Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has fast become one of the most talked-about supplements within the global wellness community. There are scores of companies out there selling it, and while it’s always great to have a wide choice, it’s becoming increasingly harder to find a product that’s 100% genuine and effective.
We’re fortunate that CBD sellers operating in the UK market need to adhere to guidelines set out by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). However, overall the industry is still largely unregulated worldwide, and it’s now quite common to encounter a few dubious companies that are simply on a mission to make a quick quid.
With that in mind, how do you know when CBD oil is the real deal? To help get you started on your quest to find a reputable company creating high-quality oil, we’ve compiled a go-to guide on how to pinpoint the good from the downright bad and harmful.
Before heading on to sites like Amazon or clicking on a link from the first page of Google, it’s vital to get a better understanding of what CBD really is. This is especially important if you’re still new to it.
CBD is an active compound derived from industrial hemp, which contains less than 1mg THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) per container, to ensure zero psychoactive effects. The less than 1mg maximum THC per container requirement is set under UK laws based on an EU directive stipulating that anything over this is deemed illegal.
There are also two types of CBD found on the market:
- CBD isolate, which only contains pure CBD (up to 99.9%), and nothing else.
- Full-spectrum CBD which contains a range of natural cannabinoid compounds reported to help aid the beneficial properties of CBD. These are drawn out from the plant during the extraction process.
Exaggerated Medical Claims
Fake CBD oil, whether it claims to be isolate or full-spectrum, can potentially include many harmful and dangerous chemicals. One of the most common ways to gauge if a product is genuine or fake, is to check if the brand makes sweeping medical claims about what it does.
While CBD oil has some incredible health-supporting properties, it is by no means a ‘cure-all’ remedy or ‘one-dose-wonder’. The benefits also differ from person to person, and any company making over-inflated medical claims should raise the red flag. When buying CBD, research and common sense goes a long way, and if it looks and feels like a scam with exaggerated wording and untraceable 5-star reviews, chances are, it is.
Check for Third Party Testing
Nobody wants to find out from a third-party source that their CBD oil contains pesticides. But that’s exactly what happened last year when a company called Remedy Review embarked on a test of 29 CBD brands where four failed.
It’s essential to check for oils that have undergone third party testing, but if none are available, here are three other factors to look for instead:
- Check for a certificate of analysis (COA) is available on the website. If there isn’t one, companies are obligated to provide one on request.
- Do a quick label check. Although producers are not required by law to disclose the CBD levels in their product, it’s a very good sign if the amount per dose is already listed clearly on the bottle itself or the company website.
- Examine how the CBD oil was extracted – inquire about the manufacturing process and stay clear from products created using solvents.
Another quick-fire method of spotting chancers cutting corners, is to look at the price point. Nothing in the CBD world is free, and manufacturing a bottle of genuine, natural CBD oil typically retails at a slightly higher price point. Anything that is sold at a suspiciously low price is likely to be fake or substandard.
While searching for CBD oil online, hard sell phrases like: ‘best price’, ‘limited offer’ and ‘special discount for today’, will also indicate an ingenuine product (along with zero testimonials!). Genuine CBD companies will emphasise the value of their product whilst maintaining a more realistic cost. They will also be transparent about the sourcing and extraction process for their oil which can account for a slightly higher price.
Consider the Appearance and Ingredients
Fake CBD oils may contain heavy metals and environmental toxins. These dubious products are often synthetically manufactured in laboratories and can be extremely harmful. And at the end of the day, legitimate CBD oil companies will always be up-front about their product ingredients.
When it comes to appearance, genuine and pure CBD isolate oil generally doesn’t have a smell. It appears quite clear or transparent with little to no colour. Full-spectrum CBD will typically have an earthy smell and come as an amber or brown colour – it all depends on what else it is mixed with. Remember, hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD is still real CBD and products containing it should only be used if you know exactly what else comes along with it during the extraction and manufacturing process.
The wording can be tricky, but something to keep in mind is that Cannabis sativa seed oil is actually hemp seed oil and not CBD oil. There’s nothing bad about hemp seed oil, but some companies can misrepresent it as CBD.
Top Tips for Buying Quality CBD Oil
- Conduct plenty of research on how CBD oil is sourced, extracted, processed, purified, and manufactured.
- Research the companies and brands selling the products. Check for legitimate reviews and conversations in social groups online.
- Study the COAs, if they are provided by the companies. If they are not available on their website, reputable companies will happily provide one on request.
- Understand the current market situation and the presence of synthetic cannabinoids, scammers, and cheap variants with overinflated claims.
- Check the actual health benefits of CBD, so you don’t get lured in by brands that make outrageous medical claims.
- If you experience adverse reactions included confusion, paranoia, hallucination, psychosis, seizures, breathlessness, and nausea and vomiting, discontinue use immediately.
The importance of a high-grade CBD oil is paramount. If you’re determined to use CBD oil that really works to support your wellbeing, ensure that what you’re buying is from a reputable manufacturer whose products are free of contaminants.
In the world of CBD, you also need to ‘play’ around with dosages to see what works for you. Start small and work your way up. And, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medication, it’s always important to first speak to a medical professional before you dabble in CBD oils and other CBD-infused products.