CBD Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Buying CBD Oil
This is a complete guide to CBD oil that will help you shop confidently.
In this new guide, you’ll learn:
• The definition and origin of CBD
• Important CBD-related terms
• How to tell if it’s quality CBD
• Different ways to take CBD
• How much CBD oil you should take
Let’s get started.
Chapter 1: CBD 101 – The Basics of Cannabidiol
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a chemical compound found primarily in the cannabis plant. Interest in CBD has piqued recently due to a growing number of studies that suggest a great range of therapeutic benefits.
It’s important to distinguish CBD from the other 100+ compounds, collectively known as cannabinoids, found in cannabis and other plants. The only cannabinoid known to cause intoxicating (”high”) effects is THC, while CBD and other cannabinoids are considered non-intoxicating. [Read more on the difference between CBD and THC.]
In hemp varieties of cannabis, there’s 0.3% or less THC, which is not nearly enough to cause an intoxicating effect. Marijuana is a cousin to hemp, and is the variety of cannabis which causes intoxicating effects. [Rread more on the difference between hemp and marijuana.]
CBD Oil Extracted from Aerial Parts
CBD oil is extracted from the aerial plant parts of hemp, such as the stalks and flowers, not the seeds. While hemp seed oil is popular for its nutritional value, it does not contain CBD.
You can consume CBD oil in its raw form, typically called a “concentrate”, or infused into a wellness product. We’ll talk more about the differet types of CBD products in a later chapter.
Chapter 2: CBD-Related Terminology
A variety of the cannabis plant species that is grown specifically for industrial uses. Hemp has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD and thus does not have psychoactive properties.
A variety of the cannabis plant species that is grown specifically for THC content. Marijuana has low levels of CBD and high levels of THC and thus does have psychoactive or intoxicating properties.
A genus (group) of flowering plants that include three different species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Both Hemp and Marijuana are a variety of the Cannabis sativa species.
A cannabinoid that is derived from a plant, namely, cannabis.
A non-psychotropic cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. Also referred to as CBD.
A main psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. Also referred to as THC. Hemp contains 0.3% or less THC, which is not enough to cause an intoxicating effect.
A chemical substance that changes the function of the brain and creates an alteration in perception, mood, or consciousness.
The action of removing the cannabinoids and flavors of hemp from the plant parts.
A chemical reaction that requires heat to remove a carboxyl group and release carbon dioxide. The decarboxylation of CBDa (the precursor of CBD) to CBD “activates” the CBD. This allows us to experience the full benefits of CBD.
Oil extracted from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. Hemp oil can contain trace amounts of THC and is therefore non-psychoactive.
The introduction hemp into another substance, such as food or skincare.
The strength of a solution. In this case, how much CBD is in a product.
The amount of a substance contained within a solution or in a particular volume of space.
A concentrated form of hemp oil. Concentrates are oils extracted right from the hemp plant without additives. We explain more on these in the CBD product section.
A CBD tincture is a CBD-infused liquid for sublingual use.
Food infused with CBD, such as chocolate or gummies.
Products applied directly to the body, such as lotion or salve.
Vaporizing the active ingredients of plant material for inhalation.
A solution applied underneath the tongue.
Chapter 3: How to Find Quality CBD Oil
How to Find a Reputable Seller
Before purchasing CBD oil, it’s important to confirm that the place you’re purchasing from is reputable. As the market for CBD grows, as does the number of illegitimate businesses. You can avoid bad sources by looking for the following features.
Sourced from Quality Hemp
Where hemp comes from can be an indicator of its quality. Hemp must be grown in the right conditions and with the proper care. Hemp is a bioaccumulator, meaning it pulls from the soil. While this has benefits, it also means that the plant pulls up any chemicals that are used in the growing process. Look for hemp oil sourced from hemp that is grown free of any chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.
The experience of the hemp farmers should also be considered. Many reputable brands source from Europe, where farmers have had years of experience growing hemp in their climate. While European countries have different standards for growing hemp, the overall standard is high, which often leads to a more quality product. As the number of hemp farms grows in the United States, we predict to see more domestic sourcing of hemp; however, as of now, Europe has set the standard for hemp quality.
