The (sad?) reality
Are you confused with CBD and what it means? Are you in a dilemma about what to buy or what is good? No worries, that's also how our story started a few years ago...
Today, with the cannabis business booming rapidly and a mind-blowing amount of money being pumped into it, we are yet at a point where many markets worldwide are poorly regulated - plant growing lacking in quality, extraction, and products production being on the edge of what is considered to be quality, 0 transparency ... we can keep going.
Usually, CBD products are neither cheap (high price doesn't necessarily mean high quality and vice versa - but we will talk about this below), nor there is much transparency - "I produce CBD oil" is what you normally hear from producers, but there is a lot going on to get from a tiny seed to a bottle of CBD oil.
How can you ensure what you are buying is of high quality and will actually help you with your needs? Use this article as a starting point, keep educating yourself, and deep dive into the areas that are relevant to your health condition, hence how CBD oils can benefit you.
The "Deal or no Deal" factors
There are a few key factors that you want to take into consideration when buying your CBD oil. We like to prioritize them, so the below list contains the essentials.
Do you want to choose a producer that is transparent with the process of how they make CBD products? Go to their website and look for the following:
- Hold on, first of all, do they have a website? If not, well, how could you evaluate the producer? You probably don't want to put something in your body when you have no idea where it comes from.
- If there is a website, just browse it carefully. How does it feel to you? Are they openly speaking about the production process? Do they possess quality/production/testing certificates issued by credited institutions? Are they big players or a "strangers" (would you rather buy your medicine from a pharmaceutical company or an "expert" who has a homemade lab and sells the "medicine" on Amazon?)?
- The crucial step: ensure that your specific product, comes with a certificate of analysis. And a certificate of analysis is just proof of the quality of the product - actually not just the product, but the whole batch. And here is one catch, hundreds of products have a certificate of analysis that only tell you the amount of Cannabinoids (we will not talk about them in this article, but there is a detailed explanation done by Discover Magazine). While this is great, you also want to look for the microbiological aspects: does the product contains mold higher than the acceptable amount; was it tested for the presence of bacterias like escherichia, salmonella, etc?
Does it matter if it's BIO?
Yes! First of all, ask yourself "do I know what a BIO production means?". We bet many of you would probably say "hmm, I never thought of the exact definition, actually I don't know". In the world of cannabis plants, BIO means that the plant spent entire its life in soil (and surroundings like water and air) that was absent of heavy metals, pesticides, aflatoxins, etc - or the least, it fulfills the imposed limits by a relevant institution in the country where the growth/production takes place. And it does not stop there, the same conditions are to be met until the product is sealed into its package.
Another aspect is the weather conditions. Cannabis plants are quite delicate - they want specific conditions to be able to grow healthy and happy. You might argue that a perfect environment can even be created indoors. Sure. Would you rather buy an egg from a chicken that was caged her entire life, never saw daylight, and is eating whatever it's brought to her, or a Free-Range chicken that decides what it eats and where from? Most cannabis plants thrive in climates akin to the Mediterranean region - seems like we have something in common with the plant when it comes to vacation travels :). If you are interested in more details, Leafly has put a great article on how to grow a healthy Cannabis plant.
An expensive product always means better quality (?)
Not always. CBD products are not cheap and the reason for this is the cost of production. To have a proper laboratory for extraction and analysis, you need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on state-of-the-art equipment and this is just the beginning. And even if you do, you probably can't run it yourself - you need educated and experienced employees to enable and monitor the entire process. Pharmaceutical companies usually have an advantage, because they have experienced personnel (scientists if you wish) to deliver above-average products.
So you don't want to buy the cheapest product that is offered on your market, because it is a big red flag how can they produce it for such a low price - legit sophisticated and safe production process does come with a respective price.
Shall I buy oil or dry flowers ... or gummies ... maybe topicals?
Hard choice indeed. But we can help you decide.
- Smoking - Today's research shows that the most efficient absorption is by smoking CBD dry flowers. The problem with this approach is, smoking is harmful to your lungs - the same as cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, vaping, etc.
- Sublingual consumption - or in other words, CBD oil dropped under your tongue. Studies show that this approach is fully safe and only brings benefits to your health.
- Topicals - Any product that contains CBD and you apply on your skin (creams, oils, gels, etc.). - Another great way, especially to target specific parts of the body.
- Gummies / Edibles - who does not like the good old gummy bears or CBD-spiced chocolate? The absorption rates are somewhat ok, but the problem with the edibles is that they can contain sweeteners, oils, and preservatives, as well as artificial flavors and even coloring.
A detailed comparison with some of the pros and cons was done by Envycbd.
Word of mouth...
... beats any marketing campaign out there! Finding quality products is sometimes easy: ask your friends, check with your colleagues at work, and read through blogs or relevant websites/marketplaces in your country that normally do product comparisons. People will talk if something is good and people will definitely talk if something is bad.
We will wrap it up here with general advice: before you start purchasing - educate yourself well and make well-informed decisions, especially if you want to use CBD products for long periods. One of the greatest books written by far on this topic is "The CBD Bible" by Dr. Dani Gordon - you will literally find everything inside - how to consume CBD in order to tackle specific health problems, what daily CBD ratios you can start with, example treatments and testimonials of her patients and much more.
Stay tuned for our future posts and tips!