December 10, 2020

How To Shop For CBD Oil

Written by - Mallory Milne

minute read

With Google searches in the millions every month for CBD oil, there is no denying its popularity. But do you know how to shop for CBD oil or spot the fakes?

There are still many uncertain people, though, and they don’t know how to research what they need to know properly.

People everywhere are using CBD oil for all sorts of ailments, but unfortunately, it isn’t regulated yet. What this means is that companies can pretty much say anything they want about their products, and stick any label on it, regardless if it is a quality product or not.

This is where this ultimate guide for how to shop for CBD oil comes in. Whether you are ordering CBD oil online or getting it from a local shop, there are a few rules that you should follow.

Get the facts and arm yourself with the information that you need – before you make a purchase you’ll regret.

How To Shop For CBD Oil

Third Party Testing and Lab Reports

This is by far the most important thing to be on the lookout for when you’re buying CBD oil online or in shop. 

A COA(Certificate Of Analysis) is where you will check for the cannabinoid content of your products, including THC. This one is crucial if you are drug tested.

This report should also go into detail on the terpenes that are in the product. Terpenes give cannabis its scent and flavor profile, but they also provide many health benefits on their own.

Each terpene has its own distinct benefits and characteristics, and choosing a CBD oil or product high in terpenes may be more beneficial to you. Different extraction methods may result in different terpenes, cannabinoids, and other important vitamins and nutrients being left out of the end product, so research these carefully.

COA’s also should show the levels of any toxins, mold, pesticides, heavy metals, and any other chemicals or unwanted additives that may be lurking within. You want to be sure that what you are buying is a pure, clean product and isn’t something that will potentially make you sick.

This report HAS to come from a third-party lab with no affiliation with the company requesting the testing. It’s fine if the company also performs in house testing, but that needs to be backed by a source that isn’t biased. Ensure the lab’s name is different from the companies on the report, and if it isn’t, look elsewhere.

We are starting to get to a point now where most companies are going to have this available to view. However, there are still plenty out there operating with no lab reports published and readily available for consumers.

Where the Hemp is Sourced

This is another important part of buying CBD oil.

The hemp plant is a bio-accumulator. What does this mean? It has the ability to suck up anything that it comes into contact with. Soil, water, pesticides…. you name it, if it is around the hemp while it’s growing, it’s going to be in your products.

One really cool thing to know about hemp is that by working in this manner, it actually has the ability to clean and rid tainted soil of toxins. This process is called phytoremediation, and hemp is a great plant for the job. 

Once it has, however, it should not be used in any food, medicine, or be consumed in any way. Any product you buy must be made from hemp that has been organically grown and manufactured without pesticides.

Without knowing where the hemp was sourced from, there’s a good chance that you could be ingesting a whole lot of dangerous chemicals, definitely not something you want.

Choosing a CBD oil that is made with organically sourced hemp is the ONLY way to go.

How is the CBD extracted?

There are a few different ways that CBD can be extracted from hemp. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular ways:

  • Subcritical CO2 Extraction -This process involves using pressurized carbon dioxide to extract everything from the plant. Acting as a solvent, but without any of the risks or dangers of actual solvents. By far, one of the most popular ways to extract CBD, but also one of the most expensive. Companies that use this method will have more expensive products in general, but you get what you pay for.
  • Ethanol Extraction – While this method extracts all the beneficial parts from the plant, it also extracts chlorophyll, which can definitely have some unwanted side effects. This can be removed after extraction, but the end product is much less potent.
  • Olive oil Extraction – This one is completely safe, not expensive, and can be done at home if you choose to. The end product needs to be stored in a cool, dark place, though, as it is perishable when carried in olive oil

Amount of THC – Yes, it Matters!

Depending on where you are in the world, THC may not be legal or may only be legal in minimal amounts. The industry standard for THC content is 0.3%, and you’re going to want CBD oil at or below this level. At this amount, there is absolutely no way that it willcause a “high.”

Full Spectrum – The Whole Plant Makes a BIG Difference

Scientists have coined the term “Entourage Effect.” This is when all parts of something come together and work as a whole to provide greater relief than just any one part by itself.Full-spectrum oilcontains absolutely everything that the plant has to offer and has been shown to provide greater relief than Broad Spectrum or Isolate.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide on and be aware that full-spectrum oil does contain trace amounts of THC. While a minuscule amount, this can still cause a drug test to fail.

Amazon for Everything Else… Just Not CBD

Amazon has a policy that prohibits the sale of CBD oil. So why are there so many on there claiming that they have CBD oil for sale? Sellers are marketing their CBD oils under the label’s hemp seed oil, or hemp extract. While hemp seed oil does provide benefits, it contains no CBD whatsoever.

Read the post on the differences between the two if you would like more clarity here. Always read your labels and check out those lab reports!

Concentration of CBD Oil

The actual amount of CBD in your product matters as well. If I have a 500mg bottle of CBD oil, that means I have 500mg total in the bottle. In a one-ounce bottle size, each drop will contain approximately 1/2 a mg of actual CBD.

So say you have a two-ounce bottle of 500mg oil. This now means that you’re getting only 1/4mg of CBD oil per drop. At these levels, you will have to take a lot more of it compared to a higher concentration of CBD oil.

?????Proper labelling

All of your products should be clearly labelled with all ingredients listed, including the CBD content.

Generally speaking, CBD oil will contain CBD, the carrier oil used, flavoring, and sometimes a few other ingredients to target specific ailments(like melatonin for sleep formulas or arnica in pain cream).

What you don’t want to see are a bunch of unnecessary things like preservatives or other harmful chemicals.

Follow these tips on how to shop for CBD oil, and you’ll end up with great CBD. Don’t, and you’ll likely end up wasting a lot of money to try and find one that works.

About the author 

Mallory Milne

Mallory is a mom of two, as well as the main content writer and owner of CBD Handle. She has been a consumer advocate and CBD user since 2018, and strives to relay accurate, easy to understand information and to educate others on the health benefits of CBD.


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  • This was a great article. There’s a lot to know about CBD usage and types! I was wondering if it is true that CBD should always be sold in dark brown or blue bottles because light causes it to degrade? I’ve seen so many retail stores that sell CBD in clear bottles and it makes me wonder if it’s at all effective after all that light exposure. Thanks.

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