by Christine Athens
Not all CBD oil—or CBD products—are created equal. There are many people out there trying to profit off the cannabis market, which means there’s a lot to choose from product-wise. Suffice it to say, not all those products are made with your best interest in mind.
It comes down to this: if you want a high-quality CBD oil, you have to know what to look for in a CBD oil.
If you want to know how to choose a CBD oil that’s safe and of good quality, keep reading. This is your official checklist.
Here’s What to Look For in a CBD Oil
The first thing you need to understand about CBD oil is its range of extracts and potencies. In terms of extracts, there are full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolates. In terms of potency, you can find as low as five milligrams or as high as 6,000 milligrams. [You can read about the CBD spectrum here and potency and dosing here.]
Once you’ve decided on the type of CBD you want to try and the appropriate potency, here are the other things you want to look at:
Hemp Sourcing ✓
Hemp is what botanists refer to as a “hyperaccumulator.” What that means is that it readily absorbs everything from the soil it grows in. A quality CBD oil will come from hemp that’s grown organically in an area where farmers are required to have their fields tested for toxic substances, heavy metals, bacteria, fungi, pesticides, and so on.
In addition to clean and safe soil, it’s also vital that you only buy CBD products made from hemp grown in the United States. This is to ensure that your CBD is made from real hemp—not synthetic—and can also be traced back to its source if necessary.
The CBD market is competitive, but high-quality CBD oil doesn’t come cheap. That’s not to say that the most expensive product is the better product; however, if the price seems too good to be true—it is. Cheap CBD typically equals poor quality CBD (if any), contaminated raw materials, low-grade solvents, and additives.
Extraction Method ✓
There are a few different extractions methods to remove CBD from the plant, but there’s only one that’s worth your time and money: CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction ensures the cleanest and purest result.
The use of certain alcohols for extraction, such as ethanol are second to CO2 extraction. However, you should avoid CBD oils that were made using chemicals such as butane, hexane, propane, and so on. These solvents leave behind harmful contaminants.
Quality Ingredients ✓
The ingredients in your CBD oil should ONLY include the following:
- Trace amounts of other cannabinoids
- A quality carrier oil—hemp seed oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, or olive oil
- A natural flavoring agent—mint, cinnamon, citrus (usually optional)
Avoid any additives such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, “natural flavors,” citric acid, coloring agents, and so on. Your CBD oil should be as natural and pure as possible.
Transparent Lab Test results ✓
A transparent company is the only company you should trust. The CBD oil itself should be tested by an ISO accredited lab. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) should also be present on the packaging, the insert, or published on the company’s website.
These test results will verify that there are no harmful contaminants or additives, and they’ll provide you with the CBD and THC levels in the product. If the lab test results and COA aren’t readily available, chances are, the company is hiding something.
Read the Reviews
Before making your decision, make sure you read the reviews. Customer reviews will always tell you what to look for in a CBD oil and what to avoid when it comes to a particular brand. The rest is just trial and error.