Shopping for CBD can be daunting with so many types of products available, and so much jargon and marketing to interpret. Finding which CBD therapy is best for you takes some trial and error. Patience and research can help you get a good idea of where to start.
Things to consider when deciding on which CBD oil is best for you are the product’s formulation, the delivery method, and CBD dosage desired. If you are not sure where to start, this article will help clarify the CBD jargon and explain the factors to consider when deciding to buy CBD online or in stores.
Best CBD Therapy for You
The CBD consumer market has a massive number of products available. Each product will have many qualities that may or may not matter to a consumer. While this broad range of CBD products can be intimidating for shoppers, there are a few key points to consider to determine which one is right for you.
CBD can be extracted and processed in a variety of ways. Some solvent is needed to draw cannabinoids out of the plant material. Solvents can leave residues in the extract that may be of concern to your health. Looking at a manufacturer’s website should tell you how they extract their CBD.
CO2 extracted CBD oil is highly desirable because residuals of constable solvents like ethanol may leave harmful residues. In most cases, these are not substantial enough to produce acute health issues. If exposure to residues is a concern, CO2 extracted CBD will be the ideal choice. CO2 is still a solvent but doesn’t leave unnatural residues.
Hemp-Derived CBD vs. Marijuana-Derived
It is essential to understand the different types of cannabis plants to understand where CBD is derived. Marijuana is the term used when talking about cannabis strains that will get you high. Hemp plants contain less than 0.3% THC and will not get people high. Hemp CBD is legal to order online, federally, while marijuana is only legal in some states.
In states where marijuana is legal, people can buy CBD products derived from cannabis with low THC (but still may be over 0.3%). It is essential to look carefully at the CBD products offered at a dispensary because they may come from marijuana and may have some psychoactive effects.
So now that you know the difference between hemp and marijuana, what is CBD oil? The CBD products purchased online or in retail stores is a hemp extract and may be labeled “hemp extract” instead of CBD oil due to the new regulatory environment around CBD. The FDA considers isolated CBD a drug, so labeling terminology is evolving to try and make the legal distinction.
CBD can come from any cannabis category, but the CBD products most people are looking for come from hemp. Some people may desire a high CBD type of marijuana because they want the benefits of THC along with CBD, but those products will not be available in every state.
CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum
CBD isolate 99.9% pure CBD, whereas full spectrum CBD contains some amount of other cannabinoids and may contain some detectable THC. Drug testing concerns of CBD primarily arise from full-spectrum CBD products, while legal worries exist around selling CBD isolate because the FDA classifies it as a drug.
People in jobs that test for drugs may wish to avoid full-spectrum CBD. The trace amounts of THC can accumulate in body fat and produce false positives for marijuana. While no CBD product can guarantee not to create a false positive, CBD isolate is much less likely.
The benefits of full-spectrum CBD products are great for some people, though. This spectrum of cannabinoids can act on the endocannabinoid system at a different dosing range than isolated CBD. Full-spectrum can offer the benefits of cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, CBN, and THVC. These other non-psychoactive cannabinoids may provide more extensive benefits than isolated CBD because they can interact with more receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
For some, isolated CBD offers the advantages of being able to get a very potent dose of CBD. Isolated CBD can be a very potent anti-inflammatory agent, so that type of product may be more desirable. Here are the main points to ask yourself when debating buying isolated or full-spectrum CBD:
- Is drug testing a concern?
- Do you want the benefits of additional cannabinoids?
- Will you take a high, medium, or low dosage?
Third-Party Lab Testing
The legitimacy and validity of third-party test results are becoming a hot topic. Fake or untrustworthy CBD lab results are out there, and some manufacturers will publish certificates that can be misleading. That is a more in-depth topic for another article, but as an essential element of quality, a CBD seller should make lab results available to buyers.
Any product can claim to be “lab tested,” but the lab performing the test should have a validated method for testing and preparing samples. Lab results should have batch identification numbers that will trace back to individual products. Not all good CBD companies will publish results online as we do, but you should be able to get them upon request at the very least.
Best Form of CBD For You
Another consideration when buying CBD is how you want to take it. Bioavailability can be a significant factor for some, while the ease of use may be more critical for other consumers. Bioavailability is the term for how much of the CBD you take will become active in your system, and how fast it will produce reactions.
Inhaling CBD is the fastest way to get the most CBD in your system. Some people prefer to light their smokable flower or CBD prerolls using hemp wick to avoid inhalation of butane. In contrast, oral delivery methods can be sufficient for use as a daily dietary supplement. Feeling rapid symptom relief is possible even though this method has lower bioavailability than others.
