“CBD makes me sick.” A customer matter-of-factly said to me about a month ago at work.

      I have heard about THC causing people to get sick. I have not, however, heard of anything similar to that about CBD, until that day. It struck me as odd, so I decided to dig deeper and get our dialogue moving toward more pointed questions.

      I asked her what happened when she got sick, what kind of product, and how she consumed that product. There are many different ways to consume CBD. So, it’s essential to look at every part of the equation that could have made her sick. For instance, some people are allergic to certain carrier oils used in specific brand formulations, like coconut oil. Once she gave me the name of the brand, it was an obvious game-over. It was a brand that’s come to my attention many times over the years and not in the best lighting.

      I asked her if she had eaten any edibles with CBD in them and said she had. After asking, I found out that the edibles with the same CBD molecules did not make her sick. In any form of consumption, CBD gets delivered to our bodies. I had to tell her right then that it was the overall lack-of-quality product she had been consuming.

The FDA doesn’t
regulate CBD …
beware of what
CBD products
you are buying.

      The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD. This allows a lot of scam and gimmick products to come to shelves that contain no CBD at all. Yet, they still get pushed as the ‘best product’ to hit the shelves. Some ‘brands’ even go as far as posting fake laboratory tests to attempt to convince consumers of quality. So, beware of what CBD products you are buying.

      To help you with your decision, I’ve put together a list of 9 things to know before you buy CBD oil or any other CBD products. I want to make sure you have the best experience possible. That starts with making sure you find the best CBD products possible.

***Make sure to share any interesting tidbits you read with your friends ***

WHERE WAS THE PRODUCT SOURCED AND PROCESSED?

      Often, we buy products that originate from China or other parts of Europe. This is NOT what you want to look for in terms of a quality CBD product. There is an increased risk of getting an inferior quality product from overseas that might leave you scammed and underwhelmed of the effectiveness. I recommend making sure that the hemp is sourced and processed in the US or Canada. I am a Colorado native to my root, so I enjoy sticking with products made here in good ol’ Colorado. To be quite frank, some of the best products I’ve seen, come from Colorado or Kentucky.

WHAT CERTIFICATIONS DOES THE
SELLING COMPANY POSSESS?

      Labels and certifications can say a lot about a company, and the diligence they have in assuring their customers of the safety and integrity of their products.

Some of the labels that I am keen to look for are:

GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), which is a third party certification that ensures the integrity of proper manufacturing and proper labeling of said contents.

Cruelty-Free (CCF, Leaping Bunny, or PETA) because I care about other living animals and I want to put my money where my mouth is.

GMO-Free and Organic labels because what I put into my body matters to me.

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS?

      All too often these days, are we inundated with a wide array of products with an insanely amount of ingredients on their list … and all too many of those ingredients are bad for us and even promote diseases like cancer and inflammation. Are the ingredients listed anywhere on their website or the product? They should be — the fewer ingredients, the better, especially when speaking of an oral tincture. If you’re considering a lotion, soap, bath bombs, or any other item, research the unfamiliar names to be assured of their safety. No matter what, refrain from purchasing any product online that does not have the ingredients readily available for you to read through.

WHAT ARE THE TEST RESULTS?

      Does the website have test results readily available or do they offer an email address to receive the test results upon request? This can be an important one as it offers up transparency with the company and further builds the trust of their customer base. Be careful of how much of that information is offered, an overabundance of ‘proof’ on a site can also view as scammy as some companies have been busted for forged results. The type of results you might want to look for would be potency testing of all existing cannabinoids inside each product or dose. You would also want to look for tests of heavy metals and residuals that may come from the extraction of the oil from the plant.

HOW MUCH CBD IS IN EACH DOSE?

      The standard dose for a tincture is around 10 to 25mg of CBD. I have a bottle here in my room that has 300mg listed on the bottle. It’s a 30ml bottle, so the math comes to 10mg per ML. This math should be placed somewhere very easy to read on the label, usually near the supplement facts and ingredients list. Depending on the severity of the issue you’re treating, your calculation of the appropriate dose will be different than others who use the same product. Make sure to track your progress and figure out what amount helps you the most. On one occasion I witnessed a person who required hundreds of milligrams per day. Sometimes very high amounts of CBD are needed to battle the intensity of the ailment being treated.

WHAT TYPE OF CBD IS THE PRODUCT USING?

      Products today are advertised with three different types of descriptors: Isolate, Full Spectrum, and Broad Spectrum.

      Take a look through each tab for more information on each …

Isolate

Just like it sounds, the CBD is completely isolated from the rest of the plant when extracted. This option can be a decent option for those who are afraid of coming up hot for THC because of employment or legal matters. Isolate is not, however, the best option when it comes to the most well-rounded therapy. In the industry, we tend to explain this theory as The Entourage Effect, when the sum of all parts is better than the singular. In the dispensary, I playfully relate it to my guests with similar sayings like: “It takes a village…” or “It takes two to tango.”

