By Dr. Ashok Khanna & Deven Khanna
A common response when I suggest that a patient try CBD for a medical issue is "Oh I bought that online and it doesn't work." While there are many reputable CBD growers and manufacturers, many of the CBD brands online are of poor quality or are so diluted that they are not effective. Currently there are no regulations on CBD oil to set a proper standard, so it is up to you as the consumer to ensure you are buying a product that will actually do what is says it will do, instead of snake oil from a company who just wants to make a quick buck.
Here are 7 ways you can tell if you are buying a CBD oil that will really work to relieve the symptoms related to your medical condition.
Full Spectrum CBD: The best CBD oils are often labeled "full spectrum." This means that the CBD is derived from the whole plant, not just the seeds. This is beneficial because the oil contains a variety of components that are considered medicinally beneficial. Various cannaboids, terpenes, and flavonoids work synergistically. The human body has a natural endo-cannabinoid system. When full spectrum products are used, the endocanaboid system becomes more saturated resulting in improvement of overall health, wellbeing and pain management.
Formulated by a Pharmacist: The highest quality CBD growers and a manufacturer create products that are pharmacist-formulated. This ensures that the manufacturing processes adheres to strict guidelines. You also know that the CBD oil brand is consistent with its formula and that each time you buy the product, it will always be the same instead of guess work at your expense. This ensures that you get a clean, high quality, effective product each time you purchase it.
Third Party Lab Testing: A high quality CBD product will have independent lab testing to verify the validity of the product claims. The lab testing will confer the level of CBD to THC as well as the level of purity or toxicity. I would not buy a CBD product that does not post the independent lab testing results. It's the only real way to know exactly what you are buying. All quality growers and manufactures have lab results available to the consumer. If no lab results are found, BEWARE.
Made in USA: It is very important to know from where your CBD originates. The Hemp plant is considered a hyperaccumilator. This means that the quality of the plant will reflect the quality of its environment. A plant that is grown in rich, healthy soil will result in a more potient high cannaboid level plant, while a plant grown in poor soil will lack and be low in medical properties. Plants that grow in regions that contain contaminated pesticides, usage runoff and heavy metals will absorb hazardous properties, which can be ingested and ultimately negatively effect your health. There are many great Hemp products that are grown in the United States. U.S agriculture is monitored by the department of agriculture, which requires stricter standards for plants grown for human consumption as compared to foreign entities that are mostly unregulated.
Organic: As mentioned above, the Hemp plant is a hyperaccumiltor which means it absorbs the contents of its surroundings. Organically produced plants are important in order to avoid plants that have absorbed pesticides, genetic engineering, irradiation, and toxic sewage sludge for fertilizer or runoff. Organic farms must be inspected every year to help ensure quality. You are also ensured that the plants are not treated with hormones, which add to the growth of the plant, but diminish the plant quality. Organic plants yield a healthier more viable medicinal product..
Manufacturing Technique: When shopping for CBD oil, you will notice a varying degree in pricing. Some companies will use very inexpensive extraction techniques which will greatly effect the quality of the product. Poor quality CBD oil is often manufactured with toxic hydrocarbon gases such as propane, butane, hexane or pentane. These chemicals are hazardous for your health and defeat the purpose of taking CBD. These products can even make illness worse instead of contributing to your overall well being.
You want to look for a product that is manufactured with pharmaceutical grade ethanol or through supercritical CO2 extraction. Both of these techniques will yield a high quality product with reduced toxins and residues. The oil will contain a higher amount of cannaboids, which are required for medicinal effectiveness. The CO2 extraction method is considered the most superior extraction. The product tends to be the most expensive but the end result is a more pure, potent, and healthy medicinal CBD oil. If your pocketbook can't support the CO2 method, then go with the pharmaceutical grade ethanol method but don't waste your money buying CBD oils processed with hydrocarbon gases. You will be left feeling disappointed and out of a hard earned chunk of change.
THC content: THC is the psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana and the hemp plant that causes a person to feel high. It is one of hundreds of cannaboids that have medicinal benefits, contained within the Cannabis plant, but may be unwanted in the oil you are purchasing. THC may help to heal some ailments, but may exacerbate other ailments such as anxiety. Its important to know how much THC the product you are buying contains. Usually, products that are purchased online have less than 0.3 % THC. Medicinal Marijuana CBD products, which requires a medical card in many states, can have as much as 1% THC. There are even hybrid mixtures that are a 50/50 blend!