Depending on how acute symptoms are one or more type of CBD delivery method may be desirable. Some people like to take a daily dose of CBD in the form of a tincture, gummy, or capsule. In addition to the daily dose, more tincture or a vape or hemp pre-roll can be of use for acute symptoms.
Tinctures are one of the easiest ways to take CBD. You can easily measure how much you want, dispense it under your tongue, hold in place for up to a minute, then swallow. Tinctures may be isolate or full-spectrum, and they come in a variety of flavors. Tinctures are also an excellent way to give CBD to pets, especially when flavored with tastes animals enjoy like bacon.
- Full-spectrum or isolate available
- Available in a wide range of strengths
- Many flavors
- Medium bioavailability for daily or acute dosing
- Easy to measure a dose
- Easy to use
CBD Vape Oil
The downsides of vaping CBD include understanding how to use CBD oil vape devices, difficulty telling how much CBD you are using, and irritation to airways and exposure to thinning agents. Despite this, inhaling CBD is the fastest way to get the most CBD to the body. Some find CBD vapes helpful for quitting smoking and for acute symptoms like panic attacks. Inhaled CBD does not last as long in the body, though, so more frequent dosing may be required throughout the day.
- High bioavailability and fast-acting
- Good for acute symptoms
- May help smokers quit
- Discrete to use since vaping is common
- Many flavors
- Isolate or full spectrum
Technically classified as “the flash vaporization,” concentrates are usually 99% pure, which makes them a lot more useful than other delivery methods. Experienced CBD users claim that no other consumption method can compare to dabbing in terms of speed and potency. As long as you purchase premium-grade CBD, you will find that the symptoms of conditions (such as nausea, anxiety, and chronic pain) may ease off in record time. Using CBD concentrates is by far the preferred method for those looking to take CBD for pain relief.
CBD capsules have low bioavailability but are a good option if you are looking for long-lasting daily doses at low levels. These capsules are also useful if you do not like gummies or edibles, and are available in an isolate of full spectrum. CBD capsules are appealing because you can easily track your dosage, and they are easy to use. CBD capsules are not the best choice for getting a high dose of CBD or for getting acute symptom relief.
It can take 2-3 hours to feel the effects of CBD from capsules or edibles, and they lose potency in the digestive tract. CBD capsules have not been the most popular products. New nanotechnology advances are working to improve bioavailability. This improvement means that nanotech CBD capsules may be a more potent CBD product than regular CBD capsules.
CBD gummies are probably the most popular edible, but honey sticks, teas, coffees, and other drinks are also hitting the market. Edibles can make it hard to tell how much CBD is getting to the body due to loss of bioavailability through the digestive system (like with capsules).
Most CBD edibles are too expensive to include in a daily regime. However, CBD gummies are becoming a popular way to get a daily dose of CBD without having to swallow a pill. Many consumers like the variety of strengths and flavors CBD gummies offer and that CBD gummies are available as an isolate or full spectrum. Some gummies may have an aftertaste that others lack. The best CBD gummies are infused with CBD, while less desired CBD gummies sprinkle CBD crystals on regular gummies.
CBD Topicals (Creams, Salves, Massage Oils)
If you are looking for relief of pain or inflammation in a particular joint or muscle, topical CBD products are a great option. These products reach cannabinoid receptors in the skin by being drawn in with carrier oils. CBD topicals can act fast and are very unlikely to enter the body system in a way that risks false positives on drug tests due to CBD. They can be great for the relief of arthritis symptoms and skin conditions like burns and rashes.
Best CBD Dosage For You
The best CBD dosage for you depends entirely on an individual’s symptoms, body chemistry, and the products they are using. Online CBD dosage calculators can be used to give you an initial idea, but as a rule of thumb, it is best to titrate your dosage. To titrate, start with the lowest possible dosage then gradually increase it after a week or so. You may want to titrate up until you feel symptom relief.
CBD Oil Therapy: Final Thoughts
There is no single right answer to what CBD oil therapy is best for you, but hopefully, this guide has helped answer some common questions and guide you in where to start your CBD experience.
Never be shy to message CBD sellers and ask more about their products. Sellers want to give you the customer service you need, even in an online marketplace. Sellers also want you to have a positive experience and can help guide you through their product line. If you’re hesitant to trust the sellers, join a CBD chat group and ask the community what CBD brands they prefer.