While CBD is widely available both on the high-street and online, you should exercise caution when it comes to sourcing and purchasing. In the UK, the regulation of the CBD market can be inconsistent and confusing. Often, products containing CBD fall into the ‘food supplement’ category even though most audiences seek them out as natural remedies or alternative medicine. Earlier this year, The BBC expressed concerns about so-called CBD products containing ‘unlisted and potentially hazardous ingredients’ and, on occasion, ‘little or none of the extract itself’. To stay on the safe side, be sure to research your brands and use these tips to avoid making blind purchases.
1. Know Your Spectrum
Among the various products on offer, CBD extract is available in different blends and concentrations. On the labels of most CBD products, you will find one of three listed categories; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate. These terms may sound mysterious, but in reality, they are quite straight-forward.
In this extract, CBD partners with some of the other compounds that are naturally present in the cannabis plant. Some people argue these compounds (such as other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids) work together with CBD to enhance its overall effectiveness and bring additional benefits. This makes full-spectrum more pungent and risks the presence of THC.
Similar to full-spectrum, a broad-spectrum CBD features a variety of cannabis-derived compounds. However, additional lab procedures help to remove any traces of THC which may be present in the extract.
As its name suggests, CBD isolate is the result of CBD compounds being isolated in ‘pure’ form. It has no taste or noticeable smell – which means that it is less likely to offend the senses. CBD isolate normally has 0% THC content and does not contain other cannabis compounds. Therefore, it is the most concentrated and controlled version of CBD extract.
3. Discover All Forms Of CBD Products
As our recent article in Forbes showcased, the UK CBD market is on track to see an increase of 50% this year. While it’s empowering to have access to so many different CBD products, the variety can also be overwhelming – especially if you are new to the culture. Learning about the most popular products will make it easier for you to judge which method suits you best.
CBD extract infuses with a natural base oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil) to create CBD oil. Stored in a tincture bottle with a dropper, CBD oil goes under your tongue. It might begin working in as little as 10 minutes – which means it can provide swift relief in moments of stress and anxiety. One significant study shows that up to 79% of people using CBD oil experienced lower levels of anxiety as a result.
If you are comfortable with swallowing pills, you can try CBD in the form of a capsule made with water, gelatine and glycerine. Since this method relies on CBD being absorbed by your digestive system, it is generally best to take after eating a meal. However, CBD capsules take more time to act, so some people may find this method is best for relieving generalised stress rather than dealing with sudden situations.
CBD Gummies and Other Edibles
If you are seeking a method that feels more familiar and less clinical, edibles may be the choice for you. A growing variety of comfort products incorporate CBD: from gummies and luxury chocolates to energising drinks and rich coffee blends. Like capsules, your digestive system needs time to absorb CBD edibles. Their delicious flavours and discreet style make for a perfect and therapeutic treat.
CBD Toiletries and Skin Products
You can apply CBD externally using balms, creams, lotions and other indulgent toiletries that soak into your skin. Generally, this method can improve overall skin health and relieve physical pain or tension in targeted areas – including muscle tension associated with stress. Sometimes, CBD topicals incorporate essential oils which add aromatherapy benefits that can further promote feelings of calm.
CBD Vaping Fluids
Technically, the quickest way to get CBD into your system is by inhaling it. If you use an e-cigarette, you can try using a CBD infused refill. Due to inconclusive evidence surrounding whether or not vaping harms the respiratory system, it is not necessary to start vaping for the sole purpose of using CBD as there are plenty of alternative methods available. However, if you vape already, inhalation may be a convenient method for you.
3. CBD Quality Assurance
As with any product being sold on the market, there are advantages in reading up and knowing about what it is exactly that you are buying. Prior to purchase, research with regards to CBD is highly recommended. There are certain criteria that need meeting before the CBD product is acceptable for purchase and consumption.
However, owing to the ambiguous legality and historic debate of validity around CBD, it is acknowledged that not every business trading and selling CBD products follow the stringent guidelines on what is acceptable and legal. Unfortunately, there are no legal, regulatory specifications for the production and sale of CBD. Many products come with a warning against being used simply for this reason. There are a few simple things to look for when purchasing any CBD product.
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure that the CBD product being bought has been through third-party lab testing. This is the most important point that should be followed. If the product has not been through third-party lab testing, it is not legitimately safe for consumption and should not be trusted readily. Third-party lab testing is just as it sounds, in that the CBD undergoes testing carried out by a third party with no financial interest in the product itself. An impartial and practical report is of unanimous importance through the unofficial regulatory bodies of CBD produce. If the business cannot or will not readily supply the information about third-party lab testing, it is more than likely that the CBD product has not been validated by such testing and is, therefore, at risk of being contaminated and even dangerous.
The other major consideration is the levels of CBD or THC present in the CBD product. If you are, for example, a first time user, then you naturally will be looking for a product with lower levels of CBD than the more hardcore, concentrated products.
Finally, make sure to purchase only the best CBD oil and other infused products from trusted sources. Opt for a reputable CBD seller or brand and consider doing a little research about a chosen CBD company. Always read testimonials about its service and product reviews before clicking the “place order” button.