As a ‘newbie’ to the world of CBD (Cannabidiol), it can be difficult to decide on both the type of product to choose and the manufacturer to buy it from. There is so much variety on the market, both in retail stores and online, that you can get lost for hours trying to figure out the right choice for you. At least, that was my experience.
To help, I have compiled a list of factors to consider when assessing products so that, hopefully, your buying process becomes easier and you’ll be confident you’ve made the right purchase.
CBD products come in variety of strengths – meaning the concentration of CBD in relation to the final product. Some products will show the CBD concentration as a percentage on the label. If they don’t, try to look for a third-party lab report associated to the batch of products. All creditable CBD manufacturers will have third-party lab tests carried out on their products to verify the purity and ingredients. The lab report will breakdown the cannabinoid profile, so look for the CBD row and its percentage. Stay away from products that can’t be supported with lab results, there is likely a reason they don’t want you to see whats inside.
For first time users, it’s recommended to start with a lower concentration, following the CBD dosage instructions on the label. It may take a few weeks for the effects to kick in, so be patient with it. You can always increase your dosage if and when you need to.
Full or Isolate
CBD is not the only compound in hemp. There are hundreds of components including other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and vitamins. Isolate CBD products have all other compounds removed to deliver a ‘pure’ CBD offering. Full spectrum, however, maintains these other compounds to deliver a more ‘natural’ product. It is thought that the additional compounds can work in synergy with one another, known as the entourage effect, to deliver a more beneficial product.
Full-spectrum CBD formulations tend to be the product of choice for most people; however, it is entirely up to you. If you want a higher concentration of CBD or are looking to create personal CBD concoctions, then an isolate may be more suitable.
Though taste doesn’t play a part in the chemical quality of a product, it can be an important consideration in your enjoyment. You’re less likely to regularly use a CBD product if you can’t stomach the taste.
The earthy nature of hemp can be an acquired taste and if you are not a fan, you may be better suited to a CBD product that masks this flavour. For example, Holistic Hemp Scotland Alpine CBD oil uses coconut oil to offer a different taste profile and Canabidol’s Cacao-tabs contain sugar and cocoa butter for all the chocolate lovers out there. Check out the product ingredients and consumer reviews to gauge if the taste of a product will be to your liking.
Reason for taking CBD
For those looking to experience the holistic benefits of CBD throughout the body, it is usually a decision between Oils, Capsules and Vape products.
CBD Oil drops are taken sublingually, meaning the oil placed under the tongue and held there until it is absorbed by the capillaries directly into the bloodstream. This results in a high level of bioavailability and increases the effects of the CBD. It should take 10-30 minutes for you to feel the effects and will last from 1-6 hours.
CBD Capsules have a lower level of bioavailability because the CBD is ingested and must pass through the digestive system before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. However, some people prefer capsules because it is much easier to ensure you’re taking the correct dosage each time. The duration of their effects can also be longer (4+ hours).
If you’re concerned about dosage but want a higher bioavailability, gel tabs may be a good fit. They are placed under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream, like oils, but without the need to monitor the amount you’re administering.
Vape products allow users to inhale CBD, which results in the time to feel the effects being much faster (almost instantaneous). They have a medium level of bioavailability but the duration of those effects tends to be shorter.
Topicals may be a better option if you want to experience the benefits of CBD in a specific location. Topicals are applied directly to the skin, with the effects usually concentrated to the area of application. It can take a little longer for those effects to be experienced, up to 1 hour, but it tends to last for longer.
You can review a more in-depth look at how long it takes CBD to work here.
What fits my lifestyle?
My gym used to be 20 minutes in the opposite direction from work to my home and I barely went during the week. A new gym, closer to home, recently opened and now I’m a regular visitor. I always find it easier to add something to my daily routine that doesn’t require a dramatic change. If you’re the same, buying a CBD product that can easily slot into your life is likely to increase its use. For example, do you take pills at certain times during the day? If so, would CBD capsules be a good choice for you?
It’s not the most crucial factor to consider and if you’re determined to use CBD, it wont matter. Just keep in mind that frequent use will increase the affects you experience.
Like any industry, there are CBD manufacturers who ‘do it right’ and others who don’t. Companies such as, Holistic Hemp Scotland, take great care in their work – sourcing hemp from local artisan farmers in Europe who hand pick and naturally dry the plant. They are non-GMO, sustainable organic products that are vegan friendly.
If you value buying products from ethically focused companies, spend some time to review the manufacturers farming and extraction processes. Those that are ethically minded are proud of it, so finding this information should be straight forward. If not, then perhaps think twice.
These are the considerations I made before making my first purchase. I was happy with the CBD cream I chose and felt it saved myself time and money buying and trialling products that may not have been right for me. Good luck with your CBD experience!