It seems like everyone is getting into cannabidiol (CBD) these days. It feels like it is in every store and available in any product you can think of. So, when shopping for a CBD product, how do you know that you have gotten one that has CBD and only CBD?
Here at Panacea Life Sciences, we are all about education and making sure that people understand CBD properly. So, this blog is here to help guide you through the waters of finding pure CBD products, which can feel a little murky at times.
Covering the basics: a definition of CBD
To start with, we should go over what CBD even is. There is a fair chance that you already know this, but a little refresher never hurt anyone.
In cannabis plants, like hemp and marijuana, there is a kind of chemical compounds that are known as cannabinoids. This is a diverse group of compounds. So far, researchers have identified over 113 cannabinoids and there are likely more to be found. CBD is one of these 113 cannabinoids. While it has gained in notoriety in recent years, there is another cannabinoid that is much more well-known.
It is more than likely that you have heard of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Like CBD, THC is a cannabinoid, but it is much more famous. The reason for its fame is because THC is psychoactive. That means that it creates the high that is so commonly associated with cannabis. Because they are both cannabinoids, it is not an uncommon thought that CBD and THC are more-or-less the same. That they are both psychoactive. However, this is an erroneous line of thought. CBD is not psychoactive at all. It does not create any sort of inebriating effect.
CBD is normally extracted from hemp than from marijuana. The reason for this is based mainly in the fact that hemp has much higher levels of CBD and low levels of THC. This is unlike marijuana, which has high levels of THC and varying levels of CBD. These differences between hemp and marijuana also has an effect on their legal status in the United States. Because of hemp’s low levels of THC, it was made federally legal in the US in 2018. Marijuana, on the other hand, is still federally illegal, but some states have legalized it on some level.
There are a lot of reasons why people use CBD. One of the more common reasons is that it may be able to help people achieve a greater sense of calm. This study found that CBD was able to keep people calm when facing a stressful situation. Another reason is that it may be able to help support joint health, potentially helping with movement. For example, this study found that the cannabinoid was able to help with inflammation caused by arthritis. There has been a fair amount of research that has been done on CBD over the last couple of decades. Many of these studies have found new reasons to use CBD. No doubt future research will find more.
As mentioned, this is just a brief review of what CBD is. There is still a fair amount to know about it, like the different kinds of CBD extract, for example.
The different kinds of CBD extract
CBD extract is not as cut and dry as many people may think. There are different kinds of the extract. To be more exact, there are three main kinds. They are full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. The differences between them is not unlike the difference between hemp and marijuana: it is all based on what cannabinoids are in them.
This is the least processed form of CBD extract. But that does not make it the purest. In fact, full spectrum is the least pure kind of CBD out there. It is CBD extract that has everything else that may come out of the hemp plant with the CBD during the extraction. This includes other cannabinoids, like THC. However, it is not a high amount of THC. Hemp products legally cannot have more than 0.3% THC in them, which is not enough to create a high.
Broad spectrum CBD extract is pretty similar to full spectrum, but with one specific difference. Broad spectrum does not have any THC in it. It has all of the compounds and cannabinoids that may come with the CBD during extraction, however the THC is filtered out of it. The appeal of these two kinds of CBD extract is something called the entourage effect. This is when compounds build on each other to potentially create a stronger effect.
If you are looking for a pure CBD product, this is the label you are going to want to look for. CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like. It is just CBD. All other cannabinoids and compounds have been filtered out of it, leaving only the target cannabinoid. CBD isolated may not be as strong as the other extracts. However, it may also provide a clearer CBD experience.
To reiterate what is expressed above; if you are looking for a pure CBD oil, you are going to want to pay attention to what it says on the label. It is more than likely going to have one of the titles listed above. A pure CBD product, that has nothing but CBD, will have a label that says, “CBD isolate,” or even just “isolate.” If a label does not express whether or not it has THC in it in anyway, it is probably a product you will want to stay away from.
How to know if a CBD manufacturer is trustworthy
While we are talking about things you should keep away from, we should probably touch on what you should look for in a CBD manufacturer. The CBD industry is still fairly new, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is doing what it can to keep things regulated, but there is still work that needs to be done. As a result, there are some companies that are trying to take advantage of the lack of knowledge of CBD. These are companies that you do not want to buy CBD from as they are likely not as careful with their product.
