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By Understanding the Market, You Can Buy Hemp Products with Confidence

Whether gift-giving or considering your 2021 health goals, here’s everything you need to know to ensure that when you buy hemp products, you’re getting the best bang for your buck. 

Young man and his girlfriend using her credit card and smartphone as they look to buy cbd products online from a cafe.

1. Review the test results

Trustworthy companies test their CBD-infused products to ensure safety and accuracy.  Always ask the retailer or brand for testing results to ensure you’re getting the advertised CBD milligram content and no harmful residuals. 

2. Inquire where the hemp was grown

Hemp is a hyperaccumulator, meaning it greatly absorbs pollutants like heavy metals and radioactive contaminants — you don’t want those toxins entering your body.  Choose CBD products that use USA-grown hemp, preferably in states like Colorado where the Department of Agriculture inspects for illegal pesticides and THC content. 

3. Know the differences between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate

Full spectrum refers to a whole plant extract, containing naturally-occurring terpenes and cannabinoids including up to 0.3% THC.  Scientists have found that the synergy of all hemp’s natural compounds (called the “entourage effect”) create greater medicinal benefit than any one plant part alone.  However, if you experience drug testing, choose a product made with broad spectrum hemp oil or CBD isolate.  Broad spectrum is the same as full spectrum, but without any THC; and CBD isolate is purely CBD without any other plant compounds. 

4. Consider what you’re looking to achieve

There are CBD products in gas stations and grocers, with everything from gummy bears to toothpaste.  Consider your needs and each product’s perks.  Fast-acting tinctures and smokable products suit various ailments with short-term, heightened effects; whereas long-lasting edibles promote several hours of relief.  Try a topical or bath soak for localized external issues.

5. Read the whole label

You may be able to reduce your dose when using a CBD product that features other nutraceuticals, often made for specific effects.  If you’re seeking insomnia relief, perhaps consider a CBD product infused with melatonin.  Alternatively, be cautious not to waste money in purchasing a product infused with a non-suitable nutraceutical.  For example, caffeine, even with CBD, won’t help you sleep. 

6. Choose quality AND quantity 

Like most things, you can gain some major savings by buying in bulk.  Do the math and consider a product’s cost per CBD milligram — but don’t be so thrifty you forget important quality factors like where the hemp was sourced.  Also, consider finding a CBD company that offers a subscription program; recurring orders often save you money and the hassle of remembering to re-up your supplements each month.  

A woman reaching into a jar of trupura CBD strawberry gummies.

7. Understand bioavailability

“Bioavailability” refers to the amount and rate at which a drug is absorbed into the bloodstream.  This measurement tool determines dosing, and every administration method is associated with a different bioavailability.  When consuming a CBD tincture sublingually, scientists have found a 12-35% bioavailability.  Ingesting CBD edibles offers 4-20%, and inhalation when smoking/vaping, 34-46%.  Note that bioavailability and the effect each of these product types produce can differ based on your unique metabolism and diet.  Our suggestion: try a variety of products and track your results in a journal to find the best intake method and dose for you. 

8. Remember that packaging matters

CBD destabilizes when exposed to light or oxygen, so be sure to choose products that are packaged in sealed, opaque containers and then store away from light in a cool, dark space.  Be mindful of expiration dates for the best quality experience.   

9. Seek out a seal of approval

New to CBD and feeling a little overwhelmed?  Choose CBD brands with legitimate seals of approval.  These trustworthy organizations asked all the right questions for you: U.S. Hemp Authority backed by the US Hemp Roundtable, and Leaf 411, a non-profit composed of cannabis-trained registered nurses.

10. Trust your gut 

Testimonies offer some validity, but don’t waste your time and money with brands that boast unfounded medical claims.  If a product seems too good to be true, claiming to cure all your ailments and life’s problems, be aware they may be taking advantage of consumers’ vulnerability or illiteracy.  There are dozens of other great brands that truly have your best interest in mind. 

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