Now that hemp and hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3 percent THC are federally legal, you may be seeing CBD products show up in more places than ever before. In fact, you’ve probably already seen CBD products in gas stations, convenience stores and your supermarket!
With so many options on the market, it can be hard to make the right choice. How do you know what you are buying is tested, safe and high quality?
Here are nine tips to take into account when shopping for CBD
1. Decide why you want to use CBD. Yes, it’s very popular these days and more and more people are taking advantage of the incredible health benefits, but what is the reason you want to use CBD? To help with inflammation? Anxiety? Pain? Think about what you need the medicine for, how it can best benefit you and how you want to consume it. Do you enjoy tinctures or edibles? Or do you want a delivery method with a more immediate impact like smoking or vaping? Think about your preference and lifestyle and talk to a member liaison about your options.
2. Buy from a licensed dispensary. At the Wellness Connection, we rigorously test all of our products. In addition, our member liaisons are well-educated and ready to answer all of your questions about dosage, use and delivery method. Take the extra time to talk with a knowledgeable source to make sure you get the information you need to make the right choice. It’s worth it.
3. Check the testing information on all products. Not all CBD products are the same. When talking with your member liaisons, Ben Owens of Grass Roots America Magazine recommends asking to see the testing information – all legitimate products will have a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and/or lab results. Do the test results vary batch to batch? It’s a good sign if they do. If they don’t, it may mean the company is using the same test results for every product, which is unethical and unsafe.
4. Observe labels. Ben Owens says to watch if the label smears when wet. In addition, look to see if there is a barcode that you can Google and check against other records. Does it have the required FDA warnings? Is the packaging intact? Brands and companies that want to do the right thing will be paying attention to all these details in order to stay in compliance. Buy from a company that cares about public safety and best practices.
5. Research the brand. Before buying any CBD products, research the brand or company online. Why? Because the more information a company has online, the less likely the risk. When you do a Google search, make sure there is a company website, social media presence and contact information that is easily accessible. Ben Owens of Grass Roots America Magazine recommends choosing CBD brands that make it easy to talk with someone, learn about the product and see what employees and other patients are saying.
6. Watch out for false claims. If a product says that it is “full spectrum” and “zero THC” this is inaccurate. By definition, full spectrum will contain every cannabinoid in the hemp plant, which includes small trace amounts of THC. Healthline also recommends making sure the product actually contains CBD or hemp extract so you are not wasting your money. Hemp seeds, hempseed oil or cannabis sativa seed oil are not the same as CBD. Be careful of misleading advertising.
7. Pay attention to the amount of THC. If you want to avoid the “euphoric” effect that THC is known for, Consumer Reports suggests finding a hemp-derived product because it will have less than 0.3 percent THC. Just enough to work with the CBD but not enough to get you high. Again, make sure you read the testing results to see how much THC is present in the product. If you want more THC, you will have to go to a licensed dispensary in order to make your purchase (which we recommend anyway).
8. Look at the ingredient list. It may be obvious, but Healthline recommends looking at the make-up of the product you are interested in buying to make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients. This is especially important for edibles.
9. Be wary of products that make health promises. While we know the many health benefits of CBD, be skeptical of any product that makes sweeping claims, says Consumer Reports. “Making health claims, even just the ability to treat relatively minor problems like migraines, is legal only for prescription drugs, which undergo extensive testing for effectiveness and safety.”
If you have any questions about shopping for CBD, come in and talk with our experienced member liaisons call us at (855) 848-6740 or DM us on social media.