Full Spectrum

This term is frequently misused. Full Spectrum describes a Whole Plant perspective, including all of the other phytocannabinoids like THC, CBG, CBC, THC-V, CBN, etc. It also refers to the inclusion of terpenes, waxes, lipids, fats … AND … the amino acids, omegas, and proteins that come from the cold-pressed hemp seed oil that is infused into it as well. From one end to the other, the full plant is used. You probably won’t see anything come to market with cold-pressed hemp seed oil because it requires refrigeration for it not to spoil or become carcinogenic. Any heat applied to the cold-pressed oil can cause it to become a carcinogen to our bodies. Other oils that are more commonly used are grapeseed, olive, and coconut which are also fat based oils. While they have a good ratio of omegas and amino acids, they would prevent a tincture from being truly Full Spectrum.

Broad Spectrum

This is the most common type of product found on shelves next to the Isolate variety. Although some companies are labeling it as Full Spectrum, the reality remains that it is only a Broad Spectrum, because of the reasons listed above. If the product you’re looking for is a vape pen, a broad spectrum product would be the only option against an isolate, because the waxes, fats, and lipids should be removed before smoking; Thus only leaving the terpenes and phytocannabinoids. Aside from Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum would be my choice for purchase because of the entourage effect stated earlier.

WHAT IS THE CBD
EXTRACTION METHOD?

The method of extraction can be an essential factor to look for. The different modes can range between the use of solvents such as carbon dioxide (CO2,) butane, propane, pure grain alcohol like Everclear, and even naphtha. Some of these methods are certainly not best for oral consumption and, if extracted improperly, can be detrimental to our lungs when smoked. CO2, however, is becoming the more widely accepted means of oil production because of it’s the clean end product. The Colorado cannabis industry is lucky enough to have regulations in place that test for the parts per million (ppm) of each product before it goes to sale, but, the extra work it may require to filter a product coming from anything else other than CO2, might be more of an additional business expense than is necessary. None-the-less, nothing is without its an occasional hiccup, and there have been product recalls made inside the Colorado market about the PPM topic. The best way to be assured that your product is the cleanest is to choose CO2.

ARE THERE ANY REVIEWS ON THE PRODUCT?

What are your peers saying? The internet has fast become a place where everyone talks indirectly to each other about all sorts of topics. Reviews are no stranger to the net, and you can always seem to spot the ones that are genuine and thoughtful. Seek out the longer reviews that have more emotion and detail to them. Robot-generated opinions can often be too short and without any general direction. You want to hear from people, in detailed terms, why they felt the product was either good or bad. Social proof can be a significant factor in the purchase you decide to make.

HOW MUCH THC IS PRESENT?

This is a topic that gets brought to me all the time and was presented to me again by my mother yesterday about the conversation she had with some friends.

I need first to make this statement very clear; THC is not harmful. It has all the ability to help heal your body just like CBD. In some parts of the world, THC is still very illegal and can possess strict penalties for the handling and consumption of it. You need always to be well informed of the laws in your area so you can be as safe as possible. For example, the US recognizes that CBD products can test at levels of no more than 0.3% THC. Each State can allow or disallow that same stance. Currently, as I know it, all States are on board with that regulation. Still, do the research for the place you live.

If you live in a state that only allows CBD products, you still might have to worry about probation or an occupation. These two topics tend to require drug tests, and I can not promise, with a 0.3% tolerance of THC, that you would be safe from a positive test result. Again, be aware of the laws and your governing entities’ (employer or parole office) stance on the matter. If this is your case, seek out Isolate products, but only until your circumstance changes. Broad or full spectrum is always best, but I understand your plight.

Now, let me get real serious here; If you live in a legal state and have the legal ability to consume as much THC as you please, do not be afraid that it has THC in it. THC … the tiny molecule it is … isn’t bad. The personal experience you get from TOO MUCH of it, is the shadow; is the real bad guy. Too much of anything can always become a bad thing. Now …

[i]Inside our bodies, we have two ‘communication’ receptors called CB1 and CB2. CB1 mostly lives inside our brain and spinal cord, while CB2 lives mainly inside the body and limbs. The ‘high’ you experience comes from the CB1 receptors in our brain and spine. We don’t feel the ‘high’ when THC interacts with CB2. This is the reason certain products like Foria come into the picture; In Colorado, our Foria products contain a healthy amount of THC and CBD, but none of them get you high, because they are interacting more with our CB2 receptors. If you would still like to see what products you can have sent to your home elsewhere, I’ve got your back with a link to their site.

In conclusion and part, you have the ultimate ability to decide for yourself how much THC you want inside your product. I have a whole grand list of reasons why there should be no fear of tiny little THC. If you would benefit from that list, let me know, and I will oblige.

I hope this was able to clear up any questions you may have had about the various CBD products on the market. I know the task of searching through the many options can be a daunting one, so I have personally selected one company that has met all of my criteria for quality and that I stand by 420% that I would highly recommend you take a look at for your daily CBD intake. Enjoy!

[i] Derived from: https://www.foriawellness.com/blogs/learn/your-endocannabinoid-system-cbd

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