How to Find the Best CBD Oil: Learn What Is Safe and Effective
How to Find the Best CBD Oil for the best results. Avoid the scams and failed drug tests.
The CBD market is projected to explode into a $2.15 billion industry within the next couple of years, and more and more companies are wanting a piece of that pie.
That means people seeking natural relief with CBD oil have more options to choose from than ever before—and this can be both a good and a very challenging thing.
While you’ll have plenty of choices to select from while hunting for the best CBD oil for you, you’ll also need to put in the leg work to separate the wheat from the chaff. In this article, we’ll help you understand how CBD works in your body, how to avoid harmful or ineffective products, and how to choose a CBD oil that will actually give you the benefits you’re looking for.
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s often associated with cannabis (aka marijuana) plants, but it also exists naturally in hemp plants. CBD or cannabidiol is one of over 100 compounds classified as cannabinoids.
When consumed, CBD and other cannabinoids are thought to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system plays a big role in the immune system, the nervous system, the organs, and the bodily processes that influence memory, sleep, and mood. Researchers believe CBD increases the body’s levels of its own endocannabinoids and may interact with the body’s serotonin receptors. (Serotonin is one of several “feel good” chemicals in the human body.)
Together, these effects lead to far-reaching impacts throughout the body. This helps explain why research suggests that CBD may play a role in soothing the nervous system, boosting the immune system, improving mood and sleep, and many other possible benefits. What’s more, CBD offers these perks without any psychoactive effects (meaning it won’t get you “high” the way the cannabinoid THC will). It’s thought that CBD is most effective when it’s taken in conjunction with other cannabinoids. This is called the “entourage effect,” and it explains why broad-spectrum CBD products are generally considered more potent than those products that use only CBD isolates.
As you can imagine, a healthy endocannabinoid system is essential for overall health. By stimulating activity in the endocannabinoid system, CBD may assist the body in achieving the homeostasis this system requires to be healthy. This is why so many people are hopping aboard the CBD bandwagon.
Because CBD offers so many potential benefits without the risk of dangerous side effects, more and more people are starting to use CBD as a natural option for the management of a range of conditions. And as CBD grows in popularity, that means more and more companies are looking to cash in on this budding market.
Unfortunately, regulators haven’t been prepared for the influx of CBD brands, so the industry is pretty much the Wild West at the moment. Because adequate regulations aren’t yet in place, the quality of CBD products varies drastically.
For instance, a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that:
- Upwards of 70 percent of the studied CBD products sold online were mislabeled.
- Approximately 42 percent of these products contained more CBD than indicated, while 26 percent of products contained less CBD than the packaging suggested.
- Findings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have also suggested that CBD products are frequently mislabeled.
In addition to mislabeling the quantity of CBD in their products, some brands have adopted other dubious practices such as:
- Using cheap hemp and isolates. Many companies utilize low-grade hemp from China and then inject cheap CBD isolate to increase the potency. But as noted above, isolates are not as effective as broad-spectrum CBD products, because they don’t include a large number of cannabinoids which are necessary to achieve the “entourage effect” wherein the benefits of each of these cannabinoids are enhanced. This means people may be spending money on products that won’t actually do much for them.
- Using potentially harmful fillers in their products. Some manufacturers cut corners and costs by adding thinning agents (such as propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol, both of which have been linked to rare but potentially toxic effects) or flavorings to their CBD oils. These potentially harmful ingredients are not actually necessary for crafting an effective CBD product.
- Failing to use effective driver or carrier oils. Most formulas on the market use MCT oil as a carrier oil, but they don’t use enough or they use cheap products. It has been found that some major brands with cheap carrier oils are only absorbed at a measly rate of seven percent and are quickly filtered out by the liver and excreted via urine in about 12 to 18 hours.
- Having traces of psychoactive THC in their products. Not only is the “high” elicited by THC unappealing to some users (and can have major consequences for folks who are drug-tested for employment), but THC is also illegal in many states.
- Use chemicals to extract the CBD Oil. There are a number of extraction methods, which range from using chemical solvents (which may involve potentially harmful substances including petroleum) to CO2 extraction (which involves using high-pressure carbon dioxide gas with or without chemical solvents). You don't want to unknowingly be consuming dangerous chemicals.
Because some brands are willing to sacrifice quality in the name of a quick buck (and because regulations haven’t yet clamped down on these practices), it’s essential to do your research before investing in CBD oil. In the next section, we’ll discuss some practices for identifying the best CDB oil for your needs.