Extracted Using a Clean Method
Hemp oil can be extracted a number of ways, but not all are equal. The highest standard of extraction is the CO2 method, where hemp is put under high pressure and low temperatures. This process eliminates the need for using harsh chemicals. While this is a complex method, it is the cleanest and safest method of extraction and ensures a pure CBD product.
In contrast, some hemp oil producers use solvents such as butane or ethanol to extract hemp oil. While an effective method of extraction, this method strips the oil of plant waxes that Made By Hemp finds to be beneficial to the overall product.
Lab Tested by a Third-Party
Proper testing of hemp oil must be performed periodically in order to confirm potency and check for impurities. These tests ensure that the amount of CBD on the label is what is in the product. They also confirm that the legal level of THC (0.3%) is not exceeded. Proper testing shows the company’s transparency in their practice.
The results of these tests can be found in the form of a COA, or a certificate of analysis. A reputable source will test consistently and should have a recent COA available to anyone who asks. We list COAs for every product we carry on each product page. [For more on this, see What is a COA and How to Read a Certificate of Analysis]
Find Reputable CBD at Made By Hemp
At Made By Hemp, we provide you with the most reputable sources of CBD on the market. We’ve done the research for you and give easy acces to lab test results. Each of the brands we carry were chosen for their quality and integrity.
Chapter 4: Ways to Take CBD
Find the Best CBD Product for You
Once you’ve determined that a source is reputable, the next step is to decide the best CBD product type you prefer.
CBD oil is a versatile ingredient and can be taken as is or infused into a variety of product types. The method you choose is determined by a number of preferences including the route of delivery, the speed of delivery, and the CBD base.
The base of a CBD product is mostly a whole plant hemp extract or a CBD isolate. A whole plant hemp extract contains the full spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids while a CBD isolate contains only CBD. Your choice of CBD base will be determined mostly by whether you would prefer to take a CBD product that is THC FREE or one with <.03% THC.
Whether THC free or <.03% THC, they are still non-intoxicating. For more on the various CBD types, see: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, Isolate, or PCR Which is Best?
CBD Hemp Oil Concentrates
CBD hemp oil concentrates are potent CBD products. They are a thick oil extracted right from the hemp plant and contain no additives. Hemp oil concentrates are taken sublingually, meaning that they are held under the tongue and then swallowed.
This product is rich in cannabinoids. At Made By Hemp, CBD concentrates are available in three versions with distinct cannabinoid profiles.
Here they are:
Also called the “raw” version, the Green hemp oil concentrate is extracted from the plant without the application of heat or filtering. The Green version is a full-spectrum, whole plant hemp oil with various cannabinoids (primarily CBD and CBDa) and terpenes.
The Blue hemp oil concentrate is decarboxylated, which activates its cannabinoids; converting all CBDA into CBD.
The Gold hemp oil concentrate is decarboxylated and then filtered to remove any extra plant parts. It provides the highest concentration of CBD of the three versions.
Hemp oil concentrates are fitting for those with serious wellness goals. For those that are most interested in gaining the benefits of cannabinoids, CBD hemp oil concentrates may be the right fit.
Additionally, since this product is held under the tongue, it has a rapid absorption rate.
CBD Capsules & Softgels
CBD capsules are taken orally and have a familiar method of consumption. They are a hassle-free option that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Many take CBD capsules along with their other daily supplements.
Since capsules travel through the digestive system, they have a longer release time than other methods. This is beneficial for those who wish to experience the benefits of CBD over an extended period of time. As they are swallowed, capsules do not have a hemp aftertaste. Since they are not a liquid, capsules are travel-friendly.
CBD tinctures are a liquid hemp oil supplement. They have an oil base, such as grapeseed oil or coconut oil, to thin the consistency of the product. Similar to concentrates, tinctures are taken sublingually. They come in a bottle with a dropper top or spray top for easy administration.
