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How to identify the true potency and quality of CBD?
18 March, 2021 by
How to identify the true potency and quality of CBD?
Alla Kolosova

CBD oil: How to identify the true potency and quality of CBD goods

The world of CBD (cannabidiol) can seem vast and confusing when you first dip your toes into it. There are lots of things to considers; initially, you might take some time to think about which kind of product would be best for you whether it is an oil, CBD capsules, spray, raw hemp extract, or another form.

And once you have decided what form you would like your product to take, there are a further two factors you need to consider - the potency and the quality of CBD products.

In this article, we will review first of all why there are different potencies across CBD products, and then we will move onto looking at how and why quality can vary so much between manufacturers and products. So let’s waste no time and delve in!

Potencies of CBD products

If you have bought a CBD product in the past, you may or may not already be familiar with the different potencies available and what they mean. If you haven’t noted this before, the potency is marked on the product in mg. This is the amount of CBD extract which is present in the product.

Depending on the product form, this may be marked differently. For example, on a bottle of CBD oil, the potency can range from 300mg to 1500mg. This is not an indication of how much you will ingest in each serving, but rather the amount in the whole bottle. Meanwhile, for products like CBD capsules which are individually portioned, there is a range of potencies available (10/15/25/50mg).

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Different CBD potencies have different effects 

CBD serves to provide a wide range of people with different needs and preferences, which is why there are so many different potencies. For people who know the exact amount, and wish for it to be premeasured for them, CBD capsules are perfect. Meanwhile, for those who may wish to vary and experiment with different strengths and amounts of CBD, then the oils are an easy way to do so.

If you are interested in trying CBD for the first time but you don’t know where to start then we would suggest beginning with a serving of 10mg potency, and gradually increasing and keeping note of how it is affecting you. In the same way that everyone has a unique appetite, your optimal CBD serving will depend on a variety of factors such as weight and metabolism, and also daily variables like energy levels, stress, and hunger. It is advised to take CBD with or after food for greater absorption into the body.

Lab tests for potency

As mentioned earlier, all potencies should be clearly labelled on your CBD product. However, sometimes you may wish to be extra thorough about controlling the strength of your CBD intake, and this is not a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it can be a good idea to verify that your product is actually the strength it claims to be and the manufacturer is not relabelling the same weaker product (more on this later).

All legitimate CBD manufacturers should invest in independent third-party laboratory testing for all their products. These lab results, which will be openly displayed online via the manufacturer’s website, will show the verified potency of the product in question. If you can not find these documents, do not hesitate to get in touch with the manufacturer.

CBD Quality

Now that we’ve reviewed the varying potencies of CBD products, and how to identify the best for you, we need to talk about quality.

The CBD market has boomed massively over the past few years, and it is still rapidly expanding today. While this is great news that more and more people in the world are finding out about the natural benefits of this wonderful supplement and finding ways to access it, there is, unfortunately, a negative side to all of this.

The industry, which is often an international affair, is growing quicker than regulations can be put in place. Consequently, this remains a largely unregulated market, and various companies seek to exploit this by producing low-grade CBD products with the aim of capitalising in the moment, rather than providing people with high quality and effective products.

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The legitimacy of the company

When considering the quality of the CBD products that you are about to purchase, the legitimacy of the company is a good place to start. Do they look legitimate? Do they mention where their hemp plants are grown? Do they produce their own CBD extract, or do they use someone else’s? This can be done by simply having a look at their website and seeing if they have any accreditations, this could be a range of things from membership for an industrial hemp association to a certificate for facility standards.

Customer reviews

One of the best, and most authentic, views into the quality of a CBD product is via customer reviews. Sometimes it can be difficult to trust advertising because of course, every company is going to toot their own horn and say that their product is great. However, customer reviews are done with no incentive aside from customers helping fellow customers know what they’re going to be buying, and the experience that comes with it, before they part with their money.

You will be able to find customer reviews in multiple places. One of the most obvious is the website of purchase, which is often the manufacturer’s website or a third party seller. This will also give you an insight into what the buying process is like as well as the delivery service. Social media is also a good place to look for reviews and often these will be more in-depth and informative, particularly when they are in video form. It is important to be aware, however, that sometimes social media posts can be paid or sponsored content so it’s hard to discern the level of authenticity behind the reviewer’s thoughts on the products.

The best place to get the most authentic reviews of a CBD product and its quality is via a third party moderated reviews platform, such as Trustpilot. On sites like this, reviews are moderated for authenticity prior to approval for posting. This means that the same person cannot post multiple false reviews, and the customer must have tried the product before reviewing.

CBD Lab results

We’ve already spoken about the importance of independent third-party laboratory testing when it comes to potency, but this is part of the much larger umbrella of third-party testing for quality. CBD products are something you are ingesting, something that is going into your body, and therefore you want to know exactly what is in it.

The lab results show the exact chemical composition of the CBD extract, so the amount of CBD within the extract as well as other cannabinoids (like THC and CBN), flavonoids, and terpenes. This knowledge is vital if you want to verify whether the product is full-spectrum (with a very small amount of THC) or broad-spectrum (containing no THC whatsoever). The results will also show the purity of the CBD extract, meaning whether there are any contaminants such as pesticides.

Third-party lab testing is an investment for legitimate CBD companies, and these services do not come cheap. So if a company has invested in this, to begin with, it is a good sign. It also shows that the CBD manufacturer prioritises transparency for the customers. All products and batches should be subject to testing.

Lab results

To sum up

Finding good quality CBD goods with the right potency is the key to getting the most out of your experience with CBD. Unfortunately, people often feel that CBD doesn’t work - or isn’t for them - because they have used a bad product that doesn’t have the right quality of CBD.

First of all, identify which potency you would like your CBD product to contain. If you already know that you have a higher tolerance then look towards the higher potencies, but if this is your first time then start low and build up gradually. Different products have different benefits for increasing your dosage and potency. If you decide to choose an oil, then you can gradually increase in very small increments by adding a drop at a time. Meanwhile, capsules are advantageous in the way that you can have an exact number of mg in a dose every time. Potency will be displayed on the product description, the labelling, and the lab results.

And now for quality. Getting the best quality CBD product you can is vital to your CBD journey. Do an initial check of the company you are thinking about buying from.

Do they look legitimate?

Do they mention where their hemp plants are grown?

Do they produce their own CBD extract, or do they use someone else’s?

Once you’ve got a feel for what the company is doing and producing, go check this up against customer reviewers - whether this is on socials, the online shop, or a third-party reviewing platform. And finally, our favourite thing to say when it comes to identifying the true potency and quality of CBD goods - check the laboratory results!