There are certain criteria I use to determine the ABSOLUTLE BEST QUALITY CBD products.
This is what I look for in a quality CBD oil: Ideally, it would be USA or European Sourced, Full Spectrum (whole plant) derived, Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Co2 Expressed, Independent 3rd Party Tested, Highly Rated, Guaranteed, and of course Affordable.
Lets go through these, one at a time.
—Where is it Sourced?
Why does this matter, you might ask? Well, we live on a pretty big planet. Nearly every continent grows and trades crops, but not all farms are regulated to the same standards. Here, in the United States (as well as in some European counties) soil has to meet certain quality standards in order to produce crops for human consumption. Even things like water quality and air pollution can have a significant impact on the overall quality of a crop. In some parts of the world, there are higher concentrations of toxins such as heavy metals. These can be absorbed by the plants, as they grow, and thus become a part of them. Some counties also do not enforce strict health regulations. Find out, as specifically as possible, what area the crops used to produce the item in question we’re grown. From there, you can decide if you feel it meets your own standards of agricultural quality. Typically, crops grown in the US or Europe are preferred by many, due to the current standards set in place by their governments.
—Full-Spectrum or Isolate?
What do these terms mean, and what’s the difference between the two? Basically, full-spectrum means the whole plant was used, whereas isolate refers to an individual portion of the plant. Isolates can come from the leaves, flowers, seeds, or roots of a plant—any part really. For people who understand the nature and benefits of whole foods, you can appreciate the reasoning behind using a whole plant, instead of just certain parts. To put it simply, when you use an entire plant, you get all the nutrients in a healthy, balanced, and more natural package. Hemp, for example, has over 85 different micro-nutrients that each have potential health benefits, especially when used in conjunction with each other. When you choose a full-spectrum CBD product, you get the benefit of all of these, as compared to only CBD when you close an isolate.
—Organic / Non-GMO?
Purity matters. It just DOES. Why pay for a product with extra chemicals and toxins in it? Gross, right? No, I don’t want nasty pesticides in my CBD products, thank you. This is, more or less, self-explanatory unless you just don’t believe that those unnecessary added toxins are any cause for concern. To each their own, right? Me personally? I’ll take my foods the way nature created them, and opt for organically grown consumables over the rest any day.
This one may not be an issue for everyone, but with the steady rise of food allergies, there will undoubtedly be many people who need to be assured that gluten won’t be an issue. Totally understandable. If this doesn’t concern you, then you certainly aren’t obligated to take it into consideration when choosing products for yourself. However, common allergens, in general, should always be a top consideration for anyone with any type of food allergy. Many CBD oils are mixed with carrier oils, such as coconut, which is really great, unless you have a nut allergy. ALWAYS read product labels for ingredients, especially if you are trying to avoid certain allergens.
—How is the Oil Expelled?
We know the chemical we’re looking for (CBD) is contained within the natural oils of cannabis plants, but how do they separate the oils from the fibrous plant matter?
There are a couple common methods that are quite effective in doing just that. One way, is to use a process involving solvents, alcohols and often harsh chemicals, to extract the oils. This is generally considered the traditional way, as well as the most economical way for companies to harvest their oils.
The other widely used method, though perhaps not quite as common, is to extract the oils through what’s called supercritical Co2 extraction This method doesn’t involve the use of harsh chemicals, and is often preferable for that reason. It can be more costly, but most people feel that the benefit is well worth it.
I’ve also come across a few company’s that don’t fully disclose their method of extraction, but simply indicate that it’s a “patiented” secret method. On on hand, it could be so awesome that they don’t want their secret getting out, but then I tend to prefer transparency then secrecy. At least I know what I’m dealing with.
This aspect is fairly critical, if you’re a fan of unbiased product testing (which I am). This is where we see if the claims made about a product are accurate or exaggerated. Think of independent testing as a form of checks and balances. Know by reading publicly available reports, how a product fairs. Many companies will have these posted on their website, for you to see. If you don’t see it anywhere, don’t be afraid to ask. They will provide details including CBD levels, THC content (if any), any additives used, residual toxins or heavy metals from the growing process etc. Really, it’s a report of the findings to identify the various components (and the respective levels of each) of the product. It’s tells you what’s in the oil. When a company claims their products are thoroughly tested (sometimes even triple tested), yet its only through “in house” testing, it doesn’t hold much weight for me. The gold-standard in product testing is independent, 3rd party verification.
—Ratings and Reviews?
I don’t know about you, but I’m ALWAYS checking customer product reviews online. At this point, I’ve already put a lot of time into researching and reading up on a product, and now I’m about to put out some money for something I believe to be worth it’s cost, so it’s got to have some excellent ratings behind it. If a product looks like it meets all my needs, but the reviews are only so-so, or even down right terrible, I’m gonna have to re-evaluate.
—Is there a Money-Back Guarantee?
This is huge for me. If I see that a company stands behind its products enough to offer me a full, money-back guarantee, of at least 30 days after purchase, even once opened and partially used, that really helps gain my trust. First of all, it makes me belive that their product does what it should, otherwise they’d be handing out a lot of refunds, and that simply wouldn’t be profitable for them. Second, I know that if I’m not 100% satisfied, I will get all my money back, and therefore I really have nothing at all to lose by trying it. Money-back guarantees are a win/win in my book!
—Is it Affordable?
Last, and perhaps even least; (depending on the situation) IS IT AFFORDABLE? Affordability will clearly vary from person to person. Only you know what fits in your budget. Just keep in mind, you usually get what you pay for. The less expensive the product, the more likely it isn’t as high of quality as some other brands available on the market. This is generally because the better the quality of an item, the more time and the better the materials were used, and all that has to be taken into consideration when it comes to pricing products in order to make a fair market profit. For me, if the product doesn’t meet my requirements, then even $1 spent is a waste. If it’s not what I’m looking for, it really doesn’t matter how cheap it is.
—The Whole Picture
After I look at each of the above aspects, individually, I want to know which, if any, products meet my ideal CBD. If none did, then I would see which ones came closest, and I would have to prioritize my list of qualities. At the end of the day, you’ve got to sit back and take a look at the whole picture. After all, we aren’t just looking at parts, but rather the sum of all the parts when put together. To see which CBD products made my strict list of quality standards, see my article entitled “TOP CBD PRODUCTS.”