The Ultimate Guide to Shopping for CBD
October 22, 2019 7:30 AM EST | 7 min read
If you’re shopping for CBD, you may find it difficult to choose the right brand or product for you.
Now that CBD is becoming more popular and mainstream, companies big and small are fighting to join the lucrative market.
But which brands can you trust?
There are some key things to check for when your shopping for CBD that every savvy shopper should know.
Varieties of CBD
There’s something out there for everyone in today’s massive, explosive CBD market.
Some of the wildest cannabinoid-infused products available include toothpaste, coffee, lube, and suppositories.
The most popular forms of CBD, however, are tinctures, edibles, vapes, and beverages.
Additionally, many people use cannabis balms or salves for their skin.
CBD is commonly used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, inflammation, and more.
Overall, each form of CBD has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
At the end, which variety you choose will come down to personal preference.
CBD tinctures are concentrated oil extracts sold in bottles with droppers.
When using a tincture, drops of CBD oil are placed under the tongue and ingested sublingually.
This is one of the simplest and most popular ways to take CBD.
Taking CBD sublingually produces the fastest results, meaning you can alleviate stress, anxiety, or pain in as little as 15 minutes.
Infused Food & Beverages
Now that CBD is a trend among the mainstream, food and beverage companies are looking to add the compound to their products.
Modelez, the makers of Oreo cookies, have considered producing a line of CBD-infused snacks.
CBD products are currently available in the form of beverages, candy, cookies, and more.
Massive companies and startups are both releasing exciting, innovative edibles.
Check your local dispensary to see if they sell CBD gummies, sodas, or snacks.
CBD Vape Cartridges
CBD vape cartridges are small pods full of cannabis oil that can be heated up, vaporized, and inhaled.
Vape pens are popular because they’re discreet, portable, and typically refillable.
Another reason people like vapes is because you can experiment with different flavors and dosages.
Vaping CBD produces fast effects, making it an ideal treatment for stress and anxiety.
Disposable and refillable CBD vapes can be purchased online or at most dispensaries.
Is CBD Legal to Buy?
CBD oil is legal in all 50 states, but it’s a bit of a tricky gray area.
Since the Farm Bill has been passed under federal law, hemp products are now legal nationwide.
This means that CBD oil extracted from hemp plants is legal in all 50 states.
However, CBD oil extracted from marijuana plants is still illegal in several states.
The difference is subtle, but full-spectrum CBD extracted from marijuana plants is only available in medical or recreational marijuana states.
Federally, CBD oil produced from hemp plants is legal.
One major reason for this is that hemp plants do not produce buds and contain almost no THC.
CBD products extracted from hemp plants are guaranteed to be completely free of THC.
This type of CBD oil, often called hemp oil, still provides medical benefits, but is significantly less potent.
The Cost of CBD
If you’re shopping for CBD, you may find the high price of decent quality products shocking.
What makes CBD oil so expensive?
The cost starts with farming the hemp or marijuana plants.
Expenses related to land and farming equipment can be enormous.
The real reason that CBD is so expensive though, is extraction.
After the cannabis is harvested, CBD must be isolated and extracted.
The machinery for this process can cost as much as $200,000.
These massive expenses cause CBD products to have a high price tag.
Why Extraction Method Matters
CBD can be extracted using different methods, leading to varying levels of quality and cost.
When you’re shopping for CBD, one thing to check for is the method of extraction.
How the plant was grown and processed will affect the quality and price of your product.
Top quality CBD will have the least amount of contaminants, but may have the highest price.
Full spectrum CBD products contain CBD along with other cannabinoids and terpenes.
These products are still THC-free and do not get you high, but they do produce something called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect occurs in the body when CBD interacts with these other natural compounds from the cannabis plant.
This full spectrum effect boosts the therapeutic qualities of the CBD and makes it more effective as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.
Some CBD products are created with CO₂ as the extraction method.
This process is more expensive, but is generates potent, pure, high-quality results.
The cost of CO₂ extracted products is further driven up by the massive overhead associated with running the labs and the small batches of CBD oil able to be produced at a time.
If you’re looking to try CBD without spending a ton of money, products made through ethanol extraction may be a great choice for you.
Using ethanol to extract cannabinoids from the marijuana plant is a relatively quick, cheap, and simple process.
CBD products made with ethanol extraction are usually the most affordable, but this method can lead to a decrease in overall quality.
Varying Colors of CBD
When you shop for CBD oil, you may notice that there are a wide array of varying colors.
What do these different colors mean and how do you choose the right one?
The first type, filtered CBD oil, is usually gold, clear, or yellow.
This color reflects the clarity and purity of the extract.
The next kind, decarboxylated oil, is typically brown, amber, or red in color.
This oil is processed in a way that activates certain benefits of the cannabinoids.
The final variety of cannabis oil, sometimes referred to as raw oil, is green.
The dark green hue is caused by remaining chlorophyll and plant fibers in the extract.
Save Money When You Buy CBD
There are plenty of ways to save money and find bargains when shopping for CBD.
Since the industry is so young, many CBD companies are willing to offer discounts or free samples of their products to promote themselves.
Reaching out to distributors and attending cannabis events may help you get your hands on free CBD samples.
Local dispensaries also often offer free samples, along with discounts for veterans, individuals with medical conditions, and others.
Reducing your CBD intake is another great tactic for saving money.
By taking smaller doses, you can stretch out your supply longer.
If you make only minor adjustments over extended periods of time, your body should hardly notice the difference.
Alternatively, you can continue taking the same dosage but switch to a lower quality product.
Although full spectrum CBD is typically preferred, cheaper alternatives can provide similar benefits.
How to Shop for CBD
Buying CBD can be simple and affordable if you take the time to do a little research beforehand.
More importantly, consult with your doctor before making any decisions regarding your health.
CBD is considered safe by healthcare professionals, but it can produce mild side effects or interact with other medications.
Once you know which form of CBD you want to buy, find a lab-tested product that contains at least 200 milligrams of cannabidiol.
Since every person reacts differently to CBD, there’s no golden rule for picking the perfect product.
Determining which variety, dose, flavor, color, and brand you like will come down to experimentation and preference.