So, how exactly do you avoid these less-than-reputable manufacturers? The best way is research. You will need to be willing to do a little bit of reading. You will want to read reviews, both of the company and the product (or products) that you are interested in. Be sure to read not only reviews on the company’s website, but also on third party sites. This way you avoid any potential bias that may come up.
You should also explore the company’s website a little. They should have information on there about their production process. If a manufacturer is not transparent about how they make their products, there may be something a little shady about them.
CBD manufacturers should also have the quality of their products tested. They should do their own testing, as well as having a third-party test it. This way they avoid bias. This information should also be available on their site. Never trust a CBD manufacturer that is not transparent about testing their products.
This may sound like a lot of work just to find some CBD. But if it means that you get a safe, high-quality CBD product then it is worth it.
The many forms that CBD products come in
Now that you know what to look for in a CBD product and its manufacturer, let’s go over what options you have when looking for a good CBD product. After all, CBD extract is versatile and is easily made into any product. So, we are going to do a quick overview of the main categories of CBD products that are out there.
Tinctures & oils
These are the more traditional version of CBD products and what you are likely to get when you go looking for CBD oils. They are CBD extract that has been mixed with a carrier oil, like palm or coconut oil. These you can take in a couple of different ways. You can mix some in with food or drink. This route is a little bit longer because the food needs to digest to start working. You can also place the drops directly into your mouth. If you go with this strategy, it is best to put the drops under your tongue because the skin there is thin. This allows the CBD to absorb into the system much more quickly.
Tablets & capsules
These are products that are not unlike regular pills. However, there are specific forms they tend to take. CBD tablets are usually sublingual. That means that you place them under your tongue and allow them to dissolve. Like with tinctures, the CBD absorbs through the thin skin there letting it get to work much more quickly. CBD capsules are often soft gels. That means they look like regular pills but contain liquid CBD in them. That makes them easier to swallow and they may start working faster than regular pills. However, they do still need to digest so they do take longer than tablets and tinctures.
You can probably deduce what CBD edibles are. They are any food or drink that is made with CBD. These are very popular in the CBD community. Their popularity rises from the fact that they taste good and are easy to take. However, edibles tend to take the longest to start working. This is because the food or drink needs to digest before the CBD can enter the system and start working. But their effects also tend to last the longest. So, there is a bit of give and take there.
This is a particularly broad category of CBD products. Unlike the capsules and tablets there is not one specific form they tend to take. Topicals are anything that you rub onto your skin (lotions, salves, balms, creams, or even hand sanitizers) that have been made with CBD. They do not provide the overall effect that the products you take orally do. Their effect is much more localized. This is because the CBD does not enter the bloodstream with topicals. Instead they absorb through the pores. The CBD is still able to do its work, but it is much more focused in one area. Topicals work best when they are applied liberally and often.
There are a handful of CBD-based medications that have been approved by the FDA. It is likely that there will be more in the future. But for now, CBD-base FDA-approved medications include Epidiolex, which is aimed at helping reduce epileptic seizures, and others that are made to help reduce the nausea that often comes along with cancer treatments.
These the main categories of CBD products out there right now. The future will more than likely bring even more interesting CBD products to try out. For now, there are still plenty to choose from.
To sum all of this up, you will know that the product you bought has pure CBD in it if it says “CBD isolate” on the label. It is also helpful if you buy your CBD from a manufacturer that is transparent and trustworthy. Hopefully, this blog has given you a good guide to work off of when shopping for CBD products.
It is completely understandable to have more questions about CBD, and to want those questions answered before delving into CBD. If you are still curious about CBD, check out the other blogs here on the Panacea Life Sciences website. If those blogs do not answer your questions, then feel free to contact us. You can do that through our Contact Us page or by emailing us at [email protected]. We are always happy to answer your questions. If you are ready to head into the world of CBD, then why not check out our products? Here at Panacea Life Sciences, we are proud to carry high-quality CBD products for everyone, even dogs, cats, and horses.