For those who have difficulty taking a traditional pill, tinctures are a great alternative as they are easy to swallow. Tinctures are available in a variety of flavors, making for an enjoyable experience. Due to the fact that they are taken sublingually, tinctures are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. Tinctures are a great fit for those who are looking for a fast-acting supplement that masks the taste of hemp.
CBD Vape Oil
CBD vape oil concentrates are an e-liquid that can be vaporized using a compatible vape pen. Vape oil is available in a variety of products from pre-filled pens to standalone liquid. Vaping is a popular method as the act in itself is relaxing.
Vaping is one of the fastest acting methods of taking CBD. The vapor travels directly from the lungs and into the bloodstream for immediate results. Vaping is a preferred method for those who would like to see the effect of CBD right away.
Taste: Don’t eat it, please.
CBD skincare and beauty infusions include cannabidiol-infused products such as lotion, salve, and lip balm. Beauty infusions are applied topically and are ideal for addressing localized concerns. Through this method, CBD is absorbed into the skin and does not reach the bloodstream.
CBD beauty infusions are an all-natural alternative to the chemical-heavy skin care on the market. CBD skin care such as the products on Made By Hemp are made with all-natural ingredients that replenish, restore, and protect the skin. CBD is a good source of antioxidants and is an anti-inflammatory. Additionally, hemp oil contains other essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fatty acids.
CBD edibles are CBD infused treats such as chocolate, gum, and gummies. These products have a lower potency of CBD and are popular with those that are new to CBD. For this reason, CBD edibles make for a fun treat periodically. Due to their similarity with everyday treats, edibles are a discreet way to take CBD.
Chapter 5: How Much CBD to Take
How Much CBD Should I Take?
Unfortunately, there is not a standard amount of CBD that one should take. Based on your body and wellness goals, the serving size will vary. Determining how much CBD oil to take will, at first, be a process of trial and error.
First, you’ll need to consider the potency of CBD in the product you are taking. Potency refers to the concentration of CBD in a product. After choosing the way you want to take CBD, you’ll need to decide the milligrams of CBD you want to take. We are not doctors so we cannot prescribe what CBD potency would be best for you. However, this can be discovered with research and a talk with your physician.
If you are looking to begin with a low potency CBD product, edibles or low CBD capsules are a great place to start. These products will lightly introduce CBD into your system. For a medium potency, tinctures, vape, and capsules are a good fit. These products can be easily built up to create an ideal serving size. For the highest potency of CBD, CBD hemp oil concentrates are your go-to.
Once you have chosen the potency you’d like to use, we suggest starting with the serving size that is recommended by the manufacturer. This will serve as a starting point for comparison. Take the recommended amount for a week and then reflect on how you feel. If after a week you are not achieving your desired results, increase the serving size and continue your new routine for another week. Repeat this process until you feel that your proper serving size has been identified.
For more information on how much to take, figuring out milligram amounts in products and more; see our helpful guide: How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
Setting a Budget
When deciding which product to take, it is helpful to set a budget. For many, CBD is a recurring purchase. Determining how much you can afford to spend on CBD will help guide you to the product you wish to take.
When setting a budget, it is helpful to compare the price versus the value of a product. A product at a higher price may be a higher value depending on the CBD content. Some questions to ask when determining value:
- How much CBD do I want to take daily?
- How many servings does this product provide?
- How much will each serving cost me?
As you discover which type of product works best for you, it will become easier to determine which product is the best value. Lucky for you, CBD Prices have decreased significantly over the last 5+ years and as more farmers start growing hemp, the prices will continually fall.
Still Have Questions?
We understand the process of finding the right CBD product can be confusing at times, so we hope this post is helpful in making you more confident in buying canabidiol proudcts. If you still have additional questions about buying CBD, we would love to chat! Contact us at email@example.com, 844-887-4367 or click the chat box in the lower right-hand corner. We’re open for emails, calls and chats Mon-Fri 9-5 EST.