Before You Buy CBD Oil Online, Ask These Questions
Being a vocal advocate for all things weed, I get a steady stream of messages from friends and family members sharing the thing that will deliver us, and our dogs, from stress, pain and anxiety.
The thing they’re talking about is CBD.
For those needing a refresh, CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many compounds, or cannabinoids, found both in cannabis sativa (federally illegal) and industrial hemp (gray area) that has shown preclinical promise in treating anxiety and inflammation. Adding to its therapeutic legitimacy, CBD was recently FDA-approved to be used in an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex making it the first cannabis compound to be federally recognized. Over the last year, CBD’s become the darling of the wellness world, working its way into our juices, facials, creams, and cocktails, purportedly giving people the benefits of cannabis without the THC high. Very chill.
But, and there’s always a “but” when it comes to weed in America, unless you’re buying cannabis CBD in a state where weed is recreationally legal or have a medical card in a legalized state, you’re shopping in the unregulated market that is industrial hemp CBD. (Full disclosure: I've worked with restaurants to launch hemp-CBD drinks and am the co-founder of Nice Paper, a site about cannabis.)
Unregulated markets come with some obvious risks; lack of oversight, false claims, the potential for dangerous pesticides and contaminants. Cannabis, in states where it’s legal, is regulated. Sold in state-licensed stores (akin to states controlling liquor stores, except with higher taxes and much stricter regulations) aka dispensaries, you can be confident that the CBD-dominant cannabis tinctures, topicals, vapes, and edibles on shelves are accountable to purity and accuracy tests.
When buying industrial hemp CBD, i.e. everything you see outside of a state-licensed dispensary, all bets are off. Because the legality of industrial hemp is in flux, companies that use hemp CBD operate in a gray market with no oversight. Nick Mosely, Chief Science Officer of a testing lab in Washington explained that “everything currently on the market for interstate CBD sales is unregulated.” And product labels can be wildly different from what's actually contained in the product. Multiple studies of CBD oil sold online have repeatedly exposed brands that misrepresent purity and CBD dosage levels.
Pesticides, mold, and other contaminants are obviously substances you don’t want to be mainlining into your body, but properly dosed CBD is also crucial. That’s because your body’s response to CBD dosage is bell-curved. Too little and you won’t feel anything; too much and it’ll dampen the impact with reported side effects like lethargy and diarrhea (not chill). Given the lack of research into dosage and the variety of ailments CBD is used for, most people have to find their own “Goldilocks Zone.”
To add to the challenges, brands in the CBD space are struggling to verify their own products. Laura White, founder of Soul Addict, started a CBD line after she found it helped her with crippling anxiety. Wanting to create a reliable product in both purity and potency, she’d test on top of the farm’s tests and kept running into the same problem: The lab results didn’t match. When White finally found a farm that had accurate tests, she’d partner with them. A few years later, Soul Addict now sources all its CBD through small, family-run farms in Colorado and White is in the process of integrating her own crops from North Carolina. The lesson she learned? Brands should be constantly testing their product to verify their farms’ reports.
CBD in all forms has enormous potential. Doctors are excited, the wellness community is excited, and I personally slather hemp CBD on my face to keep eczema at bay and put dropperfuls under my tongue to deal with anxiety. But, like all things marketed as panaceas, be skeptical and do your research before buying. If you’re interested trying CBD, always talk to your doctor first (particularly if you’re on other medication, which can interact with the cannabinoid). Start with a small dose and work your way up
Don’t judge a brand by its chic, well-designed label. Ask these questions before buying CBD:
Are they open about third party tests and willing to share the results? When in doubt, ask for multiple lab tests including from the farm and a third-party lab. They’ll list out contaminants, solvents, and the percentage of cannabinoids. According to White, “brands should be happy to share their results as they’ve invested in those tests. If they aren’t transparent, it’s suspect.” Brands like RITUAL, Care by Design, Humbodlt Apothecary and Kinslips have all gone through rigorous testing standards as they are cannabis derived. Since you can’t travel across state lines with cannabis CBD, industrial hemp CBD brands that have well-sourced farms and openly share tests include Lily CBD, Rosebud, Honey Pot Supply, and Soul Addict.
Where is their CBD from? Hemp point of origin is important for two reasons; If your CBD isn’t from the U.S., it’s definitely not legal and, if they can’t tell you where the farms are, they may not know.
Is it local or organic? At the end of the day, CBD is an agricultural product. If you’re worried about whether your kale is organic, you should take the same approach to CBD. Currently the USDA has been slow to label hemp farms organic, so the only way to tell if your product is actually organic is to study the lab results.
