CBD oil is the wellness buzzword of the moment. In the UK alone approximately 6 million people report having used CBD oil. As a result there are a dizzying array of CBD companies all claiming they sell the best CBD oil. It’s no surprise then, deciding which CBD product to buy can be a confusing experience. That’s why we’ve written this definitive guide on how to buy CBD oil.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a type of compound known as a cannabinoid found in hemp. CBD is free from any intoxicating effect and has a host of vitality boosting benefits.
Right now though, CBD oil is legally sold in the UK as a nutritional supplement, as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.2% THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high. While it’s possible to buy CBD oil online and on the highstreet, a recent report found that a lack of regulation means that customers may buy CBD oils containing less CBD than labelled or in some cases no CBD at all. A few CBD oils also contained residues of solvents or above legal limits of THC. Worrying news indeed if you are taking CBD to care for your health and wellbeing.
At Spirit of Hemp, we believe strongly in the power of CBD and hemp, that’s why we want to give you a step-by-step guide on how to buy the best CBD oil for you (and avoid ending up with some overpriced snake oil).
1. Choose Organic CBD Oil
Faced with hundreds of CBD companies offering similar looking CBD products, if you want to buy CBD oil, it’s best to apply some basic criteria to remove the wheat from the chaff.
So, the first filter would be to only buy organic CBD oil. When we say organic CBD oil, we mean CBD that has been extracted from organic hemp. Why is this important? Hemp is an amazing plant, and for hundreds of years has been used to remove impurities from the soil. That’s because hemp gets rid of heavy metals and toxins through phytoremediation - a process in which hemp’s roots absorb contaminants from the ground. Makes sense then if you’re taking a CBD as a wellness supplement, to ensure it is extracted from the purest raw materials and it contains no harmful pesticides.
2. Opt For Full Spectrum CBD Oil
When it comes to our health, most of us are used to seeking out supplements that are the purest possible. However, with CBD oil, it’s time to reframe your thinking. CBD is one of over 400 active compounds in hemp, including more than 100 cannabinoids, a variety of terpenes (the organic compounds responsible for the distinctive aroma), and a host of flavonoids. Together they create the entourage effect - a natural synergy between all the molecules found in hemp. CBD is the star of the show, but without its supporting cast of cannabinoids and terpenes, CBD’s well-being boosting effect on the body is inferior.
That’s why it’s always important to look for ‘full spectrum’ or ‘whole plant’ CBD oils as opposed to CBD oils using CBD isolate.
3. Look for CO2 Extraction
Long gone are the days when CBD companies cooked up CBD oils in the kitchen using alcohol as a solvent. However, some still use ethanol as an extraction method, which if proper care isn’t taken can end up contaminating the final CBD oil.
Most CBD companies worth their salt opt for CBD extracted using the supercritical CO2 method, which is the safest and cleanest way to extract the active compounds from the raw hemp plant material.
4. Ask For Third Party Lab Test Results
One of the key findings in the recent Centre for Medical Cannabis Report on the UK CBD market was the mislabelling of the CBD products they tested. The biggest shock was a CBD oil sold by a leading high street chain of pharmacies that didn’t contain any CBD at all. However, as worrying were the CBD oils containing higher than the legal limit of THC or solvent residues.
The only way to guarantee the CBD oil you buy contains what it says on the label (with no nasty extras) is to look for third party lab test results for the batch of CBD oil you’re buying. If you can’t find the information on the company’s website, don’t be afraid to request it from their customer service team. Be aware that some of the larger companies test their products in house, which offers no true guarantee of cannabinoid content.
5. Choose a Product With Maximum Bioavailability
Most people when buying CBD oil want to get maximum bang for their buck. As well as price per mg of CBD, how much CBD can be used by our body (known as bioavailability) is another key factor. As a rule, CBD oil drops have superior bioavailability as they can be absorbed directly by capillaries under the tongue (that’s why it’s always advisable to take CBD oil sublingually). This is compared to swallowing CBD capsules which have to first pass through the digestive system, get broken down by liver enzymes, before finally making it into the bloodstream. All of which takes far longer, with a fraction of the CBD eventually being available for the body to use.
6. Look for Customer Reviews
In the UK, CBD companies are prohibited from making medical claims in their marketing materials, and this includes using customer testimonials that talk explicitly about how CBD has helped their medical condition.
That said, a lot can be gleaned from customer reviews either on peer review sites such as TrustPilot, or on Facebook or Google. Even if it’s just to establish that their products arrived on time and there was good customer service, getting honest comments from other customers are worth their weight in gold.
Ultimately, we all react differently to CBD oil; for some people it is life changing, while for others, they can take it or leave it. However, by following these simple steps, you should at least have a decent chance of buying a quality CBD oil.
We won’t lie, we believe our Spirit of Hemp whole plant, organic CBD oils are about as good as CBD products get. But if you have any remaining doubts about making your CBD oil purchase from us, feel free to get in touch with our customer service team who will be delighted to answer any questions you have.