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The purpose of this CBD buyer’s guide is to help novice CBD consumers make informed decisions at the checkout. Picking the right CBD product and knowing what makes a CBD product good or under par isn’t easy, unless you know a little bit about CBD and how it works.
We also take the opportunity in this guide to answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to how to buy CBD, where to buy CBD, and how each individual decides how much CBD to take.
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, which is one of the most common cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant family. It can be extracted from the plant in a number of ways and turned into a variety of CBD oils, which are then used to make a whole host of fun, interesting, and effective CBD-infused products.
Most brands take these CBD oils and use them to craft CBD tinctures, a product that’s consumed using a dropper to place the oil directly under the tongue.
In general, brands that offer a CBD tincture line also tend to offer some form of CBD topical, an industry term that’s used to denote CBD products that are applied directly to the skin. These can include salves, balms, gels, creams, moisturizers and sanitizers.
Some brands are now even cultivating cannabis and hemp plants to breed strains that are especially rich in CBD. Some of these CBD-rich plants are then harvested, cured, and packaged ready for sale as loose smokeable CBD flower or CBD-rich pre-rolls.
How does CBD interact with the human body?
There’s a lot that can be said about the genetic makeup of CBD, its benefits and how it interacts with the human body, but in the interests of providing the most important information for a first-time CBD buyer, we’d like to highlight the following:
- CBD is a non-psychoative cannabinoid, which means it doesn’t get you high.
- Studies have shown that CBD is an anti-inflammatory and can, therefore, be useful to the body in a number of ways. Even so, research continues and clinical trial data is needed to fully substantiate all claims made.
- CBD seems to lessen the effects of THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for inducing the famous cannabis high. As such, many cannabis and hemp brands deliberately craft products with a specific CBD:THC ratio.
- Is it safe? Yes. It’s now generally accepted, thanks to scientific research, that an overdose from cannabis or CBD is actually not possible, and despite the lack of clinical trials, the general consensus among industry experts is that CBD is beneficial to the human body, not detrimental.
- Is it legal? Yes, but each state will have its own CBD regulations that brands and consumers must adhere to.
- What about drug tests? When it comes to drug testing, no CBD brand can ever guarantee that you won’t test positive for drug use, because what we do know about CBD is that the experience each consumer has with this cannabinoid is a highly personal one. This makes it impossible to know how each person’s body will react to the use and potency of each individual CBD product on the market and it’s impossible to take into account the wide range of drug tests available and used by employers across the country.
What type of CBD should I buy?
Tinctures, topicals, flower, pre-rolls, vapes, concentrates, softgels, bath bombs… the list goes on.
CBD products come in all shapes and sizes, with CBD potency levels that vary just as much.
Some tinctures contain 250 mg of CBD, others contain up to 3500 mg of CBD, which means each 1 ml dropper serving can carry a very different concentration of said cannabinoid.
So, where do you start and what type of CBD product should you buy?
The first thing to bear in mind would be personal preference.
If you don’t like to inhale products, don’t buy flower, pre-rolls, or vapes. If you love to soak in the bath of an evening, definitely give a CBD-infused bath bomb a try.
The second thing to consider would be your reason for buying the product in the first place.
Are you looking for something that might support a fitness or wellness routine? Are you on the hunt for a solution to help ease sore, tired muscles, and to give you the opportunity to keep on training?
If this is the case, then you’ll probably want to take a look at some of the topical CBD products available.
Topicals are applied to problem areas directly, just like other creams and salves manufactured and sold in other industries.
If you’re looking for a CBD product to help you find or regain balance in general – a product to help with daily maintenance, routine, sleep, or overall wellbeing – then you should probably explore the world of tinctures and softgels.
How do I know which CBD brands to trust?
CBD brands are popping up onto the market at an unprecedented rate. The choice can be overwhelming, but there are ways of distinguishing between CBD brands selling products you can trust and those selling products you can’t.
For example, never buy from a CBD brand who doesn’t share their 3rd party lab test results with you.
There should be no reason to hide anything about product formulation from the consumer and 3rd party lab results are the only guarantee you have, at present, to prove that what the label says is in the product is, in fact, true.
Buy from brands who are willing to help you choose the right product; those brands who take the time to respond to your questions and comments.
Buy from brands who have a clear returns policy outlined on their website and a set of rules that establishes consumer rights from the off.
It’s also important to make sure that the brand you buy from is able and willing to ship to your home address. Some brands don’t ship to all U.S. states. Others ship anywhere, but shipping costs vary.
All these things matter when it comes to cost and value for money, versus experience, satisfaction, and product guarantee.
Buying CBD products: where and how?
Any CBD brand worthy of your attention will have an online store. You’ll be able to buy products from the comfort of your home and have them sent to the address of your choice, just like any other product in any other legal industry.
The purchase of CBD-rich hemp flower online is not so easy, but there are some brands in some states that offer these products.
Common practice is to sign up to the brand’s newsletter or online shop in order to receive notifications about new products, giveaways, discounts, and the like.
Most brands offer first-time buyer discounts and other incentives. In short, the creation of an account generally tends to pay off.
Despite the banking issues that cannabis and CBD brands have had in the past, things seem to be moving in the right direction, albeit a little slowly, which means that most CBD brands are also able to accept a wide range of payment options.
How much should I take?
CBD dosing is a complex issue, but for the purposes of this first-time buyer’s guide, we’re synthesizing the necessary information into three biteable chunks.
The first rule of thumb is to start low and work your way up.
When referring to tinctures, this means that you begin with a small dose, just once a day, from a low-potency product; a tincture of 250 mg of CBD would be a good place to start.
The second rule would be to monitor what happens when you gradually increase dosage.
How each increase makes you feel, how your body responds, and at what point you seem to reach a dose that feels right.
The third piece of useful information related to CBD dosing is to spend three days on and two days off when trying a new product for the first time.
The two days break will give you the chance to see what happens to your body when you’re not using the product and it gives your body the chance to level out from time to time.
This leveling out ensures that your body doesn’t start to build up an automatic tolerance for CBD, each time requiring that you ingest a higher dose.
So, if you’ve still got a question that needs answering, send us a message via our contact page. If not, it’s probably time to just start shopping.