It wasn’t long ago that anything that was associated to the cannabis plant was seen as evil and illegal by the masses. In fact, hemp – a particular strain of cannabis – has been in use for thousands of years for making many different materials including fabrics, rope, paper and building materials.
Now, industrial hemp is legalised in many countries around the world, allowing producers to make products from CBD – or cannabidiol, which is one of the compounds that is naturally found in the hemp plant.
Research shows that CBD and some of the other compounds that are found in the hemp plant can be very beneficial to our health when it is taken. This has seen the emergence of the CBD and medical cannabis business around the world.
Although many would say that laws are still lagging behind the research, with regards to CBD and the other compounds in the hemp plant, even further behind them are the regulation of CBD products and quality standards. If you are going to be trying CBD, it is important that you get CBD products which are of a good quality and effective as possible – which can be difficult if these controls aren’t there.
What is Good Quality CBD Oil?
CBD is extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant, often alongside other cannabinoids which are also in the plant, and then made into CBD rich products such as CBD oil. When it is taken, there are a number of aspects to our health which CBD can be useful for.
For some people, CBD can be used to give their general well-being a boost, but other people use it for more specific health issues – such as:
- Helping with depression and anxiety
- Aiding sleep
- Helping with pain relief
- Reducing inflammation
If you want to get the most out of your CBD oil ‘experience’ it is important therefore that you get good quality CBD oil which is highly effective.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of regulation that there is, there are many unscrupulous people around who call themselves “CBD producers”. And with such a small amount of information available about how to know if your CBD is legitimate or not, there are a lot of people who have parted with large amounts of money for something that doesn’t even work for them.
A good quality CBD oil will be made from top quality hemp (a product can only be as good as its ingredients, after all), have been extracted in a ways that doesn’t harm the plant compounds and doesn’t involve the use of nasty chemicals, and that will include the right proportions of CBD and other compounds.
With this in mind, here are some tips on how to find good quality, legitimate and effective CBD oil:
1. Find out about the hemp that is used
CBD products can be made from a range of different hemp plants – from those grown in someone’s greenhouse in their back garden to small artisan fields in the mountains to enormous hemp farms. It is produced all over the world, but some places have stricter rules about it than others.
European hemp is particularly known throughout the world for being of good quality, especially for organic hemp as there are strict rules about its production. Some of Europe’s best producers include Holland, Germany, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries and more recently, Eastern European countries. The USA also has a fast-growing hemp farming industry and higher amounts of good quality hemp being produced there, especially in Kentucky and Colorado.
If you can check that a product is organic and hasn’t used chemical pesticides in its production, you should be safe to know that you have a good quality hemp.
2. Do some research about the company
Some companies have good reputations and others not too good. If you already know someone who is seeing the benefits of CBD themselves, asking them for a recommendation is one of the best ways to ensure that you are getting a good product.
However, this isn’t always so easy.
You can research online about the company who is producing the CBD that you are considering buying. Any reputable company will want to be open to their potential customers about their company, products and processes. Take a look at our ultimate CBD buying guide for more advice.
They should be able to tell you about the hemp that they are using, the process that they have of extracting it (whether they use the ‘Supercritical’ CO2 process, solvents, chemicals or other process), what type of CBD oil they are producing (is it full spectrum, broad spectrum or CBD distillate?) and any other information that you might want.
3. Independent lab testing
The most important way that you can tell that you are getting good quality CBD oil is through checking whether it has been lab tested. The results of these tests will give you a breakdown of exactly what is in the CBD oil.
Lab tests should be carried out by an independent lab testing facility, who can display that they are up to ISO 17025 standards. This means that their tests are reliable and are accepted worldwide.
CBD producers should regularly test samples of their CBD oil to ensure that they are accurate in what they are telling their customers and should make this information available to potential customers – often through their website.
If you compare the details on the bottle with the lab test results, you should check that:
- CBD levels are accurate
- THC and other compound levels are accurate (THC levels should be lower than 0.2% in the UK or 0.3% in the USA)
- There is no presence of chemicals, pesticides or other toxins
4. Don’t get misled by words
Just like in many other industries, companies can use words and appearance to mislead potential customers. For example, some companies will use words like ‘natural’ to describe their product with labelling that is green and displaying pictures of leaves. This is just something that is written and doesn’t really mean anything. It doesn’t mean that it is organic.
Just because CBD is made from the hemp plant, doesn’t mean that everything from the hemp plant contains CBD. Hemp seeds, for example, don’t. So, if you buy ‘hemp seed oil’, you will get absolutely no CBD in it. Made sure that you check properly what is in the bottle before you buy it.
It is also worth noting that although CBD can have many healthy benefits for its users, it is not a miracle worker. If a company starts making wild claims – although there might be something in it – it is most likely that they are trying to mislead you. And if they can do this about your health, what else can they mislead you about? Try to steer clear of these companies who make crazy claims.
5. Industry Accreditations
Although there are still problems in regulating the CBD industry, it doesn’t mean that legitimate companies who are honest and trying to keep the quality high aren’t doing anything.
There are some bodies which are helping CBD companies to maintain these standards, including the CTA (Cannabis Trades Association) who work with the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK.
The idea of getting something that can give your health a lift, whether it is in general or for something more specific, is exciting, but it is important to do your research before going out and buying your CBD oil.
A good quality CBD oil can make a big difference to your overall health and by getting the right one, you can ensure that it is as effective and helpful to you as possible.