With a growing amount of companies popping up in the market and offering all kinds of CBD products, it is getting harder to cut through the noise and separate the ones providing quality extracts from those selling substandard products. Good cannabidiol extracts can significantly improve the quality of life of their users, while those that do not meet the basic quality standards of the industry are generally ineffective and can even cause side effects. Therefore, knowing how to shop for CBD products is crucial, and this guide will help you learn about the characteristics of safe and effective cannabidiol extracts.
First of all, it is useful to know what CBD stands for. CBD is an abbreviation of the word cannabidiol, which is one of the many components present in the cannabis plant. By nature, cannabidiol is neither addictive nor psychoactive, and it can be sold and consumed legally across the United States, Canada, and several other western countries.
The CBD industry began growing as mounting amounts of scientific evidence linked this cannabidiol with several therapeutic benefits. Cannabidiol has proven effective in reducing tissue inflammation, relieving the symptoms of stress and anxiety, and decreasing the severity and frequency of seizures in patients who have epilepsy. While CBD’s workings in the human body are still not fully understood by the scientific community, it is known that it can balance the endocannabinoid system that we humans and most mammals have.
The CBD market in the United States has kept a positive growth rate for years as an increasing number of users give their testimonies and show the benefits of this hemp derivate. Once cannabidiol reaches the endocannabinoid system in the human body, it has a positive effect on most of its crucial functions. Regular cannabidiol users report an improvement in conditions ranging from sleeplessness, stress and anxiety to chronic pain, inflammation and even skin conditions.
Perhaps the most critical reason for cannabidiol to be highly effective in such a wide range of disorders comes from its ability to address their root causes. Having a balanced endocannabinoid system keeps your body healthy and allows it to fight off diseases and prevent physical and psychological disorders from occurring in the first place.
Some of the most common conditions for which CBD products are commonly used in the United States and the rest of the world include:
During the early years of the cannabidiol industry in the United States, CBD products were limited to oils and tinctures extracted with artisanal methods. Thanks to a growing demand, CBD companies have been able to invest in research projects and state-of-the-art technologies that allow them to offer a wide range of products for all needs and tastes.
Oils and tinctures are still considered the most effective consumption method, as they allow the beneficial properties of CBD to be fully absorbed by the body in the most direct way possible. These are usually taken sublingually, as the mucous membranes under the tongue have exceptional absorption capacities that allow CBD to enter the bloodstream directly and travel throughout the body. However, CBD tinctures usually maintain the naturally bitter taste of raw hemp, leading some users to prefer alternative consumption methods.
CBD capsules are famous among those who do not like the taste of cannabidiol but still want to enjoy its benefits. These usually contain a specific amount of cannabidiol, which is measured in milligrams and is absorbed after passing through the body’s digestive system. While sublingual tinctures are recommended, capsules continuously receive positive reviews among customers suffering from insomnia, anxiety and other related disorders.
CBD edibles are another standard consumption method for users of cannabidiol who do not like its natural taste. Some of the most popular edibles include gummies, cookies, chocolate bars and lollipops. While these are effective in bringing calm and relieving some of the mildest symptoms of stress and anxiety, they are not able to provide the high rates of bioavailability found in tinctures.
Another critical factor to keep in mind while looking for quality CBD products is the extraction methods used for their production. Cannabidiol is only one of several components found in hemp plants, so it has to be extracted and isolated. Pure cannabidiol is an oily substance that can be mixed with carrier oils such as MCT for easier absorption by the human body.
The most recommended and effective extraction method is commonly known as “Supercritical CO2”. It uses pressurized chambers and carbon dioxide to separate the hemp plants’ leaves from the cannabidiol present in them. The Supercritical CO2 extraction method is preferred by the best CBD companies in the market due to their cleanness and effectiveness.
Some of the less used CBD extraction methods in the market use substances such as butane and alcohol to isolate cannabidiol and other natural components from the hemp plants. While some of these techniques are used frequently by companies in the United States and the rest of the world, the limited amount of scientific evidence available suggests that they are not as effective as CO2 for the production of CBD isolates.
One of the most common questions from new CBD users is related to the amount of cannabidiol they should take, as well as the recommended consumption frequency. While both of these depend on several factors, it is essential to point out that there have been no documented cases of CBD overdosing so far. There is no risk of severe side effects derived from taking too much cannabidiol, but there are certainly some guidelines that will allow you to determine how much you should be taking every day.
As a very broad rule of thumb, a dose of 20 to 40 milligrams of pure CBD per day is a fair amount for first-time consumers. This is a very generic benchmark, which can vary greatly depending on your body weight, the condition you are treating and the chemical processes of your body. A good thing about CBD is that its dosage can be increased or decreased according to your needs with no side effects.
Although CBD by itself is not a psychoactive substance and its side effects are rare and mild, some CBD-based extracts can bring problems to individuals taking medications or those who are allergic to any of the other natural components of hemp. It is essential, therefore, to know the difference between CBD isolates and full-spectrum CBD tinctures. While the former contains only cannabidiol, the latter includes not only CBD but also other components of the hemp plant that are usually beneficial but can cause complications to specific users.
Apart from these substances, which are naturally present in hemp plants and can be removed with isolation techniques, there are other ingredients that companies use to improve the bioavailability or taste of their products. Perhaps the most common among these is MCT oil, which is usually extracted from coconuts and can lead to allergic reactions in a small number of users.
When looking for high-quality CBD products to treat any condition or have an overall better quality of life, few proxies are as reliable as that of COAs. Certificates of Analysis are published by laboratories after running tests on a specific batch of CBD extracts, providing a clear picture of the substances present in a particular product, as well as their concentration. Those looking for effective CBD products must always buy from companies that make these Certificates of Analysis public, and it is also crucial to ensure that they are published by third-party laboratories rather than in-house testing facilities.
The short answer to this question is no. However, there is a caveat that takes us back to the original distinction between CBD isolates, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum products. Cannabidiol by itself is not psychoactive and therefore cannot lead to positive drug tests in any way. However, only CBD isolates contain pure cannabidiol, while broad and full-spectrum extracts keep other naturally occurring cannabinoids as well.
The most commonly present psychoactive substance in CBD extracts is Tetrahydrocannabidiol. Commonly abbreviated as THC, this substance is illegal in most states of the US and a large majority of countries around the world, so its presence can trigger a positive drug test in regular users.
If you are expecting to be tested for drugs or are regularly checked because of work or other reasons, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor and search for pure CBD isolates before starting your journey with cannabidiol. Certificates of Analysis are also vital when shopping for CBD products that will not make you fail a drug test, as they can pick up the concentration of psychoactive components that are present in a particular sample. As a rule of thumb, THC concentrations below 0.3% are legally acceptable for CBD products in the United States, but drug tests tend to be sensitive to even small amounts.