CBD or cannabidiol has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years due to its therapeutic benefits. The market for CBD is flourishing, and companies have incorporated CBD in all sorts of products, such as edibles, topicals, oils, tinctures, and vape juices. They are readily available in supermarkets, pharmacies, and hundreds of online stores, so consumers have a wide range of options and brands to choose from. Unfortunately, the CBD market is unregulated in terms of purity, safety, and dosage of the products, so buyers must be aware and only purchase CBD from a reliable store or a trustworthy online cbd shop.
Here’s what to look out for when buying CBD online:
- The legal THC limit
Many consumers usually opt to buy Full-spectrum CBD, a form of CBD that contains other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant apart from CBD. In addition, it also contains trace amounts of THC, but not enough to make you high. Buyers should be aware that the CBD products they are purchasing should not contain more than 0.3% of THC as it is the legal limit.
- Lab reports
With so many CBD products flooding the markets, it is easy to come across fake products that may contain harmful contaminants such as lead and other heavy metals. Lab reports help buyers be aware of the authenticity of their purchasing. Trustworthy stores usually have third-party lab reports. The consumers should look for the dose of CBD in lab reports and the safety of the other ingredients in the product to ensure they are consistent with the packaging. Consumers should also take note of when the reports were approved and be cautious of reports that are a few years old.
- Extraction processes
The specific extraction process a company uses for CBD production is a helpful indicator of the quality and value of the product. The following are the most common extraction processes:
- CO2 Extraction – Uses supercritical carbon dioxide to separate CBD oil from the plant material and require expensive machinery for the process. It is the most preferred extraction process because it produces the highest concentration of CBD with no toxic residue.
- Steam Distillation – Even though this method is inexpensive, it is less preferred than CO2 extraction because it produces an inefficient concentration of CBD. Moreover, there is a risk of heat damage to the extract if the steam gets too hot.
- Hydrocarbon Solvent Extraction – This method is similar to steam distillation; however, it uses a hydrocarbon solvent instead of water to separate the CBD oil from the plant material. It is a cheaper way to extract CBD and produces a consistent concentration of CBD; however, it may carry impurities and give the product a bitter taste.
- Natural Solvent Extraction – This method utilizes olive oil or ethanol as solvents for extraction and does not contain any toxic residue. The downside to this method is that the CBD concentration may be lower than other methods. Moreover, chlorophyll may also be extracted using this method, which can give the product an unpleasant taste.
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