How-To Choose a High-Quality CBD Supplement
Cannabidiol supplements have been around for a while. You may even remember a time when they weren’t legal. A lot has changed since hemp-derived products (0.30% THC or less) were federally approved by The Farm Bill 2018. And the number of legalized products available for consumers has continued to grow. But can you tell the difference between a low and high-quality CBD supplement?
Using cannabidiol as a natural and holistic treatment is interesting to many people. We are all looking for small and affordable ways to improve our personal wellness. But while there are so many products for you to choose from, the truth is that many CBD supplements may not offer much benefit.
Can you tell the difference between a high-quality clinical-grade cannabidiol supplement or topical, and an imposter product? Sadly, there are so many products available online and at convenience stores that promise the potential benefits of CBD. But do not contain the right ratios to provide the best results.
If you want to make sure you are using the right kind of cannabidiol supplements or topicals, here is a quick checklist you can use. Learn more about bioavailability, clean processing of hemp-derived CBD, and what you should look for on the label before buying.
Three Types of Cannabidiol (CBD) Wellness Products
The first place to start is to figure out what kind of CBD you want to use for your wellness goals. Not all CBD products are the same because there are actually three different types that consumers can buy. And understanding the difference between the different cannabidiol categories will narrow down your choices to the ones that will work best for you.
1. Broad-Spectrum CBD
What makes broad-spectrum cannabidiol supplements and topicals unique? They have more of the beneficial compounds extracted from the hemp plant. Hemp plants are also categorized as cannabis plants, but they contain little to no THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD dietary supplements (capsules, gummies, lozenges, or tinctures) include these beneficial compounds and cannabinoids:
- Cannabinol (CBD)
- Terpenes (like myrcene, pinene, linalool, nerolidol, humulene or limonene)
Some clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids are more effective when combined or ingested with terpene-rich foods and supplements. All plants have terpenes, and the hemp plant is no different. But many of the terpenes found in hemp can work together with cannabidiol to provide wellness benefits.
Terpenes can help with symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve focus and clarity and promote relaxation. In many studies, the caryophyllene and beta-caryophyllene terpenes have also shown potential benefits for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, and cancer.
Alpha and Beta-Pinene have also shown positive benefits to help protect the body against inflammation and bacterial infections. There is a reason why broad-spectrum CBD is a little more expensive; it’s packed full of terpenes and flavonoids that may help a variety of different symptoms.
Think about it as “superpowered CBD” and the best quality cannabidiol product you can buy. Without any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) making it legal to buy and use in any state. And you can travel safely with it.
2. Full-Spectrum CBD
What do you call cannabidiol (CBD) supplements that have a small quantity of THC in it? That would be full-spectrum CBD. And even though there is some THC content in your edible, tincture, or capsule, it is still legal to purchase and use. As long as the quantity of THC is less than 0.30% per federal law.
Celebrities like to travel with an entourage. So does cannabidiol. Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) may be more effective when metabolized with small amounts of THC. There is not enough THC inside any cannabidiol product to get you into legal trouble. And the ratio of naturally occurring THC in full-spectrum CBD is so low, that there is no psychoactive effect or “high”.
Some of the most popular strains of medical marijuana (cannabis) have high-quality CBD (cannabidiol) ratios. They are typically more expensive than other types of strains at a medical dispensary, because of the benefits of the “entourage effect”.
3. CBD Isolate
Some products are labeled as cannabidiol (CBD) isolate. And you may be concerned that it means a concentrated ratio or higher level of THC. But that is not the case. With CBD isolate, the extraction method does not allow for any other compounds from the hemp plant to be present in the final product. That means it will contain no THC.
Why would someone want to choose a CBD isolate instead of a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD? The consensus from clinical analysis and studies is that CBD isolates provide fewer wellness benefits. Because it does not contain any natural terpenes, or THC, which precludes the “entourage effect”.
But some people may choose this most concentrated form of cannabidiol if they are concerned about ingesting low levels of THC. And CBD isolates can also be used for pediatric care, for conditions including epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, joint pain, anxiety, and more.
How Are High-Quality CBD Products Made?
In order for a CBD product to meet the federal legal requirements, it must be derived from hemp. Other types of CBD can be extracted from cannabis Sativa plants in states where medical and recreational cannabis are legalized.
But consumers want to know that the high-quality CBD supplement or topical that they are using, will not present any legal issues. This is why the majority of cannabidiol products sold are hemp-derived. That means extracted from industrial hemp and cultivated from seeds that contain less than 0.30% THC.
Hemp plants that will be used to create CBD products are specially developed strains. They are grown selectively from stock that contains the highest levels of CBD. Which makes sense, so that more oil can be extracted.
There are many different extraction methods used to get CBD oil from the hemp plant. Some processes use C02 extraction, which is also used for extracting essential oils used to manufacture food additives. A high-pressure chamber is used in this process. But there are also other methods including alcohol extraction that can be used.
Once the cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted into an oil, it can be used to create topical creams and ointments (for pain and inflammation) or supplements such as tinctures and capsules.
Are CBD Products Approved by the FDA?
Not yet. But that could change soon. Even though hemp-derived CBD products have been federally legalized, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve a product or brand of CBD. That is because thorough testing and clinical data have to be gathered before the FDA can endorse the safety of a product.
On May 6, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration issued another warning letter to CBD manufacturers. In fact, since 2015, the FDA has sent out over one hundred (100) letters to brands for violations. Predominantly, the amount of cannabidiol on the label failed to match the contents of the product. Consumers were getting less CBD than they thought they were supposed to when buying those products.
Some of the country’s largest and most recognizable brands of cannabidiol (CBD) supplements have been issued a warning letter. So whether you choose a small or large brand, it is important to understand what you are buying. Don’t trust what’s on the label! Do your research to learn how to tell high-quality CBD from hype.
One of the best ways to tell is by looking for a certificate of analysis information. Products that have been tested for safety are also tested for the potency of cannabidiol. Because that helps ensure that what is on the label matches what is inside the bottle.