Is it full-spectrum? Full-spectrum is the use of the whole hemp plant vs. an isolate which extracts the CBD from the plant. Using marketing terms like “pure” and “all natural,” isolates are sometimes not hemp at all and synthesized in a lab. While the efficacy of full-spectrum is debated in the scientific community, anecdotes and a study in Israel favor full-spectrum. In addition to potential benefits, there’s another reason you should be buying the whole plant: contamination. Chen notes that isolates are harder to trace back to origin and can be straight-up fake. Overseas lab-made isolates are cheaper than domestic versions, making the potential for contamination high. Utah recently grappled with synthetic CBD when 52 people became sick from an isolate. While isolates can be legitimate (FDA-approved Epiliodex is an isolate), you’re going to have to spend more time researching the brand’s products and practices. Put it this way, if you could get your vitamin C from Sunny D or fresh squeezed OJ, which would you prefer?
Does the label list the amount of CBD per serving? Products called hemp oil or hemp extract may contain little-to-no actual CBD. Unless the label tells you how much CBD is in the bottle and how much CBD there is per serving, you can’t be sure it’s legit.
CBD Product Quiz
Find out which CBD product is best for you and your needs.
What’s The Purpose Of This CBD Quiz?
Choosing a CBD product that makes sense for you can be difficult. Not only are there a lot of different CBD brands to choose from, but there are also several different types of CBD products. CBD oil can be absorbed into the body in the form of capsules, tinctures, gummies, creams, patches, and more. The purpose of this quiz is to help you figure out which types of CBD products and CBD brands may be best for your needs.
How Long Is The CBD Quiz?
The quiz is only four questions long, so it should take less than five minutes to complete. After answering four simple questions, you’ll be matched with three CBD products that we think may be a good fit for you.
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Why Choose Green Wellness Life?
Green Wellness Life thoroughly vets all products for quality, consistency, safety, and effectiveness to give you peace of mind. When you buy from our online shop, you’ll be purchasing some of the best reviewed CBD oil and holistic wellness products on the market at some of the most affordable prices available. Many consider us the best online CBD store, and we can’t wait to serve you and show you why. Our team is always a live chat, phone call, or email away if you have any questions, or need any assistance.
FDA DISCLAIMER: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice. Always check with your physician before starting a new food supplement program.
INFORMATION: Links to any external informational websites or publicly accessible videos are provided as a service to our website visitors. They do not have a direct affiliation with Green Wellness, LLC.
Phone: (888) 772-7875 – Green Wellness, LLC, 9175 Cherry Valley Ave SE Suite 10 A, Caledonia, MI 49316
What is Lab-Tested CBD Oil?
There are CBD products and then there are lab-tested CBD hemp oil products. With the murkiness of the hemp industry at the moment, the lack of federal and state regulations has allowed for the infiltration of dangerous synthetic compounds. Even pure hemp extracts may vary in their THC and cannabinoid content. You may purchase from one company that uses CBD isolate while another uses zero-THC oil that contains other cannabinoids.  So what does it mean when CBD oil is lab-tested and why should you care?
Good Manufacturing Practice
Luckily for those who are looking to use CBD products, the FDA requires that factories and places that produce CBD be in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).  This is basically a quality control system to make sure that hemp extracts are properly processed. It’s assuring to know that places producing non-GMP CBD have received warnings from the FDA. But how will you know your CBD product has been properly treated and tested?
The GMP Stamp
First, the product will typically be labeled with the GMP stamp. It’s usually a black and white stamp (sometimes green) that says “Good Manufacturing
Practice” on it with the word “GMP” in the middle. It’s a good idea to always check the labels on the products that you are buying. If you purchase online, take a look at the company’s website to see if their products are in compliance with GMP standards.
All of Maven Hemp’s CBD products are manufactured in accordance with GMP standards, so you can rest assured you are consuming a high-quality product that has been processed according the strictest standards.
Hemp Oil & Third-Party Lab Testing
Second, you want to make sure that the product has been tested by a third-party lab. This means that a lab tests the products for content and quality. If you’re looking for cannabis oils without THC or that are pure CBD, look for the zero-THC or pure-CBD stamp on the label as well as the words “third party lab tested”.
Cannabinoid Percentages in CBD Products
Third-party testing is also important because with the loose regulations, a study from 2017 found that 26% of CBD products contained less CBD than what was on the label.  This issue of over-labeling means you’re paying more for something that doesn’t contain as much of the active ingredient as advertised. Under-labeling on the other hand, isn’t as big of a problem. Synthetic CBD aside, natural CBD isn’t toxic and is non-intoxicating. So, even if there is more CBD in a product than expected, it won’t hurt you. With full-spectrum cannabis oil, a little THC (less than 0.3%) might be a problem if kids are ingesting it. In these cases, look for products that contain isolated or purified CBD with no other cannabinoids.
Questions? The Hemp Experts at Maven Have Answers
At Maven, our hemp experts are at the forefront of CBD research around the world. Check out our FAQs for answers to your most common questions and feel free to contact us for more information.