How To Recognize A Good Quality CBD Oil

No matter what generation you may hail from, many people remember the boom – and impending bust – of the dot-com bubble.

No matter what business you were working in, we can all recall the quick rise, and subsequent fall, of the dot-coms. An industry that appeared so formidable collapsed seemingly overnight. Smaller companies fell to the wayside, while the big guys stood their ground and began to change the way we saw the world.

Survivors like Google, Amazon, and Netflix are all proof of how giants can grow – but they must first survive.

The CBD Boom

The CBD industry seems to be set up for a similar reckoning. A zillion startups have sprouted seemingly overnight, while government regulators are struggling to keep up. And there’s real reason to believe that CBD has many benefits, and will one day become as ordinary as e-commerce.

Inevitably, there’s a certain amount of flim-flam. In 2017, one study found that almost 70% of tested CBD products were mislabeled. Some just had less CBD than advertised, but some included other active ingredients, like THC.

What’s a consumer to do? It can be tricky to navigate all these new companies, but there are steps you can take to ensure you’re getting high-quality CBD oil.

Check sources

If you want pure CBD that isn’t mixed with THC or any psychoactive ingredients, it’s best to get the kind that comes from industrial hemp. Under federal U.S. law, hemp must have no more than 0.3% THC (the “high-inducing” cannabinoid) by dry weight, so any amount that might make it through the extraction process will be negligible. CBD from hemp can also be less potent than CBD from cannabis so you may find that the effects are milder.

CBD from hemp is also the only kind that’s federally legal in the United States. In Canada, CBD derived from cannabis plants is legal and available through federally licensed producers and retailers.

If you’re concerned about pollutants, you might also prefer organically-grown hemp. Different countries have different standards, so if a company’s hemp is coming from outside the U.S., it’s good to know what those standards are.

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Learn the process

There are a few different ways to manufacture and process CBD from the cannabis plant, all with a varying degree of difficulty and expense.

Full-spectrum methods draw out a bit of everything, even though CBD is the primary ingredient. That can be a good thing, providing nutrients, essential oils, and terpenes along with the beneficial cannabinoids; however, it can also include THC, if there’s any in the source plant.

At the other extreme is CBD isolate, which eliminates all the extras. That’s what the FDA approved when it cleared Epidiolex as an option for severe epilepsy.

There are also various in-between methods that extract compounds of cannabis and then add in additional plant profiles at a later step. It’s helpful to know if a prospective seller can explain their CBD manufacturing process and provide further information on their methods.

Look for test results

CBD companies can hire independent labs to test their extracts, providing a full list of everything that may be present in their products: CBD concentration, other cannabinoids, nutrients, and possible pollutants. If a company is willing to do this and post the results on their website or at the point of sale, it’s a mark of their trustworthiness.

Check the medium too

A common point of confusion on CBD labeling is that it’s sometimes called “hemp oil,” making it sound like the oil was also extracted from the hemp plant. But really, the oil is just a medium for the CBD and could be anything. Hemp oil simply comes from the pressing of hemp seeds, which contain no trace amounts of CBD.

The oil is an especially important issue if you’re looking for a vape. Some otherwise healthy oils, such as MCT oil, can damage the lungs over the long term if consumed improperly. This is also a good reason to only vape oil that’s specifically made for vapes.

Beware of super deals

Because of the historic restrictions on growing cannabis, quality supplies are limited right now. There’s no way around the fact that CBD is going to cost money.

So be skeptical of a seller offering a free sample or a price that’s way below what others are charging. By cruising around different sites, especially the better-known ones, you can get an idea of what the going rate for high-quality CBD oil is.

If I could tell you which CBD companies will be the equivalent of Amazon or Google, I wouldn’t be blogging for a living. As Warren Buffett supposedly said, “Only when the tide goes out do you find out who’s not wearing shorts.”

But in the meantime, you can still be a smart shopper, relax with your CBD oil, and watch it all play out in exciting fashion.


Isabella has a degree in Art History and half of a graduate degree in Criminal Justice. Before working for the cbdMD Blog as a content writer, she worked as a blogger in Milan, wrote various books on art and culture, and worked in a criminal profiling unit. As both an American and Swiss citizen, she's spent a good portion of her life in Europe and thinks mayonnaise is superior to ketchup.