The Importance of CBD Quality

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A comprehensive guide to help explain the importance of good quality CBD, and ways to ascertain it before incorporating CBD infused products into your routine.

If you have been considering introducing CBD into your routine - be it to alleviate symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia or really,  any other affliction - it’s crucial to understand the importance of determining CBD quality. CBD labels can sometimes be somewhat convoluted to comprehend - overwhelming even, the following has been listed to guide you towards a happy, rewarding CBD journey. Read on to find out what you should really look at and what all you should steer clear from when investing in a CBD product.

 CBD, our process, extraction, cultivation

Extraction method used

To extract CBD from the hemp plant, pressure needs to be applied to the plant causing trichomes to burst open, resulting in the plant releasing its oils which are then captured. However, the method of extraction has a great impact on the genetic makeup of the end product - in this case, the very CBD oil you consume. CO2 being a supercritical solvent is one of the safest ways to extract CBD oil. Also, unlike other extraction methods it ensures that the extract is free of any additional chemicals or additives. CBD extracted using chemicals like propane, butane, pentane and hexane can be especially harmful as they have the propensity to leave behind harmful contaminants.

Testing for toxic substances

CBD plant

Hemp is known to be a “hyperaccumulator”, the mouthful of a term to put simply means that hemp happily and readily absorbs things from the soil that it is planted in. In some cases this is most beneficial as it takes in nutrients, vitamins and minerals but it can be dangerous when it is exposed to and absorbs lead, petroleum or other toxic chemicals. It is therefore important that the farmers growing hemp are certified and that their fields are frequently tested. This way safety can be ensured from the very beginning of the process by eliminating any contact with pesticides, heavy metals, solvent residue, bacteria, fungus or other such matter. 

Before investing in a CBD oil check to see if the company has its products verifiably tested. Most reliable brands would supply this information with the product or make it available to their customers through other communication channels. It is important to check for any harmful additives aside from the levels of CBD and THC.

Concentration of labelled CBD

When you’re investing in CBD oil, naturally your pull towards the product is because of its CBD content. A good practice by any brand marketing CBD is to put this information clearly on the label itself so that you can easily locate the concentration or total milligrams of CBD in the bottle. To be effective, we would recommend that your bottle contain 250-1000mg per 30ml.

Labelling

Always, always double-check that the CBD and THC concentrations on the bottle and those accounted for in Certificate of Analysis made available by the company match. Labelling inaccuracies are unfortunately widespread. While some claim to promise the benefits of CBD without actually having significant concentration of CBD in their products others do not clarify the amount of THC. Trace amounts of THC may be present in CBD oils but they need to be certified to be 0.03% or less - legal and nowhere near enough to get you high. Carefully read the labels and any attached reports for exact information before choosing your product.

CBD from whole plant extracts

With the elimination of THC, while shopping for a CBD product two main varieties are sure to pop up - broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. While isolated oils are also effective they are not of the highest quality especially as we remain mindful of the fact that over 100 cannabinoids are present in the cannabis plant and when you invest in an isolate it brings you just that - an isolated cannabinoid. CBD works better when it is in unison with its brother cannabinoids and thereby, showcases the entourage effect and so, by using a broad based spectrum CBD product you can reap all the benefits of the cannabis plant (we’re talking terpenes, flavonoids, glycerides - the whole deal) all the while staying clear of THC. The entourage effect also helps increase CBD’s bioavailability, another somewhat fancy term that means that anytime when we consume a product the acid in our stomach breaks it down and makes it available to our body by distributing its nutrients into the bloodstream. Having an increased bioavailability would mean that the nutrients have a better chance of actually being absorbed by the body before they’re flushed out.

Avoiding unnatural substances

CBD infused products

While purchasing a CBD product make sure you check that the products don’t contain gluten or other substances that can potentially cause an allergic reaction. Additives usually do not add anything significant to the CBD product. If you’re opting for flavours try and go the all-natural route. While studies are yet to decide the fate of GMOs and their long-term effects, it is advisable to avoid them, make sure you’re aware if any GMOs are present in your CBD product before making a purchase. 

Packaging

We’re not saying you need to get your hands on the snazziest bottle available but to elongate the life of your CBD product make sure the packaging, especially for oils, is made from an impermeable material like glass. UV rays can also affect the composition, opt for a dark coloured bottle and store it carefully in a cool, dry place.

Price point

High quality CBD oils go through very detailed and careful production stages, they definitely aren’t cheap to make so if the price on the bottle seems too good to be true - we hate to burst your bubble - but it's probably just that. A very low price point would be a good nod in the direction affirming that the source of CBD was of inferior quality or maybe the extraction process used sub-standard solvents or possibly made from even  contaminated raw materials that went unchecked or - it possibly doesn’t contain much, if any, CBD at all. We’d never suggest you look for CBD’s worth in gold but reasonable prices and good reviews are solid rocks to depend on.

Vinsha is a mental health advocate, body positive advocate, powerlifter and writer. You can check her out on @duskycurvyproud
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