Even though the CBD industry is a bit like the Wild West, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you’re identifying a high-quality CBD product. While researching CBD oils, keep the following tips in mind:
- Opt for “broad-spectrum” over isolates. As noted above, "broad spectrum" means the product contains additional cannabinoids beyond CBD. The more cannabinoids that are included in a CBD product, the more likely you are to enjoy the “entourage effect” in which the benefits of CBD are enhanced. In contrast, isolates simply include CBD and no other cannabinoids.
- Avoid unnecessary fillers. As discussed above, some companies add thinning agents or flavorings to their CBD oils. Not only are these products potentially harmful, but they’re also entirely unnecessary. So there’s no sense in exposing yourself to anything other than high-quality ingredients.
- Investigate the THC content. If you don’t want to be exposed to psychoactive THC for personal, professional, or legal reasons, then you’ll want to do your research. If the CBD oil is derived from cannabis, make sure to read the label and perhaps call the manufacturer to inquire about whether and how much THC is present in the product. (Note that per federal regulations, any plant containing 0.3 percent or less of THC is considered “industrial hemp”; any THC content above that tips the plant into the “marijuana” category.)
- Check the CBD content. As noted above, these labels may not always be accurate. But the product should have a label, and that label should give you at least some idea of the CBD content you can expect from each dose of the product.
- Investigate where the plant was grown. Per above, some retailers use cheap, unregulated hemp produced overseas. If you want a higher-quality product, then you’re probably better off sticking to CBD oils derived from U.S.-grown hemp. In the U.S., most hemp is produced in Colorado, Kentucky, or Oregon. Different states have different regulations for hemp, so it may be useful to investigate those regulations.
- Investigate how the plant was grown. Hemp plants are “bioaccumulators,” which means they absorb heavy metals and other chemicals (such as pesticides) from the soil in which they’re grown—and those potentially harmful substances can then be passed on to the people who utilize hemp products. For this reason, soil quality is imperative if you’re looking for a high-quality CBD oil. Ideally, you’ll want to find a product produced from organically and sustainably grown hemp.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If a company doesn’t have good customer service that is available to respond to your questions, that’s a red flag. If they do have a customer service, then don’t be shy about emailing questions including:
- Where and how was the hemp grown?
- From which part of the plant was the oil extracted? CBD oils derived from the flowering tops, leaves, and/or resin of hemp plants tend to contain higher levels of CBD than oils derived from hemp seeds.
- How was the CBD oil extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant? Some people prefer to avoid chemical solvents, so it’s important to know which extraction method was utilized.
- Ask about testing. If you really want to determine a product’s quality (or lack thereof) then it’s a good idea to ask the manufacturer whether they can provide any third-party test results. Some companies—including Native Nutrition—third-party test the quality of their products; others don’t.
At Native Nutrition, we believe that CBD can help people. In selling CBD oil, our mission is to help people feel better and provide them with a natural option for relief from or better management of a range of maladies. We’re committed to enabling our customers to enjoy these benefits with the peace of mind that they’re putting a high-quality substance into their bodies.
To that end, we’ve formulated our CBD oil with a group of industry-leading scientists and one of the more phytocannabinoid-rich hemp strains. This strain is actually patented due to its standout properties.
Here’s our promise to our customers:
- We work with the only manufacturer in the U.S. that grows THC-free CBD products and is third-party tested. We’re one of the few CBD companies that are made in an FDA, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility.
- We use broad-spectrum CBD Oil. We offer a patented strain of whole plant, broad-spectrum hemp oil with over 80 phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, omega fatty acids and other nutrients to help you achieve optimum health and wellbeing.
- We use premium ingredients. We utilize USA-grown hemp and so our customers aren’t exposed to heavy metals, pesticides, or other potentially harmful substances.
- Our CBD oil is properly dosed, so the CBD content on our labels is what you’ll actually get. True potency is determined by the Active Molecule Count, or how much cannabidiol is in the tincture. Leading competitors are between two percent and 28 percent AMC. Our hemp oil is made with a 60 percent AMC, providing maximum potency.
- Its made without useless fillers or chemicals. This ensures you don’t have to shoulder the side effects of ingesting potentially harmful substances.
- Our CBD oil is designed with maximum bioavailability and absorption in mind. Most hemp oil isn’t matched with proper carrier oils, which leads to your liver filtering most of it out. Our CBD is paired with a super blend of carrier oils plus driver oils that allow it to filter through your system up to six times over two days—thereby maximizing the absorption and benefits with each dosage. This means our customers enjoy up to 10 times higher absorption than they would from many of our competitors’ products.
All told, we combine the power of nature and the precision of science to empower our customers to optimize your health. We created this product to provide a natural solution to help with aches and pains, stress and anxiety, and overall health and vitality. We’re confident that ours is the best product in the U.S. from a scientific standpoint, and we’re leading the charge toward a less Wild West throughout the CBD industry.