rather not be ingesting harmful compounds such as propane and butane, right?
Higher quality and premium CBD products utilise ‘supercritical CO2’ extraction, which uses high pressured carbon dioxide to extract and maintain the purity of the cannabidiol. As you might expect, this method is more costly, hence why products that have supercritical CO2 extracted CBD in them are often more expensive. But, as the old adage goes, ‘You get what you pay for’.
How do I know which extraction method has been used for a certain product?
Most product descriptions will contain information regarding the specific extraction technique that was used for that particular product. Those that use CO2 extraction will usually shout about it from the rooftops; therefore if you don’t see any information pertaining to the extraction of the product, then you can probably assume it wasn’t manufactured using CO2 extraction.
CO2 isn’t the be and all and end all, however. New extraction techniques using a natural process that involve oil and coconut oil are becoming more prevalent, and although their yield isn’t as high as CO2, it is far better for the environment and of course the end product.
Thanks for reading – we hope you found this piece informative!