Estimates vary as to the growth of the CBD industry, but there are few more exciting markets in the health supplement industry at present. A study by BDS Analytics and ArcView Market Research in May 2019 paints a promising picture. According to the report, CBD sales in the United States alone will pass $20 billion by 2024!
Today, there are CBD oils, balms, drinks, edibles, and much more as the industry stretches into every corner of society. As is the case with all fast-growing industries, the onus is on the consumer to separate the best from the rest.
Remember, most hemp CBD products are not FDA-approved. In what is an unregulated industry, you must conduct thorough research to ensure you pay for premium-grade cannabidiol.
In this guide, we provide you with five questions worth asking before you make this potential investment in your health.
Is It Full-Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate?
In a nutshell, CBD isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol. It is produced by singularly extracting CBD from the hemp or marijuana plant and isolating it from the rest of the plant’s compounds. When you purchase a high-quality CBD isolate, you get over 99% CBD in a product. This means no other cannabinoids, plant parts, flavonoids, or terpenes.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the plant’s naturally-occurring compounds. Why is this important?
Recent research suggests that the marijuana and hemp plant’s compounds work together synergistically via the ‘entourage effect.’ In other words, you should experience more significant benefits from full-spectrum CBD than its isolated counterpart.
For years, researchers believed that isolates were superior. However, a study by Gallily et al., published in Pharmacology & Pharmacy in February 2015, said otherwise. The scientists found that an extract containing numerous cannabinoids and terpenes provided a better response than CBD alone.
Ethan Russo has published several studies on the subject. He published his latest work in Frontiers in Plant Science in January 2019. In the study, Russo asserted that the case for the entourage effect was substantial. His research indicates that a single molecule is no match for the multitude of cannabis phytochemicals.
When choosing full-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, you must look at your circumstances. For example, if you have a drug screening soon, an isolate is potentially ‘safer.’ If you want a more profound effect, you may prefer a full-spectrum product.
How Is CBD Extracted?
The method of extraction is hugely important. Manufacturers need to extract CBD from weed or the hemp plant to separate the cannabinoid and ensure it is available in a concentrated form suitable for human consumption.
There are three standard methods of extracting CBD, and one relatively new one. Here is a brief overview.
This involves the use of a solvent such as propane, ethanol, alcohol, isopropyl, or butane. The famous Rick Simpson Oil method uses ethanol, for instance. While CBD extraction via solvents is inexpensive and fast, it is also potentially dangerous. It dissolves plant waxes and extracts the cannabinoids and bitter-tasting chlorophyll.
You place the plant and flower trimmings in a container and run solvent through it. The process removes the cannabinoids. Next, you evaporate the solution and the result is cannabinoids in oil form. DIY solvent extraction attempts occasionally lead to fires because you are handling flammable material. Solvent extraction may also leave traces of toxic chemicals such as naphtha hydrocarbons.
Olive Oil Extraction
This is the oldest method of extraction. You decarboxylate the raw plant material to activate its compounds. Next, add olive oil to the contents and heat it once again. You extract the cannabinoids but don’t evaporate the oil. CBD from olive oil extraction is exceptionally perishable. Keep it in a cool, dark place. It doesn’t produce CBD oil nearly as potent as other methods.
This is the #1 method of commercial CBD extraction. In general, companies complete the process using a closed-loop extractor. The machine typically contains three chambers. The first holds pressurized carbon dioxide. The second holds dried plant material, and the third separates the end product.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is the primary technique. It takes advantage of the composition of carbon dioxide and involves exposing the gas to high temperatures and high pressure. The machine pumps CO2 into the second chamber where it takes a form between a liquid and gas state.
Next, the machine runs the supercritical carbon dioxide through the plant material and extracts the cannabinoids. Finally, it is pumped into the final chamber, and the CO2 rises to the top. The extract remains at the bottom. CO2 extraction provides a clean product but necessitates the use of costly equipment.
This is a relatively new process that is grabbing the headlines. It uses heated air to extract cannabinoids and terpenes gently. The heated air goes through the hemp or marijuana plant to evaporate the requisite terpenes and cannabinoids from the surface in vapor form. Next, the collected vapor is condensed into a full-spectrum concentrate free from chemicals.
At present, CO2 extraction remains the most popular form, and we advise you to search for sellers that use this method. However, vapor distillation will likely become extremely popular soon.
How Much CBD Is There Per Serving?
CBD oil dosage is all-important, but it is difficult to quantify how much you need. While one person will benefit from just 10mg of CBD per day, another individual may need 30mg to get the same effect. As such, you must learn how much CBD you get per serving.
Only purchase CBD when the amount per serving is clearly labeled. For example, you know that Premium Jane’s 1000mg CBD tincture contains 33.33 mg of CBD per ml of liquid. We even let you know that half a dropper contains 25 mg of CBD. This fact makes it easy for you to determine how much you consume daily.
Of course, the form of ingestion is also essential. Research suggests that vaping CBD offers a higher bioavailability (rate of absorption) than oral or sublingual consumption. However, you may prefer CBD edibles because the effects last longer. Experiment and discover which consumption method provides you with the best results.
Third-Party Lab Test Results and Certificate of Analysis (COA)
In an unregulated industry, it is easy for companies to make claims without evidence. The more trustworthy CBD brands provide third-party lab reports or a COA. For example, the COA for Premium Jane’s 1000mg CBD oil (Citrus) shows that our oil contains 1005.864mg of CBD per bottle.
This information also lets you see the full cannabinoid and terpene content. Check out the link above, and you’ll see that the oil contains 35mg of CBD per ml. Crucially, there is an ‘ND’ designation beside THC, which means ‘None Detected.’ Terpenes include Pinene and Terpinene. Finally, make sure the lab involved is a legitimate enterprise!
A lab report or COA offers peace of mind. This documentation verifies plant quality and ingredients. As a result, you know you are getting clean, organic, and safe CBD products.
Is the CBD Sourced from Industrial Hemp or Marijuana?
The final question is another crucial one. While the law is still confusing, the government is indicating that it tolerates CBD derived from industrial hemp, but it doesn’t have the same view on cannabidiol from cannabis. The entire legal picture is far too complicated to paint here.
What we can tell you is that the Farm Bill 2018 legalized the growth of industrial hemp in the United States. The plant must contain a maximum of 0.3% THC. However, in states such as Idaho and Georgia, state law seems to indicate that CBD oil must contain 0.0% THC. Stay on the safe side and choose hemp-based CBD with zero THC.
Final Thoughts on How to Buy the Best CBD Oil
The CBD market is expanding rapidly. However, as it is unregulated, consumers must exercise caution when making a purchase. Do not assume that the CBD oil you purchase is top-quality unless it meets the criteria expressed above. Premium-grade CBD has a lot of therapeutic potential, according to preliminary research. Alas, low-level products are potentially harmful, so be careful!